Arthur I : Hindsight

The crisp image of flashing lights filled my mind as the track slowed. I stared up to the mountains as the orange glow of the sun reflected bronze-like rays into the air. The sight was astonishing, but I was trapped within the sounds of my headphones, entranced by the upbeat rhythm as the train came to a complete stop. 

“Angelic Place…” The intercom spoke. Immediately I was drawn from my lucid fantasy and back into the real world. A strange excitement consumed me. Here, within this place, I found my life taking a turn. One most unexpected. 

I waited patiently for the other passenger to move, listening silently to the melody echoing within my ears. I could feel the fire start within me as I remembered his words. The memories like flint sparking atop the kindle of my soul.

“Aren’t you scared?”

“Scared?” Smirking, my eyes wide open, I whispered. “Nothing scares me…” I blinked as I found myself back within the present. I step to my right, gripping my bag while making my way through the narrow train. 

Thinking back, I was once again caught in my hindsight. “Angelic Place isn’t like any place you’ve come from. You’ve got to hold your own. It won’t be easy.” 

“But I’m determined.” I said, my confidence firm within my voice; the memory still new.

“Determined to do what?”  

With a breath of fresh air I remembered hesitating, but the answer was clear. “To find my story. To start my legacy.”

“Then you’ll be in the right place…” 

I stepped off the train absorbing the twilight as the air chilled within the January air, the sun now completely at the mercy of the crystal like moon, bright and full. I removed my headphones as I observed my surroundings.

“Emilio Plight?” I heard then.

I shook at the call of my name. I looked to my right, noticing a young woman, sophisticatedly, dressed in a black skirt and blazer, holding a sign that read my name in bold. 

“Hi.” I replied politely, turning on my charm. “You must be Tatiana. Rick’s assistant.”

“Yes, but you can call me Tati.” She replied, holding out her hand. What could I say? Tati was sexy. Black suited her well. I tried to remain cool, watching her movements closely. Her hair was tied back into a bun and eyes were large and dark. Each feature so intriguing, I could not help but fantasize.

My eyes traced her slender body and I could feel myself become instantly bound to the softness of her voice. Like a siren, she lured me in. Deeper into the madness of this place. “Welcome to Angelic Place.”

“Please, call me Arthur.” I said after clearing my voice, trying to match her professionalism, extending my hand to her’s.

“So polite.” She said then smiling as she shook my hand. “Why Arthur?”

“It’s my middle name. My father’s called Emilio.”

“I see. Well, Mr. Olsen has requested I escort you to your hotel. He has arranged for you to be staying at the Pale Aquifer Inn for tonight. Your loft won’t be ready until tomorrow.” 

“My loft?”

“Yes. Your room assignment is within the file I left on your bed. The address should be listed there above the one for the Angel’s Tribune.”

Exasperated, I stated. “Wow…”

“I know, I know. Mr. Olsen likes to take care of his employees. The Angel’s Tribune isn’t your ordinary small town publication.”

“Of course it isn’t. It’s world famous. It sounds too good to be true, almost. No paper pays that much. It sounds like a fraud. But then again, Angelic Place is not your ordinary small town either.”

“Well not all papers are backed by sponsors like Fidel Industries.”

“A lot of corporate business must go down in this town.” I said, glancing towards the skyscrapers in the distance. “And I say that only because I’ve never seen a place so beautiful.”

“You’ll learn. There’s a reason why people call this town Angelic Place.” She laughed. “We should get going. Mr. Olsen wants you in bed early. You have a big day tomorrow. You’ll be receiving your first assignment.”

“Oh, already? Cool!”

Tati swayed onto her side and turned from me, revealing to me the sensual view of her backside. Her hips rocked as she walked. I made a conscious effort to walk very slowly as not to interrupt my view.

“Oh, wait!” She exclaimed abruptly, coming to a complete stop. She turned to face me, pulling a keychain from her blazer. “This is for you. The key attached is to your company car. It’s parked outside the inn. Please be careful while driving it. It was very expensive.”

Company car? This all sounded a tad bit farfetched. What were the chances? I tried not to second guess myself. It finally seemed as if everything was falling into place. After all the struggle and strife, I could be happy. I had none of the answers but all the questions ready for the interview.

Simply, all I knew was that I was a writer well in over his head, falling forward into an abyss of unknown possibilities and endless circumstances. But if there was anything life had taught be before this moment, it was to be skeptical.

You could only witness so much evil in this world before genuinely understanding what was actually good. Opportunity was amongst the air, within the cool climate of the mountain range, but I could sense something beneath the rocky crystalline exterior. Despite how serene the offer looked ahead of me, I could feel it in my gut, something unusual. An intuition that perhaps this job, along with this Angelic Place, was a mirage; a dream on the verge of becoming a total nightmare.

When we arrived at the Pale Aquifer Inn, night had settled in. I looked out the window of Tati’s sleek, silver Mercedes, gazing up towards the resort before she made a short, sharp turn. She pulled into the parking lot. She slowly crossed it before reversing into a spot next to a black Mercedes matching her own. “Well, here we are. Mr. Olsen wants you in the office by 8 AM tomorrow. Don’t be late.” Tati smiled as I took one last look into her eyes before opening the door. 

“I’ll be seeing you tomorrow right?” I managed to utter before exiting the car and closing the door behind me.

Tati chuckled. “Of course.”

“So, if you’re…” I stopped. Was I really going to risk acting so stupid before my first day? Asking a co-worker out before my first day? “…if you have any questions or…need to get ahold of me for some reason…tonight… Feel free to give me a call. It doesn’t matter when. I’m a light sleeper.” 

“Goodnight, Arthur.”

I could feel myself space out as I shut the door and thought to myself. I waved reluctantly as she drove off, feeling slightly embarrassed by the sudden rush of anxiety that came over me. Smoothe. I thought sarcastically. Real smoothe.

This story is an original concept for a story set in the fictional town of Angelic Place, Colorado, a wealthy town substantiated by coal and its world famous ski resort. Angelic Place is a recurring town from many works in progresses, which are eerily connected. Why? I cannot say, but it’s Arthur’s job to find out what’s exactly wrong with Angelic Place.

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