This is a piece of fiction I wrote in 2006 and which originally appeared in Brett Savory's excellent horror/dark fantasy site Chizine. I've included a teaser and a link to the full story.
Any resemblance between Charley and my ghede, spirit guide and personal advisor Harvey DelCruccio is not at all coincidental.
Hope you enjoy!
Every time I come she's faded a little bit more.
Amidst the weeds where the Empire Burlesque once stood Vera pirouettes to remembered music. Clouds hang low over the Hudson River. Across the street a LUXURY CO-OPS: 1 AND 2 BR. OFFERING BY PROSPECTUS ONLY sign memorializes the staircase where Vera fell to her death.
"How you doing, Toots?"
Vera flinches. Her head lolls on her broken neck, then comes to rest on her ample bosom. A rat dashes beneath the woodpile that used to be the main stage. Vera reaches up and turns her face toward Charley, then smiles as mist turns to drizzle.
Charley tips his hat, revealing the bullet hole in the center of his forehead. "Sorry, Toots, didn't mean to startle you."
"That's okay. It's been a while, Charley."
"I know. It's been nuts down at Central. If it ain't a new crop of dead to haul in, it's a séance. Everyone in New York is either dying or getting spiritual. I been like a one-legged man at an asskicking contest."
"It's been slow here for a while. Nobody has time for dancers since they shot Kennedy." Vera smiles. "At least I got time to practice my ballet steps." She looks around the weedy lot. "I hope the economy picks up soon. You know how Hugo gets when he's not working."
The stormclouds blow in from the Palisades, heavy and blue-black as the bruise over Vera's right eye. Again with that strutting little bastard Hugo Charley thinks as drizzle turns to rain.
"You worry too much about that bum. He don't treat you right."
Vera's head bobs forward as she nods agreement.
"He needs to control that temper of his. Just yesterday he knocked me down a flight of stairs." She points toward the LUXURY CO-OPS sign. "My neck is still bothering me. I'm lucky I didn't get killed!"
"You're a nice girl. You could do a lot better than him."
"He didn't mean it."
The streetlight flickers on. In the halogen glow Charley can read the fluorescent orange FUCK YOU spraypainted behind Vera.
One of these days there ain't gonna be anything left of her at all.