Hell Dust

The sloppy trainer on his right foot kept slipping off because the lace was missing and the movement was agitating the blister on his heel.  Mickey was cold in just the long sleeved t shirt he’d worn for the past 3 days and he felt edgy.  His mouth was dry and the half bottle of tepid water couldn’t sate the baked feeling in his mouth.   He kept his head down as he walked furtively through the streets, watching his right foot curl up on every tread in an attempt to keep his shoe on his foot.  His breathing was hard.  He couldn’t seem to get enough air into his lungs but he could smell the grime and disgrace seeping from his clothes.  His mobile buzzed in his jeans pocket and as he pulled it out he saw on the screen it was Chantelle.  Not what he was hoping for. He pressed decline.  It rang again and he continued to ignore it.  The texts shortly followed.

Answer your phone Mickey.”

Answer me or I’ll come find u

Again, the buzz reverberated in his pocket.  Fuck.

What? what’s your deal Chan, you fuckin’ stalker.” The fingers of his free hand subconsciously stroked his back pocket, feeling the crumpled paper inside.  Safe.

“Where’s my money, Mickey?  WHERE’S MY MONEY?!”  She screamed down the phone.

He wanted to reach through the mobile and grab her by the throat. The pitch in her voice was enough to send a saint into a sociopathic killing spree.

“ Shut your whore mouth.  I ‘aint got your money.”  

Mickey could feel the sweat prickling his forehead like tiny insect bites and his nose was running. He wiped it on his sleeve and his forearm felt tender from the bruising. 

Chantelle was crying now; a mixture of despair and anger coming through her sobs.  He felt the background sensation of self loathing but not enough to do the right thing. 

“Babe.  I swear I don’t have it.  You’ve put it somewhere. Stop givin’ me grief girl, don’t need the drama.”

She called him a lying prick and hung up.  He stared at the screen and gave a derisive snort.  Fuck her. What was the point?  What was the point in anything, it all turns to shit anyway. 

He turned down Jacko’s alley without looking up from the gum splattered pavement. His body knew where to go without thinking about it.  Big H was already there, leaning his bulk against the graffitied door.  Mickey walked up and fist bumped him and slid his scrawny length beside him, kicking the burnt foil and debris away from his feet as he reached into his back pocket and handed over the moolah; the fistful of twenty’s he’d taken earlier from Chantelle’s vintage sugar bowl.  The one that she’d kept as an heirloom from her Gran and used as a savings pot.  Sugar money.
Big H was already heating up.  

Mickey rolled up his sleeve.  The faded green ink of Chantelle’s name wrapped around his forearm, intermixed with scabs and contusions, bore the sickening representation of his reality.   He leaned forward and pulled the other lace from his trainer, catching the sullied string on the eyelets as he yanked it in haste with trembling fingers.  All that mattered now was the freedom.  Freedom and borrowing some fun from the future.

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