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A Gathering of Sorrows- 2,000 Words

I thought I would, for the next few days, start sharing the first 2,000 words from my various titles with you-and exactly 2,000. If that ends in the middle of a sentence, so be it. I know it is always a big chance when you purchase digital books, or books from little know authors. I figure that by sharing these snippets with you, I may be able to introduce you to a book you may enjoy reading. If you like what you see, you can feel free to purchase the books at the links below. If you don’t like what you see, come back again each day to experience a new book you may just fall in love with!

A_Gathering_of_Sorro_Cover_for_Kindle

In a rough part of town there was a room. The room was dark and dank. The foul smell of stale cigarette smoke and cheap beer, carelessly spilled, permeated the air, giving off the impression that the air inside of this room was somehow thicker than it was outside of those four walls.

The furnishings within the room had obviously been well taken care of- once. Now they had fallen into a disappointing state of disrepair, the owner obviously having lost interest in their maintenance. The dresser, nightstand, and vanity table were all made of solid cherry wood. Once they had been strong, solid pieces; the years however had forced them into pieces cracked, faded, and dingy. Dust piled up everywhere, layering itself upon all that lay inside of that room.

The mirror on the vanity table had one long crack running through it’s reflective surface. The crack ran up the left side, breaking off into several small cracks as it went along it’s predetermined path from one end to the other. That same vanity table boasted eight lights so that whosoever sat upon the creaky wooden chair in front could clearly see what they were doing. Four of those eight lights did not work. They had not been replaced, nor even taken out. Instead, they were left broken and gaping in the sockets where they had long ago perished.

The bed sat against the wall opposite the disparate vanity. It was a large queen sized bed, complete with a cherry wood headboard that was cracked and fading. Whole chunks of wood had been nicked off and never fixed, left to remain as they were. The mattress which sat upon the bed frame was stained from old drinks, and things certain to be far less seemly. The sheets and comforter upon the mattress were the same, only rattier, with their seams coming undone at all edges.

Beneath that disgusting bed were two boxes. One box held a small amount of money, mostly in the form of one dollar bills and chance. The second box was the larger of the two, and held envelopes containing well read letters, and a few very faded photographs.

The photographs in particular seemed out of place, despite their obvious age, apparent through the faded colors and bent edges. One photograph showed four small children- one boy, obviously older, and three younger girls. The children were dirty, but they were obviously happy to be in one another’s company. You sensed an odd bond betwixt them the faded colors could not take away.

The second photo one would find showed six children- two boys and four girls. This one was newer, evident by the slightly more vivid colors. The fading had not spread as far upon this frozen piece of time. Making their appearance in this second picture were the four children from the first picture, with the addition of two much younger children. These two smallest children were obviously twins, despite their being of different genders.

The last two pictures were taken around the same time as the first one. The first showed what one would assume to be the middling sister with the eldest; the last contained a portrait of all four girls standing together, all in a line according to age. The back of this photograph was the only one on which there was writing. It read: Willow, age 12, Emilee, age 10, Avery, age 7, Miracle, age 4.

Atop the bed with it’s tattered sheets and disgustingly filthy mattress lay the occupant of these pathetic quarters. A woman of average height and extremely low weigh lay there. This woman was not sleeping, she was simply staring at the holes in the ceiling.

Her hair was a gorgeous chestnut color, yet it lacked any kind of shine or luster. Her eyes were a brilliant green, yet they gave off the distinct impression of extreme old age, for surely no one of young years could have seen the things those eyes claimed to have seen. They were sunk into her face, dark circles ringing them, causing the cheek bones to appear even more prominent than they really were. The woman’s face was unmarked and morosely beautiful. The arms, however, lying straight out next to her bony sides, told a different sort of story. Those dangerously thin arms bore many cuts, ranging from the old and white, to the newer, brighter colored.

A sigh escaped from the full, cracked lips, and the woman shifted from her back to her side.

“It’s time to get up, Emilee. Another glorious night awaits you.” The woman spoke solely to herself, speaking as though she were giving a pep talk to the invisible people called into existence in that dingy room.

Slowly but surely, Emilee pulled herself up to a sitting position, and threw her legs over the side of the bed. She trudged her way slowly to the adjoining bathroom. Emilee walked as though heavy weights were attached to her ankles, barely raising one apparently heavy foot before placing it back on the ground. The effort of walking seemed to momentarily pain her- it was much more of a shuffle than a walk that led her into the bathroom.

The bathroom was also uncared for, portraying the occupant’s lack of cleaning zeal. Emilee washed herself inside of the stained and soap-ringed shower, and wrapped a towel about her alarmingly small body. She pulled another towel off of the dusty rack behind the door and wrapped it about her hair.

Emilee sat herself in front of the cracked vanity mirror and began to apply large amounts of make up to her sickly face. First went on the foundation, then the pale face powder. This hid the extent of her sunken in eyes, and with a little bit of bronzing powder brushed over her cheeks, nose, and forehead, she no longer looked sickly, but instead young and full of false life. If one did not look too closely at those ancient seeming eyes, that is. Those eyes were what needed to be taken care of next. Shockingly blue contacts were popped in to change her eye color so that Emilee could not be recognized. Dark eye liner was applied to the bottom of her eye, and thick on her eye lid in the shade of eyeshadow. Bright red lipstick and a thick coat of lip gloss went on her lips, finishing the masterpiece which had become a stranger’s face.

Black fishnet stockings were slipped on beneath a strapless black dress that did not quite reach midway down her thighs. Black knee-high boots with four inch heels were pulled on over top of those fishnets, and a black choker was affixed about her thin neck.

After Emilee pulled her chestnut locks back into a tight bun, she further restrained her mane with a bald cap. A short, straight blonde wig was then placed upon Emilee’s head. The effect was that a new person made an appearance in that nearly shattered mirror before her. It was a woman much different from the one previously lying forlorn on her dirty bed. The last effects of very long, false eye lashes and inch long fake red nails glued over top of her own dirty and unkempt nails finished the masquerader’s costume.

Emilee took a long look into the mirror and nodded her head in satisfaction. She was now ready for the long night ahead of her. Taking a deep breath, she threw on her long overcoat specifically bought for covering herself in the streets, and marched herself out of the house. She headed down the street with obvious purpose.

Emilee was heading towards a rougher part of town, but she would stop before she reached the start of the actual slums. Her destination had not yet been devoured by the shadiest part of town, but could certainly be so within the next few years if things continued on as they had been.

Chapter Two

The High-class Ladies Bar on tenth street was shabby and ran down, just like all the other buildings and shops running along either side of that same street. The name, of course, was a complete sham. There were no high-class ladies in attendance, neither working nor patronizing the place. It was, however, a very prosperous business in that way that those types of businesses typically are.

The front room of the establishment had a long, old-fashioned bar at the farthest back reaches of the room. Small, round tables- around twenty of them- were scattered about the floor. The floor itself was in rather dire need of a good sweep and mop, and on the rarest of occasions, it got it. Whenever one of the girls who worked the place needed a little extra cash, they could opt to sweep, mop, or scrub the tables. Otherwise, it never got done. The so-called cleaning crew were a bunch of lazy bums, who, by the end of each night, were too far into their own drinks to do much more than push the debris into the corners of the room out of everyone’s way.

This run down place was owned by a Mrs. Stanley. She was a woman in her mid-fifties who made sure that her girls were taken care of. That came at a small price, however, as she also expected her girls to continue bringing in the customers. She made no qualms about firing someone who let themselves go, or who started arguments with or betwixt the paying customers.

Mrs. Stanley was, in almost all senses of the word, a madame. Her girls, however, were not obligated to sleep with anyone. She would hire them on as waitresses and dancers, informing them that they were welcome to supply the men frequenting the place with “fringe benefits.” Most girls opted to do so, since Mrs. Stanley allowed them to keep a whopping eighty percent of any profits earned providing “fringe benefits.” Besides, tricks could be turned for a very pretty penny if a girl was either attractive or talented enough.

In fact, a woman could make a very nice sum of money working at this joint. The tips were good by themselves- horny drunk men always tipped pretty young girls well- and the pay was alright. If one did supply the other sorts of goods, well then, they could be rolling in the money in no time at all, where once they had been practically destitute.

So it was for Emilee. She had begun working at the High-class Ladies Bar on tenth street two years ago, after she had been dumped and duped by her once lover Anthony. He had thrown her to the curb with nothing but her clothes, despite his frequent expressions of how much he loved her- obviously all void of meaning. It had been by chance that Emilee had wandered upon this place. Despite years of hard drug use, she had managed to retain an alluring yet morose beauty that caused men to drool. Despite the large difference in appearances, it was quite the same appeal that brought men to Elvira’s feet.

It also helped that Emilee had been left with slightly less morals than she had once possessed. In a shady place such as this, that easily worked towards her advantage.

At her place of work, Emilee was not known as such, but instead, she was known as Starlet. All of the girls had assumed false identities, since most of them had families back home who would be ashamed of the work force they had placed themselves into. Emilee didn’t care too much herself, but she did often think about the family she had left behind her so many years ago. She did not want the last thing those estranged family members ever heard of her to be that she had worked in a bar slash brothel in the part of town that wasn’t quite the slums, but was so very close.

Starlet, you’ve got…

 If you liked what you read, you can feel free to purchase this book on Kindle, Amazon Paperback, Nook, Barnes & Noble Paperback, or Kobo.

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