The words for this week's ten word challenge were: parasite, meals on wheels, crows, it's my fault, everything but the kitchen sink, on sale, patriotism, the love of my life, library card, common sense And for the mini: blackmail, California, stethoscope, postage, crank
Here’s my mega offering:
No exceptions to the rule. Everyone plays the fool.
Elisa delivered meals on wheels in the Tenderloin on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Whenever she arrived at Cecelia’s apt, all bets were off. The cats would scatter, making way for a seemingly reasonable woman in a Greenpeace sweat shirt and faded jeans. Invariably it would come down to accusing Elisa of spying for the city, stealing her canes and malevolently displacing the russet heirloom curtains in her living room. Elisa would catch a flash of feral tabby tale and set the hot meal on the welcome mat.
Elisa’s family disparaged her for the “bleeding heart” tendencies which they claimed exposed her to every brand of unfettered abuse from parasites that sucked the system dry. Why afford charity to every crank in the white pages? they argued.
Elisa knew from hard scrabble experience who the true parasites were. In fact she had assembled a most wanted list. Wanted for deception. Wanted for willful cruelty. Wanted for grand larceny. Wanted for extortion. Wanted for false pretense. Wanted for spreading rumors. Wanted for blackmail. They wore masks that barely covered their identities.. Brother. Fiancé . Mama. They proposed marriage. They offered to fix your plumbing when there was nothing wrong with it. They borrowed books on your library card. They advanced at your expense. The overdue notices accrued on your account. “It’s my fault” for not remembering, you surmised.
Parasites on every corner who use everything but the kitchen sink: patriotism, self help and god to deceive and betray. They had the best intentions. “It’s my fault.” Mea culpa. It takes a while to catch on.
He was the love of my life you insist. He was a vulnerable child abused in a California cult. “It’s my fault” for not loving him fiercely enough. It only takes an entry level stethoscope to diagnose the pathology. Ultimately common sense prevails.
Tuesday rolls around. Elisa sees Cecilia again. This time she advances a little further. Catches a glimpse of the crowded entryway, visibly piled with expired library books. Pearl Buck. Profiles in Courage. Crates of 78’s, and a fortress of pocketbooks. Keys to long lost locks, RKO tickets, lipstick.
Crows gather in prayer. Penance is on sale postage paid.