Little Shut-Eye by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Sweet Jesus, what’s that boy doing in there – taking a bubble bath? This one’s weird, cleaning himself before and after, but now he’s gotta go, before Keshon comes for his money. I strap on my new shoes, all glittery red. They make my legs look real good. “A gift for my best sugar doll,” Keshon said. Well he better find himself another doll cuz I’m outta here, mama’s gonna take my sorry ass back. I rub the locket she gave me, for luck, my only goodness inside, and stretch on the mattress for a little shut-eye.
In between ambulances the medic mutters, “Worse than fucking Afghanistan.” I’ve no idea, all I know is I’m 36 hours straight running triage on gang-bangers ODing on whatever crap they shoot up their veins. I need some goddamn sleep, but gurneys line the hall from here to Timbuktu, this one with a ridiculous red shoe wedged between sheeted feet. Still conscious, brown eyes stare at me, wide, scared. I should pat her hand, comfort her but there’s no time, another ambulance pulled into the bay. Besides, with all those stab wounds no way I’m betting on her odds anyway.
He studies the body, measures the depth and width of each slash. The camera flashes. No ID, no clothes, clean tox screens, just like the other prostitutes in the mortuary. Only a single stiletto and a necklace. He photographs the infant smiling from the locket before pressing his hand over the dead girl’s open eyes.

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Filed under Linda Simoni-Wastila

6 responses to “Little Shut-Eye by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. This so well-written; it hurt to read.

  2. Powerful story with great images, those shoes will stay with me.

  3. Al McDermid

    She decides to end ‘the life’ only to have hers ended first. ‘Just one more time, and then . . .’ is a great device that nonetheless saddens me. Excellent piece.

  4. The switch of pov threw me for a second but made the harsh reality that more jarring. Remarkable.

  5. Thank you all for reading. This came from a larger collaborative piece I was writing, and I used the prostitute character here. A lot of fun, and a gerat challenge to condense to ~250 words. Peace…

  6. Pingback: Week #15 – Sleep « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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