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Distilled Spirits: Ch. 14 — Geno

October 25, 2013

What is Distilled Spirits?

Episode 4: “Need a Lift to Happy Hour”


            “I’ll walk you out,” Geno said, watching Scarlett gather her brushes and coloring pencils and shoulder her backpack.  Geno picked up the paint-splotched newspapers and threw them in the trash, checking his clothes.  “I think you got some white paint on your, uh, back.”

Scarlett frowned and touched her jeans but the paint had dried.  “You mean my ass?  Did you check any other places?”

Geno rolled his eyes and slipped a coat on, opening his apartment door.  “Maybe next week I can show you some pottery techniques?”

“Yeah, no thanks Patrick Swayze,” Scarlett said, walking out with him.  “That’s not happening.”

The building’s only elevator was at the end of the hall and the lights flickered for a moment—Geno made a mental note to remind Glenn about it.  Living with the building’s landlord as a roommate sometimes made Geno feel like his friend’s personal secretary.

He called the elevator and the loud gear started turning.

“When the hell was this place built?” Scarlett asked.

“Before the war,” Geno said,

“Which one?”

Geno just smiled for an answer and they stepped inside when the elevator finally arrived.

“Do the doors close?” Scarlet muttered and pressed ‘L’ again.

“Sometimes you gotta really press it,” Geno said.  He pushed the button and held it down.  “Three seconds usually works.  Gotta tell the elevator that you’re serious.”

“Are you screwing—”

The doors promptly closed and they descended one floor before the elevator stopped again.

Scarlett crossed her arms and stared at Geno when nothing happened.  She was waiting for him to do something but this wasn’t normal.  The doors didn’t open and the elevator didn’t budge.

He pressed and held the button down again.  This time for five seconds.

“I’m sure it’ll work itself out,” Geno said.

Again for ten seconds.

“Yeah, ummm,” Geno thought, “this isn’t good.”

“This can’t be fucking happening,” Scarlett said, looking around the inside of the elevator.  It was large enough for maybe six or seven people.  “We need to start moving.”

“It’s fine,” Geno said, this time leaning on the ‘Open Doors’ button.  “The building just has some, uh, character to it.”

Scarlett took her backpack off and pressed every button on the panel, lighting them all up.  She hit the alarm with her palm and nothing happened.  She kept hitting it.

“Hey,” Geno said, lightly touching her arm, “that one never work—”

She slapped his hand away and was biting her lip.  She hit the button again.

“Wait a second,” Geno said, “you’re not claus—”

“Don’t say it,” she said, pushing Geno against the wall.  She stepped into the corner opposite of him.  “Don’t say it.  You stay over there.”

“I can’t believe—you of all people.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”  she said, staring at the ceiling.  “Why’s there no trap door?”


“Like in the movies,” Scarlett said.  When she spoke it was quickly, like she was on her fourth cup of coffee.  “And TV shows.  When people are in an elevator, they always escape through the ceiling.”

“We don’t need to escape,” Geno said.  “There’s no fire or monster or T-1000 trying to get us.”

“There’s no phone, either,” she said, pointing at the panel.  “Isn’t there always one to call firefighters?”

Geno took out his own phone.  “I don’t have any service.  You?”

Scarlett shook her head and started pacing between two corners.  “No one’s going to find us.”

“We’re not buried alive.  Stop thinking about it,” Geno said.  He looked around the small space but there wasn’t anything to talk about.  He sat down in his corner.  “Think about anything else.  What are you doing for Halloween?”

She stopped suddenly and pointed a finger at Geno’s chest.  “Were you going to invite me?”

“Invite you?”

“Yeah,” she said, “to Sidney’s party.  You got a text from him when you were in the bathroom.  Don’t give me that look—I didn’t go through your phone.  You got a text and I looked at it.”

Geno sighed and was pretty sure that she probably did go through his phone.  “Well, do you want to come?”

“As a date?”

“Christ, you tell me.”

Scarlett bit her lip.  “I don’t know.  My last relationship took a lot of work, and I—”

“Whoa whoa, wait,” Geno said, putting his hands up, “Wait.  Who said anything about a relationship?  I don’t do that.”

“Don’t do what?”

“Date seriously,” he said.  “Something always goes wrong, or someone gets hurt.  Sit down, will you?  Your making my neck hurt.”

“Than what’s the point?” Scarlett asked, sitting across from him and stretching her legs out.  “Just sex?”

“No, I mean, there’s other stuff, sometimes—like restaurants and Netflix.  You never do anything . . . casually?”

Scarlett pushed the alarm button with her foot. “I don’t like it.  If I’m gonna put effort into something—and dudes take effort—I’d like it to go somewhere.”  She thought for a second.  “If you planned this—if you thought you could get me in here and fuck—”
“Jesus,” Geno said, “give me a little credit.”

“I’m just saying—”

“Do you want to come to the goddamned party or not?” Geno said.  “You’ll have to dress up.”

“Okay,” Scarlett answered, “I’ll come.  You know, I’m starting to figure you out.”

“Please please please tell me,” Geno said, “that you’ve never had a job as a psychologist.”

“You can’t commit,” she said.  “The jobs.  The girls.  What are you afraid of?”

“Nothing, mom,” Geno mumbled.  He squinted at his phone and then held it above his head.  He stood up suddenly and held his phone as high as he could, watching the signal strength.

“What are you doing?” Scarlett asked.

For a split second, Geno thought he saw a bar appear.

“I have an idea,” he said, reaching a hand down to her.

Scarlett took his hand reflexively and stood up, then frowned like she had been tricked.

Geno made a quick guess at Scarlett’s weight that he kept to himself.  “You’re gonna have to get on my shoulders.”

“This isn’t going to work.”

“Do you have a better idea?  Take my phone,” Geno said, kneeling down.

“What am I supposed to do?” she said, standing behind him.  “Mount your head?”

“Look, I swear to god this isn’t some scheme.  Just—just wrap your, uh, self around my head.”

Scarlett didn’t weigh much at all, and Geno held onto her thighs with both hands, slowly standing up.

“If your hands move an inch,” she said, tugging his hair.  “I’ll kill you.”

“Can I just say that you have really nice legs.”

“Listen if you—I got service!  Two bars!” she yelled, bouncing on his shoulders.

“Open contacts.  Text Glenn before we lose service,” Geno said.  “Tell him we’re trapped in the elevator.  Keep holding that high.”

“Done,” she said, after a moment

As they waited, Geno readjusted his grip on her legs and Scarlett used the top of his head for a table.  He felt his head vibrate with Glenn’s answer.  “What did he say?”

“He’s on his way,” Scarlett said as Geno knelt down to let her off.  “He said he’ll be here in thirty minutes and—his words here—‘the camera’s still broken, too’.”  She crossed her arms.  “Why would he tell us that the elevator camera is broken?”

Geno tried to think up a plausible lie but nothing came to him.

“That’s interesting,” Scarlett said.  She handed Geno back his phone and then lightly pushed him against the wall, keeping her hand on his chest.  “It’s pretty convenient, don’t you think?  You know what would really occupy my mind?”  She let her fingers trail down to his belt, and she tugged him closer, licking her lips.

“Too bad you don’t do relationships,” Scarlett said, letting go and taking a step back.  She glanced down.   “It looks like we coulda had some fun.”_________________________________________________________________________________





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