Up the Stairway Down #Spokane Super Fast #FlashFiction
UP THE STAIRWAY DOWN
The petit wedding planner in the bright blue tank top and the fitted yoga pants walks up the black, metal stairway that begins where Spokane’s 8th Avenue South abruptly ends. The stairway is almost brand new, a definite improvement over the crumbling wreck of a thing it replaced last year. The stairway is new, but the thing that has followed her all the way from the house she rents on the north side, over the Monroe Street Bridge, through Down Town Spokane and finally up Sherman Street’s steep climb is older than ancient, and it is hungry.
This monstrosity that dogs her step for step and breath for breath was once something like a massive bird or bat like thing. Millennia of travel, abuse and aggression have distorted and maimed the creature rendering it gangly and impatient.
The woman walks purposefully up the stairway, absent mindedly gripping the railing as she counts each step. At the top, she stands firm and reaches out a small manicured hand. The creature opens its mouth and extends a purple, plump and pitted tongue roughly the size and coloring of a loaf of moldy wheat bread. There is a moment of shared affection. Then, together the small woman and the beast sit at the top of the stairway and wait.
The two of them always wait, sometimes hours for a lonesome traveler. When the meal finally arrives, usually wearing something with a zipper and sporting headphones, they set upon it together with a ravenous fury befitting the giant mongrel thing and belying the dainty, fresh faced siren with whom it dines.
Only when the meal is done and the stairway has been licked clean of gristle and gore might one hear the playful banter of a young woman and her pet.
“Who’s a good boy?” she asks with good humor in a sweet mother’s voice.
“I am. I am a good boy.” It growls back at her.
They play for a few moments on the stairway and then head back down.