Dec 232014

Polly snuggled against the side of the love seat. She penned a letter to Richard and listened to Sinatra croon. Polly’s little brownstone smelled like hearty, warm, food, with a hint of sugar cookies. The soft white lights around her Christmas tree gave the room a pleasant glow. The few gifts below it were wrapped in matching paper with big, handwritten name tags.

She spent the afternoon in the kitchen working on an array of Richard’s favorites; hamburger steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green peas. After she finished her love letter, Polly made him a warm plate. She went to her room to change before delivering Richard’s food. She reappeared with her blonde curls fluffed and dark lip stain reapplied.

She packed his food up and tapped the letter to it. Polly kissed the picture of Richard that sat framed on the counter. She grabbed one of the gifts under the tree and headed for her car.


Richard waked in the house and set his briefcase on the counter. There was a Tupperware plate full of food and a letter laying out beside it.

“Don’t touch any of it,” she said.

Richard looked up to see his wife jostling down the stairs. His initial reaction was to pick up the paper and read it, but the familiar twirl of lights outside alerted him of the police.

“What’s going on? This again?” Richard leaned over and squinted to catch a few words of the letter before his attention was drawn to his wife.

“It’s too much! It’s got to stop. I could have been killed when that thing came through the window!” She cried.


The police arrived at Polly’s home. They found it to be neat and cozy, nothing out of place. She was happy to answer questions. As an officer took down her name and information, the Detective took a look around and asked questions that popped into his head.

He checked the fridge and noticed the leftovers. The Detective looked around the counters and noticed the picture of Richard. He made his way back into the living room and two more pictures caught his attention.

“Ma’am do you know Richard Smith?” The Detective asked.

He leaned over for a gift under the tree.

Same paper. Same heft. Same nametag. Different brick.

“Of course, he’s my therapist,” Polly smiled brightly to the Detective.


Dec 182014

She dipped into the bathroom of a truck stop to clean-up and do damage control. Eileen lifted her fingers to her busted lip and hissed at the pain. It was still swollen. Her eye looked worse. She wore a pair of cheap, black sunglasses and carried an overstuffed purse. Her heels were dusty from walking. She straightened out her bag and put a t-shirt on over last night’s club wear. Her tiny skirt continued to ride up. Her blonde hair had a knot in the back. Last night’s make-up blackened her under-eyes. She was a mess.

Bill saw the young woman enter and exit the building as he sat eating his lunch. He saw her walking as he drove by, on his way in. Bill figured she was a lot lizard or a hitcher. He took a long slurp from his orange soda and straightened his belt.

“Ma’am?” Bill waved politely.

His tall, lanky frame made him seem awkward and innocent. He kept his hair short and neatly brushed. He wore khakis, a polo and a big, lop-sided grin to lock it in. Bill was a little goofy. He was in his 40’s. His pants were a little high. He thought it a shame her having to walk like that.

Eileen was finishing off a much needed spliff before beginning her walk. That’s when she noticed Bill. She was not in the mood to be bothered. She waved him off. The traffic was picking up and the sounds of the cars were drowning him out.

“Ma’am! I’ve seen you walking. Do you need a ride?” he called out.

Eileen perked up. She got up slowly and walked towards Bill.

“I need to get to Phoenix,” she sighed.

“Well, I can take you as far as La Paz. How’s that?” he asked.

Eileen nodded slowly. Her shoulders relaxed. Finally, some good luck. She hoped for a nap, too. Unfortunately, Bill wanted someone to entertain him. They were barely settled in good before Bill started with his questions.

“So why are you leaving town?” Bill asked, excited to start up a conversation.

“Because my boyfriend..ah, ex-boyfriend, Hank, hit me in the face, again,” Eileen was matter-of-fact.

“Besides, I just want to go home. Start over. I hate this shit,” she hugged her overstuffed bag closer. It was all she had in the world.

It looked like Bill was really gearing up for some unwanted advice when the sirens caught both of them off-guard.

“Oh! Oh, I wasn’t paying attention! I believe I was going too fast!” Bills voice almost cracked.

Eileen groaned, “Shit, just be cool.”

The two officers approached Bill’s car, one on either side. Eileen was shocked at how Bill’s anxiety skyrocketed. One of the officers smelled marijuana in the car. Eileen knew when they searched her purse they’d find about an ounce and papers. She owned up to it. They searched, detained her, and stuck her in the back of a squad car. Bill was probably shitting his pants right now.

Three other squad cars and an unmarked rolled up. The cops pulled Bill out of the car and questioned him. She watched as Bill was frisked and cuffed. The police were searching his car. She felt like shit. It wasn’t Bill’s pot.

Finally, an officer finally came over to the door.

“So, tell me how you fit into all this,” he said.

“The pot’s mine. I smoked right before I got into this guy’s car. I’m know I smell like it. I’m trying to get to Phoenix. This guy was nice enough to give me a ride to La Paz. He didn’t know about the weed. It’s not his fault.” Eileen tried to sum up the situation and take blame.

“Not his fault, eh? How long have the two of you been riding?” he asked.

“About twenty – thirty minutes… something like that.” Eileen shrugged, guessing.

“He do that?” motioning with the tip of his pen towards her face.

“Huh?…Oh, no…” Eileen forgot what she looked like.

“You’re a lucky girl. Sit tight. Someone will be with you soon.”

“Lucky. O.k. Thanks…”

The officer walked away. Eileen’s view was partially blocked by a County Coroner’s van parked beside Bill’s car. His trunk was popped. They were removing a body.

Aug 222013

A man named Johnny Red drove her to private school every day since she was old enough to go. They went in a big black car. She liked the way it shined and never put finger prints on it. Everyone usually went through a car line, but Johnny Red got to pull right up to the front door to drop her off, and he would always be there to pick her up.

She told Johnny Red all about her day, showed him her pictures, drawings. He drove and their conversations were jovial. She loved Johnny Red. He was her friend.

When she got home, she’d go to the kitchen for a snack with her Mother. Her Father would come from his office and praise her, their only child, for something as simple as an endless row of whatever letter of the alphabet her class happened to be working on at the time. Afterwards, her Father would go back to his office. He did his business in his office. She wasn’t allowed in her Father’s office.

She never knew a credit card, only stacks of cash, nice and straight, in large bills, wrapped carefully. She once told a schoolmate that her Father was a banker. The older she got, the more she heard about who her Family really was. All of her Family.This thing of ours. She heard terms and learned never to ask what they meant. The meaning would come in time, heartbreakingly. She began to get used to comings and goings in her home. Meetings. Exchanges. Who was a friend of who. Who was a friend of ours.

One of her final days as a student, she came out to greet Johnny Red and instead was met with a face she didn’t recognize. She stopped in her tracks and ran inside, screaming for her Father. He met her, rushing from his office. She was breathless and afraid, stumbling over how Johnny Red wasn’t at the car. Someone was inside the gates. She didn’t know him! Her Father hung his head and nodded, adding a comforting arm to her shoulders as he explained that Johnny Red wasn’t going to be around anymore. And how Salva was a friend of ours. He would take over for Johnny Red.

Years of unexplained attachment to her beloved driver rushed over her and released in tears and demands that she’d never made of anyone before, especially her Father. He grabbed her by both arms and gave her a shake, a jolt back to reality. Their reality. Johnny Red wasn’t a friend of ours anymore. Her heart sank and met her stomach on the way down. He had been someone’s work.

She didn’t want to be a friend of anyone’s.

No one should be a friend of hers.

Aug 022013

She fingered the baggie in her pocket and smiled at the score. It was a quick hustle to get back to the shop and her closet in the back. To tell you the truth, she was lucky to have it. For two weeks, she was chasing the dragon out front of an old Chinese man’s antique shop before he finally half-drug her scrawny ass inside and out of the rain.  He gave her a room. Or a large broom closet, but either way, it came with a pillow and a blanket. Sometimes, if he was feeling generous, a meal. But it was set outside her door as if she were a cat.

It also came with an extreme amount of Chinese yelling. He wanted help at the shop. She didn’t mind until he got to the point where he was shaking his fist. He’d shake his fist when she’d bang on the door at ungodly hours. He’d shake his fist if she was getting dope sick. He shook his fist when she called him “Mr. Miyagi.” He was funny, this guy.

It was just him. No family. He had a small little set-up, you just had to walk up the stairs from the shop. He was able to keep an eye on almost everything. Mr. Miyagi knew she took the spoon. It was the one from under the counter. Obviously it’s replacement didn’t fool him. He shook his fist at that, too. But at least he didn’t put her out. Anyone else would have.

She opened her worn box, all taped up with stickers, its soiled surface a sad reminder of it’s continued use. The only new addition was that silver spoon. The end had a beautifully scrolled “R,” on it. She did feel bad about taking it. But, the initial….

She had her needles. She didn’t share. She’d set her little box up and got to work. After a quick chop, she’d set flame to spoon and suck up that precious golden fluid. Once it was in the rig, she reminded herself to breathe. Everything was set aside, and out came her belt. Loop by loop and her tongue was salty with the taste of the dirty material. Her teeth dug in for a good pull, looking for her new mistress.  It was always…  just the newest one. Soon, it’d collapse and be a sad reminder of what she couldn’t do. Just like the others.

She only had to pull back once before she hit it. The perfect pull, the rosy swirl of her blood, she gave the plunger a nice, slow push.  It was always at this moment that she remembered how much she hated needles when she was a kid.

Mr. Miyagi would be so mad if he knew what she was using that spoon for. She was able to feel the world again. So much clearer. A hard clear.  For time that seemed like hours, but were really only moments. And she wasn’t all that clear. That spoon. It was in her head until nothing else was.  He’d find out about the spoon the next morning, when the Coroner left and he had to clean out Rocky’s room.


Wicked Wednesday... be inspired & share...