Ritual

Published by Iain Aschendale in the blog ...from a dark place. Views: 79

Dark, a warm night, the buzz of the insects is still foreign to you after all these years, something that you don't know until making planetfall again and hear the tones that you co-evolved with over those short generations. Streetlights don't buzz anymore, LEDs, boring and constant. Inside the store you point, #72, Marlboro reds.

Softpack.

It's not a long way back from the store so you flip the pack back and forth in your hands and begin to smack it, filters down, into the palm of your hand.

Pack that tobacco in, pack it until you can twist the end of a smoke shut like some sort of Cheech & Chong-era joint.

Pack.

Pack.

Zippo. Flipped open on a trouser leg then reversed for a light?

Ditto on the side of the head?

Or gripped tightly, top and bottom, between thumb and the first two fingers of the left hand to snap open, then snap with the right at just the right angle, flame?

Dealer's choice, but choose wisely.

Hold the flame to the plastic on the top of the pack, burn melt singe off just the bit over the silver foil at one side and close the lighter, wipe off the melted plastic with your fingertips wipe your fingertips on your jeans peel open the little folded square of silvered paper and discard.

Water-resistant.

Combat pack.

Tap tap tap the soft pack across the side of your left index finger, tap tap, a couple of faux-cork brown cylinders start to edge their way out. Pull out the longest, flip it around, and put it back in the pack.

The lucky.

Save it for last.

Save it for never.

Pull the other, run one of the lighter tricks but this time don't do the snap variant because you fucked it up a minute ago and ripped the edge of your nail on the wheel and your clippers are upstairs and your swissarmyknife is nowhere and no cell phone makes you nervous but no blade is unthinkable, you're a tool-using-ape dammit.

Flame.

Inhale.
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