#ThursThreads Week 178 : Lost To The War; Lost To The Peace.

We made our way across the grass to the house. The kid looked nervous as hell, and I couldn’t blame him. “Deep breaths, kid.” I tapped his shoulder, “Deep breaths.” At the door, I dialed my density back, and slipped through the wood. The kid followed suit. We made our way through the human house. “You know the drill.”

We floated up the stairs to the bedrooms. The newborn was nursing with its mother. The daughter was asleep in her room, hugging a toy unicorn. The boy was playing video games on his tablet computer, tanks shooting at each other, totally oblivious to everything.

“Now, we find the problem.”

We found the father in the garage, loading rounds into a handgun. His eyes were dead, empty, lost. The kid froze, “My God.”

I scanned the room, searched the shadows. “There.” I fired into the shadows under the workbench. The demon beneath the table died. “You know what to do, kid.”

The kid whispered in the man’s ear, “Do not become lost. Lost to the war; lost to the peace. Listen to your heart. To the words it whispers to you.” The man dropped the gun on the workbench. He cried, then wiped his tears, left the garage, walked to the baby’s room, and sat beside his wife. We’d won that night.

We hauled the demon’s carcass to the rose bushes outside. It would decay in the light of the dawn.

“Welcome to the war, kid.”

245 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 178. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#FlashMobWrites 1×21 : Song Of Sorrow

We have been here since the day the first drop of water fell from heaven. We watched as one drop became two, became hundreds, then thousands. We saw the birth of the oceans, the sky, the clouds, even that of life itself. We will be here to see the end. The death of life, the last cloud, the sky fade to black and the last drop of water boil away as the Giver of Life grows old, burns away the sky and sets fire to the Earth. We walk the days of life, each of us follows another in a circle made by the Giver of Life.

Summer brings heat. Long days filled with light, color, and life. Life grows in Summer’s wake. The newborn become children. Children become the grown. The grown watch the generations who follow them, and wonder if they’ve taught them enough of life.

Fall follows Summer, when each day grows shorter. Fall warns of what is to follow, stands on the mountain tops, and cries, “Beware! Beware! Prepare! Prepare!” The children cry when the days grow too short, and they can no longer play. The grown gather the things they’ve learned to gather from the generations who have gone before. They know what is to come. They gather wood, cotton, and grain, so they will survive. For they know who follows Fall.

They know Winter comes, when the days are short, the light is dim, the air is bitter cold. The plants hide in the ground and wait until it’s time for them to grow again. Life sleeps. It curls up in its bed, in its home, where they’ve stored the wood, cotton, and grain, and they sleep, and hope the circle continues, unbroken, once more. It is the old who feel Winter the most. The old who surrender to the cold, as the fire of life in them finally burns out.

I am Spring and I follow the sorrow Winter brings. As Winter walks away, I begin to grow the days until they thaw the ground, melt the snow and ice. Once the ice is gone, the plants push from the ground, and once more reach for the heat, and the warmth of the Giver of Life. The grown give birth to another generation of the newborn. The colors of the world fade back into existence, replacing the white and grey of the snow and ice. Everything, and everyone awakens from the sleep of Winter.

Then Summer follows me, and our circle starts again, as it has countless times.

We have been here since the day the first drop of water fell from heaven. We have seen all of this world. We know all everything about this world. About life, and death, joy and agony, laughter and tears. We have seen life come and go, thrive and fail, rise and fall.

And we have many stories to share.

483 words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×21, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×21. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

Welcome Home, Sister. Welcome Home.

Sunshine’s wings fluttered, then beat furiously, as she hovered in the sky. It had been two years since Sunshine left the lake in the Northern Forest. Two years since her sister Fauna died in the war with the invaders from space. Two years filled with storms, lightning, thunder, floods, howling winds, and the destruction they cause.

The surface of the lake was mirror smooth, the trees around its edges and the wispy white clouds in the sky reflected off its surface. She slowly flew over the lake, her reflection painted on its surface. “Should I be here?”

She floated from the sky to the center of the lake, where she hovered, and wondered, “Will my sisters welcome me home after the things I’ve done?”

As the sun slowly approached the horizon, her reflection stretch across the surface of the lake, toward the shore. She followed it. She remembered each village, each town, she’d destroyed. “I’ve done so many things.”

Her toes felt the grass beside the lake. There was no thud pause on landing, only a graceful move from flying to walking. Her wings still open, she walked along the edge of the lake. Her home remained as she’d left it, a small house in the trees. The trees made it for her, their branches had moved together, grew her home.

She stopped beside the stone memorial for Fauna. It looked so like her. Her smile, the way her wings looked when she was ready to escape the ground. The gentle softness of her fingers. “I miss you, sister.”

A hand touched Sunshine’s shoulder. She recognized it, knew it was kind and caring. The hand of her sister, Rose. “Welcome home, sister.” Rose embraced Sunshine.

Sunshine cried.

As she did, the sun set, and a soft, summer shower fell, it’s drops laced with the orange and gold colors of the sunset. As Rose held Sunshine, a runner of roses grew from the ground, up the leg of Fauna’s statue. It crossed Fauna’s hip, then her side, where it wrapped around her shoulder and grew down her arm to her hand. Every few inches a pink and silver rosebud bloomed. The last bud bloomed in Fauna’s hand.

The soft rain stopped when Sunshine dried her tears. She looked once more at Fauna’s statue beside the lake, and she smiled. “Thank you, Rose. Thank you.”

“Welcome home, sister. Welcome home.”

398 Words
@LurchMunster


This is the fairy tale I’ve written for Anna Meade‘s Dark Fairy Queen Midsummer Night’s Dream Writing Contest. Please, go read the other fairy tales, dreams, and myths in the contest. They are located here.

#ThursThreads Week 176 : It Better Be You

“It better be you knocking on my door, Doc!”

The doctor came in. “You called, sir?”

“Yes, you idiot! I coughed up blood this morning!” I glared at the doctor, “I’m paying you to fix me, so fix me!” God, my throat hurt, like someone was dragging a medieval mace through it. Each fraction of an inch it moved, I nearly choked. I hacked, coughed, gagged, and spat blood.

The doctor bowed his head, “I’m sorry, sir. We’re still working on the cure.” He stuffed a tube down my throat, poured a goo through it. My throat stopped hurting. That was good enough for the short-term. He bowed, gathered his things, and began to leave.

“I expect you to find a cure. A permanent fix.”

The doctor bowed, “Yes, sir.”

It wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t destroyed the atmosphere. I’d done that. But as long as it didn’t kill me, and was profitable, so what? The metals and acids in the air got into everybody’s throat. They choked on their own blood.

I wouldn’t have cared at all, except the problem was costing me money. Too many of my human resources were failing. I needed to find a solution, so I could cut my operating costs again. That’s how business worked. Humans were expendable, replaceable resources.

I wasn’t.

“They better find a workable cure soon. I’m fucking paying them enough!” Then, I could sell the cure to the human resources and recover my expenses.

245 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 176. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#MWBB 3.07 : My Little Blue One

[Caution – Adult content. Read at your own risk.]

“Thank you, God, for that little blue pill,” Anthony silently prayed as he screwed another girl on the sofa in his apartment. “Because of that pill, I can do this.” He stroked for all he was worth, and enjoyed every stroke. He wanted more, so he started unbuttoning her shirt, “And it’s not like she’s a girl.” He opened her shirt, then fumbled with her bra until he got it pulled away. “She’s 22, maybe 23. She’s a grown woman.” He put his hands on her chest, then attacked her breasts with his mouth. “God, this is good!”

It wasn’t long until he finished, and briefly collapsed on her. After a few moments, his pulse calmed a bit, and he got off her, went to the bathroom and cleaned himself up. “I’ll have to try her again, on another day.” He smiled at himself in the mirror, “Maybe next time I’ll fuck her ass.” That thought excited him, “Yeah. I’ll do that next time.”

He finished pulling his clothes back on, then returned to the girl. She was still out, she hadn’t stirred at all. “I’ll never get over how well that powder works.” He remembered putting it in her water bottle while she wasn’t looking. Just a quick dump, and the power dissolved in a couple of seconds. It knocked her out. She’d done everything he wanted, and never batted an eye, never resisted, never struggled.

Anthony pulled out his smart phone and took a few pictures of her. He took pictures of her breasts. Then he spread her legs, and took pictures of her genitals. “More for my collection.” As a bonus to himself, he shoved his fingers in her. She never twitched. He smiled, and took pictures of his fingers inside her.

When he finished taking pictures, he pulled her bra back in place, buttoned her shirt, put her back in her underwear and pants. “Like nothing happened.” He raised her head and put a pillow under it, then covered her with a blanket. “Like nothing happened. Like it was all a dream.” He placed her shoes neatly by the side of the sofa, so she’d have no problem finding them if she woke during the night.

Then, Anthony went to his room. He downloaded the pictures from his phone to his computer where he added them to his collection. The added pictures brought his collection to seven girls. He liked to stare at the pictures, and fantasize about them begging him to fuck them. “Make it hard, and deep! More! More!” About them moaning with each stroke he made. About them saying things he wanted to hear, “Fuck my ass! Fuck my ass!”

He carefully shut down his computer, so she couldn’t check it when she woke. He did a hard reset on his phone to clear all the data. Then, he went to sleep. “She was a good fuck. It felt good to feel her from the inside.”

When he woke the next morning, she was already gone. She’d left a note. “I’m sorry I passed out.”

Anthony laughed, “I’m not. I’m plenty happy you did.”

Lust sat in the corner of the room watching Anthony, and quietly laughing. “Ah, the joys modern medicine, date rape drugs, and little blue pills.” He wondered how much havoc Anthony could cause before he inevitably got caught. He hoped it was much more. “Try for a redhead tonight, my man. Try for a redhead.”

As he headed to work, Anthony thought it would be nice if that night he could fuck the butt of a redhead.

Lust smiled, “That’s my boy!” He settled on the sofa for a nap, “Could be a fun night.”

622 Words
@LurchMunster


And so goes year 3, week 7 (Week 3.07) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “My Little Blue One” by Cowboy Mouth. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

Pictures And Paintballs

“Have you seen Joey’s garage?”

I shook my head. “Nope.”

Shy shook her head, “I still can’t believe what’s in it.”

“OK. You’ve got me curious. Tell me what’s in it.”

“He’s set up a target practice range in his garage.”

Yeah, that would be Joey. “And this is a surprise?”

She laughed, because she knew him having a target practice range in his garage was not a surprise. “No, that’s not the surprise.”

“What? He uses real bullets? Like a shooting range?”

I liked it when she laughed, it made me feel better. And I never felt good, so her laughter was important to me. “No, silly.” She waved her hand. “Not that at all.”

“Then what’s he done that so strange?”

“You know he hates politics, right?”

“Yeah, man. Does he ever.” Joey always change channels on his TV when a political ad came on. Even if ads were on 37 consecutive channels. Hell, he’d watch a program on how to use makeup to make smokey eyes on a guy before he’d watch those damn ads. “He always says they should shoot everybody.”

Shy grinned, “He means it.”

“What? Why?”

She laughed some more. “You’re gonna love this.”

Shy swung her arm in a big arch. “Joey’s printed pictures of all the people running for President.”

“Why would he do that?”

“He hung them in a line on his garage wall.”

“Oh, shit! You’re kidding me! Tell me you’re kidding me.”

She shook her head, “The bastard spends time each night reviewing the headlines for stupid things the candidates said, and he shoots that candidate’s picture with a paint ball every time they say something stupid.”

I laughed so hard I couldn’t breath, and my ribs ached, and I had a headache.

Shy patted me on the back, “Breathe, honey. Breathe.”

“God, damn. That’s funny!”

She nodded, “He said he’s had to print several copies of Trump, Cruz, and Bush, ‘cause they keep getting covered in paint.”

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard as I did that night.

Shy laughed plenty too. “I’m telling you, either Joey’s a crazy son-of-a-bitch, or he’s a genius.”

When I could breathe I answered her, “He’s both.”

That night, we watched the news before bed, and wondered how many times Joey had to shoot his paintball gun, which pictures he’d had to shoot at, and how he could afford that many paint balls.

#FlashMobWrites 1×19 : Friction

The alarm screamed at 0430 hours, so I grabbed it and threw it across the room. Of course, some genius made it so it didn’t shatter when it hit the wall. It just made a quiet, “whap,” and fell to the floor.

At 0435, it screamed like the token girl victim in a cheap horror movie. With it screaming like that, I had to get up, find it, and turn it off. “Fuckin’ geniuses…”

I staggered to the bathroom for my morning pee, “Welcome to fuckin’ Monday.” Hell, I didn’t bother standing, I figured I’d miss as bad as I was swaying, so I sat down. Which meant the cat had to say hello and demand attention. He whined. “Roow. Mrow. Merowwww. Rrrow.” On and on he rambled as he marched in, and parked is but on my feet.

“God, cat! Why you always gotta do that?”

Next up was the shower. At 0445 in the morning, I stepped into the downpour of hot water, and winced. I heard my mother’s voice in my head, “Gotta use hot water, it’s what takes the dirt off.” And I heard my dad mumble, like he always did, “Listen to your mother.” Hell, I knew physics. I understood water was caustic, and cold water would strip away the dirt as effectively as hot, and how the soap’s only real purpose was to make you think it did something. But, you can’t fight the words of your parents, and the things they taught you. Hot water, lots of soap, more shampoo than my balding head needed, and lots more hot water to wash it all off.

“At least I can feel my fuckin’ toes.” I wiggled them on the bath mat as I dried off. The cat, of course, wrapped himself around my ankles, and purred. “Great. Cat hair.”

I got dressed. Black pants, socks and shoes. A white shirt, with a tie, and a black blazer. The only item that ever changed was the tie. “Monday. Hmm. What’s a good color for Monday?” I settled on maroon, “Closest thing I’ve got to blood…”

Dad always said, “You gotta look sharp, like you take care of yourself, so people’ll think you can take care of the work they want you to do.” Like I said, you can’t fight the words of your parents.

I looked in the mirror, “Professional!”

Every Monday, breakfast was a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit, a pile of hash rounds, and a cup of coffee at the Hardee’s a mile from my apartment. From there I picked up the Starbucks mocha.

At work, I parked my car in my usual space, then did an inventory of the parking lot to figure out who was already there. Before I headed in, I pulled two naproxen pills out of the bottle in my glove box, popped them in my mouth, and washed them down with a chug of mocha. “Take that, fuckin’ headache!”

It was time to go to work.

496 words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×19, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×19. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#MWBB 3.06 : Serpents

Mai leaned closer to the mirror to get a better look at the ugly purple and black bruise around her eye. “Yeah, the gang at work is going to ask a lot of questions.” She smiled as she imagined the questions she’d get asked.

“What happened?”

“He hit me.”

“Oh, my God! Are you alright?”

“Compared to him, yes, I’m fine.”

She remembered the previous night, her 3rd date with Luke. He’d been OK through the first two, she’d even decided he was a pretty good kisser. But last night he decided he wanted more than she did. After a good, deep dish pizza, they’d gone to The Nightshade, for a drink or two, and to dance to live music.

The band had played well enough, mostly cover songs with good rhythm. They’d been danceable enough. She’d pulled Luke to the dance floor several times. He’d been fun to dance with, and she’d decided she liked to hug him.

He’d asked to come in when he brought her home, and since he’d been nice, she let him in. They put on a movie, and sat on the sofa. She pulled his arm around her shoulders, rested her head on his shoulder. She felt relaxed, happy.

Until he put his other hand on her thigh. He leaned in and kissed her, and his hand drifted up her leg. She’d stopped him, but he tried again. When that didn’t work, he’d moved his hand to her chest. She’s stopped him again. And again, he kept trying.

She got up, “Well, I need to get some sleep, I go to work tomorrow.”

“It won’t take long, you know.” Luke wouldn’t take the hint.

“No. It’s time for you to leave.”

He’d grinned, grabbed her wrist, pulled her back to the sofa, put his hand on her chest, pushed her down. Mai pushed back. “Three dates. I deserve more.” He started trying to pin her to the sofa. “I want more.”

She scratched his face, her nails left a couple of trails. He’d growled in pain, and slapped her, open-handed, which hurt like hell. He worked a hand between her legs, and she kicked as wildly and hard as she could, letting her knees contact whatever they found. She swung at him, and left more trails on his face. He punched her, and got sloppy. She took advantage of the opening, and planted a knee in his crotch.

He bellowed and doubled over. She kicked him in the ribs, hard as she could. “I said no!” She kicked him in the ribs again.

Luke wound up gasping for breath on the floor. She opened her apartment door and screamed, “Get out!”

He’d limped away.

Mai cried a lot that night. She’d hoped Luke would be her friend, keep her company, go places with her. And with time maybe things would grow. But they hadn’t. “Why?” she stomped to her bedroom, “Why do all the guys want to fuck me? Is that all I am to them? Someone to fuck?”

She put on her pajamas, grabbed the ice cream, and put on her favorite fairy tale movie. She ate ice cream, sat on the sofa with her legs crossed, and a blanket pulled over her shoulders. “Why can’t I find a good man?”

She woke up to find the remains of the ice cream melted in the container, leaking on her coffee table. She staggered to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, “God, I look like hell!” She called out sick from work.

And there she was, looking at the bruise in the mirror. “I hope I crushed his nuts!” She pulled off her pajamas, turned on the shower and stepped in. The hot water on her neck and shoulders felt damn near perfect. She stayed in the shower until the water turned cold, then got out and dried

“Why are so many men such snakes?” It would take a few weeks, but she’d try dating someone again. “Maybe someday I’ll find a good one.”

Mai stretched out on her bed, hugged her pillow, and fell asleep, only to dream about men, and snakes.

689 Words
@LurchMunster


And so goes year 3, week 6 (Week 3.06) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Serpents” by Sharon Van Etten. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

#MidweekMusings 1×08 : Lowlife

The wolf lead Kelly into the clearing, where the woman was standing. She wore one of Frank’s shirts, Kelly recognized it. The woman saw the wolf, saw Kelly, and looked terrified. “Jessica sent me. It’s OK. It’s alright.” The wolf stretched out on the ground, his tail wagged.

Kelly looked around, her eyes searched the trees, the brush. Nothing. No sign of Frank. “Frank brought you here, didn’t he.”

The woman nodded.

“Is he still here?”

She shook her head.

“Damn!”

The woman looked terrified, and Kelly could understand that. She’d been used the same way. By a group of six men. She’d thought it would never end. The things they’d done to her. She fought, she cried, she screamed, she tried. But one against six. She lost. They used her. They beat her.

She knelt on the ground, held out a bag of nuts and berries, and a container of water. “These are for you.”

Frank watched from the trees. He hadn’t expected Kelly to show up. One of the others, yes, but not Kelly. He wanted to step out of hiding. Hug her. Ask how things were at the village. Ask how Valerie was.

The wolf yipped, leaped to its feet, and raced into the trees. “Frack!” Frank silently cursed. It raced to Frank’s side, and yipped and ran in circles. “Frack!”

Kelly saw the wolf race into the trees, saw it yipping at a tree, running in circles. “Frank?”

The wolf bounced around, “Yip! Yip! Yip!”

Kelly raced into the trees.

There was nothing to do but step out of hiding. Frank gave up. “Hi.”

Kelly plowed into him, nearly knocked him over, “FRANK!” She wrapped her arms around his neck, and hugged him like she would never let him go. “Thank, God!”

“Hi, Kelly.”

She grabbed his hand, and hauled him back to the clearing, where the woman waited. The wolf parked beside the woman, then nuzzled her ankle. The woman smiled.

“I see you rescued someone.”

Frank said nothing.

“Was she alone?”

He shook his head.

Frank hated to see sadness in Kelly’s eyes. “Oh.”

“A trap. She was bait.”

Kelly placed a hand on the woman’s shoulder, “Oh, you poor dear.”

“He…” She tried to speak.

“How many were there?” Kelly knew, it was several. She knew, with Frank, it didn’t matter. None of them would have walked away.

“Seven.”

“Where?”

He shook his head. “Not saying.”

“Valerie cries every night.” She didn’t let go of his hand, “Every night, Frank.”

There was no answer. No response.

“What happened? Tell me, Frank. What happened?”

“Take her to the village.” He started to walk away.

The wolf cut him off. It whined, and stayed in his way, no matter where he turned. Kelly grabbed his hand again, and the woman grabbed his other hand. Neither would let go. “Please.”

He wanted to run. To get the hell out of there, and never come back. But, Kelly’d said, “Please.”

“I can’t.” He squeezed both their hands. “I can’t.” He shook his head.

“Why, Frank? Why?”

For the first time since he’d saved her, the woman spoke, “Broken.”

Kelly stared at him. “Broken?” She looked in his eyes. Frank wanted to look away, but found he couldn’t. “Broken?” She held his hand tightly, as if he might run if she let go. “Frank?”

“You said it’s safe. With Jessica.” She wouldn’t let go of his hand. “I’m afraid.”

No one spoke for a while. The only sounds were the leaves in the breeze through the trees, a soft, quiet rustle.

“I don’t belong.” Frank finally spoke. “Not there. You build things. Have hope.” He tried to look at Kelly, but couldn’t. “All I do is kill things.”

The woman shook her head.

Kelly embraced him again. “Please. At least visit. One night.”

He needed to say something. Anything. “How is Valerie?”

“I’m not going to tell you.” Kelly wouldn’t let go. She held him like he’d vanish if she did. “You’ll have to come check on her.”

He didn’t move, just stood there. She swore he’d stopped breathing. “There’s a heart in you, Frank.” She pressed her head to his chest, “I can hear it beating.” She smiled at him. “And you saved her.” She nodded at the woman. “You could have walked away. Left her to die. But you didn’t.”

The woman whispered, “I’m afraid.” Frank saw the fear in her eyes. She knew him. Knew he wouldn’t hurt her.

“See, Frank? See? I felt your heart move when she spoke. I did. You’re not evil, Frank. You’re not. You save people. Like me. Like her.” She looked in his eyes again, “You still have a heart.”

The woman whispered, “Don’t leave me alone.”

Frank sank to his knees. He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. Valerie held him, wouldn’t let him go. “You brought her this far. Won’t you take her the rest of the way. Just to make sure she’s safe?” She pressed her cheek against his, “Please? I know your heart. It’s still alive.”

Frank cried. He held Kelly, and wept.

And the woman whispered, “Broken.” She knelt beside them both, “Take me where it’s safe.”

Where it was safe. Where broken, wounded people, like Kelly, Gina, and the others went to heal. Safe, where the woman who’d lost everything a few days ago could start over. Maybe learn to smile again.

And maybe the ache in his chest would finally start to fade.

“Take me where it’s safe.”

915 Words
@LurchMunster


For week 1×08 of #MidweekMusings, a flash fiction adventure hosted by #FlashMobWrites (Ruth Long and Cara Michaels). Please, go read all the stories for this week’s prompt.

#MWBB 3.05 : Rehab

Jaxson sat on his usual bar stool as he ended another day of existence on the miserable planet Earth in his usual way. Drinking himself to oblivion.

“It’s a good thing you live a couple blocks from here, and walk home every night.” Lexi was his bartender, at least he thought of her that way.

“Another one, Lexi. I can still remember what I did at work today.” Work had sucked, but it always sucked.

“Another fat white dude scream at you?”

“Several.”

Lexi laughed, shrugged, “White people. I tell you.”

Two years earlier was when the last of the three kids went to college, and he’d kissed another $60,000 bye-bye, and watched the day he could retire drift further toward the horizon.

A week after his baby girl started classes on the far side of the state his wife of 25 years told him, “Get out.” She’d had enough. The romance was long dead, the love too. She’d waited for the youngest to get out of the house, and then filed for divorce.

She got the house, of course. And the car, cats, and furniture.

He was too old to fight with her, so he moved out, and wound up in a single wide trailer in a park filled with Latinos on the edge of town. With plastic dishes, a pint-sized fridge, one TV (but no cable), a sofa, which served as his bed, and a tiny bathroom that consisted of a shower, a sink, and a toilet, all of which surrounded a 2 square foot slab of vinyl flooring.

Way he figured it, he was a quarter million in debt, and would have to work until he was 243 to pay it off.

Lexi’s was a gift from the universe, and he knew it. A bar a couple of blocks from the trailer park. She’d told him she opened it for the Latinos. “They got no place of their own.”

“You’re a good one, Lexi.”

She set another glass on the bar, “You keep telling me that.” She propped on her elbows, “You gonna listen to them? Get help somewhere? Dry out?”

Jaxson chugged half the glass, savored the burn in his throat, “Nope. Not going. Not getting help.”

“You that set on dying?”

“Yeah.” He would have smiled, but didn’t remember how, “Gonna drink myself to oblivion. Then let them bastards collect on that debt!”

“You’re a sick bastard, Jaxson, you know that.”

It was 0100 hours when he staggered to the toilet in his trailer and puked. Puking didn’t bother him so much. The blood he coughed up every morning, that bothered him.

“Not going to rehab. Going to drink myself to death.” He stretched out on his sofa, still wearing his clothes. “Then let them bastards collect that debt!” He passed out.

That night, he had the same dream he always had. The one where he wondered why he was still alive, and why the universe wouldn’t let him die.

490 Words
@LurchMunster


And so goes year 3, week 5 (Week 3.05) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.