Excerpt from Rewind, a short story by Segun Lee-French
Red blue green. Black. Red blue green. Black. Red blue green. Black. White flecks of light gliding like perfectly choreographed snow. His arms around her. Yvonne leaning over her shoulder, pulling her close, singing yelling, “Feel so real! I feel so real!” She yelling back, “And I owe it all to youuuuuuuuuuuu!”. Mouths open like empty fish bowls. The ceiling spinning, a pleasure dome, dripping condensation. The elastic bass tight against the beat. Synth chords floating on clouds of spliffed up joy. Heads of glossy wet curls bouncing front and back to the right and left. Maybe she’d just had too much spliff, but she could swear every head was bobbing in perfect time, even the White guys.
Oh yeah, and this guy, Byron, rubbing up against her, or trying to at least. Not easy, when the riddim snapped so funky like. He was alright though. Not pushy like most yardman. Cute eyes, what she could see of them in the flashing lights. He knew how to lay off too, when she and Yve needed to do their diva thang. Just moved back and shuffled his lickle two step.
“I feel so real! I feel so real!”
Riding higher on bubbles. Yvonne like a flamingo mirror, both their necks shimmying in unison. The ventilator’s sudden blast, cool perspiration. Mouths like baby birds singing hungry words. The lights above spinning faster now. And there, the trumpet defying the gravity of gated snares. The synth skipping like a dragon fly. Steve Arrington’s high note elevating her heart, evaporating her pain. The riddim, always, the riddim. Red blue green.
Black. The mirror ball’s blessing.
He was standing at the bar with his back to her. The smoke was stinging her eyes now, but she knew it was him. She pushed her way through the crowd, oblivious to the cusses, sucked teeth and deadly cut-eyes she left in her wake. As she reached for his shoulder, he passed a glass of black liquid to a blonde with blood red lips and skin like porridge.
“Daddy? What you doing here? I thought you were…” Charlene’s voice trailed off as he turned and she saw Byron’s face in the yellow barlight.
“Who’s this?”, the blonde spat, digging her nails into his forearm. Gazing into Charlene’s eyes, Byron shrugged off her talons.
“You got your drink, innit?”. He glanced down at the blonde, “So, go drink it somewhere!”
As the blonde flounced off, Charlene backed away, stammering, “Sorry, thought you were… someone else.” Wasn’t just that he was tall. He even smiled like Daddy.
“No problem, sweetness. You save me from de vampire kiss. Wait! You look like you need a drink.”
“No, I’d better get back to my friend.”
“You mean the one behind you?”
Charlene turned. Yvonne grinned past her at Byron.
“You gonna introduce me, then?”