Pretty Smile

by Mike Stewart

A pretty girl smiled, catching his attention through the dappled blue light, warming the atmosphere around him in almost imperceptible degrees, spawning a provocative, mellow feeling. The musician, an aging, portly negro shuffled over the stage, picked up his guitar and began to play the Blues, the poor man’s opera. Relentless, lamenting, so recognizable, the music to remind us of moments so hard to endure, but sweet to recall: of love, aching, passionate love. Blues, Jack Daniels, pretty girls with enchanting smiles, and a heart full of the sweetest pain. All he ever needed at that moment in one dingy Saigon bar. He leaned back and stretched his legs, tilting his chair slightly, pushed his hand through his hair, and all thoughts of home out of his mind.


Mike Stewart was born in Scotland, but has lived in Amsterdam for over 30 years. He has previously had some of his work published online.