Short Story: What was really going on? by Hilary Bowring

Source: Unsplash

It was somewhere in Brittany, France. A night club, dark and rather threatening from the outside. Long, low rectangular brick building with a few lit up windows that stood out like verticals stenciled on the black. At the doorway was a man wearing a greasy dark suit with a bow tie, screening those who could enter or not.

I was with my mother and her lover Jorge, who was said to resemble a French onion salesman with his twirling moustache and his bicycle legs. And his eye for the ladies.

Mum was a beauty with dark hair surrounding a small featured face, green eyes and high cheek bones. She  looked more Parisienne and elegant than the sort suitable for the French onion man. She had a fiery personality that could cut through a problem with a knife of culling. Separating the wheat from the chaff with speed and with no care for being liked or disliked. She was a force of discrimination.

The sleazy doorman, clearly enjoying his power, considered us and allowed our trio in. I was a young 20 something, my mother’s daughter. Pretty, dark haired and light eyed and desiring male attention. I was definitely up for trying a French night club and any new adventures it might hold for me. Frenchmen registered-‘sexy’, ‘exotic’, ‘foreigner’ – speaking the language of love and able to celebrate women, enjoy her disguises, her playfulness, her femininity. In England that was not generally how men behaved with women.

I was hoping for a dashing romantic encounter.

We crossed the threshold. The air was thick with smoke from cigarettes, unknown smells, shady characters, threatening possibilities. All of this Mum detected in nanoseconds and held her arms like barriers to hold me and Jorge back. Silently she communicated ‘Not safe, dreadful, too risky, too risqué”. I don’t remember her exact words but the sentiment was dark. She had detected what was going on and was protecting us. Jorge and I were not so convinced we sensed something foreign and potentially interesting was going on here. We were curious.

She’s made the final decision. The next moment, we were out in the parking lot. 

Another wrecking ball had struck down a perfectly nice evening.

Maybe she was right, maybe we would have been held at knife point; maybe I would have been salaciously attacked. 

I didn’t think so because my own similar ability to energetically detect what was present was not sensing evil.. I felt it was her own unresolved fear of the unfamiliar that filled her. Yet my own desire for excitement could have overridden my assessment.

And here I am now much older. I salute her posthumously for teaching me the multidimensional truth of existence and the power of our intuition

As we walked in; the room was filled with smoke and low visibility for sure. There were strange faces of men as if Pierrot clowns with white cheeks and red painted clown mouths. They were dancing and moving like dream creatures on a carousel. Some terrifying, some seductively appealing. Like a roundabout of choices: Seducer, Lech, Cheat, Robber, Poet, Stud, Athlete, Comedian, Friend, Lover, Prince Charming …….a whole parade of possibilities. Round and round they went, daring me to jump on and ride…

But I didn’t that time.