The Artwork III
James Goodridge (excerpt)
A quarter to one in the morning found me in front of a renovated tenement building up in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem, bundled up for this cold winter morning. I asked myself, Is this worth it? For love, devotion and surrender, yes I guess.
But business had to be handled.
After being buzzed in by Tituba, I took the elevator to the sixth floor. Standing in the doorway of her apartment, Tituba had on a long light-multicolored mum with images of black silhouettes of jazz musicians jamming on it. I could see the outline of her body highlighted just enough by the ambient candlelight deep in her living room. Incense of an unknown flavor wafted through out the apartment, African, South American and her own art lined the walls. A Scottish Claymore, as if on guard, rested in a corner next to her sofa. No lap top, tablet, I-pad or television could be seen, just a rotary phone which I found strange just as much as I found the Claymore intimidating.
“Pacon!” she said, as a way of greeting.
“Hello?” I said.
“Kiel vi fartus.”
“Twas just greeting you in Esperanto,” Tituba giggled. She helped me out of my coat, and I gave her the wine and a box of herbal tea out of my backpack. But I asked her if I could keep it close by me, for I needed to work on a proposal for an art exhibit. Removing my boots, we settled down on violet colored sofa.
“Hungry, my sugar? I know me am,” Tituba asked me, as she moved closer to me in a cozy position, stroking my dark shoulder-length hair. Some people called me “Nick,” as I favored the late singer part of Ashford & Simpson.
“No, not right now. I was going to say, ‘hungry for you,’ but that’s too corny, don’t you think?” I did not want my obsession for her to show, although I think she sensed it already. I got to block her.
After a couple of glasses of wine, kissing, snuggling, petting and outright foreplay we headed for her candlelit bedroom. The room had a mattress on top of a box-spring in the middle of the room. Religious artifacts lined the wall. In one corner, on top of a small cabinet table, sat a fish bowl with a lone fancy goldfish which I could see was shaking its head “No,” as if warning me…
James Goodridge was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. After ten years as an artist representative and paralegal James decided in 2013 to make a better commitment to writing. He is currently writng a series of short Twilight Zone inspired stories from the world of art (The Artwork) and a occult detective short story, The E.E. Just Affair, that can be found on Amazon.com: amazon.com/author/jamesgoodridge. His work has appeared in BlackSciencefictionSociety.com Genesis Winter 2015 issue, AfroPhantoms.com, Horroraddicts.net, and also in Apairy Magazine #8 2016 (nonfiction essay). You can also hear a interview with Mr. Goodridge on Genesis Science Fiction Radio on YouTube.
Scierogenous II: An Anthology of Erotic Science and Fantasy edited by Valjeanne Jeffers and Quinton Veal. Contributing authors: Quinton Veal. Sumiko Saulson. Cranston Burney. James Goodridge. Penelope Flynn. William Landis. Laura Elena Cáceres. Valjeanne Jeffers. Copyright 2018 by Valjeanne Jeffers and Quinton Veal, all rights reserved.
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