The Incense Salesman
And the Wind Continues to Blow
Gill feels soft hands on his shoulders, feels his body shaking. Hears the wind blowing around his house.
“Gill! Wake up, Gill! Wake up, my eggy little man!”
Gill’s eyes snap open. Rose is hovering over him, her hair in a ponytail and falling down her back, her hard nipples grazing against his chest tickling him in a way he’ll never be tickled again.
“Thank God!” Rose says, then embraces Gill in a hug, a close, pressing hug, one Gill will never forget, one he’ll have described many, many times in his dream journal by the time his therapist gets to read it. “You’re alive, thank God!”
“What… what happened?” Gill asks slowly as he wriggles himself out of her grip to sit up on his bed. The sound of blowing wind and pouring rain are cacophonous, louder than his heartbeat. Rose lets him sit up, then grabs him again and presses their bodies together with a somber force, as if she’s about to leave him.
But that would be ridiculous, the genie said this was all real. Why would Rose be leaving?
“I don’t know!” she sobs miserably into his ear, leaving his shoulder the sad kind of wet. “I fell asleep in your Father’s bed – by the way, we made a big mess, you should probably clean that up before he gets home tomorrow – and a loud bang woke me up. I ran in here and you were unconscious on the bed.” She grabs his bare pillow and uses it to wipe off her eyes and nose, then cranes her head back to look at her foot. “Ugh!”
Gill is very concerned by that ugh. “What’s wrong, my eggy babe?”
“No, Gill. You’re the eggy one, you eggy boy,” with a straight face. Then, as Rose’s sobbing recommences, “There’s a big black splotch on your floor, like soot or something, and I stepped in it. My foot’s all black now, look.”
Gill looks and can’t help but agree. The bottom of Rose’s right foot – her sweet, delicious right foot – is stark black, black as coal, a perfect contrast to her luscious pale skin.
“I’m sorry,” Gill says, apologizing for something he didn’t do. Just like his Father makes him. “Here, I’ll clean you up Rose, let me jus–”
“No Gill,” she says, putting a hand on his chest and sitting him back against the wall. She holds her hand there, as if she’s trying to ingrain the way his bony chest feels into her mind. Gill raises a hand to put it on her chest, but she grabs him by the wrist and sets his hand back down. They sit like that for a few moments, neither saying anything, the sound of their breathing inaudible over the pouring of the rain, the clapping of distant thunder, the blowing of the wind.
Finally, Rose closes her lovely eyes and lets a tear fall down her cheek. “Gill…” she says, now on the verge of weeping. “Gill, I have to tell you something.”
Gill’s heart drops and he has no idea why. “What is it, Rose? What do you have to tell me?”
“Do you remember when I first came here? When I told you my name is Rose Williamson, and my uncle lives down on Fricker Drive?”
Of everything that transpired over the past few glorious days, Gill remembers that detail the least. But, he does remember her saying it, and he tells Rose as much.
“Well…” she swallows hard. “There is a Mister Williamson, and he does live on Fricker Drive… but… but…”
Gill attempts to process this for a moment and comes up with nothing. “But…?”
“But… he doesn’t have a brother, or a sister, nor any living siblings. He’s an only child.”
The gears attempt to churn, but the rust which clings to them is too thick. “Oh… uh… well that’s pretty weird.”
Though tears fall down her face and drip on her naked body like ambrosial nectar down the flushed cheeks of the gods, Rose manages to smile. “Yeah,” a soft, rueful chuckle, “I guess that is pretty weird.”
A bolt of lightning strikes Gill’s house, igniting his bedroom in a blinding white light that doesn’t fade until after the foundation stops shaking following the ensuing roar of thunder. When Gill opens his eyes he’s alone, naked and afraid, propped up against the wall. The black scorch mark in his carpet is gone, and soggy, soaked sheets are piled high on his bedroom floor, right next to the towel he threw on the water he spilled after he woke up the other day.
And the rain pours and pours.
And the wind continues to blow.
Hello Commons, this has been the last subchapter of the eighth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Convenient Incidents and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here.
Be well Commons~