Nothing was left of the money except for a few ten and twenty dollar bills. He’d blown through the rest of the haul in a hurry just trying to get as far away from the scene as possible. And also splurging on some new threads.
He shoved the sad-looking bills in his nearly empty wallet and shoved the wallet into his back pocket. Taking a deep breath, he shouldered the black duffle bag that held the remainder of his belongings and shuffled out of the motel room.
“FREEZE!” The shout startled him. He dropped his bag and raised his hands.
He laughed in my face. At least, that’s what his I-am-superior grin suggested. With his thick black beard only emphasizing the upward motion of the corners of his mouth.
So I punched him. Right in his face. His bearded, smirking face.
“What the fuck man?” He screamed, cradling his now-bleeding nose.
“You what the fuck, man.” I said, calmly raising my fist again. “No reason to be so uppity with me. I just asked a simple question.” My fist came down hard across his cheek.
“Goddamn, get off me!”
“Oh, I’ll get off you.” It was my turn to smile.
In the end, it didn’t matter. In the end, nothing ever matters. Lucy would have known this if she’d ever bothered to listen to the Linkin Park CD her first boyfriend got her back in ninth grade.
But she didn’t. Liam knew that. He turned the volume up louder to hear over the sobbing. All the time and money he’d spent on her, he deserved something other than one timid handjob and a half-hearted breakup.
He had spent years of his life on her. He was going to finally take what he was owed.
Lucy wailed as he leaned in.
I walked to work today. I missed the bus. The next available bus doesn’t come until three hours after my shift starts.
And of course, it started raining. And of course, I left my umbrella at home. And of course, it’s three days until pay-day so I can’t even pick a cheap one up from the store.
I saw one of my coworkers drive past me. Well, she stopped at a light while I was waiting to cross the street. Didn’t even roll down the window to say hello or anything.
Man, sometimes this job isn’t even worth it.
She stood at the balcony, taking a long drag of a cigarette. She breathed in the soothing menthol, wishing she could escape the bass pounding out of the closed glass doors behind her.
Her brother watched her from his bedroom window. He hated the fact that she was here. Turning away, he turned up the music.
Their mother stood in the kitchen, mindlessly chopping vegetables for a meal she didn’t want to serve to a family that did not care. She turned her head towards the balcony. Maybe tonight would be the night she jumped, right there, from where her daughter was standing.
As I’ve been filling out more and more of the questions in my previous post, I decided this time I would explore a little bit about Millie’s workplace and grab a little snippet of an average day at the office for her.
The clock struck one. Millie sighed and looked around the office. Her coworkers were mostly at lunch, except for Sophia, who was working on the stack of faxes that needed to go out. There were a couple of people sitting in the waiting room, Mr. Jenkins and a younger man she didn’t recognize. He must be a new patient.
Millie started in her seat as the phone rang suddenly. She breathed in deeply and picked up the phone.
“Thank you for calling Dr. Moldove’s office. This is Millie. How can I help you today?” she answered, smile in her voice.
I knew what I’d done as soon as the door closed. I heard the soft click of a lock sliding into place. I heard the soft intake of breath and the shaky exhale of her trying to be strong. She knew I was still standing there, just on the other side of a plank of wood.
I reached out and rested my palm on the door, in the spot I thought hers was.
Silence for long moments.
Then the click of her heels on the hardwood floor as she moved away from the door. Away from me. Away from us.
It wasn’t as if anyone got hurt. In fact, if you looked at the situation creatively, some people were probably saved. Not… physically, but spiritually? The point is, no one got physically injured and the rest wasn’t his fault.
If people left with emotional and mental scars, that was their own fault for not reading the fine print on the flyers he’d put up all around town. “One Night In Ecstasy,” the flyers had announced boldly. And a little asterisk had informed the potential party-goer that the ecstasy part was quite literal and that the host would not be liable.
Carol enjoyed playing practical jokes. But she’d taken this one too far.
She really should have known better than to mess around at work. Her previous practical jokes had always taken place outside of the workplace, with friends and family. But her coworkers had heard of some of her crowning achievements and wanted a taste of what Carol could do.
It would have been hilarious – the eye protection all the scientists wore during tests would leave nearly permanent black markings around the eyes of her coworkers. It was a shame she took hers off before the experiment was complete to gloat.
Hunger was eating him alive. It was devouring him from the inside out, viciously gnawing at his being. It felt like he hadn’t eaten in years. In reality, it had only been a week since his last meal.
He remembered it fondly – a prepackaged “steak” dinner. The kind of food he’d normally complain about to his coworkers after landing at his destination. His mouth watered at the memory of the steak. His eyes moistened at the memory of his coworkers.
His coworkers! He’d buried the bodies that had washed ashore in the cool sand.
…Couldn’t be worse than “steak.”