To kick things off in a new direction, I’m posting a short work of fiction. I’m going back to my roots, people! Normally I would put this in my Writing Prompts page, but thought I’d buck convention and give you a sample of what might be there in the future. This prompt had to do with some kind of exchange, a kind of tit for tat. My goal was to use the prompt in an unexpected way.
Daryl lay prone on a dirty twin mattress, arms splayed out to the side. Soured milk, half-eaten yogurt, and rancid deli meat lay forgotten on a worn table. Like Pick Up Sticks scattered across the room, the other occupants’ faces registered euphoria to barely met desperation.
Angry welts could be seen lining both of Daryl’s pale arms through the weak afternoon sun. Sandy blond hair curled gently around his ear, caressing the latest mark on his neck. He had been on the nod for about an hour when his body’s lack of oxygen forced him wide awake. Gasping, he grabbed for his throat, eyes dilating. Within in moments he started convulsing, his lips looking like a child who had eaten too many blueberries.
Turning away from some new arrivals, Bruce pocketed his money and walked toward the room’s only mattress. Looking down, he folded his arms across his chest and kicked Daryl in the gut. The guy was going down, he’d seen it a dozen times before. It wasn’t Daryl’s death that bothered him so much as losing a good customer; that as well as it happening in his place.
“Damn,” he said. “Amber – we’re going to need to roll. Grab the brown sugar and wipe the place down. I mean ALL of it. I don’t want a single print left anywhere, capiche?”
Amber looked over, nodded, and started packing the syringes first. Her pale fingers looked exotic in the gloom, like a new species of spider. Just as she was about to leave, she noticed a shiny, gold Cross pen in Daryl’s shirt pocket. Grabbing it, she swapped the abused, bitten Bic she normally carried in its place. Patting his still warm chest, she hummed and turned out the light before she left.