Written in response to inspiration provided by Phill (call for inspiration 3):
Their universe had begun with an um. He had spotted her at the pub down at the Marina on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The beer was boutique, flavoured so that everything seemed to taste just a little bit like honey. The breeze – when it could find its way past the rocks of the marina, through the buildings and into the small entrance that opened into the pub space – pushed frangipani leaves gently around. His band had a drummer with whisks, an acoustic guitarist, a double bass player and he, as lead singer, mellowed out the beseeching lyrics with bongo drums.
He could see a streak of black hair draped over a round cane recliner; he was surprised that someone would sit so deliberately in the opposite direction to a band. What was she hiding? He turned away from her, concentrated on the song he was singing – Black by Pearl Jam. He forgot about her momentarily until he was deep in the haunting too doo doo too, too doo doo part of the song, and she turned around.
As the song ended and he passed into silence her swept back eyes stared out at him through a black slash of fringe. Her cinnamon skin drank in the afternoon sun; she radiated a deep light like a crystal cave.
He got up, ignored the confused protestations of his band members. Walked toward her.
Um, he said.
Hello little owl.
You sounded like an owl, just then.
When you sang hoo hoo hoo.
That was too doo doo too.
Ah. She smiled. Are you sure?
He imagined snaking his tongue into the crevice of her smile.
What’s your name?
Lakshmi, she replied.
Do you want to know my name?
I know it. Ulooka.
He was about to reply that his name wasn’t Ulooka, he was Alex. But the words stuck in his throat. He could be, would be Ulooka to this goddess. He’d do it if it meant seeing this light from within her, if it meant kissing those lips, if it meant she’d sit there, facing him, while he played his songs for her.
I love you, he said.
Play for me then, Ulooka.
He walked up to the stage, sat down in front of his drums.
“What the fuck was that about?”
His guitarist looked genuinely bemused. The others looked angry.
He brought a hand down hard on a drum, then the other. Then again, and again, and then he was beating out a rhythm that his band couldn’t help but catch up to. He beat the drums until the sound of thunder threatened the sun drenched pub and he had visions of Lakshmi in a light rain, the sunshine streaming down over her sinewy body, and he far above her circling, his powerful wing strokes beating at the air about him, promising to drag her across the heavens.