Yosef lifted his glass and observed as the solitary ice cube shimmered against the sunlight. He gently twisted the glass, watching the ice cube slide about in the ever-increasing pool. Yosef focused in on the mundanity of the melting ice cube, phasing out the murmurs of those conversing around him, until all that was left was a thin layer of cool water, which Yosef then glugged down.
A woman in a black dress, clutching a matching handbag, glided through the crowds of well-to-do socialites, then deposited herself into the seat opposite him. She noticed the vapid expression on his face and sighed.
“Is this really how it’s going to do?” She spoke in a sharp whispered tongue.
Yusef finally placed the glass on the table. He smiled. “I’d rather it not go anyway.”
“Yeah, well, you know the rules.” The woman removed a silver flask from her bag, then reached for the empty glass, but Yosef grabbed her wrist before she could.
Amara gave Yosef a deathly stare. “Do not say my name aloud.”
“Do we really need to do this?”
“Let go of my arm.”
Yosef paused for a moment, thinking through his options. There was no way to escape, and even if there was, there was nowhere he could hide. The only option was to talk his way out, and he was losing faith in that option.
Yosef let go and Amara emptied a black liquid from her flask into the glass.
"Here, drink this."
“I’ll do anything.”
“I’m sorry… Please, Yosef.”
Yosef nodded. His hand was shaking now. He took the glass and stared at the liquid within. “Will it hurt?”
He placed the glass against his lips. "Well, at least that’s good.”
Yosef closed his eyes, then tipped the black liquid into his mouth.
Issue 6 & 7
The Stories & Poems
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