The lighter by Adam Szymczyk (published in -losing you tonight- by Sternberg Press, 2009)

The scene of the action is not yet a scene of action, and, unless particular circumstances arise – which they won’t – never will be. A short section of the street between the now-closed cinema and the fifth streetlight from the left. The excellent lighting allows for a fairly detailed description. From the fifth streetlight there approaches the phantom of a woman draped in an overcoat, a shawl, and whatnot. She stops by the revolving door and enters a spacious lobby. After a brief wait she takes the elevator to the sixth floor (the attendant has only one button to press), finds room fourteen and enters without knocking.

A halo of heads leaning over a small flame that emerges from a thin metal flue set on a plinth of stone in the centre of the room. Other men, very many of them, stand by the walls, smoking and flicking ash onto the floor.

The stench is stifling, so she goes out onto the balcony for a breath of fresh air. Death wheezes serenely; smoking heaps of burnt leaves fill the space with a familiar scent. The moribund bustle about here and there. With some difficulty she goes back inside what is the strangest lighter she had ever seen. She regards her hands, beyond a doubt the hands of a corpse, of someone deceased, the only truly dead bitch among so many fading voices straining as they sing Mahler or some such shit.

This text was published in the catalogue of “Losing You Tonight”