There’s a piece about Old Torrance from my Short Story blog.
I’ll never forget the first time I climbed the dark steps into the Brighton Hotel lobby. The air smelled of cigar smoke and decay. The lobby had only two windows, both at the end of hallways, and both too far away from the center to provide much light. The worn wooden floor had an old Persian rug covering the middle. Thick white threads showed where it was worn all the way through. There was an old TV sitting in the back of the room, and two battered couches forming an L in the middle of the room, both oriented to see the screen. The main light came from a booth that had a metal cage around it. The cigar smoke emanated from behind the cage.
“What do you want, son?” asked the man sitting behind the cage. He was chomping the smoldering cigar as he talked. A naked light bulb…
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