Fictional Stories
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Parisian Nights

The sickeningly sweet aroma of perfume wafted through the air. It clung to every object and coated the lungs of partygoers as they moved towards the exits, some fumbling as they went. New loves fawned over one another as the overhead lights began to flicker off. With the only one remaining luminescent perched high atop the old liquor cabinet, the girl was left to her thoughts.

The Eiffel Tower flickered in and out of focus as beads of white lit up her lattice and reflected onto Le Seine River. Boats full of wide-eyed tourists swam across the water to take in the spectacle of light that covered their decks in a kaleidoscope of colours. Crammed into the bar were such tourists. Some came from down the street while others came from a world away.

Pushing her blonde hair behind her ear, the girl’s unfocused brown eyes sat fixed across the room on a vintage Toulouse-Lautrec poster adorning the wall. It’s faded yellow background appeared like the sun in the midst of night, hung just high enough on the pitch black wall to evade the drunken stupor of men as they filed out the doors.

To the left sat a lone bar hosting a plethora of mixed wines, whiskeys and empty shot glasses messily stacked along the far edge by guests. The wooden countertop sat stained under the watermarks of yet another attempt to find comfort in cheap vodka. The girl watched a group of young English lads leave, talking animatedly about a trip to the Louvre and its famed glass pyramids.

“A scar on the face of Paris,” a man muttered from the doorway before he too disappeared through the archway.

“C’est la vie,” she countered as she grabbed two empty glasses in one hand and three in the other before disposing of them in the back sink. As people dispersed onto the street, a welcomed cool autumn breeze spread throughout the bar and enveloped the girl as she wiped down the countertop. The last of the people trickled out onto the cobblestone as the moon hung high in the sky over the city; its glow seeping into every crevasse of the road and casting shadows as far as you could see. A soft click sounded at the front door signalling the end of the night and the bar proceeded to fall silent aside from the occasional clinking of glasses by the girl behind the bar.

Words by Sarah Sutherland // Photography by Ashley Sharma

© 2015 Reef Magazine


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