The Odyssey Jazz Club

By Eliot Pope

         It was a Friday night when Timothy Young finally gathered the courage to speak to the beautiful jazz singer. It was his third trip to The Odyssey Jazz Club since that rainy Tuesday night, and since he told himself he was never coming back. But the woman’s song had followed him wherever he went; her honey voice crooning in his head. It got so unbearable that Timothy forgot the approval meeting for the newest oil ship. He decided then that he had to get back, for no reason other than to make sure it was real and he wasn’t going insane. 

         So he had gone back that night. And then two nights after that. Then the next night. And now he was back, nursing a Zeus (double shot of whiskey) and listening to the gold dust woman perform. Since that first time, he had gotten there early to snag a seat near the front. He wanted to be up close, to make sure the woman was real and not simply a hallucination. But she was very real. Her gold dress that hugged her figure, the sparkling glitter that dusted her skin, her small tiara nestled in her curls. She was so real, and yet not; a vision too perfect to be completely true.

         This time she sang a new song, a song of falling into lust with someone off-limits. It reminded Timothy of his college girlfriend, Rachel, who was with his best friend when they had gotten together. He considered calling her but quickly dismissed the thought. That was in the past, and now there was a perfectly obtainable woman right in front of him. 

         Her voice was deeper and scratchier tonight, which Timothy found unbearably sexy. All the songs she had sung thus far had been perfect. There was something about her voice that Timothy couldn’t escape from. When she sang, there was nothing else that mattered but her.

The woman wrapped up her set to thunderous applause. Timothy whistled and caught the woman’s attention. She smiled and winked at him like she had been doing every night. But Timothy was fed up with just this. He wanted more. He wanted to get her name and maybe even her number. He wanted to fix the crown in her hair, askew after so many passionate songs. He wanted to feel the exact texture of her floaty dress. He wanted… he wanted to talk to her.

         As she exited the stage, Timothy shoved his way through the crowd to get to the edge of the stage. Once he reached the side, he saw her, chatting with one of the saxophone players. He gathered his wits and before he could chicken out, called to her.

         “Hey. You’re really talented,” is what came out of his mouth. Timothy cringed, but she turned around anyway and flashed him a smile. 

         “Thanks, love. It’s just second nature.” Her speaking voice was nearly as beautiful as her singing voice. 

         Timothy cleared his throat. “Yes, well, I was wondering how long you’ve been performing here, and what days you do. I was thinking of bringing someone here and you’re the best performer I’ve seen.” 

         She laughed, a melodious sound that filled Timothy’s chest with a burning feeling. “I’ve been performing here for, what is it, 15 years now? And the owner also thinks I’m the best performer they’ve ever seen, so I’m on every single night. But I don’t mind it. I pick up lots of admirers that way.” Timothy felt his face heat up, and she grinned devilishly at it.

         “I don’t mind the admirers, though. Not when they’re handsome at least.” Timothy was in love.

         “Ah, well, I do try, ma’am.” Ma’am? She is the same age as you.

         “None of that ‘ma’am’. I’m Andromeda, and you may call me such.” The name fit her perfectly.

         “Lovely to officially meet you, Andromeda. I’m Timothy Young,” Timothy said and held out a hand for her to shake, because it seemed like the appropriate thing. 

         The golden woman, Andromeda, took Timothy’s hand and brought it to her lips, kissing the knuckles lightly. “Charmed, Mr. Young. Now I really must be going… but I trust I’ll be seeing you again?” She raised a perfect eyebrow at him, his hand still clasped in hers.

         Timothy swallowed. “Of course. Till next time, Andromeda.”

         She smiled again. Timothy felt drunker than he was. “Till tomorrow, Mr. Young.”

         And then she was gone. Timothy let out a breath. He would most definitely be back tomorrow.


         It was a Thursday night when Timothy was finally alone with Andromeda. He had been coming to the club every day since their first interaction. She had taken up all of his thoughts, and the only way to make his mind go silent was to see her. They had been talking every night, little conversations before Andromeda was whisked away by one of the band members or staff. He learned that Andromeda had moved to San Francisco 15 years ago after graduating from high school, and had been working at the club ever since. He learned that she had 4 sisters who she hadn’t seen since she left. And he told her all about business school, and inheriting the oil shipping company from his father and shaping it into the dynasty it is now. It had been the most he’s ever talked to someone who wasn’t an employee in years.

         But today, they did not sit at one of the little tables after the show. Instead, Andromeda had pulled him towards a door by the stage. He raised his eyebrows at her, but her only response had been a small smirk. She opened the door and Timothy slipped in, closing it behind him. On the other side was a dark hallway lined with lanterns, half of the light bulbs burned out.

         “Sorry about the lighting,” Andromeda said, turning back around to him. “We haven’t gotten the chance to buy new bulbs yet.”

         “It’s perfectly okay. I’m not scared of the dark,” Timothy replied, trying out a joke. It worked, and Andromeda smiled her devilish grin. It made Timothy’s heart race.

         “Well, it would be ok if you were, because my room is very brightly lit.” 

         “Oh? OH!” Timothy realized what she meant, and his face flushed. She smiled again at him and grabbed his hand.

         “Just up here, Mr. Young.” 

         Andromeda tugged him to a door slightly cracked open, golden light outlining the frame. She nudged it open with her hip and pulled him in, shutting the door behind them. 

         She smirked again, and Timothy knew he was done for. 

         “May I?” Her voice dripped with desire. 

         Timothy could only nod in response. 

         Andromeda kissed him, and Timothy felt it in more than his lips. It was a deep, drowning kiss, and Timothy couldn’t get enough. He felt as though this was his first real kiss, the first one that really, truly counted. All other girls paled in comparison to Andromeda. She was a goddess, a queen, a heavenly being. Timothy had never felt more alive.

         He felt so alive, until suddenly he didn’t. 

         A fog filled his brain, consuming all of his thoughts besides one: Andromeda. She pulled back from the kiss and smiled her devilish smile again, except this time it didn’t seem so seductive. It seemed evil and full of venom. Timothy couldn’t get his brain to comprehend the situation. 

         “Feeling ok?” she cooed. 

         What have you done to me? He wanted to shout, but he couldn’t get his mouth to move. He couldn’t get anything to move.

         Andromeda saw the distress in his eyes and smiled viciously.  Her face was still close to his, and he felt her breath on his cheek. “I know, I know. It’ll all be over soon, don’t worry.” Timothy’s eyes widened in fear, but she just laughed. Her hands had been holding him up all this time, but she dropped them. Timothy slid roughly onto the floor, his head hitting the door with a crack that would’ve hurt if he would have felt it. 

         Andromeda sauntered over to her dressing table, on which rested two ornate knives. Terror spread through Timothy’s veins. 

         “You know the best part of working here?” she asked, but it was clear she wasn’t expecting an answer. “Meeting guys like you. You hear me sing a couple of times and decide you must have me, like I’m some trophy to be won.”

         She held the knives up to the light to make sure they were clean. Her face was neutral, but Timothy could hear the hate in her voice. He was struck with another fresh wave of terror. He tried to move his fingers, but nothing. He was completely helpless.

         “It’s laughable, really. How such a mediocre guy like you thinks he can enchant me. Well, surprise, Timothy. I’ve been enchanting you all along. And now it’s too late.”

         She smiled at him again, a knife in each hand. “You probably want to know why. I mean, I would too! Don’t worry, you weren’t just an accident, though I feel like that would be a very humbling experience for you. But no. This was planned. You know that little shipping company of yours?”

         Timothy closed his eyes. It’s all he can do.

         “Yes, of course you do. Well, I bet you also know that it’s one of the biggest causes of pollution in the oceans right now. So many of my closest friends have died at the hands of your company. And as a child of the ocean, I felt personally victimized.”

         Timothy’s eyes flew open. She was closer to him now, but all Timothy could think about were her words. Child of the ocean.

         Andromeda flashed her perfect teeth. “How do you think I kept you coming back here? I’m a siren. You were drawn to my song.” Timothy can barely breathe. “Oh honey, don’t be like that. They always freak out when I tell them my little secret.” She laughed loudly, the sound filling the stuffy room.

         “But yes, my dear, all this was planned. I drew you here. You kept coming back. All while one of us was quietly working her way through the ranks at your so-called company. She’ll take over after I kill you.” 

         Timothy isn’t breathing.

         Andromeda laughed again, but this one was quieter. More sinister. “They always look so surprised. Yes, I’m going to kill you. But let me say a few more things. First: you mean nothing to this world. Men like you think they can always get what they want, just because you were born with a silver spoon shoved in your mouth. But guess what: you can’t. You have never worked for anything in your life. You don’t care about others. You underpay your workers and you fire people without a second thought. You know the things your company does are immoral, but you don’t care because it’s cheaper.” While she had been talking, Andromeda had knelt by his side and slowly pressed one of the sharp knives into his throat. 

         “And I know you probably think you don’t deserve this.” The knife pressed in. Timothy gulped. Andromeda reached out and stroked his cheek, a slight smile playing across her face.

         “But I’m here to tell you-” The knife broke his skin. Timothy couldn’t look away from her.

         “You-” The knife went deeper. Andromeda’s finger pressed into his skin with it. “Definitely-” Deeper. Her face was inches away from his. “Do.”

         The last thing Timothy ever saw was Andromeda’s devilish smile, widening as he gulped his last breath. There was no remorse in her eyes.

         There was no remorse in Timothy’s, either.

Three Times a Charm by Juniper Hamilton