06 July 2012

"The Visitor" #Fridayflash

Yet more from my 27 WIP: 
Previous chunks found first here and here. - CC

Tiffany had her kit out and looked like she was about to shoot up anyway. She was still in a towel and Nine Inch Nails was still playing even though that album was from ’eighty-nine. It was my CD. I guess now it was hers. Just like anything else within her reach. My sister was supposed to have all of this stuff. Maybe she didn’t want it. Maybe she hadn’t been contacted yet.

She snapped off the tourniquet and lay back against the sofa, her gaze looking somewhere into outer space. She licked her lips and swallowed. Curious, I went to stand in front of her. Her gaze shifted to meet mine and a small smile crossed her lips.

“Well, hello there…” she drawled.

I shook my head. Of course she would see me all fucked up. “You’re in my house.”

“Uh huh.” She closed her eyes and rolled her head around on her neck. “This is what I need.”

“What happened, Tiffany?” I crouched beside her and she peeked one eye at me. 

“Pretty easy…you OD’d. Pills, whatever, man. I tried to help you. I put you on your side and you vomited and bled, and I was fucked up too, baby.”

What about the sex we had after? And then she was looking into my fridge. I stood again. She was zoned out. I wouldn’t get anything else out of her, but at least I knew how to make her see me. It was always said drugs opened our minds. I guess that included eyes too.  

There was a knock at the door. I peered through the peephole. It was the creepy guy from the cemetery, Stein. He grinned, and the door swung open. I had to step back out of the way.

 “Mind if I come in? Of course you don’t.” He stepped forward and shook my hand in greeting. His skin was hot, like a stovetop when the oven was on. He even sported a little scruff on his chin and no tie. He indicated the dinette set and pulled a chair out for me. “Sit.”

I did as requested and he took a chair across from me. We regarded one another for a few moments before he spoke. 

“I’ve put this off for a day to think on what I want to do with you.”

I sat back in my chair and rested my palms on the tops of my thighs. “Who are you, exactly?”

Stein smiled and pulled a pack of cigarettes from the inside of his jacket. He tossed them on the table. I glanced from the pack to him in question.

“Go ahead. I know you smoked. May as well stay comfortable. I don’t think they’ll kill you again.” He chuckled softly.

A book of matches was tucked in the cellophane. I slid it out, pulled out a slim, white cigarette and struck one of the blue-tipped matches to produce an equally blue flame. Stein slid a heavy glass ashtray my direction. 

“Now, let me get to why I’m here. About a week ago, you died en route to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. A shot was administered to your heart to try to jumpstart you, but you were already on the outside looking in by that time. Do you remember?”


“See, my main aspirations are hot hookers and blow, sometimes at the same time.” He laughed. “But my job is to make sure you get where you need to be now.”

“So you’re an angel.”

“Wrong. Angels can’t interfere with the free will of humans. Or just drop down to earth without a damned good reason. No, son, I’m the one that every man, woman and child, and any variation thereof waits for.”

“Death.” The cigarette didn’t taste like it used to, but the simple familiarity of holding it between my fingers and breathing out the smoke was comforting.

“Close. I’m the fellow that shows up along with. I get confused with Big D, but no, I’m nothing that grand, although I have a comprehensive benefits package.”

“Grim Reaper?” I couldn’t help but laugh. “I expected a faceless figure…”

“In a robe? With a big fucking scythe?” Stein mimicked holding the weapon and covered his face. He laid his hands on the table again, only to lace his fingers. “Too passé. Times have changed, and so have I.”

“So what’s this got to do with me?” I crushed my cigarette into the ashtray to extinguish it.

“Keep the pack.” Stein nodded at my hand covering the box. His gaze returned to meet mine. His eyes were dark, like they’d been at the gravesite. “I’d love to take you, Ren, but the truth is you might be somebody else’s. Point is, you have to stay here for a little while longer. Try not to haunt too many folks, eh son?”

“And do what? Just hang around?”

Stein shrugged. “Whatever comes to mind. Need a job? Look around you. There’s plenty to do. Just remember the rules of the dead.”

I frowned. “Rules?”

Stein laughed and waved a hand at me dismissively. “Everything has rules, you know that. Our rules are a little stricter than most because instead of fining you a fee, we’ll just send your ass straight to Gehenna.”


Tim VanSant Writes said...

I think Ren may be up to some mischief soon. This installment has a lighter feel than the first two.

Icy Sedgwick said...

SQUEE! You must write more of this, lady.

Tony Noland said...

I hate jobs where you have to figure out the rules on your own.

John Wiswell said...

The Grim Reaper seems to be hiring a lot lately, yet I never get a call. What's up with that?

Larry Kollar said...

I'm with Tony. The stakes are pretty high here, too!

This looks like it's going to be fun to keep up with.

Dorothy F. Shaw said...

Awesome! Strong as always.

Deanna Schrayer said...

This is just getting better and better Carrie. Can't wait for the next installment!

Sulci Collective said...

Bubbling up nicely carrie!

marc x

John Pender said...

I want to know what kind of mischief he gets into!

Sonya said...

"I don't think they'll kill you again." - ha!

I am really loving this and can't wait to see where you take Ren.

Adam B said...

Stein seems like a real jerk, but somehow kinda cool. Loved these excerpts.
Adam B @revhappiness