Bazooka 14

Ricardo gave me Greg’s, aka Bulldog’s, address and told me to start walking. Arriving on the other side of town in a quiet residential area I began a stakeout. “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this…” Crouching in a bundle of bushes across the street from a perfectly average house I looked as my companion preened himself with little attention paid to his charge. Peeking through the leaves I saw the front door of my occupation open and out stepped a short, stout woman dressed in a conservative blue summer dress, much like a grandma. She seemed irritated and briskly drove off in her car, spitting gravel by way of raspberry. ‘This is it.” I said to Pete the Bird. “No turning back now.” The bird cawed at me indignantly and flew away into a nearby tree. Probably to watch me struggle breaking into Greg’s house. Which I did. As stealthily as I could I tried every door and window attempting to find something unlocked. No success.

So how did you get in?” Officer Buck asked.

“I broke a window.” I said.

Wow.” He said, obviously awed.

“Yeah, it was pretty cool.” I admitted.

I didn’t tell dear old Buck it took me ten minutes and a broken mentality to finally put a rock through the glass, but we must agree it was for the best. I felt Pete’s rolling eyes on my back before he flapped through the opening, leaving me to squirm in by myself. Flopping inside like a dead fish I held my breath and listened. The only noise was an old refrigerator and a very loud TV in another room. I stood up, brushing broken pieces of glass off. Pete had disappeared again. “He’ll help you more than most men” my ass. Carefully I crept through the kitchen and down a hallway towards the obscenely loud TV.  

“So I really can’t have a gun?” I had asked Ricardo over and over.

“You shouldn’t need one.” He said. “Take him in without using a gun and you earn the right to carry one. I’m a broker, but I got morals too. Prove to me you don’t need a gun, then I know you won’t abuse it.”

Silently cursing him I reached the room the noise was coming from. I started to sweat. I hadn’t planned what was supposed to come next. Ricardo said he wouldn’t have a gun, that he’d be unarmed. I rubbed the set of handcuffs he’s given me between my fingers and thought of the nice little scenario Ricardo had laid out of me. Taking one final deep breath I rounded and doorframe and entered the bedroom.

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Noona

She was a much older woman, and maybe I liked that. As she walked towards me, seductively stripping off one article of clothing at a time, her eyes in full bed-room mode, I had to admit my heart quickened. But enough was enough.

“Suzee,” I back away rapidly from the advancing woman. “This has to stop. I don’t like you like that.”

“Oh baby,” pouncing forward she grabbed hold of my shirt collar. “Don’t say that. You know you want it just as bad as I do. And I could show you such a good time,” she licked her lips in an exaggerated manner, making me cringe.

“Doesn’t matter,” I tried to gently detangle myself from her grasp. “I’m not interested in older woman.” Honestly that wasn’t the full truth, but it didn’t take me long after meeting the cougar currently pawing at my chest to realize experience comes at a price, usually sanity.

Suzee refused to let go and instead pushed me up against a wall, kissing me long and hard. I struggled to break away and finally caught a breath of air around thick lipstick. Suzee busily unbuttoned my shirt until I tightly gripped her hands in my own. “Listen to me.” I said seriously, looking her in the eyes. “I’m sorry there was a misunderstanding, but I’m not interested in you. Please put your clothes back on and leave my house.”

“Aww baby,” she cooed. “What’s wrong? I don’t bite.” She leaned forward and snapped playfully at my collarbones. I pushed her away roughly, not longer so concerned with treating her like a lady.

“I can’t be with someone as old as you.” I blurted out.

“As old as me?” She scoffed. “I’m barely over… I’m not old.” She snapped in my direction. “You’re hardly one to talk!”

“I’m only – ”

“You’re legal; that’s all that mattered.” Suzee turned away and I sighed with relief until a finger stab my chest. “You know what your problem is? You’re not man enough for me. You’ll see, older women are better. You’ll learn once you grow up.” Turning on her heels she stormed off, picking up each article of clothing she’ d tossed aside on her way to the door. Slamming it shut behind her she cut off her perfume trail, leaving me slightly scratched by her foreplay nails but otherwise no worse for wear.

Sighing fully in relief I sank to the floor, grateful I’d managed to avoid the mauling. I decided from then on to never see a woman old enough to be my mom ever again. It was just too weird. It was like dating the Crypt Keeper or something.

Pharmacist

Based on a true story. What would you do if in Wendy’s position?

 

The doorbell rang, in what Wendy judged to be a curious tone. The pharmacy she practiced at was closed for the evening, and having offered to finish up a few miscellaneous tasks she sent every other employee home. Walking to the front of the building she opened the door to greet a man of average looks and dress. “Can I help you?” She asked.

“Light?

“Excuse me?”

“Light?” He held up a cigarette.

“I’m sorry, I don’t smoke.”

“Lighter?”

“I don’t have one,”

The man looked up and down Wendy’s short stature and what it was clothed in. “Is this a pharmacy?”

“We’re not open to the public.” Wendy droned.

“I need a lighter.” The man insisted.

“I can’t help you with that.” Wendy pressed.

“Can I come in?” Standing on his toes the visitor peered over Wendy’s shoulder, definitely curious.

“No, this is a private pharmacy. We don’t welcome walk-ins.” Wendy closed the door an inch.

“Yeah, but I just need a -” The door shut on the man’s words; Wendy couldn’t find it within herself to humor trivial matters this late in the day. The doorbell rang again. Sighing, she opened the door. “Do you have a Band-Aid?” The same man greeted her with a different question.

“Yes,” Wendy said.

The man perked up. “Can I have one?” Taking a step forward he tried to walk past her. Wendy widened her stance to block his way. “No, you cannot have one. Nor can you buy one. This is a private pharmacy. We do not accept walk-ins. We are in fact closed for the day. Have a good night.” She moved to shut the door in the man’s face once more.

The man grabbed the edge of the door. “I need some needles.”

“You probably do.” Wendy reasoned.

“It’s for my grandma,” the man quickly added. “She’s diabetic.”

“What size needle does she use?” The man looked away, unable to answer. Because he had no answer. Such a situation Wendy knew existed and had lived through before. “One minute.” Shutting the door she walked to the back of the pharmacy where boxes of insulin needles waited to be used. Taking down a box of the kind the man needed she walked back to the door. He was still there, antsy as ever. Wordlessly she handed him the needles.

“Thank you,” the man said just before she closed the door for good. Whichever was the lesser of two evils Wendy did not know, but she knew she did not sleep any easier at night because of all the good deeds she did and she did not sleep any less for all the questionable ones. Giving an addict free needles fell somewhere in-between. Returning to her desk Wendy went back to business as usual and hoped in the back of her mind that if grandma did exist, she would see at least one of the needles she needed.  

Green Envy

BASED ON A TRUE STORY. How do I even begin? I’d put funky color in my hair before, mostly red tips and blue peek-a-boo highlights. But my favorite color is green, so naturally I wanted green hair. Bad life choice. My hairdresser misunderstood what I wanted done and it resulted in a lot more trouble than hair is ever worth. So! Enjoy my misery, which has been dramatized for entertainment purposes in the following lines.

 

“I’m so excited to see how it turns out.” Lizzy smiled up at her hairdresser, Mady, as she rinsed her freshly dyed hair. “I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. I’m happy I finally saved up enough money to do it.”

Smiling, Mady covered her client’s head with a towel and raised the back of the chair. “I’m happy you decided to branch out. I’ve been dying to dye your hair for years. Get it?” Lizzy rolled her eyes. Laughing at the expression Mady pulled the towel away with a dramatic flourish, revealing the finished product to her client.

Lizzy’s face fell from beaming to dumbstruck. “Why is it green?” She asked. “Why is it green?” Her voice cracked as shock quickly turned to horror.

Mady’s own smile fell. “You wanted it green.”

“But not this green!” Lizzy shakily poked her emerald locks. “It’s green. Really, really green. I didn’t even want this much done!”

“You said you wanted it to fade in,” Mady tried to argue her case.

“I wanted just the tips,” Lizzy took a deep breath, tears beginning to form at the corners of her eyes. Mady fought down her own panic as the deep silence of an unsatisfied hair style suffocated the room. “Ok, no, you know what?” Mady quickly swiveled the chair around. “We can fix this, no problem.”

“My hair is green!” Lizzy shrieked. “How do you fix that?”

Many phone calls, comforting words, and wine from a secret stash later Lizzy was calm enough to work with. An hour later Mady found herself staring down into the hateful eyes of her client as she rinsed her hair for the second time. “If this doesn’t work, I’m calling the city and having your license revoked.” Mady nervously swallowed and raised the back of the chair. Spinning Lizzy, letting the towel slide to the floor, she held her breath.

Lizzy turned her head left then right. “It’s nice.”

“It’s you natural color.” Mady stated.

“And it’s nice, right?”

“Of course.” She agreed.

“Don’t ever change it again.” Standing from the chair Lizzy walked to the counter to pay for the trouble. Trying to massage out her headache Mady followed quietly, wondering once again why she thought working with hair would be fun.         

Bad Date

I sat at a table, impressively set with flowers and a candle, uncomfortably pulling at my tight dress. My feet hurt from the high heels I wore; I knew they would give me blisters but wore them anyway. I wanted to make a good first impression after all.

The friend who set up the blind date could not stop gushing over the majesty of who she set me up with. I was told the man I would meet was good, worthwhile, kind, and understanding. Everything I said I wanted. I would be presented with a man, a real man. Finally. Lord only knew what I would give it if were true.

“Your table sir,” a deep voice said over my shoulder, and the next moment a god entered my vision. Or at least a cousin of a god. Dressed like a romance novel character I ogled as his jaw line, thinking there was no possibility he was intended for me that evening.

But there he was, sitting down across from me. The waiter hovered and he ordered a drink politely. He then turned to me with a perfect smile and introduced himself. “Hello, my name is Mark,”

“Ellan,” I held out my hand, a bit breathless.

“Ah,” he eyed it, his whole countenance changing suddenly. “I don’t like that.”

“I’m sorry?” My hand went limp.

“Holding your hand across the table like that. It’s not very polite.”

“I—uh,” slowly I withdrew my hand under the table. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know offering your hand to someone was rude…”

“Depends on how you do it.” He smiled again. “So, Miss Ellan, tell me about yourself. Where do you work?”

I dismissed the odd beginning, answering, “I work for a marketing company in the city. I actually just started so I’m still getting the hang of things.”

He made a face. “I like women who are intelligent. Do you think you’ve made an impression?”

“Well not yet, it’s only been a few weeks,”

“What are your views on Scandinavian furniture?”

“I’m sorry?”

“What are your views on Scandinavian furniture? Do you think the style fits with the contemporary city or does it more suit the modern country?”

“I don’t—”

“How do you decorate your home?”

“Regularly?” I faltered. “I suppose I don’t really have a specific taste at the moment.”

“I see.” Mark looked across the table long and hard. Just as his drink arrived he asked for the check. “I’m sorry, but I don’t see this going anywhere.” He smiled again, just as charming as before.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I feel we don’t have the same interests.”

“Are you serious?” I scoffed. “That’s it? I get five minutes of your time and then you decide this isn’t going anywhere? Do you realize that I bought a whole new outfit for this date?”

“That’s new?” He looked me up and down.

“I dieted for a week in preparation of this night. I even got a pedicure!”

“Miss Ellan, please lower your voice. Don’t be so upset. I realize your friend probably raised your hopes up. Don’t worry, I’m sure you will meet a perfectly suitable man for you some day.”

My mouth dropped open while he finished his drink and stood. “I had to take a taxi across town to get here…” I mumbled under my breath.

“I’m certain you will be able to find another to take you home.” Mark handed a bill to the waiter and, with one final smile, made his dash.

“Miss?” The waiter questioned, hesitantly looking down at me.

I unfolded my napkin and laid it across my lap. “I would like to see your wine and dessert menus please.”  

Misinformed

“My existence is cursed and God cares not.”

Gabriel looked through the cracks in her carrier. She stroked her hair, fighting to quite the tremors already racking her body. Then time came. Light flooded Gabriel’s vision as hands groped her. Gasps intruded her mind before she steadied herself on her own two feet. Held in place by habit Gabriel looked out into a sea of faces.

“Before us stands what can only be described as a freak.” A man dressed faux-smartly in a tired suit stood only a few feet away. Maybe today would be his lucky day and her owner could finally afford a new one. “As you can plainly see, this “woman”,” He chuckled. “Is plagued by many anomalies. I would like to state that we have had this woman examined by a doctor to confirm that she is in fact female. So cast away your doubts and marvel! First, whiskers!” The man walked closer and tugged at her chin covered in dark coarse hair. “Then, the absence of nipples.” The man ran his fingers across her chest in its entirety to make certain for the crowd. It went on like that for a while longer.

Soon however a line formed. Her owner grasped the hard earned bills from hands and ushered them joyfully on. The faces passed before Gabriel one by one. Careful to keep their distance only occasionally would a daring soul lean in for a closer look.

This was her life. Declared too different for her own good Gabriel found herself a sold commodity by age ten. She was useless to her parents after all. No one would marry her and though she could just as well work, it was not her place.

Once the show finished and the last dollar made men led her into a tent to be fed and bathed. At the end of the night she lay down on a small cot and slept. She thanked her lucky stars for even that much. She met a man once lacking fingers who slept with the trash just outside his owner’s door. Much like a dog he perked up when he heard footsteps approaching.  Gabriel, accompanied by her own owner, ignored the man to the best of her abilities. He’d smiled brightly regardless and waved as she passed.

The next morning the routine began anew. It was humanity’s ultimate mercy that she even live out such an unpleasant existence. Yet if Gabriel spent any time on the matter she found a redeeming aspect to the cruelty. Barely there, maybe not at all, but it helped her find peace.

“They found the beauty in ugly.”