Friday, October 05, 2012

Just a bit of fun, fall fiction

The Deal

Head colds are a little like street drugs. They make you feel like you're somewhere else, like you're looking through plastic-wrap and listening through walls. A head cold can go smooth, just like you wanted, or it can plummet into a bad trip, like with acid or PCP. Head colds can be short and cheap or way more lasting than you'd planned for. People take the risks with street drugs, but most wouldn't visit the local head cold dealer. You're one of the few who do.

You have to wake up early, step lightly down the stairs, quietly close the front door. It's a bit of a walk, but you think, it's worth it. Can you see that seedy guy yet, the one hunched over in the corner between the two tenements, collar of his jeans jacket pulled up to his ears, face down, breathing warm air into his t-shirt?

"Hey dude," you say quietly, sidling up beside him. "You got some for me?"

He doesn't look at you. "How much you want?"

"How much you charging?"

"Thirty for the general--get you out of chores for a few days. Twenty more if you want the fever, couple days off from work."

"I'll take the thirty."

"You sure you don't want the whole package?"

"Yeah. I'm out of sick time, but the wife has really been getting on me this week. Can't deal with it anymore, you know what I mean?"

He shrugs and takes the small package out of his pocket. His hands move so slowly, they don't seem to move at all. He's an expert.

He wants the money before he gives you the stuff.

You're not as smart as he is. Your hands move too fast and they shake. You exchange cash for a cold, take two quick steps back onto the sidewalk and smack right into someone.

"What? Is that you? Honey! What are you doing out here? You said you were working on the basement today!"

You look back.

The dealer has disappeared.

Katherine Gotthardt 
October 5, 2012
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