Opium, Anyone?

Ten minutes later, Sadie pulled me in front of a shabby, metal warehouse. The sign painted above the door read “Ben’s Den.”

“What is this place?”

“I’ll only be a moment, Meta. Will you wait for me out here? I’ll be right back.”

Before I had time to respond, Sadie entered through the shoddy door, allowing me a quick peek before she closed it behind her. The musky smoke Filtering out didn’t come from cigars or cigarettes.

An opium den? I had read about them, but never knew any existed in San Antonio.

Two minutes had passed. Sadie exited the building, her pace had slowed, her glazed eyes and serene.

“Are you okay, Sadie?”

“Perfect. You should go in with me sometime. The owner is a nice young man. Although,” she said, giggling, “Ben has crooked teeth. Makes me cross-eyed if I stare at them too long. Oh, and his face pocks. Big enough for fairies to bed in.” She threw her hands toward the sky. “A beautiful day. Oh, and please don’t tell Miss Fannie. Some things I must keep to myself.”

I wondered what else Sadie kept to herself. Intuition told me she stored secrets the way Mama and I stored canned vegetables.

photo credit

Excerpt from The Last Bordello


Published by

Carolyn Dennis-Willingham

Carolyn is the author of two published books – No Hill for a Stepper, 2001, and The Last Bordello, 2016. Her third novel, The Moonshine Thicket, is set in 1928 and is currently enduring a professional edit. When not on her laptop, she serves as a lap top for her grandchildren. She is a retired Early Childhood Specialist, a fitness boxer, artist, and a ball thrower for her ever-persistent mini Aussie. In addition to her blogging website, carolyndenniswillingham.com, you may find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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