bessieThe joint was jumpin’ and her voice cut through the smoke-filled room. She stood on stage; her beaded gown hugging her ample frame like a kid glove. She may have been singing for hours, but her sound was naturally gritty like gravel yet clearer than Gideon’s trumpet. She directly affected the mood of the room. She was the mood. When she laid down the law, her vocalization ground like gears and the people did the same. Her neck was tense and corded from effort, and perspiration on her forehead and upper lip glittered in competition with her beaded cap.

As  worked my way closer to the stage, my ears twitched from the heat of her torch song. Her ebony skin absorbed the light and her midnight blue complexion radiated from center stage. Blue light, blue woman, blue sound came out of lips painted red with her passion. The men in the room caught her fever, and when she swayed her hips, the room rocked and rolled with expectation. Men held their women closer and the ladies reciprocated. Those who were alone moved in on the nearest available body.

Suddenly, the sound of her husky laughter poured out like raw honey and trapping those within earshot. A man, drunk with lust and gin, was being led away from the stage by a pair of bouncers.

“Don’t get too close, baby.” She grinned. “Lest you want to get burned.”

 

© 2015 Jayne Marlowe, Moonchild Press

 

Advertisements