A sweet smelling haze wafted down the building’s steps and caught the last of the day’s sunlight. She looked up from the cracked sidewalk, then again to the address scrawled on the inside of her wrist.
With warm brick and a painted sign, the bar humbly stood next to the neon of its fellows. Above the open doors a railed walkway bordered the second floor. Curtained windows obscured what she hoped were apartments above.
Once inside the air thickened despite the lazy spin of ceiling fans. She ignored the rumble’s pause as people noticed her arrival. Most went back to their drinks and conversation but a few eyes still followed her to the bar.
The wiry bartender there ignored her until the other patrons began to shift in their seats. “You looking for someone?” The thin man asked, inspecting a glass.
She nodded. “Neveah.”
He finally looked at her and she followed each tiny appraisal. Wind mussed hair and pilled sweatshirt. Dingy backpack and broken shoes. Finally his eyes alighted on the leather cord around her neck. The bartender’s eyebrows shot up.
“Invisibles? You’re too young to get messed up with them, tell Neveah that.” He said, voice rough. He poured a beer for himself. Unlike him, many in the bar stared openly at her and the pouch hanging down the front of sweatshirt.
Her spine itched. “I’m not messed up with anyone. I just need a place to stay. Neveah?”
“Suit yourself. Stairs near the back hall. Apartment two.” He jutted his chin in the direction. “Kids aren’t supposed to be in bars, stay off this floor.”
The dismissal had nothing to do with her age, but she didn’t argue. The bar and its patrons uneasy interest was cloying. As she climbed the back stairs the haze seemed to follow her, and it remained on her tongue as she reached the upstairs landing.
Another music challenge, this time I tasked Raw Rambles with writing something to the Toxic cover done by Post-Modern Jukebox and the talented Melinda Doolittle. Her post is here.