We’d been drinking for most of the afternoon and the evening, when we stumbled into the town square. The piano still stood there, anxious and loitering, a timid date waiting for its parents in a rough part of town. Earlier on we’d watched an old dude with silver hair and a moth-eaten coat playing classical jazz and swing, whilst his punchy, jagged voice felt like fudge cake and cough sweets. A halo of people stood and tapped, nodded, danced and pointed as the musical notes, as ethereal as winter steam, left his mouth and waltzed over his head and into the sky.
It was dark now, except for the dull, yellow security lights and the sickly neon glare of an all-night convenience store, garish in a line of black, shuttered squares. Leeza ran to the piano and flung her dress clean over her head in one fluid motion, her hair spilling from a tight ponytail. I snatched the dress from the air. She sat down on the stool and began to play firmly, unconsciously, the notes ringing and pinballing between the buildings that snoozed around us.
A cab pulled up nearby, with high-beams like a spotlight. A group of lads fell out, murmuring in surprise at this beauty in her dark purple lingerie. I stood beside her, holding the dress over my arm like an obedient butler. As their leader came closer, I found the home-made blade she kept in the hem, and prepared myself to own this motherfucker’s ear.