Searching through my writing USB last week, I found this Short Story I wrote a couple years ago. Not my finest writing, but interesting nonetheless:
Short story – Awu by Kristy Kamin
Just another day in the office. Well, not office exactly. An office would be lovely on such a hot day. Even the ice-creams I sell melt so fast, people hardly have a chance to enjoy them. The smell of carbon monoxide fills my nose – you would think I would be used to it by now, working on the edge of a busy street. But no, the suffocating gases still gives me a pounding headache. Oh well, a job is a job.
“A hotdog and a bottle of water thanks Bob.”
“Coming right up Sally” I answer. A new customer. I have never met Sally before. I peruse her body as I reach into the bread bin to grab a roll. On her upper right arm she wears a bright red and black tattoo of a Mustang – a vintage car lover. Her left hand, a wedding band – married. Her lower left wrist shows a small tattoo of two children – a boy and a girl, both the same height, holding hands. She has twins.
Looking down to pick up a sausage for the roll, through the clear glass I notice a grey scale tattoo on her lower left thigh – a house with an apron next to it. A fulltime mother, loves to cook.
Looking back up at Sally I smile, passing her the hotdog and water,
“That will be ten dollars Sally”. Sally passes me a ten-dollar note, smiling back, her dimple piercings caving further into her face. Turning, she walks away, her large ‘Sally’ neck tattoo flashing with each step she takes.
“In between jobs are we Bob?” Comes a voice from behind me. I subconsciously bring my hand up to the base of my skull, covering the tattoo of a book. It’s times like these I wished we didn’t wear our inner self on our bodies.
I turn around to be greeted by Andrew. Andrew is a lawyer – I can tell by the scales of justice on his hand. He’s single, and a bit of a player by the looks of it – the naked lady art all up his right arm, under it the list of around thirty or forty women – and men – he has slept with. He’s also into fast cars, alcohol, and the odd bit of gambling…
“Did you want something to eat?” I try changing the subject.
“I see you’re not married – only been with one woman too. Maybe I could take you out tonight and introduce you to some girls I know?”
“No thanks.” I mutter.
“Oh – you don’t swing that way anymore. I know plenty of guys too” He grins.
“No – I’m just not interested right now” I’m feeling quite annoyed with this guy.
“Righty oh. Here’s my number if you change your mind” He hands me his card. I wait for him to leave, before lighting the stove and holding the card to the flame. The smell of burning cardboard fills my nostrils, overtaking the stench of traffic.
“Did you really just burn that guy’s card?” A female voice catches me off guard. I drop the card into the stove. It immediately turns to ash.
Looking up, my eyes meet with the most intense looking young woman I have ever come across. Her hair a fiery, but natural red; her eyes a deep green, like the deepest depths of the ocean, taking all of me in so that I feel as though I am drowning. Her nose, a little crooked, holds no piercings; even her soft white ears are naked. My eyes dart around her body, trying to find her name – but it isn’t there. That’s when I realise it – she has no tattoos! I am at a loss; I have no idea who she is. It’s like an empty book standing in front of me, the pages white, just aching to be written on. I’m intrigued.
“Hi. My name’s Robert – and you are?” I hold out my hand to her, half of me hoping to find a marking of some sort on her wrist, the other half of me willing there to be none. It is almost as though her body were too perfect to be filled with anything.
“Hi Robert. I’m Awali-Uzuri. But you can call me Awu” She folds her hands over mine and holds it for a moment in time. Her hands, as soft as I had imagined, her warmth travels through them, channelling its way into my body.
“Original Beauty” I say, after finally regaining my composure.
“Yes.” Her soft sweet voice replies, “You know Swahili?”
“I spent some time travelling while researching my last novel. Are you African?”
She finally lets go of my hand. Throwing her head back, her laughter trickles out of her cherry coloured lips like sweet honey.
“No. My parents lived there for a short time before I was born”
“So…” I panic, I had never met anyone without tattoos. I know nothing about her, and I want – no I need – to know everything about this young woman standing in front of me.
“It’s okay to ask you know.” She urges me, her face turning serious.
“Umm. D-do you live around here?” I stutter, my confidence starting to return. Although this is strange, I realise I actually feel comfortable around her. It’s like she oozes a sense of belonging.
“Yes, Robert.” Awu points down a side street, not far from where we were standing.
“I’ve never seen you before” I state, confused. Awu doesn’t answer me. It wasn’t technically a question I guess. She isn’t going to make this easy for me.
“What do you do for a living?” I ask her – a straight forward question.
“I’m an artist”
I nod. Makes perfect sense that she would be an artist – I realise I had already known the answer before I had even asked her.
“Trust your instincts” She whispers in my ear. I close my eyes; she’s so close I can smell the clean scent of lilies on her skin and the mint fragrance coming from her mouth. Oh how I want to kiss her then. But when I open my eyes she’s gone, only the sweet smell remains. Awali-Uzuri.