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Eating Worm

Page 5 of 6

Oh, you’re up,” said a disinterested nurse. “You gave us quite a scare.”

Gravy snapped out of her thoughts. The nurse was getting ready to test her temperature and blood pressure.

“So, do you have a name? I suppose it is too much to think that you have insurance.”

“Don’t you have my wallet?” Gravy asked.

The nurse smiled, but it wasn’t friendly, just condescending. “You came in with some ripped clothes, and that was it. If you ever had a wallet, it's gone now.” Gravy immediately thought that she might have been raped while she was out, but the nurse continued, “You were lucky that you found when you were. A lot worse could have happened to a girl like you.” Gravy didn’t know what that specifically meant, but she supposed it meant something like, “a small, suburban white girl like you.”

She could kick this nurse’s ass, she thought to herself, but said nothing as the nurse finished what she was doing and walked away, leaving Gravy again to her thoughts. The words from her dead father played in her thoughts. “There is only one person to blame.”

That would have to be Crush, she thought. That fucking idiot got her into this. She watched the IV drip, while silently cursing Crush. Drip, he should be here, not her. Drip, he’s the one who wanted to score the dope. Drip, she wanted to quit two month ago. Drip, it’s been ruining her life, drip, but each time she insists that she is quitting, drip, he works her into getting more. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip, and if he ever hits her again, drip, she’s going to hit back. Drip. Drip, why does she think she loves him? Drip, he’s cute, but so messed up. Drip, she can’t even hold down a job. Drip... drip... drip...

“I think I really fucked up this time, Gravy,” said Crush in the thoughts between the drips of the IV. “I tried to OD before you got back.”

“Well, you’re going to have to wait a while, Crush,” she sighed. “I’m stuck out here.”

Crush’s skin appeared blue. She reached out and touched it, feeling it cold, like marble. She could see his veins, an even richer blue, and in one a needle was stuck. He tried to pull it out, but he couldn’t. “Yeah, I think it’s stuck,” he said.

“So what happened?” Gravy asked.

“Well, nothing, I guess. I OD’d, and now I’m dead. You never came back to find me.”

Gravy laughed. “Oh, you’re going to blame me? You sent me out to get us a fix, and it is my fault that you're dead?”

Crush looked dejected, “C’mon baby, don’t you love me anymore?”

“Don’t pull that shit with me, Willard,” Gravy moaned. “I loved you throughout all your crap,” she paused, “or at least I thought I did. But now, you’ve fucked up, and you’ve got to accept the responsibility for that.”

Crush began to fade before Gravy’s thoughts. As he did, he said, “I guess your right, baby. I’d like to say that I’m going to miss you, but I’m dead. I don’t think I’ll miss anybody.”

“So what else is new?” murmured Gravy. The nurse returned with a clipboard and began rattling off questions for Gravy to answer. Obviously not liking what answers Gravy was giving her, she finished with a quick, “Thank you,” and walked away. Gravy was going to ask her for some food, but she didn’t get the chance.

Maybe she should call someone, she thought to herself. She could call her ex-fiancée. She knew that he would come running to her, help her in her need, but she also knew that Grace was as dead as her father and Crush. She would be using him just to get out of that hospital. He would never be able to accept Gravy, and Gravy couldn’t deal with him. Her list of potential saviors was short, beginning and ending with her ex, so she abandoned the idea of calling out for help.

She turned her thoughts to where to go after leaving the hospital, sure that they would kick her out in the morning. She still had some friends on the Island, but most were little better off than she was, and she didn’t want to go back to that. She would have to get into a rehab program, because soon some serious withdrawal symptoms were going to kick in. Thinking about this made her wonder why she didn’t have any then. Maybe, yawn, it was something in the IV.

Gravy began to fall asleep.

She dreamt about a beautiful young girl who had her whole life in front of her. Gravy was very jealous of this girl. She looked at the other’s body, which was lean from bicycling through the park. Gravy was thin from malnutrition. Her ribs were plainly visible. Her eyes were sunken. By comparison, the other girl’s eyes were bright and full of energy. This other girl seemed happy just to be alive. Gravy couldn’t understand why this girl was so happy. Life sucks, she tried to tell her. It is filled with betrayal and greed and hurt.

The other girl smiled. There was nothing but pure joy in the smile. It told Gravy that even though she thinks that, it was beautiful that she can think at all. The other girl never said a word, but she spoke of sunlight through leaves, of a symphony, of first kisses, of chocolate, of finding a long-lost stuffed animal you swore you threw out. Gravy couldn’t take the brunt of all this happiness and began to cry. The other girl never broke her smile.

Gravy hated this girl. She punched her and stuck needles into her. She grabbed a gun and raped the other girl with it. Through the blows and the blood, the other girl smiled and smiled, happy for life, happy to be alive.

Gravy was smart, though. If this girl were happy because of life, Gravy would have to take that away from her. It was the only thing to do. Holding the gun to the other's temple, she pulled back on the trigger and watched as blood and brains splattered across the wall beyond. The other girl was dead. Her long blonde hair was matted in bloody clump. She was scratched and bruised, a useless thing. And no longer happy to be alive. Gravy won.

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January 2000 © Jonathan Russell

MacPhoenix: Creative: Stories

Read on: WebSpace | Lounge | Tech | Portal | Blog | Swag | About

Creative-Types: c  l  a  r  i  t  y | Jim | Jonathan | rich(e)rich | Scott

Projects: Lingua Shapta