This is a short episode from my novella, Old Black Maggie. It is available in paperback or Kindle version.
“It was just before the war. Things were good in town. Everybody was working and guys had money to burn. Guys go down to the strip club and watch the pretty ladies down there. Nothing wrong with that, you look and don’t touch. They’re really respectable girls. It’s an art, like dancing.”
“There was this beautiful dancer, she was going to the top. Her name was Gisele LaSwain. She was beautiful and talented. She could sing like a canary; sweet and soft. She had songs that could tear your heart out. She had moves like… Well never mind, she just had moves.”
“Old Black Maggie comes into the Rathskeller one cold winter night. She smelled awful. Like a rag that’s laid in the alley for a while. She sits at the bar and asks the bartender for a shot of rum to chase away the chill.”
“The bartender tells Old Black Maggie to skedaddle. Old Black Maggie demands a shot of rum. The bartender says to let me see the money first.”
“Old Black Maggie puts a curse on him. Then she turned to Gisele LaSwain and says in a real eerie voice, ’Satan was a beautiful angel that fell from heaven and so will you.’”
“Well, the bartender signaled for the bouncer to give her the bum’s rush. She was squawking and kicking like a chicken being choked. The bouncer tosses her out on the sidewalk.”
“That night Gisele LaSwain plunged to her death from the top of the Waldo Hotel. It was just at Old Black Maggie said; she plunged from heaven, a fallen angel. My, she was beautiful.”
“Nobody could prove anything, but two nights later Old Black Maggie came back in the Rathskeller and the bartender set a shot of rum in front of her, no questions asked.”
“I got to get back inside boys and close up the store,” Russell said. “You boys best be getting home. I’ve seen Old Black Maggie walk down the street in the middle of the night plenty of times.”
Everyone disbursed to their homes. Gary didn’t sleep that night and neither did the other boys who were at Russell’s Market that night.