Ok. I figured I should occasionally post something around here, so here’s an angry little flash fiction. I had the idea while watching a dirty child run amok at a local hamburger joint.
Anyway, next week I’ll be back to “Journey”
Oh, and as the stuff on my blog is usually all ages, I’d better put up a language warning. WARNING: Strong language ahead.
Kevin gritted his teeth, clenched his fists, and stared at his Chinese carry out. I would never treat a child that way.
The ratty haired pregnant woman jerked on the little boy’s arm again. “Come on, you little shit.”
The boy pointed a bruised arm at the McDonald’s sign again and cried. “Hungry.”
Kevin closed his eyes. That kid has to only be three or four. Right about where David would be.
Maybe when he opened his eyes, she’d be gone, and he could forget the sadness and anger that were boiling up his neck.
No such luck.
She parked it two tables down.
Two tables down.
A whole food court to choose from and the stupid cow sits two tables down from me.
The boy cried harder.
The woman slapped the kid across the face. “Shut up, you spoiled-ass brat. Mommy has business.”
When she spoke, Kevin could see her mouth chock-full of rotting teeth.
In fact, from her teeth to her stained clothes and sunken-in eyes, everything about the woman screamed “meth junkie.”
Why does she get to be pregnant? Why is it that a total waste like her can crank out kids? Kids that she won’t take care of and probably doesn’t even want. Shellie and I had to go through years of treatments and even then we lost our boy in childbirth.
A shifty weasel of a man appeared from out of nowhere and plunked a loaded Ziplock baggie on the table in front of the mother. “Why do you always bring the damn kid?”
She’s buying drugs? Kevin tried to look without being too obvious.
She leaned to the side, dug into her pockets and purse and pulled out a bunch of wadded up bills. “I got it all but one seventy five right now, but my disability comes in tomorrow and I’ll give you the rest then.”
The man scooped up the bag and rolled his eyes. “Natch don’t run no charity. Pay up or you don’t get shit.”
The mother slammed the bills on the table. “Come on, it’s only a hundred seventy five short.”
The drug dealer turned and headed for the door. “I don’t got time, bitch.”
Kevin watched her chase after the dealer, dragging the child along like a rag doll. He felt guilty that he had done nothing.
But what was he supposed to do? Kidnapping the boy in public was a good way to get arrested. He could call the police, but how long would they take? What would they do anyway? And it’s not like child protective services had agents to deploy at a moments notice. The best the authorities could ever do would be to bounce the kid around foster homes until he was eighteen. That’s not what the boy needed. He needed a home, one with real parents.
Kevin didn’t even think to clear his tray. He wasn’t really thinking at all. He hurried over to the ATM and didn’t even notice the seven dollar convenience fee. He just hoped it wouldn’t be too late and ran for the door.
He could hear the yelling before he even pushed open the exit. They hadn’t even made it thirty feet.
The addict mother was leaning over with her clenched fists behind her back. Her face was red and seemed tuning purple with her screaming. She also shook from head to toe like an angry Chihuahua.
Kevin could tell the greasy dealer was trying his best to look cool and unembarrassed despite the fact that there was a crazy pregnant lady’s screaming face not six inches from his own.
The boy cried and tugged at his mother’s leg.
She backhanded him without even looking down.
He fell onto his bottom, hung his head, and sobbed.
Kevin’s will set itself in concrete. This had to be stopped, now. He had no choice but to act. She was never going to hit that boy again.
He marched over and stepped directly between the woman and her drug dealer.
She slapped him. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
The dealer tried to push him away. “Yeah, what the hell, man? Can’t you see we’re busy?”
Kevin flared his nostrils and sucked in. “You need two hundred dollars right?”
She gave him a quick glance up and down then slapped him again. “I ain’t your ho, bitch.”
The dealer slid around to Kevin’s right. “Yeah, she ain’t your bitch.”
Kevin took it like a statue. “Not for sex. I’ll give you two hundred bucks for your son. You’ll never hear his complaining again, never have to drag him around or hit him while you try to take care of business, and you’ll have the cash you need.”
Her breath reeked of decay. “Buy the brat? Screw you. You ain’t funny. Go to hell.”
“I’m saying I’ll give you two hundred bucks and solve two of your problems.” Kevin dug the twenties from his pocket and held them out.
She stared with hungry eyes from the money to the greasy dealer and back again.
The dealer threw up his arms.
Kevin could have sworn that he actually heard the tiny gears in the druggie’s head grind to a halt.
She licked her lips.
He waved the bills. “Two hundred.”
Her sunken eyes widened.
He waved the bills again. “Two hund-”
She snatched the cash from his hand. “Fine, but he’s a damn brat.”
Kevin took a step back.
She didn’t even bother to look down at her son. “Scott, you go with him. He’s gonna get you your stupid little happy meal.”
The little boy just stared up at Kevin.
What did I just do? Kevin reached down and picked him up.
The mother turned away and oozed over to the dealer.
“Let’s go get you something to eat.” Kevin carried the boy back into the food court and wondered what exactly he was going to tell his wife.