Renegades In Paradise

November 15, 2008
By Landie Bradford, Tampa, FL

As soon as I creaked open the grimy door, the sound of her disgusting voice summoned me, as if I were some mangy dog. The way her voice cracked made her come off as a dying cat, with a vocal cord about to collapse. “Lilium baby . . .”, she coughed, a smoker’s cough, spitting up tar, “would you mind getting’ me a beer ‘er two? Oh, oh, oh, and runnin’ down to the store and buyin’ me some smokes?” I glared at her blond, greasy, shoulder-length hair that covered half her face and wondered how long it’d been since she’d showered. The age lines sagged skin in every crease visible, which made the running Cover Girl look even worse.

There were times like these, when I would just sit back and examine the old tramp. I would make an equation of it all, and look for a new sum.
Ugly Old Hag wrinkles fat=R, and R (-hygiene)
Therefore, R equaling Revolting.

I’d reconstructed the equation many times but, the associative property always won. I’ve changed, and added characteristics, that too, failed me. And that led me to believe that there was only one word in the entire world, that should have been her real name ; Revolting.

I’d plundered down under, into thesauruses, yet nothing described her smell, her breath, her presence more than ‘Revolting’. She was just . . . . Nauseating.

Me teeth clamped together and, my lips opened in a slit to mumble, “I’m not old enough to purchase any form of tobacco . . .” Revolting forced out another cough, killing the awkward silence, and wiped away the saliva from around her chapped, cracking lips. “W-w-w-wait, yo-you’re not? But, baby, I thought your birthday was two weeks ago . . . ” I narrowed my eyes, and slumped my posture. “That was your brothers funeral. That you didn’t go to,” She started talking again, but to herself. I turned away, and dragged my filthy converse against the stained hallway carpet to my bedroom, which in reality, was basically a giant closet.

I lifted a foot and kicked at the door, watching it slam back against the wall. Hoisting my book bag off my shoulder, I threw it carelessly to a corner ; knocking over a stack of CD’s “Aw dammit . . . . “, I mumbled, and plopped down into the floor to start re-alphabetizing them, when a pocket somewhere started to vibrate. I looked around, in all the pockets I could remember I was wearing and fingered for a phone. I emptied out my pockets, pulling a piece of ‘Attention Grabbing Bright Orange’ paper. I un-crumpled it, and examined a picture of an un-proportionally drawn crystal ball, along with the text :
Reading Palms and Confessing Destinies Since 1924

Under that there was an address that I didn’t bother to read. I tucked untamed bangs behind my ears and sighed, rolling my eyes at the paper, “What on earth?” and crumbled it back up, tossing it somewhere behind me. I was looking for my cell phone still, when it conveniently started to vibrate again. I searched for it deeply in a front pocket, finally revealing it to the dimness of the room and swiveled it open.

“What, what, what do you want?!” I yelled into it.
“Oh wow. . . Hi Lilium,”
“Oh heh, hi Xheano. So, what’d yo-”
“Hey look, it’s Friday.. And well, I’m bored. We should like, go somewhere, eh?”
I shook my head and dropped my forehead into my palm.
“But dude, I like, just got home.”
“Alright. That’s cool. I’ll be there in a few.”
The phone clicked, and I held it away, looking at it, reading the ‘Call Ended’ text, and shoved it back into my pocket.

“Man, that kid is on something. . .” I sighed, and stood up, struggling over to the tiny bit of mirror I had left on the wall. I looked at my ears, to make sure all the rings were still in place and at my nose, checking for the silver gleam. The clock said it was three forty-seven PM, meaning it had already been ten minutes since the kid called me. I peered through a shattered antique window, spotting a hot, slick Ferrari. I watched as all the gangsters outside, pimping their rides, ceased whatever they were doing to watch it drive by.

“Lilium! Lilium! I need you now!”, there was a pause like she expected me to answer. “Lilium!” I heard her cough some more after that one, and voice grew harsher, almost a growl, “Lilium!”

I slowly pushed my door open, and stood at the end of the hall, “What? What do you want now?” I tip-toed down the hall, and stood where she could see me. A smile lit her face, and showed yellow-stained teeth. I inched my way backwards, slowly, eventually leaning on the door of freedom. She wiped the corners of her eyes before speaking, “Could you go into the drawer and get me some of them needles? B-because your uncle Stan should be home soon.” I grabbed a hold of the handle, hearing foot steps on the other side of the door approaching.

Ah yes, great old uncle Stan. Actually, he was quite sick also. In fact, his well-being was a big pet-peeve. He was short, and happily plump, with jet black hair, always combed back. It was the year 2011, and he was still trying to pull of that pathetic 1920’s gangster look, constantly smoking big round blunts. He claimed to be related to Al Capone several times, and was the owner of a rip-off car dealer.

Revolting had leaned down, and pulled a fake Chanel bag out from under the couch. She started digging deeply, finally pulling out a zip-lock bag with a certain substance of which I did not wish to be aware of. The door bell rang, and I turned the bronze knob, to open it and disappear.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Swoon Reads

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!