Kill Your Darlings: Harlem Nightclub


By Danielle Chelosky

Everything fell all at once. The music sank from soprano to bass, the eager dancing bodies only slightly moving every so often, and the sour taste of his drink took a while to hit. Allen, on the other hand, was free in this time of quiescence. His movements felt like swift beach breezes while everyone else was constricted with invisible chains. It was a relaxing sensation, regardless of his mind's current haze.

As the world suddenly stripped itself of reality, he soared through time like the red hand on a clock counting the seconds. The dim colors of the patterned wallpaper and the crowded bar all blended into each other when the lights were low and the noise was numbing. His drink, whatever it was, illustrated a silly smile onto his face as he swayed his shoulders and drummed his hands to the music. The air presented itself as a dangerous ratio of more smoke than oxygen.

Lucien looked all the more angelic in this gloomy vision. His blond hair offered a faded glow that Allen found more appealing than a vigorous one. The lunar surface of his pale skin was all Allen could notice, as if the full moon was painted flawlessly overhead on an intricate night sky. The cigarette tucked between Allen’s lips did his lungs no good, but neither did the sight of Lucien– such a view was not only breathtaking, but suffocating. His heart sped up to a new maximum no matter what drug flowed through his veins, and his mind fogged up regardless of the actual amount of smoke blown in his eyes.

“I like this better.” Allen admitted about nothing in particular, thinking no one would hear.

Lucien turned his head in response and smirked at the fascinated boy who held a strong gaze directed at the glass of gin in front of him. “Why’s that?”

Startled, Allen’s cigarette fell out of his mouth like a king plummeting from his throne. Just when he expected a brand, he watched the tenderly burning stick of comfort pause in mid-air. Captivated by his own denial of gravity, he answered, “Well, for a start, that just happened.”

Lucien laughed and eyed the boy up and down. Clueless and innocent, like little girls at a lemonade stand wondering why no one is generous enough to buy a cup. Lucien possessed a binding power over Allen, one that Allen probably noticed but found easier to ignore. While observing the confused eighteen year-old kid, Lucien grabbed the cigarette from the air with ease and placed it between his lips. He inhaled fresh fog as Allen gazed at the smoke like he ached to swim through it.

“Go on.” Lucien told him, wondering what the core of Allen’s adoration for this fantasy world was. His cigarette made him mumble, but Allen was used to it.

Allen’s eyes gave it away, as the intrinsic sensations of warm coffee and the month of September always did. They admitted he was lost deep in his own head or the clouds swirling around like a tornado inside it. He said, “Here…Here I can admit that I’m mad. I know I’m mad. I’m a madman, but in a good way. I’m driven to do what I do for a good reason. That’s enough. That’s safe. That’s okay.”

Lucien, with brows furrowed and head tilted, gawked at the secrets he found while wandering down the aisles of Allen’s mind. He managed to ask, “And what’s that? What is it that drives you?”

On the edge of breaking out of the nitrous oxide’s abstract spell, Allen answered softly, “Passion.”


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Visual provided by Ry X

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