Bareword
Mr. Tokyo

One time it was so long between calls, he almost forgot who he was.

The tiny vibrator behind his ear snatched him from a dream about architecture, immense stonework across a cold abyss. The room was black, and for a moment he was disoriented. He searched the darkness with his eyes. The thick green digits of the clock read 05:24, and he understood he was at Greta’s flat, in her bed with its velvets and incense.

His stomach was heavy, oppressed by slumber. The sudden awakening always made him feel sick. He rubbed his eyes and looked back at Greta.

She lay on her side, one pale arm above the blankets, hair strewn across her face. In sleep she breathed slowly, ponderously, as if her unconscious mind was weighing life and death.

He dressed silently, stepping around the room with trained movements. All he needed was in the brown leather case, the case he used to take everywhere. He paused for a moment to blow a kiss from across the room before he slipped out, listening to the quiet click as her front door lock engaged.

He glanced back as he crossed the street. She understood, and she would never understand.

It might have been her at the window.