Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Danger of Drugs MAY Hard Boiled Books FLASH FICTION 3rd PLACE WINNER

The Danger of Drugs
Michael W. Clark

            Teresa looked over her bare shoulder toward the commotion.  She came into the flower shop to relax with its perfumed coolness and calm, no commotion allowed.
            The commotion violating her relaxing mood was caused by a guy who looked like that old movie actor, Lee Marvin, but with colorful tat-sleeves covering his exposed arms.  He was shaking his head violently.  “No!  Da Bud!  Nope!  Give me da Bud!”  He grabbed his cheeks with both hands as if to stop the shaking manually.
            The darkly tanned girl behind the corner held out red and yellow rose buds.  “These are the buds we have, ah, dude, ah, sir.  Only the two colors.”  She looked a little frightened. 
            “What da fuck?  Flowers?  Bud!  Give me da Bud.”  He fumbled with his vest pockets.  “Got da card here.  Somewheres?  Doctor called it cervixal pain.  Da Bud will stop it.  Medicine is it.” 
            “What?”  The girl was getting more upset as the guys voice got louder and his hair wilder.  “What card?”
            “Had da card!”  The guy dug in his pockets and almost fell over from his search.
            Teresa shook her head.  “The medical Marijuana place is across the street.”  Teresa stated loudly.  “Tell him he should go across the street.”  Teresa pointed out the door.  “He wants the Sunflower Shoppe.”
            The girl was getting more and more frightened.  She saw Teresa pointing at the door, but not understanding completely.  “You need to leave.”  The girl almost cried out.  “Go!”  The girl pointed with the rose buds.  Their tear-drop heads drooping from their odd positioning.
            The motion of the red and yellow cause the obviously stoned guy to flinch and duck.  He then grabbed the roses away from the girl.  His actions caused the girl to scream followed by his own scream as the thorns dug into his palms.  “Damn bitch!  Fuck!”  He threw the rose buds on the floor.  “Legal right to get it.  Can’t refuse!”
            “Hey!”  Teresa called out.  “Leave her alone!  You plastered prick!”  This guy was sounding just like her husband.  It was their two year anniversary today and she was going to buy flowers for herself because she knew her plastered prick of a Filipino husband wouldn’t do it.  Her Vietnamese grandmother had been right about him which made her extra mad.  Teresa stooped over to the counter.  She got close to the guy and yelled.  “It’s across the fucking street!”  She was so short she stood on tip toes to yell in his face, his throat, actually. 
            “What da fuck!”  Teresa surprised him.  He threw his arms out and hit her in the face.  “What da fuck?”  His forearm had bloodied Teresa’s nose and knocked her back.
            Teresa saw the bright flash she had gotten too familiar with.  Two years too familiar with.  She came back at the guy with her fists balled together and struck him in his right eye.
            “What a fuck!”  He screamed out.  The girl behind the counter cried and screamed alternately.  He swung his fist into Teresa’s stomach. 
            His punch made her scream out.  She was five months pregnant and she was tired of all of it.  She hadn’t wanted to get pregnant.  She had wanted a divorce not a baby!  Her Grandmother said she couldn’t get rid of it.  And the baby needed a father.  Tradition was so confusing.  “You monster bastard!”  Teresa gasped as pain rippled through her abdomen.  The accompanying bright flashes blinded her for a moment.  Not being able to see panicked Teresa and she grabbed one of the big glass vases filled with flowers and swung it out blindly.  The vase seemed to explode in her hands. 
            There were then even louder screams from the guy.  He must have kicked out because Teresa got another blinding flash.  She gasped but the pain made her furious.  She grabbed whatever was in her reach and swung it wildly and blindly.  She screamed as she swung.  “Stop!  Stop!  Stop!”  She did that until the groans went away. 
            She dropped down on the wet floor and curled up in a ball.  The stomach contractions kept her from straighten or seeing anything other than the bright flashes of pain.  It was then quiet for awhile.
            The screaming seemed to start again, but Teresa realized it was sirens.  People were rushing around her talking in low voices.  Asking her questions.  They seemed concerned about her excessive bleeding.
            Some voice she understood asked, “Are you pregnant?”
            She heard herself say, “Yes.” 
            Another voice said, “Oh no!”
            Teresa then felt herself flying into the air and moving fast away accompanied by the false screaming again.

            When she finally awoke in the Emergency Ward bed, her Grandmother was there at her bedside.  A female police was there too. 
            “Mrs. Rhys, I need to ask you some questions.”  The officer said.
            “Sure.”  Teresa answered.  Her Grandmother shook her head.  Her Grandmother only spoke Vietnamese, but understood some English.  Her Grandmother wasn’t smiling as she usually did. 
            “Did you know the guy in the flower store?”  The officer tapped on an ePad.
            “No, never seen him before.”  Teresa didn’t feel any pain.  She couldn’t even feel the IV needle.  They had given her something for all the potential pain. 
            “Why the fight?”  The officer shrugged and tapped.
            “He pissed me off with his yelling at the girl.”  Teresa touched her nose.  It was swollen but didn’t hurt.  “He punched me in the face too.  I am really tired of that happening!”  She said louder than she had wanted.
            The officer nodded. 
            Teresa’s Grandmother then said in Vietnamese. “You killed him, but, he killed your baby.  He deserved it.”
            Teresa still didn’t feel anything, but said, “Good.  Now I can get a divorce.”
            Her Grandmother nodded.  “He deserves it.”