Mandarin Patisserie

By Nancy Collisson

Vivek closed his eyes, bit his lip and filled his lungs. His brow creased as he felt the pressure of his damp palm wrapped around Amanda’s wad of cash as he held it against the steering wheel. Panicked that the procurement might slip when he’d back out, he leaned back, straightened his legs, and stuffed it into his trouser pocket.

He wouldn’t play that tiring mind-game with himself – pretending that he felt ashamed of the way he’d acquired it. Hell, he’d left more cloying guilts behind long ago. Nor would he kid himself that just for a magical moment he might miraculously be given a damn minute’s rest from thinking over and over about the myriad useless details featured among the worst experiences he’d ever had in his life – all of which occurred in this desert of dreams – that led him to avail himself of that little punk’s tuition money in the first place.

He sniffed as he raised his right elbow over the back of the seat to look over his shoulder. His mouth scrunched into a frown and he shook his head as he turned to see where he was going.

‘Sorting this shit out has gotten a whole lot easier,’ he said, backing out.

‘Fuck it.’

He drove forward, and as he pulled onto Sheikh Zayed Road, lamplight frothing from the tea-bag stained towers on his right shone dimly through a haze built up from exhaust of vehicles and that churned from the aluminum and desalination plants situated on the bay to his left. A few kilometers ahead, a fingernail moon made a dainty cap over the spire of the world’s tallest dust-catcher. An arresting sight, he thought. ‘And how fucking prophetic,’ he commented, that ‘both should be shimmering, but can’t.’

Mandarin Patisserie may be accessed for additional reading and is available for purchase at

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