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MEAT MARKET

500 Club time! If you want to play, the prompts are here. Here’s my contributory flash for this week.

MEAT MARKET

The bag of groceries smashed on the ground between us. A confetti of broken eggs splattered onto the parking lot.

“Get your hands off me.” I said, jerking out of her grasp. I stooped to gather up the tattered plastic sack before she saw what was in the bottom of it.

Sara’s face was shiny, red, as she loomed above me. She always wore heels, even to stand out on the back patio for a cigarette.

“I’m warning you. I’m serious.”

“I didn’t do anything,” I said, shoveling a box of granola bars back into the bag. Egg stringed from my fingers. I curled my lip and tried to wipe my hand on the pavement, which only added a fine coat of dirt.

“We both know that’s not true. So quit it.”

That was enough. I stood. “Reality check- I’m the one who just got assaulted, sweetheart.” I brandished my ruined bag at her. One of the handles snapped and I swallowed a scream and caught it in both hands.

“I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to hear about you. I don’t like you.”

“Fine.” I resumed walking to my car.

“I don’t like you!” she shouted.

Don’t respond. She just wants to fight- it feeds her. Anger makes her vibrate, makes her feel alive. I know, I used to be her.

But now? Now I wear a different face.

I got into my car, watched her walk into the store. If she was having another barbeque, she’d be going to talk to Ed. Maybe she’d even talk to him about me as he weighed out her 80/20.

I could see him in my mind, slapping down chuck, letting her look at the ribs. Watching her face, because that’s one of the things Ed did. One of the reasons I liked him.

“Well, what do you know, Flo? You look like you’re ready to go kick some chickens in the teeth.”

And she’d laugh. And maybe she would tell him then, about seeing me in the parking lot. Not about the bruises she gave me, of course. No one ever heard about the bruises Sara left behind her, tracks on my arm like footprints in snow. But maybe she would tell him we were fighting, and maybe he would shake his head, and lean over the edge of the sparkling glass meat counter, and tell her what I bought.

I blinked back to life, keys unturned in the ignition. I’d better hurry.

Dogs howled as I walked to my door. Stupid things. Not supposed to have dogs in this complex anyway.  But no one ever cares about the rules. My knees buckled, just for a second, as I locked the door behind me. I closed the blinds,  lit the candles. Even Glade would do in a pinch.

I set the bag on the counter, reached inside. There, leaking and stained, but still there. I pulled it out, white butcher paper crinkling in my fingers, and got a knife to cut the twine.

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2 Comments

  1. InkGwen wrote:

    Haha…Nice. I was going to use eggs in my story, too. Might need to switch it up since you beat me to it! ;)

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink
  2. Aheila wrote:

    Very intriguing story! I like the relationship between the characters; the implied history between two protagonists and the fact that the butcher is somehow in on it. It conveys a feeling of small town though the setting isn’t mentionned.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

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