Egon entwines himself about me squeezing up against my body, penetrating my flesh with his sharp bones. Without releasing his embrace, he reels out from the lift, unlocks the flat with his right hand digging his left one into my flank. He throws me onto the bed and falls over me.
At last, he rolls away from me and stretches out on the bed. I shrink back from his emaciated body. He is alarmingly still. His blue-veined lids lie like marble tombstones on his ashen cheeks. I creep away from him trying not to wake him up from his torpor. My clothes, he just couldn’t wait to take off, are just a heap of soiled rags.
When I come back from the bathroom, he lies still lifeless on his back and his immobility is scaring. What happened to him? ‘God Almighty, just don’t let him have a heart attack!’ I wish piously, watching Egon with anguish. He has probably just fainted which gives me an opportunity to escape. I gather my belongings and edge forward to the door.
“It’s locked. Come back, Lolita! Let’s have a little talk.”
His voice falls over me like a famished vulture. I stop dead.
“Come nearer, Lolita, please!”
Bowing to the inevitable, I sink down upon a chair by the bed. He lifts his arms drawing me nearer. They poke out from the rolled up sleeves, lean as sticks, marked with black spots upon the ruptured veins, beseeching my mercy.
“Pass me the filigree pill-box from my jacket. It lies somewhere under the bed.”
I bow down to his wish and find the box for him.
“Isn’t it lovely? It’s a magic wish-box which makes any fancy come true. Sit down by my side, little girl. I’ll show you how to shoot up to heaven. Give me a banknote from my wallet and that silver platter on which I’ll hold out for you something much more exciting that Iokanaan’s severed head.”
He opens the box and spills two lines of white powder on the platter, rolls the banknote and breaths one line in.
His body twitches in a lusty spasm, his eyes burst open swallowing me in one gripping gulp.
“Your turn now, Lolita! Come! ”
He snatches my hand and draws me to him. I tear myself free and jump aside. The platter turns upside down; the box falls down and spills its contents all over the carpet.
“You bloody fool! Look what you’ve done!”
He slips upon the floor and tries to brush the powder back into the pill-box. I use his moment of aberration to hunt for the key.
He clutches my ankle, sweeps me off my feet and shoves my nose into the spilt powder. I gulp for air, choking on the repellent mixture of Egon’s magic powder and dust.
“You like it! I was sure you would!” He chuckles, folding me in his embrace.
“Some more, breathe it in, Lolita!” He insists breaking an envelope open and spilling the coke on the platter.
“If I do, will you let me go?”
“Of course I will! Here’s the key.” He fishes it out from his trousers and puts it by the platter.
Reaching for it, I slap him hard, hearing the thud of his skull against the bedpost. His eyes wide-open, he slumps to the ground. I snatch the key and run for life.
Without wasting time to wait for the lift, I fly down the stairs and flash into the street. I jump into the first tram, not caring where it goes, get off at the next stop and hail a cab. Thanks to the posh address I give him, the cabbie agrees to take the battered, dishevelled creature in.
I am in luck. Mary opens the door for me and pays the cab. I climb to my room to change. Proud to have saved my skin, I go down to the kitchen and ask Mary for a hearty meal.
I have still time to go to Milan and let him cheer me up.