We were trapped now. The stash of toilet paper I had on hand would get us through for a bit. Eventually, we’d need to venture out, walk amongst others as if in a maze to avoid them. What has this great land become? The social media chatter says everything is a wreck. The last thing heard, “It’s a democratic hoax!” Oh, crawl back from under the rock from which you came! I wish I were armed, and he right in front of me. But instead, I proceeded to saw off my arm, which held my phone: crazy times, crazy measures.
I just want to hug her and touch her sweet face. But I know I have to restrict myself during these times. Being socially responsible right now does indeed count in this woke world; it’s how I can be compassionate. Then I hear of the cult back in my home town still holding mass. How utterly insane they are! They should lock the doors and call it a day, indefinitely or at least until the worst is over. We all need to distance ourselves.
I look down at my hands and realize they are the enemy that I can control.
“Ping my phone, you damn flake! What’s the new plot twist?” Sarah yelled. “Le sigh, why do I always end up working with weirdos?” she wondered. Sarah grabbed the steering wheel hard and continued to mutter to herself as she pulled into the parking lot to meet with her boss. The press was already there. “I’ll need to tread lightly with them. Otherwise, the boss and I will have a fall-out.” Quickly she decided to turn around, making a break for it to avoid that possibility. “First, I’ll figure out how to phrase my response to avoid that from happening.”
I felt the air part decisively as I slyly began to move with ease in the direction of the cafeteria. Even though I had sustained a knife injury to the left leg, I couldn’t feel any pain. But the blood was beginning to run down the side slowly. Somehow, I needed to limit blood loss, or I wouldn’t make it to the far end of the campus. Mom would kill me if I didn’t pick up my diploma. It was my ticket out. She said it was my turn for greatness!
Damn it, they found me. All my hope, lost.
Score! My future was beginning to look brighter with this bet. I would be able to fire my bookie after this and quit for good. The stranger next to me muttered something under his breath. Pew! If only he would learn to brush his teeth. The chime went off to announce the next race. Le sigh, should I or shouldn’t I bet on this one? My demons decided for me. I could see the shower of money before me as I began to smirk and murmur how lucky I was.
Grey Storm finished dead last. My stomach began to churn.
I approached the station’s entrance sign with a token in hand. My mind whirling, I began to form a plan about what to do with Mother. But I became distracted and couldn’t help but gawk at the steamy mist across the street, wondering why there was yellow tape cordoning off the sidewalk. Slowly, I turned completely to face the scene. Oh my! There lay what looked like a chopped off arm in the doorway of the local bar. I watched the faces of those around me begin to cringe with disgust and fright. I imagined a rope doing the trick.
“Okay, start at the beginning,” said Detective Jones. “Where did you find this ring?”
“In the lounge,” saying it with a blink.
Detective Jones proclaimed loudly, “Right, and I’m still the King of England!” He began to pump his fists agitatedly.
“Son, I do not need a crystal ball to predict what will happen here,” he said. “You’re acting like the lone wolf, but we know the fix you are in, so stop this stone-walling.”
“Officer, check the security tapes of the lounge. It happened just like I said. I saw a shimmer, then bent to pick up the ring.”
I looked slim in my new jeans. My swagger, like a wolf on the prowl, looking to get an itch scratched. Forget this chill social life — time to hit the club.
While walking, a loud hoot startled me right up against the building. An owl in the city? Strange, I thought as I detangled the brick stones ivy tendril from my arm.
The club was pulsing, and I was determined to remain here until the sun rose. I removed my cloak. Mr. Hunky locked eyes and yelled, “Merry New Year!” My chance for fun! I flew towards him.
Amidst all this chaos, I felt hope. The accident meant Pop couldn’t hurt me anymore. Walking under the tree branches towards the hospital steps, I smiled.
The hanging chart said he’d flat-lined once already; now, he’s comatose. Hopefully, he got his financial matters sorted out. Giving everyone their slice of the wealth pie won’t be easy in this family. I’ll need to stay to make sure it is all worked out.
First, breakfast – a scrambled egg, and some coffee. How careless of me to neglect my needs. I guess I’m used to it being around takers all my life.
I have a story I’d like to tell. I made a promise to myself that I would survive. I grant you; it wasn’t easy. The only choice I had was to strip at the local men’s club after my boyfriend left me. I chose to trust him, but it was just a trap. Shame, though, because he checked all the boxes on my list. I know that doesn’t matter now. Sure would be great to wave a magic wand and change my sorry past. But I guess it’s good that I’m still here.
Thanks for listening and letting me share.