Each circle is a story

Cigarettes and Sex
Flash Fiction | 600 words


He licks the length of his cigarette and places it back into his mouth. It’s a subtle performance of affection, an underground code. The movement suits him; he exudes sexual allure. Sharp contours of his face compliment the sweetness of his dark, tantalising eyes.

The second man, a pudgy specimen wrapped in a washed out suit from the years when he was thin, watches the first closely. Almost instinctively, he fumbles, blind, for the ashtray atop their table, his gaze fixed on the first man. A chunky hand tips the greyed content of the glass container onto the floor – soot catching the worn trousers as it falls, unnoticed. The dark man’s visage commands the ogling, to not stare would be a crime. Small wisps of smoke elegantly flutter out of his nostrils. He is a tempter of course, but a beauty like no other.

Victoria watches the two men in the corner of the restaurant swapping secret signs of their common interest. In moments they’ll be fucking. Not an eyebrow is raised among the other restaurant-goers; the exchange is normal for this side of town. But Victoria watches. The dark man – cigarette now in hand, damp from the moisture of his lips – glances for a split-second at her. She’d brought him the pudgy man, her nod is the final affirmation needed. The man with an ashtray now held stupidly before his eyes like a child with a makeshift magnifying glass, doesn’t notice the glance. He is too engrossed – lost – in the beauty of Victoria’s partner.

She’d had her way with the fat man the night before. He was clumsy – of course – he couldn’t have been well practised. And the cold, breezy rooftop of her cousin’s apartment building dampened his drive. But It was the rooftop or nothing. The apartment was occupied; Victoria’s cousin had found a virgin, one starved and libidinous but with nerves necessitating the relative sanctuary of the apartment. And so, on the roof, Victoria’s own find squirmed; scared of detection. But it was done.

When the virgin-no-more was gone, the suited man stayed, sleeping soundlessly in the corner of what could be called a living room. Victoria lived with her cousin; a convenient, cheap, and mutually beneficial arrangement where they could fuck under the pretence of innocent familial cohabitation. A relationship so daring, unlawful, liberating, the street dogs cried when their sex seeped through cracked windows into the night air.

No dogs had cried last night. The fat man was unskilled, but he was, at least, willing. So Victoria’s partner begins to stroke the V-shaped gap in the man’s shirt. The exposed skin blushing red. Blood will roam around his body wherever this tempter touches it. Hungry hands search beneath the restaurant’s table. The pudgy man’s round face should burn red, but there is no blood left for it.

Victoria knows it is a crime to deny her partner, an act more heinous than the one these men commit entranced in their desire. So she’ll always bring sex to him; she is the wily one and the suitors always comply. If they’d risk fucking her, they would him. He is the beauty. But if anyone saw, anyone loyal to the law, they’d be hanged within the hour. Strung up naked and stoned for their sins. The sexless world dominates, but those types with their moral compasses don’t come to these parts of town.

Victoria’s partner moans from the corner of the restaurant. He doesn’t look at her now as she crosses the rooms to the exit, nodding a silent goodbye to the bartender as she leaves for the city, yearning for its newest rebels.