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El Ladron del Amor

Under blue moon, I saw him. Creeping off New Hampshire and R, and straight toward me. I froze. El Ladron del Amor...

He stopped suddenly, whirling in a puff of smoke. He joined some other nicoteens in razzmatazz talk. I sighed, relieved. I turned to the lady with me.

"So, my love, how are you?", I asked. "Isn't he cute?" she answered. I gasped. He burst through the doorway, a cool breeze & a heated air. "Hi, how's it going?", I asked of him. He blew me off, blew out some lingering smoke, and blew up the stairs to the debate room. To blow off some steam. The debaters & audience awaited him, eagerly.

He was bold. He was beautiful. He overrode the debate with a Spanish panache and a gothic energy. "We have the facts and we're voting...SI!", he exclaimed. He pounded the air, as the audience gasped in wonder. My companion couldn't take her dancing brown eyes off of him. She started to shake and cough - just like in that famous book by Nabokov. I held her closely, to stop it. But to no avail.

There were no questions asked of him during the period alloted. His opponents conceded their defeat about halfway in. He recognized this with great grace. "In the end, I win every time as ink remains", he had to admit, standing up. My lady friend had joined the chorus of clapping hands. He bowed, and split.

Splitting the crowd, he approached my companion and I. He un-self-consciously flashed his zoot suit (Style: Nueva York), and said hello. To one of us only. "Hola...", he casually remarked, "...mama...", looking about him, "...cita..." one eye cocked, "...mia."

We stood like deer in headlights, paralyzed by his oncoming charm. His tossled brown hair held up a cigarette, the smoke veiling his tan eyes and pallid skin. An impish grin, he held my girl's small hand. He kissed it, like a baby. Words gleamed through his teeth. "I will wait...until you give yourself to me freely."

Suddenly, the crowd poured in on my companion and I. Clamoring for HIS attention, the mob brushed me away from my love. I looked all about, felt through my pockets, but she was gone! Someone had, had stolen her from me! I started to shake & cough, just like the old man in that book by Nabokov...

I dazedly scanned the room. Through the crowd dimly, I spotted him again. Smoking with a pixieish companion. Black hair, slight frame, bright eyes. I walked up, like a fool, to ask them if they'd seen my short-lost love. He smiled nonchalantly, having slipped into somewhat more comfortable garb. (Estilo: Greenwich Village). "I've been a bad, bad girl. I've been careless with a delicate man", he sang smoothly. Up in his arms, it was too late to beg him or cancel it although I now knew...The thief! He admitted it to my face!

I gasped, choking on the room's second-hand cig smoke (no ban yet, thanks to HIM.) I called out for the police (but they were in vacation somewhere in Spain, thanks to HIM.) I passed out, looking like I'd passed away. The crowd loomed above my body, HE amongst them. "Ah, the Killing Moon", he mused, "even Nozick and Rawls walked under it once." He stroked a cigarette, and blew out a kiss.

With that, he ran down the stairs, and stood in the doorway. He beckoned, like a vampire or professor of philosophy, to my companion. "I need you so much closer. So, c'mon. So, C'MON." She came running, one more time, straight to him. The crowd rushed down the stairs after them. Never alone, yet free, he waved them off.

In the dark of the street, far from the crowd, he took the moment. He stole a long kiss goodnight, sucking the breath from his lover. Spectators spilled out into the sidewalk, seeing only a a pale statue. The thief of love was far ahead, walking into his future. The hearts of the crowd and a woman stolen, El Ladron freed himself for the cool night.

If you'd like to send me a review, email me at shadowboxer@pobox.com.

If you'd like to see more writing like this, check out my blog via www.ben5.com.

With a brief critique by David Skinner, both Doublethink Master and Galley Slave.

"Thanks for the short-short story. I like several of your sentences, esp "he blew me off, blew out some lingering smoke, and blew up the stairs . . . "

The point of view strikes me as a little unstable since he is both worshiper and victim of the Spanish prince. Why not dramatize this and let him begin as a worshiper but end up as a victim after losing his girlfriend to the Spanish guy? Maybe the nature of this seduction would show us another side of the cocky matador."

My thanks to Julian Sanchez for his musing.

Graphics courtesy of Sandra Chang.

Soundtrack by Echo & The Bunnymen & Wendy Rule.

Note: In writing "El Ladron Del Amor", I drew upon various lyrics for inspiration. I tried my best to paraphrase. All used sans permission.

1st paragraph: "Under blue moon, I saw...", cites _The Killing Moon_ by Echo & The Bunnymen, from the _Ocean Rain_ album.

Also cited 7th paragraph - "I will wait...until you give yourself to me"

Also cited 9th paragraph - "Up in his arms, it was too late to beg him"

And 10th paragraph - "Ah, the Killing Moon"

3rd paragraph: "We have the facts..." cites the Death Cab for Cutie, Death Cab for Cutie album _We Have The Facts and We're Voting_ title.

4th paragraph: "just like in that famous book by Nabokov" cites _Don't Stand So Close To Me_ by The Police, from the album _Zenyatta Mondatta_

Also cited 5th paragraph: "just like in an old man in a book by Nabokov"

9th paragraph: "I've been a bad, bad girl. I've been careless with a delicate man" cites _Criminal_ by Fiona Apple, from _Tidal_

11th paragraph "I need you so much closer, so c'mon. SO C'MON" cites _Transatlanticism_ by Death Cab for Cutie from _Transatlanticism_.

11th paragraph "She came running, captured, straight to..." cites _Straight to You_, by Nick Cave, from _Henry's Dream_, Emm Gryner cover from _Girl Versions_