Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Charles Bukowski’s Scarlet by Pamela Cupcakes Wood:

     “Come on inside, Kid, I’ve got a surprise for you,” he said, putting his hand behind my elbow and gently guilding me into his place. He led me right to the bedroom.

     On the bed sat a mattress wrapped in cellophane. I moved closer to the bed, bent down, and gazed at the mattress. It was covered in a pattern of roses and vines.

     “It’s so pretty,” I said. “How considerate of you. Did you do this just for me?” I asked, while thinking, “Uh oh.”

     “So, what do you say?” he said.

     “I say we’re going to need some champagne to christen it.”

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(Photo and graphic by Silver Birch.)