New day for The Story Circle. Look for us here on Thursdays from here on out.
Last week, Jessie, the Jester Queen, gave us the beginning to this “trashy” mystery. She handed her literary baton to Eric of I Can’t Brain Today, I Have the Dumb, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Eric is one of the editors at the newly relaunched Studio 30+. He plays 100 Word Song, (his response to my Ashtar Command prompt was awesome), and he’s got this great short story just kicking around over there…
Without further ado, Dumpster Diving, Part Two:
Felicia waited on the stoop for Elise, knees tucked under her chin, clutching her phone in both hands. Loreta was inside, frantic as she talked to the police on the phone. She could hear her mother’s voice rising in pitch and volume as she became more agitated.
Felicia couldn’t do it. She wasn’t going to call the cops and she and Loreta argued about it all the way back to their home. Loreta had hurried inside while Felicia quietly slunk onto the stoop.
“Don’t you go anywhere!” Loreta had threatened.
Felicia had just responded with a shrug.
The distinctive rumble of Elise’s 1986 Caprice Wagon sounded from a few blocks away. Felicia stood and walked out to the sidewalk. Behind her the storm door slammed open.
“Don’t you dare go anywhere, damn you!” Loreta hollered, phone still clutched to her ear with white knuckles.
Elise pulled up while Felicia waved off her mother’s threat. Loreta ran down the walk as Felicia climbed into the car, slammed the door.
“Go,” she said to Elise.
“Felicia! No! Get back here!” Loreta was waving with both arms as Elise gunned the engine, squealing the tires and letting off a backfire like a gunshot that made Loreta jump.
Elise glanced into the rearview at the shrinking Loreta. “What the hell, Leesh?”
“Just go,” Felicia mumbled, trying to shrink into the seat.
“All right,” Elise gunned the engine and the wagon picked up speed. She turned on the radio and One Direction began blasting through the busted speakers.
“Oh my God, seriously, Elise?” Felicia flipped the radio off. “Turn that crap off.”
Elise glanced over at Felicia and the look in her eye spoke of a sarcasm to come, but she held her tongue when she saw how miserable Felicia looked. She turned the radio off.
“Leesh, you need something?” Elise said as she navigated around an old woman who was stepping off a curb. “I grabbed a few of my mom’s Xanax. You look like you could use some.”
“Yeah, sure.” Felicia mumbled.
Elise jerked her thumb over her shoulder. “In my bag.”
Felicia reached over into the backseat and grabbed the bag. She dug around for a bit looking for the pills.
“They’re in a baggie,” Elise said.
“Duh,” Felicia was digging to the bottom. “I know…” Cold steel met her finger tips. “What the…?” She pulled the Glock out of the bag. “What the hell, Elise?!”
“Jesus! Put that back!” Elise shouted and in her surprised swerved the car.
“The fuck, Elise? Is that your dad’s?” Felicia was shouting now too while Elise reached over and tried to shove the gun back into the bag.
“Yes, it’s my dad’s. Put it back,” Elise looked over at Felicia. “And find that Xanax. I could use one too now.”
Felicia put the gun back and after a bit more digging, found the baggie. It had more than one type of pill in it.
“The little purple ones.”
Felicia took two from the bag and decided not to ask what the others were. Elise was always taking her mother’s pills and sharing them with close friends. Felicia hoped that Elise knew what she was doing and didn’t get anyone hurt. The gun was something new though.
“What’s with the gun?” She asked as she handed a pill to Elise.
“Never mind,” Elise swallowed the pill. “What’s going on with you and your mom? You guys never fight like that.”
“I know,” Felicia looked out the window at the passing buildings. “Some strange shit happened this morning.”
Felicia didn’t like talking about what she did with her mother once a month, but Elise knew about it. Still, it didn’t make it any easier to talk about.
“You know that thing we do?”
“Dumpster diving? Yeah.”
“Don’t call it that!”
“It’s what it is.”
“Just…” Felicia sighed. “Whatever.” She looked down at her lap, building courage. “She…”
Elise placed a hand on Felicia’s arm. “What, Leesh?”
“Mom found a dead man in a Dumpster.”
“Oh, sweetie,” Elise said as she pulled into the parking lot of the bowling alley. The alley was closed and the lot was empty.
Elise stopped the car and shut off the engine. She took her bag from Felicia’s lap and leaned in to give her a hug. Felicia hugged her back and began to cry.
When they separated, Elise was leveling the Glock at Felicia’s chest.
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” she said. “You are my best friend and I don’t want to hurt you.”