Someone Needs to Survive #covid #newcago #flashfiction

“Find Broken Nose” the guy gasped.

“Never heard of him.”

The guy grabbed my collar and pulled me close to his lips. “Get my kid brother outta this cesspool.  His real name is Gregory. He looks like me just younger.” The mic said as his number came up.

“Do I really need to pull this mask off to see what your brother is gonna look like?” I snapped on my stretched out latex gloves and pulled my cloth mask on.

“Lily, how do I get myself in these situations?”A breeze nudged past me; on it was her fragrance. “Lil, for you I’ll find the kid.”

I went to Buzz for info. That guy was as old as the boarded up hardware store.

“Sure at least I think it’s him. Only one I’ve ever met with that name.” I kept trying to put distance from the guy as Buzz leaned forward. “He’s not a little kid. He’s more like a sassy know it all.”

“Ok, ok just point me in the right direction.”

He was easy to find. Good thing cuz the mask did a good job of concealing his broken nose.

“It’s your brother’s.” I held up the watch as proof.

“Correction that was dad’s.” he snatched it out of my hand.

“I got a message for ya from your brother who died in my arms. Get out before its too late.”

“Too late already happened.” The kid hung his head “Ma died this morning. For some reason I’m immune.” I could hear the tears catch in his throat.

“I pulled out my wallet and gave him everything I had but a buck for coffee. There’s a bus at 3 be on it. Someone in your family needs to survive this…”

 

***

I’m revamping a noir crime series I wrote in 2013. The story centered around crime in a metropolis called NewCago but the main antagonist was a deadly disease lurking in dark corners. If you like Noir and you have time to read come back for more in the days to come. The stories do stand alone so they can be read in any order.

An Old Dilemma part 1

An Old Dilemma part 2

Whats the worst that can happen

 

An Old Dilemma, New Crime #Newcago1 #fiction #disease

I inhale it every night before 6 – Courage (my dead lover’s not mine)

I looked at my watch.”5 pm time for the cops to crawl into hiding.” I chuckle. ” I don’t have the luxury of steel bars.”

A long banshee like scream bites into the last flicker of day and the night begins.

Decency’s doors are closed and it’s just me and the bad guys.

I threw the paper down. “Ramping up early?”

“I’ll try to stay decent baby.”

“I know you will Sam.” I heard her voice echo in my head as I inhaled her lily.

***

Another long night banging around in the trashcans of Newcago,  I needed a drink.

“A tall soda and a cheese steak at Tony’s sounds like the way to end a night.” I was the only company I kept these days.

I noticed the dame – she was a looker. I couldn’t get a read on the guy beneath the brim.

“Yeah, the regular,” I nodded. Sally and I go back to days when drinks came from the hose in the horse’s mouth.

I couldn’t help but hear dollface coughing then breathing hard. Her face turned blue in the matter of a minute.

Too late to call 911;  her beautiful lips were pinched and her brown eyes glazed over.

“The disease squad will be here soon,” I said under my breath.

When I looked back over, I noticed something was missing. The lout she was with had sprinted off. The sparkler around her wrist was no longer sparkling.

“Baby, Newcago is not like life on the farm…” I said to no one.  “Playing is for keeps.”

***

I pulled this series up from my 2013 archives. If you enjoy noir (more sepia) crime stories you might enjoy these as I breathe a bit of life through my Covid-19 protection gear into them.

 

 

Child’s Play #poetry #ebola #children

 

swing

One

The number of people

remaining in my family

who are alive

Two

days ago they buried  mother

all I saw was a bag

no one her age has survived

Three

dead trees  left of my village

warning of departed spirits

the only voices you hear

Four

Down the hallway, behind closed doors

you will find a ward of untended people

laying in their own waste I fear

Five

Is the age I was at my last birthday

no one knows if I will see my sixth

Does anyone care if I die?

*****

 I was sickened to read about the treatment of dying men, women and children at ground zero for Ebola. Half a year ago, the CDC and WHO excused away a virus that killed 70-90% of it’s victims. When isolation could have kept the death toll in the 100s, commerce took precedence. The lack of action and ambivalence has resulted in unnecessary death and disaster in West Africa.

Round and Round #children #poetry #death

round and round

In the wink of an eye

a splash in the pond

a squint at the sky

and you’ll be gone

*

streaming tail of a kite

your first goodnight kiss

college degree you might

so many things you’ll miss

*

up down your merry-go round  ride

look not ahead

as you swim against the tide

trying to ignore the end

*

mix the water-color glass

muddied against the  world

some dreams will come to pass

life’s banners won’t  fully unfurl

***

There are children who are born with defective organs or who contract  incurable diseases.

The merry-go round ride for them is short but no less spirited.

St. Judes just one place where children can get help.

Tomorrow #pain #amwriting #poetry

The sun will come up …

Tomorrow

and I bet

I’ll face this all

tomorrow

it’s not fun

*

Just thinking about

tomorrow

cancer eats the joy

and leaves a sorrow

today its won

*

When Im stuck in a day

that’s sad and lonely

I must fall on my knees

and hope

and pray

*

Tomorrow

Tomorrow

 a pain free

tomorrow

is always a hope

away

*****

Annie’s Version:

Tomorrow

The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There’ll be sun!

Just thinkin’ about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
‘Til there’s none!

When I’m stuck a day
That’s gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
Oh!

The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
‘Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You’re always
A day
A way!

From Annie

The prompt at Never Ending Story is Tomorrow and at Poet’s United – Verse First is Ordinary.

Some of us face extreme pain as part of our daily, ordinary lives.  I have managed 22 pain filled years without narcotics (except when I’ve been hospitalized).

You can sing my version of “Tomorrow” I have.  I added Annie’s version because she faced a wall of Tomorrows and managed a smile with each one. To each of you who are enduring I hope for a sun filled Tomorrow.

Lost in the Bottle #poetry #alcoholism

What do I call you

now that you’ve changed?

I’ve had so many titles

some colorful names

*

All that’s past

it’s now behind

I’m aching, pondering

the loss of your mind.

**

What can I do?

Where did it go?

A life of brilliance

I want to know

***

I remember those days

your mind I feared

I could never compete

I was drowning in tears.

****

It was those things and more

that fashioned my life

I am what I am

my world is full and rife

*****

It’s too late

to take the bottle away

There’s nothing left

No words to say

******

I’m sorry mom

I’ll remember those days

when your bottle

drove me far away

Photographer attributed to Creative Commons and Joe Mabelhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jmabel/4896736628/

Love Hurts ( losing a friend to cancer)

Romantic at Heart

I am a romantic at heart so my poet friends tell me. I never really thought about it before. Something I do know about myself is that I pour my life into lives that are suffering, hurting. I’m a nurse so I guess it helps to have a big heart – sometimes. After a heart wrenching situation with a friend, I was reminded  that Love Hurts!

A Memory

I was taken back in time, not centuries, just a few years back. Went back to a time when I was on the “top of my game.” I was in hospital admin.  My job  was  training the hospital staff- something I love to do.  I was also required to assess the staff’s progress. I spent a lot of time on one unit because it was right next to my office. One of the patients on the unit was a gal who from outward appearances seemed hard and unapproachable. As the weeks went on and we talked, Ellie became a friend.

Same People Same Places

Ellie was a little older than me but with cancer induced dementia Ellie was living in another world. Luckily the world her dementia chose was  Ellie’s late teens. In her mind, she visited places where she snuck out at night to meet a boy or have a smoke. What we discovered was that we had grown up within a five-minute drive of each other. We had known some of the same people and hung out at the same places.

Watching Decay

Ellie and I grew close because I could go back to the world where she now spent most of her time. We laughed about our antics as teens. She was there again trying to defy her parents and I was hoping her treatments would defy the odds. Ellie would visit my office after going to the courtyard for a smoke. I hated watching her decay. I hated hearing the gasping coughs after a chain smoking binge.  Ellie had rebelled and become a smoker as a teen, she was not going to give up her smoking now.

I laughed ..She coughed

I went visiting family during the holidays- drove by her house and the park and the mall. I wanted to be reminded of where she was and where we could visit together. She told me a story of  nuns skinny dipping in her pool (you didn’t hear that from me). I reminded her of the puke green fence surrounding the yard,  of shopping at the mall, and we re-lived football games. I laughed ~ she coughed. I held her as she writhed in pain; My desk blotted out my tears.

Smiles laced with sorrow

The last days I would take a flower and a smile to my heavily drugged friend. I would carry peace in to room 416; I would carry sorrow out. The tug on my heart grew more profound as the day grew near. My staff watched my pain and feared. Then it happened; I was off that day. My teen friend left me what more could I say. I cried each time I passed 416~ expected to see smoke tendrils in the courtyard. No more.

My family asked me – was it worth it? Was it worth loving her? I assured myself – “it was  worth every moment!” I am hoping she is free now seeking out the skinny dipping nuns,basking in the sun on the other side of Eternity – waiting for me.

You would think I would have learned…

Today a friend left in another way – didn’t die just moved on.  What more is there to say – I keep giving my heart and am reminded that love hurts.

Thank you Rich Anderson for the photograph

rivrvlogr

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Maria Michaela Poetry

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