Calming Fires

Author: Cecilia

The camera gazed unfeeling upon Lillian, as she groped the breast pocket of her boyfriend’s flannel shirt, which she had thrown on hastily, when she realized she was late. She sat now, in a mostly empty room, waiting. It would be a while before the agency admitted her, to take her information and possibly bring her on board for whatever purpose they intended.

Lillian had long, jet black hair, currently bound in a bun, with a single ebony spike running through it to keep it tightly wound. She had a very fair complexion, her smooth, creamy skin covered mostly by her dress, and the shirt she tossed on to fight back the biting chill that she had chosen in haste. She was of trim, tall stature, though built with appealing proportions, proud of her appearance. The room itself looked like the office of an 18th century American aristocrat. Wood panel walls, mahogany tables and desk, antique-looking lamp. There was a dusty intercom speaker on the wall opposite of the camera, which continued to watch every moment in silence in this waiting room.

As she sat there, the camera watching, always vigilant of the chronicles of the agency waiting room, Lillian pulled out nearly empty lighter, and a somewhat tattered pack of cigarettes. She drew one from the pack, and inspected it, making sure that it was packed tightly, so it didn’t burn down too quick. She then put her lighter to the end of it, and snapped her thumb against the wheel, making a spark. Then another. Then another, never getting a fire. She grumbled a moment, and held the cigarette, and the lighter, in silence, going through the motions of trying the lighter again a few times, as if she were warming it up. Finally, it lit, and she hastily put her cigarette to the tongue of orange flame, putting her lips to the smoker’s confection, and pursing them, as her cheeks slimmed a little, drawing in the smoke.

Her chest raised slowly, those ample breasts bullying the fabric of her dark dress, as she pulled in the warm, white smoke from the paper-wrapped cig. She put the lighter back in her shirt pocket once she was comfortable that she had lit the cigarette. Lillian knew she might not get another flame out of that lighter. She then leaned back on the waiting room couch, stretching one arm over the back of it. At second thought, she looked about for any no smoking signs, since she had not thought to look at them. Which was more barbaric? Making a few health food nuts suck a bit of second hand, or forcing millions of people to stand out in the freezing cold, to fight back the icy fingers of death by hypothermia, while they tried to enjoy their sweet, deserved nicotine?

Lillian would never understand that, but she did not see a sign, so she continued. There was no ashtray, so she pulled the foil part of her cigarette wrapper off her pack and made a little ‘bowl’ out of it, flicking her first dab of ash into it. She would ball it up and throw it away when she was called in. She was alone in the waiting room, so she began to wonder why it was taking so long to call her. No matter. She would just sit here, and enjoy her cigarette. Lillian brought it to her mouth slowly again, her wet, glossy lips pursing around the fragile looking point of her attention. Those full, luscious lips left their print, a deep red mark, on the butt of the cigarette, as she squeezed it carefully between them, and drew in slowly the smoke, before drifting the cigarette away and calmly looking at nothing in particular, while she held the smoke in.

Her cigarette continued to burn down slowly, the little spindle of white smoke rising, and dissipating throughout the room. Lillian finally released the smoke, through pursed, kissable lips, the jet of white haze flowing forcefully, yet smoothly, with the grace and dignity of an ancient waterfall. The dark-haired lady looked back at the entrance, and to the camera, and to the speaker, and waited some more, savoring her cigarette as she did so, slowly crossing her legs, and leaving her arm stretched out on the back of the couch, the other, holding demurely the slender, long cigarette between her middle and index finger. She slowly pulled it back to her mouth, licking her lips to rewet them, though they didn’t need it, still glossy with fresh lipstick.

She pulled at the smoke heavily, her chest rising as she inhaled the smoke through not only her mouth, but her nose as well, taking in he full texture, flavor, and scent of her habit. She then slowly and with relaxed conviction, released the smoke from the side of her mouth, holding her arm over her lap, her elbow on her leg as she tended the cigarette. As time passed, she brought it to her lips slowly again and again, the orange dot of fire flaring up brightly each time she drew the cool air over it, to pull the smoke into her chest, held there for a while to be thoroughly enjoyed, and letting it go again. On occasion, she would carefully reach over to the end table by the couch, and flick the ashes of her smoker’s conquest into the foil wrapper.

Lillian looked at the cigarette quietly for a moment, as the string of smoke danced from the tip. Almost to the end of the line for it. She carefully and almost dotingly brought it back to her lips, and took one more long and deep pull from it, the glowing ember on the tip drifting toward her fingers hypnotically, as she pulled it forward. Lillian then looked at the cigarette with almost a smirk upon her lips, reached over to the end table, and pressed it out against the foil wrapper. As she did this, a sharp female voice crackled over the intercom.

“Miss Yale, please step into the front office, Miss Yale, please step into the front office.”

At the voice, Lillian stood up, brushing herself off, in case a stray ash dropped onto the black fabric of the dress, and, confident she was dusted, she crumbled the warm cigarette butt, the wrapper, and the ashes, and threw them into the waste receptacle by the door, before going in for her interview.

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