Friday, August 3, 2012

Red Spanish Night

Just before he died, Salvador thought of the girl from the club; the way she’d dragged him out to this place with a smile; her red hair caught dark with the night’s weight. He felt the ligature tighten, and then the pops and sparks of light at the borders of his sight played brighter and brighter and he felt something burst in his chest; then he saw the girl again, that red hair and it was the last thing he ever saw.  Danny pushed the Spaniard’s 12 stone of meat forward into the dry concrete bed of the Alforia and looked back up at Faye. He was sweating, out of breath; his face a mask of effort and hard love caught in the burning yellow of the streetlight. ‘So,’ he panted, ‘it’s done.’ He was young, barely out of his teens and his white shirt was stained with blood from a broken nose. The regimental tattoo on his forearm shone through a film of sweat. ‘He won’t touch you again.’

She looked down at the wasted body of her husband, though Danny didn’t know that, nor did he know how this night had been worked out long before. If it hadn’t been him it could have been anyone. He’d told her he’d killed men before, in battle, but she knew that was different to holding them in your arms and stealing the fire from their blood. Her green eyes shone in the half-light, exhilarated by victory. Cars zipped by on the road to Tarragona, hidden by the bank of earth behind them and music came from the back door of the club. ‘No,’ she said, her voice soft as a snake’s belly in the dust, ‘I don’t suppose he will.’