Posted: December 1, 2013 in Fiction
Tags: , ,

“That’s to go”

“Turkey Club, walking,” the woman barked over her shoulder. Turning back, but never raising her eyes from the salt shakers she was filling, she asked, “You want anything with that? Fries? A soda?”

“I’m good.” Dawna pushed the crumpled ten across the counter and held out an upturned palm for her change.

The woman, sighed, noticeably annoyed, and began punching buttons on the register, still refusing to acknowledge her customer with as much as a glance.

Bitch, Dawna thought. You with your broken veins all over your ugly face and your rolls of fat hanging over your apron. You, working the graveyard shift at a greasy diner in the middle of Butt-Fuck, Minnesota and you’re too good to look at me? It would have been satisfying to have said it out loud, but some attitudes were too big to change with a razor-sharp tongue. Bitch probably went home and couldn’t raise her little pig eyes to see herself in the mirror, either. Bitch could live with that shit.

The sandwich was for Moon, named after Keith Moon by a father who worshipped the Wild Man of Rock and Roll, a father who was angry and bitter because he could never party as hard nor die as young. Moon’s mother had died when he was still a baby, discovered in her bed with a needle in one arm, and her infant son in the other. The boy lived in the apartment across the hall, and they had become friends of sorts – the type of friends that nodded to each other in the hallway and never mentioned the violent noises that emanated from behind closed doors.

Moon was only seven, old enough to suspect he’d been dealt a shit hand right out of the starting gate, but still too young to understand what a bitch that was. Yesterday had been Thanksgiving. According to the boy, he had celebrated by watching his father watch football, drink beer, and occasionally talk on phone – monosyllabic bits of grunting conversation with the word “muthafucker” popping up for color on a regular basis. There was also a cake with a turkey iced onto the top, picked up from the grocery, the only hint that this Thursday was different from any other day.

Dawna wanted him to have a turkey sandwich. She couldn’t explain why; she rarely understood most of what she did or had done throughout the course of her life. What she did know was that at 32, she was almost used up – used up by alcohol, and drugs, and men who wielded their cocks as brutally as they did their fists. The extra shifts at the factory, the place where the ache of her bones and the sweat that soaked her uniform were transubstantiated into loaves of bread, provided her enough income to carry on – to carry and occasionally buy Moon a turkey sandwich.

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow, that’s really a visceral piece. Made my heart ache for both Moon and Dawna.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. This started out as a piece of stand alone flash fiction, but I’m really intrigued by these two characters and think I need to get to know them better.

  2. Oh man, pretty damn great. Fantastic style, love the tone.

  3. I like your style, but I have to admit I felt worse for the waitress being mentally berated by Dawna than for Dawna. Maybe she was having a really shitty day.

    • I felt bad for her, too!!! I hate being mean to characters, but I thought it was really important to make it clear that Dawna, although she had a soft spot for Moon, was basically not a very nice person. Thank you for reading and commenting :).

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