Marcel was certain that the pounding beast in his chest was audible to the entire city as he leaned, panting, against the wall of the alley. Just out of sight, back in the blistering sunlight, the city rumbled on; he could faintly hear the ding of a trolley and the clackety-clack as it thudded over the iron tracks and the intermittent sounds of a saxophonist hawking his street-corner jazz to the tourists. Marcel gulped in a mouthful of the heavy, still air, and slunk further into the shade. It was slightly cooler, but no less humid. New Orleans was seething in the heat, oozing the smell of baked concrete, creole cooking, and the faint tang of the murky Mississippi from every pore.
Marcel wiped the sweat off his face with the back of one shaking hand, noticing the way the moisture slicked his dark skin—like the flickering mirage off asphalt. He leaned over and vomited, the acidic contents of his nearly empty stomach splattering the alleyway. He coughed at the acrid taste of his own fluids and scooted down the wall, slouching down until he sat on the pavement. He gripped his head in his hands.
It’s all over.
_______________________________________________________And now my contribution:
It began as such things do, innocently enough. Marcel woke in an amorous mood and his thoughts had turned to Elise. Elise had flitted through his thoughts often since he met her a few weeks earlier. Each encounter was more fuel to fire growing between them. But for some reason he hesitated to act on his attraction. Hesitation was unusual for Marcel, especially in the bedroom.
Now Marcel wished he had listened to the still, quiet voice that told him that all was not as it seemed. But, this morning, he had thought only of the way Elise's hair had brushed across her bare shoulders, pulling his eyes and his mind across her flesh. Not giving himself time to think, he called her.
He could see now that Elise was trying to tell him not to come over, to warn him away, but, at the time, he thought she was just playing hard to get, that she wanted him to work for it. He had been so stupid. Now the thought of Elise's flesh was enough to make Marcel sick again. There had been so much blood. He let his head fall back against the alley wall, his mouth full of the bitter taste of vomit and fear.