Posted by Suze Appleton on Friday, May 17, 2013 Under: Short fiction
This story was inspired by words suggested by the excellent Cakeshortandsweet blog by Sarah Grace Logan in her online Wednesday short story challenge. Thanks Sarah.
The prompts were chloroform, banana split, crackers, stench, shoestring budget
Margo clutched the chloroform bottle under her coat as she bustled along the dark, dismal street, darker in places where the howling gale had blown out the gas lamps. The rain pelted at her face and stung with every drop. Her thin coat was soaked through too but on her shoestring budget she knew she had a stark choice and she was sure this expense would be worth it. She muttered to herself as she forced her way around the corner where the wind dropped slightly.
'I can do it! I've got to do it! It's tonight or never, no backing out now. If 'e finds out what I've done, 'e'll kill me for sure. It's me or 'im so I 'aven't got a choice, 'ave I?'
Unseeing she stumbled on a large black shape at the side of the pavement. Fortunately it was soft, if soaking wet, and cushioned her fall.
'Eh! What? Is that you Mary? What you doin' out on a night like this? You'd be better in the warehouse over yonder with the others,' said Margo.
'Not a chance, dearie,' rasped back an old voice from the depths of the rags. 'There's such a stench coming from there that I'd rather sit out here under the stars. Y'know me and confinement don't do well together. But the smell, pooh! It's worse than anything I ever smelt.'
Margo wiped the rain out of her eyes as she wondered what smell could be worse than Mary on a hot summer's evening.
'Any roads,' continued Mary, 'it's foreign muck 'n that's diff'rent, y'see. It might be poisonous for all we know so I'm not taking a chance. It's them bananies, y'see. A huge crate o' them spilt open and they's rotten, rotten and high as anything. So y' see, I'm better off out here under God's good rain what was intended to fall here, not getting poisoned in there by them unnat'ral smells. Not normal it ain't.'
Margo gave up trying to persuade her to move, and it crossed her mind to wonder which God Mary thought was responsible for the bananas. She couldn't afford the luxury of time to take care of her tonight but tomorrow she would come and check on Mary to see how she was. Tomorrow she would be free but right now she had urgent business and if she wasn't home when Bill called for his beer and crackers there would be hell to pay. No more, she vowed silently as she climbed the flights of stairs to their shack on the roof, no more after tonight. Tonight he would get a little extra with his crackers and tomorrow... Tomorrow would be different.
In : Short fiction
Tags: cakeshortandsweet "sarah grace logan" chloroform "banana split" crackers "shoestring budget" stench