Piece-mealing Terminus


In four hours the sun will be up and Acetylene Avenue will be empty. But now, at 2AM, the beer doors call for sailors on shore leave and the crate-filled scotch pits crowd with Walkers and Fliers looking to make a little money besting the other at Mahjong or Cribbage. Shallow hulled party boats and make-shift taxi scows hang a body length above the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd looking for gaps. When the cannot find any they make them by crushing low and pushing off the empty-pockets to board paying customers.

Every other corner or so an armed constable stands watch in the roadway. They’ve got standing orders to thump or shoot and to not give a shit which works best.

The dragon-hiss of welding torches building, mending, and parting out skiffs and cruisers plays bassline from the boat houses and open-air docks to the melody of drunken revelry of the avenue.

159 words on day 619