Time: 15 minutes
Prompt: The heavy scent of wineshops
Source: G.K. Chesterton, The Mariner
The heavy scent of wineshops fills my nostrils as I turn down the cobblestone alley to seek shelter from the summer downpour. I've walked this alley many times, but perhaps never on a hot, humid, rainy day, such as this. In any case, the scents are stronger today than every before: wine, licorice, sex. Mostly wine and sex. The licorice scent came with me. It is not a product of this alley.
The awning under which I huddle is currently occupied by one of the less fastidious women of the afternoon and when I join her there she raises a hopeful eyebrow and shifts her posture to allow the open neck of her dress to slip off one shoulder. Turning my back on this advertisement I find myself face to face with my partner, Hames, who, it seems, has just exited the door beside which I stand (the door of a wineshop, not that of a brothel).
"Torry! What are you doing here?" Hames glances over at the whore, hesitates a moment, and then appears to reach the correct conclusion. "Forgot your umbrella in the office again, eh? Well here, walk with me." We depart the stoop under the shelter of his large black umbrella and he shows me the bottle he's just acquired.
"A spirit of transport!" I say. "What need do you have of such a thing?"
"I've given it a lot of thought and I think it's at least worth a try. I know, I know. It does smack of charlotry, but I have to find out for myself. I wasn't even planning to tell you about it, as I knew what you'd say, but then when I saw you here, well..."
(about my timed writing exercises)
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