Saturday, August 12, 2006

Snow And Sacrifice F.F.F. #48

This is why I cleaned floors for forty-six years?”

Even though he was passed out, Jason heard the cold, metallic voice all too clearly. His right eye fluttered open and his lips trembled. His head that was hanging off the edge of the abandoned couch, flew into the upright position like someone had attached cables to his ears and gave him a jump start from beyond.

He looked up and down the dark alley that looked like it was covered in dusty, ashen cotton. The darkness, the garbage and soot of the city, gave the snow that complexion. Jason couldn’t find the owner of the voice, nor did he want to. It made him feel even colder than a swirling February wind coming the wrong way off of Lake St. Clair, and it ruined the good high that he had going. The good high that kept his mind off of the fact that he stole a twelve-year old girl’s cell phone to get this fix in the first place.

“Whoever said that, must have been using a speaker,” Jason giggled and mumbled. “No one in their right mind would be out here right now. They would have to be an Eskimo or twice as high as me.”

He sniffed, not from the cold, but from the prospect of facing another Detroit winter as a worthless junkie. His grandmother and mother wanted so much more for him. He did too, until he fell in with the wrong crowd and after that, he would fall down all day in trying to get his next fix. Jason had run out of veins to tap and his mother ran out of patience. She threw him out a year ago and his grandmother died the year before that, on her way to the pharmacy to pick up her heart medicine.

Jason couldn’t get comfortable on the couch and his mood changed from sad to livid. He was supposed to be the first person to graduate college in his family and he didn’t even have enough money to buy a loaf of day old bread from the bakery. He really got angry when he mulled it over and figured out that the cell phone he had traded for a bad batch of skag, had both a camera and blue tooth.

“Trey ripped me off. I could’ve got a cheap hotel room off of that” he groaned. Jason shifted, tossed and turned until he got as comfortable on that couch as he could get. A light snow commenced and the flakes melted on his face. He imagined the snow was his grandmother caressing his hair like she did when the world was simple and right, then something tangled in his short curls.

Jason tried to get up, but the unknown pulled his hair and his head back down on the couch. He looked up wide-eyed at the withered and taut skeletal face hovering above him. The corpse pointed a gray brown finger at him, then slapped him across the head. Jason tried to run again, but was yanked by the hair even harder and slapped twice this time.

Jason tried to scream, but his vocal cords were as frozen as the rime forming on the dirty snow. He tried to pull the hand off of his hair, but hands flinched with revulsion when he touched it.

“Don‘t pretend that you didn‘t hear me boy! Is this is why I cleaned floors for forty-six years?”


“Is this why I left Arkansas? Is this why I changed bedpans? Why I change urine soaked sheets? Why I wiped the stinkiest-”

“Stinkiest is not a word, grandma-”

“Shut up!”

“I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s a wor-”


“Don’t you interrupt! Why I wiped the stinkiest, foulest, more putrid than a pot of chitins left out all summer long, crustiest, butts at the old folk‘s home, just so you could waste your life?”

Jason couldn’t believe it. Here was his grandmother, feeding worms for two years and four miles away from her coffin, yelling at him. She was so desiccated that she had no eyes, how did she find her way here? She was so rotted, that there was no way that she could have any vocal chords, yet he could hear her all too clearly.

“How many jobs did I work every week, to put food in your belly and clothes on your back?”

“Three grandma.”


“I didn’t hear, didn’t I teach you not to mumble?!”

“Yes, grandma! Three.”

“How many vacations did I take?”

“None, grandma.”

“How many dates did I pass up on, so that someone would always be at home to watch over you at night?

“But grandma, you were working all the ti-”


“You went on no dates, grandma!”

“So, I worked hard all my life and given my life up so that you could be the first of us to go to college, right? This is how you pay me back? This is how you honor my memory? This is how you treat your mother?”

She gave Jason one last hard tug and pulled out three tufts of his hair in the process, then she pushed him off the couch.

“You better get your shit together!”

Jason got up and took off running!

“Or the next time I visit you boy, you’ll wish that-”

He didn’t hear the rest because at that point, he found his voice…literally. Jason screamed while he ran three blocks, which was not an easy thing when his diet for the last six months consisted of heroin, candy and Twinkies. By the time he stopped screaming, he still couldn’t hear a thing because of his racing heart and throbbing head. He didn’t hear or see Trey until he ran into him.

Jason begged Trey to lend him some money, but Trey wouldn’t go for it. Jason explained to Trey that Trey had been getting the better of the dealer-junkie relationship and Trey said that was the cost of doing business. Jason then convinced Trey to front him some drugs because he knew some rich kids from his high school days.

Trey did so reluctantly and Jason did sell the drugs to the rich kids, only Trey never got the money because Jason ran off to the bus depot. He took the first bus out of there and wound up in Taos, where he got a job in a Laundromat. Jason is now enrolled in a local community college and working two part-time jobs.

Jason keeps his head clean, inside and out. He shaves his head and he’s never had the urge to take up the “H,” China white, black tar, skag, or even anything stronger than aspirin…the three patches of skin where his hair never grew back, tell him that grandma will visit him if he is ever tempted by drugs calls again.

This week, JJ asked us to write a short story about “sacrifice,” which he does for the betterment of us all, by taking the time to provide the means and the venue, every week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool story for a hot day. I see how you define sacrifice. Great job!!!


Sun Aug 13, 01:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger angel said...

i like!
i like!
i like!
fantastic imagery dude!

Mon Aug 14, 11:59:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Thank you and, that's how parents define sacrifice everywhere.


"i like!
i like!
i like!
fantastic imagery dude!"

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Okay, thanks.

Mon Aug 14, 09:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger gizmorox said...

Very neat. I'd be scared straight by a dead grandma too.

Tue Aug 15, 10:34:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Thanks Gizmo. Yeah, the ultimate in haunting, a ghost you can't exorcise or talk back to.

Tue Aug 15, 08:18:00 PM PDT  

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