Friday, June 22, 2012

EARTH ANGEL (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

My conscience was beginning to hold me hostage and the ransom was my future.

Despite what we were taught by Father Flynn, some people were expendable. They just didn't matter. I was a crook born and raised in a cold, Catholic orphanage and quickly learned that even I didn't matter. She was no different. I could tell she didn't exactly have a high opinion of her own footing in life.

It was easy for people like us to fall off the map. Bus depots, train stations, truck stops, ports of call - they were all breeding grounds for skirts with lonely hearts and creeps with one eye on their drink and the other on the door.

I met her at one of these destinations and, to be honest, it really didn't matter which one. I sold her a bill of goods and she bought them willingly. All I had to do was wink my wink and promise a little cabbage when our grift was done.

A suitcase of diamonds. That's what the road to kismet thought she was worth. And it worked. Greed tapped me on the shoulder that day and I figured one less future whatever-she-was-gonna-be didn't matter in the grand scheme of the universe. She already had one strike against her looking down the barrel of my gun.

But I remember that even in death, she looked like an angel - even with the Lucky Strike hanging from those puffy rosebud lips. Three hours later, she slept in the Earth.

Some people are expendable. At least that's what I told myself as I patted the dirt with my shovel.

The problem with that logic is that eventually, if we live long enough, guys like me develop a stab of sympathy. Our damned wisdom gives us a frame of reference. And then it all becomes clear.

I have to chuckle because the man upstairs cursed me. No, he didn't get me pinched. I have all my limbs and I can see through both my eyes. I felt snakebitten by Ol' Totem because I met the woman who would be my wife not one day after I put that sweet young thing down.

I've lived a lie my whole life and now when I look at the face of my teenage daughter I hope that my earth angel doesn't take it out on her.


  1. Ohhh very Dark story before taking kids to school!

  2. I really like stiff like this ... wicked. Anyway - picked up the following things you might wanna look at :-)

    Paragraph 2 - “ It was easy for people like us for fall - should it not be too fall ?
    Paragraph 3 - it really didn’t matter which - you can drop the word - which.
    Wink my wink - nice usage but editors would most likely tell you to just stick with one win, it means the same.
    I felt snakebit - should it not be snake bitten

    keep on going :-)

    1. Thanks for pointing out a few of those. The perils of scribbling in the wee hours. ;)

  3. You've still got that strength for phrasing, Anthony, that maybe only the pulps have.

  4. A great dark story, great turns of phrase and images :)

  5. Great story! That last sentence/paragraph really brings the chills.

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  7. Great voice and a wicked closing paragraph. Nice one.


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