The words over at Three Word Wednesday are crush, knack and varied.
She hadn’t had a hit in hours; the twist in her guts was like a schoolgirl’s crush, but sour like bile.
She hugged her knees to her chest on broken concrete steps littered with cigarette butts and bits of wind-torn plastic. The landing was dark, the only light shed by a bare bulb in the hall that was the only sign that the big Victorian wasn’t vacant and abandoned, like all the others on the block.
The slivers of leaded glass in the oak door had long ago been kicked and punched free; bits of yellowed newspaper covered the holes and swelled and pulsed with the breeze, a dying patient in an already dead neighborhood.
Her eyes, once brilliant hazel, were sunken, hollow. A sore on her lip that never healed; the place where the hot crack pipe delivered its sweet relief.
There’s a smell about her, sweat, dirt, despair. She knows this and there is a tiny square of shame about it that the drugs can’t seem to dissolve.
Her 18th birthday is next week and she’s planning to take one more hit and that’s it. Then it’s back home to Kansas, Dorothy, back to school, back away from the streets. Yeah, she thought, one more hit. One more. And shuffle on down the road.
The drugs hadn’t pushed away all the plans. Not just yet.
But then, she had a knack for big dreams when she tripped. Lives varied upon the day, how much she was able to score. In them, she wasn’t emancipated, a talking skeleton with brown, picket-fenced teeth. She ate in fancy places, with real silver, and not that cheap, sugary bagged cereal – stale mostly – with water instead of milk. Milk’s hard to boost and, well, it cost money and money is for drugs, silly rabbit.
She released her legs, stretched them to their full length. She put a filthy hand on a bent metal rail, brought herself to standing. She scanned the block slowly, knowing what she had to do. It still bothered her, and that gave her hope.
The men who shuffled like zombies liked it even more then drugs, needed it. Their sex, their money.
Her last hit.