Author: HonorableMention08 PM
No one suspected me. Good girls don't get into trouble. They had it wrong from the beginning. I was never good. *Drug usage and some mature themes*Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Drama - Chapters: 4 - Words: 8,505 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 03-09-13 - Published: 02-09-13 - id: 3099591
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The shed was made of grey sheet metal. Walls, roof, door all consisted of the same material. A giant steel lock looped through a metal latch and kept the door secure. The door was designed to be much bigger then the actual opening. Incase anyone got the urge to try and peep inside all they would see was the outer metal wall of the shed. The hinges creaked and popped as I pulled the door to me. Aluminum dryer vent hose snaked along the edges of the floor leading to the back wall. Plastic tubing and buckets scattered the dirt floor, he kept the place a mess. This was the lab. Every ounce of meth that Dad ever sold started here in this building. A gas mask that I purchased from an army surplus hung on a nail just inside. I slipped it over my face. Meth fumes are poisonous and I wasn't in the mood to get a second hand high. Donning a thick raincoat and gloves I started my process. The substance is so toxic it should turn users radioactive, make their insides glow. The body was not made to function off of the chemicals and it tries to find a way to push them out. I've never seen a pretty face use. Dad was under the impression he was finer than frog hair, despite his missing teeth, rotting skin, and habit of never showering. Dope is the only thing strong enough to make a women want to be in his company.
Long after the sun set I finished my duty. The cell phone I left sitting on my bed that morning displayed an array of messages and missed calls from Alan. I forgot to let him know I made it home. Sending a quick reply stating I just found my phone – not an outright lie – I made a mental note to be more careful. There is nothing to stop Alan from driving to my house to check on me. I took my work to the small round wooden table in the kitchen and began to count while I waited for Marshall.
Marshall is tough. His facial expression, body, the way he speaks and moves is hard. I had known him for three years. One day he mysteriously appeared. A knock came at the front door which I answered. A mistake I was reprimanded for later by Dad. He slurred strings of insults about my blatant stupidity. I'll give him that one. I don't remember what made me open the door. I knew better than to blindly welcome in a stranger. Promptly, Dad slammed the door in his face.
"Tom Hawkins." Marshall called in the deepest southern draw I'd ever heard. Words poured form his mouth like slow moving molasses. "I wanna make a deal." And they did. I never found out how he knew Dad or where we lived. But Marshall had a connection and could get supplies by the truck load from across the border. He kept to himself most of the time. Occasionally he would stay with me when Dad was on a binge and gave me rides to the store to buy food or anything else I needed.
Back in the kitchen I glanced at the clock, wouldn't be much longer. Marshall prided himself on his punctuality. I placed all the contents spread across the table into a brown paper sack and made myself comfortable in the white plastic chair that sat on the porch. A loud engine roared from the road and the familiar 70s model blue Ford Mustang turned into the driveway. It was Marshall. He had come to make an exchange and he was right on schedule.
"Where's your pops?" he asked after getting out of his car. Though the Mustang was an older model it looked like new. He had driven it for as long as I've known him and I enjoyed watching as the restoration slowly transformed the classic back to mint condition. The deep blue coat was polished so much I could see the reflection of the night sky on the hood.
"Inside. Put the stuff in the shed. Here." I answered and tossed him the bag. He cracked it open and peered inside. I could see every thought unfold in his grey eyes as he quickly scanned the contents and realized something was off.
"Looks a little low to me." That's because it was low. I didn't have all day to sit around and cook like Dad did. If I gave him what he was owed I wouldn't have enough to sell for food and pay the bills. It was a dangerous choice, but one that had to be made. All afternoon I played different scenarios in my head to prepare myself for his questions.
"Things ran a little slow today. You can come back tomorrow for more." He glared at me looking for any sign that said I was trying to rip him off. The agreement between Marshall and Dad was simple. Marshall picked up the supplies and received a combination of ice and crank for payment. He didn't use. I could tell that by his muscular build and clear complexion. He also had a great set of teeth, nearly perfect and one of the best smiles I'd ever seen, not the usual missing and blackened teeth you associate with meth mouth in users. Marshall was young. I guessed he was around twenty-one or twenty-two, and he had shaggy blond hair that he sometimes tucked behind his ears.
"I want to talk to Tom." He approached the stairs and I tried to remain calm.
"He's real busy. You'll have to catch him at a better time." I said hoping he would turn around. Earlier in my head he did, but here in real life he stood in the yard unmoving. I knew it wasn't going to be simple. Shorting Marshall was risky. Just as I depended on it to feed me and keep the lights on, so did he. And I was messing with his paycheck. In this business you don't make friends. We'd been working with Marshall, but that doesn't mean he's earned my trust, or that I've earned his. We play a delicate balancing game and each move we make affects the scale. I've tipped it in an awful direction and he knew something was up. Marshall stomped up the wooden porch steps with a look of determination cemented on his face. I pulled a shotgun from behind the chair and stood pointing it at his chest. "I said come back tomorrow."
"Look Lizard I don't take installments." He called me by my nickname and began to walk past me. I shoved the barrel into his chest. Grabbing the barrel with his hand he pulled it away. "What are you trying to do here?"
I didn't know. A war began inside of me; I couldn't make up my mind whether or not to tell him that Dad was gone. Marshall had a short temper and I doubted that he would understand my new situation. The only thing I had left to do was find a way to make him leave. I tried to jerk the barrel of the gun out of his hand but he was one step ahead of me. The stock flew from my grasp and Marshall pushed me against the side of the trailer with the shotgun pressed into my chest.
"Where's the rest of it?" he asked pressing the gun harder into me when I didn't answer. My hands tried to push it away but he was too strong. The metal began to dig into my collar bone.
"I don't have time for your games. You're going to make me late." He said sliding the shotgun up to my neck. A wheezing came from my mouth as breath struggled to get in and out. "I'm never late."
Everyone is so skittish and they have good reason to be. If you're not on time for a delivery it could mean one of two things: you got busted or you're a snitch. Either way, the law could be hot on the trail. So, many book it out of there and you lose contact with them. If Marshall was late he could lose a large amount of business. And to him that was more important than any excuse I had to offer. I tried to speak but chocked so I pointed inside the trailer. He lowered the gun from my neck but still kept me held against the wall.
"Tell me." He growled.
"Flour." That was all I could speak and it hurt to do so. He released me. I grabbed my neck and slid to the floor. The shells fell at my feet as he unloaded the gun. I guessed it was to keep from shooting me. It wouldn't have killed me anyway. They were filled with rock salt. Something Marshall taught me after my dad had been so strung out he stayed up for six days straight. The hallucinations coupled with constant paranoia made him think he saw cops sitting in an oak tree in the yard. That night he unloaded a box of shells into the empty branches, really killed those suckers. After that incident, real bullets never stayed in the house knowing that one day Dad would point the barrel at me. Rock salt would still hurt like hell, but I'd live.
Once Marshall had what he wanted, he threw the shotgun on the porch floor. I expected him to take off, but he knelt beside me. "Where's Tom?" he asked stooping so I could see his face.
"Gone." My voice was scratchy. I continually rubbed my throat, but the pain persisted.
"For how long?"
"Forever." I said. Marshall looked confused. I grabbed the shells and reloaded the gun. Standing up I pulled open the screen door and started to go inside. Marshall's hand closed around my arm. I jerked away from him but he pulled me closer.
"Did you cook this?" he asked holding up the brown paper bag. The grip he had on me tightened as I hesitated.
"Yeah. I did my best." I told him. For years I watched Dad cook and knew the recipe by heart. Dad was so careless, often doing most of the cooking when he was tweaking. A high lasts for hours and having it so readily available meant there were few seconds of the day he spent sober. Marshall shouldn't worry about the quality of what I gave him. I knew what I was doing.
"You shouldn't. Where's Tom?" he asked again.
"I told you already."
"Did he say where he was going?"
I pulled away from him freeing my arm, "He didn't say anything."
"So you think you can keep this up huh? You're going to do this all by yourself?" His doubts didn't waiver me.
"What other choice do I have?"
Marshall's jaw relaxed, softening the look of his entire face. I'd seen this look many times before, pity. As quick as it came it left. "Well I'll be back. Better get to work."
Marshall came back later that night. When I questioned his reappearance he replied, "Lizard I depend on this just as much as you do. There ain't room for error."
"I know what I'm doing. You think Dad had the smarts to run this by himself?"
He didn't answer my question. Something about Marshall was different. Earlier in the night he was chocking me, demanding I give him his share, and then he comes to my house and talks like he wants to help. It had to do with money. He wanted more. Now that Dad was out of the picture, he saw a place to slide in and make more profit.
"You can do what you want. I only want enough to pay bills. I'll handle that myself and what I owe you for supplies." I said.
"Wait for me before you start to sell anything. Tom's not here to protect you now." I scoffed at his words. Dad never protected me from anything. When he wasn't in the lab he was ordering me around or out selling. Often he took me with him, hiding the meth inside my backpack. "Whether you believe it or not he was a feared man. Don't go 'round mentioning he left. And always go up the hill. Never do anything at the house."
There was another small trailer up the road from where I lived. A pretend home. It had all the fixings of what a cabin should have incase anyone decided to snoop. But it was used maybe once a week. The only way to get to it was by hiking along a narrow trail.
"So are we partners or something now?" I asked. Marshall had removed his jacket and was sitting in the recliner.
"As long as you do as I say." He pointed to the shotgun that was leaning against the wall by the back door, "You might ought to think about putting real bullets in that."