Slinthead

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Chapter 6- Bitter

Chapter 6

Florence Walker

I guess I should be grateful Mom didn’t beat me into a pulp. I was fortunate that it was a Sunday, and school was tomorrow. Mom locked me in my room, with my dead phone, and stale salt crackers. Awesome, isn’t it?

“Florence! I want you to clean out this whole house. There’s a junk sale at Goodwinds, and I want my moneys-worth. GET UP!” Mom shouted from the bottom of the stairs.

I threw a silent rage on my bed and got up. I traipsed down the stairs to see Mom standing at the bottom of the stairs, her arms crossed. Her red hair was matted and dry, and her swollen belly was sticking out from her bright orange tank top.

“Finally. You can start on the porch. Don’t interrupt me.” Mom said, pushing a broom into my hands.

In the kitchen, I saw a random hippie dude eyeing me hungrily. I shivered and went to start at the porch.

It was a pretty warm day-- mothers pushed children on their strollers, and joggers passed by. I pushed the porch chairs away, and plopped the most salvageable items into a bag.

I kicked over a porch chair, when my foot connected with a hard metal item.

“Shit!” I cursed silently, massaging my toe. I pushed over the chair to investigate what could've hurt me so bad.

The porch landed on its side with a thud. I stared at the metal object.

It was a camera.

I stopped breathing for a second. Five seconds. Ten seconds.

The camera was cleverly hidden, but was still pointed at an angle so anyone entering or leaving the house would be seen.

Panic seized me. I ran back into the house.

“MOM! Did you put cameras on the porch-” I started.

Mom was playing a drunk game of Monopoly with the man, her torso off and her chest exposed.

"MOM! What the hell!"

"Honey, don't act like it's not a natural part of life. Birds do it. Animals do it. Humans do it. Mom cooed.

The man made appreciative groans.

"You said there isn't any meat in the house, Susan? Well I see some..." The man said, eyeing me.

I groaned in disgust and ran out into the porch. I picked up any items worth selling, and quickly went up to my room to pick out unwanted clothing.

The camera issue would have to wait.

*-*

I probably looked like some teenager Santa, having a large red bag painfully resting on my shoulder. People on the other side of the sidewalk stared at me, and I stared down at my feet shamefully. Much to my relief, I reached Goodwins Closet, the place where teens like me dumped their clothing and items and got serious cash.

I opened the double doors, and I heard the soft music playing, and saw mothers picking out clothing for their children. I rushed over to the customer service center, and I was glad it was vacant for the most part.

“Next.” The woman said after a while.

I dumped my bag on the counter, and she raised her eyebrows.

"I’d like to know how much I could get for all of this.” I said.

She sighed, and started picking the items tentatively, as if she was scared of contracting a disease. A line was forming behind me. By the time she cleared off the whole bag, checking for brand names, she started calculating on her cashier screen.

“Well, that’s a good bit of money.” She said to me.

She printed out the receipt, then handed it to me. I felt giddy.

Total received: $10.45

“What? 10 bucks? There’s like thirty items in that bag!” I yelled.

She rolled her eyes, muttering ′teens’.

" You barley had any popular brand name items...” She explained.

Someone in line behind me sniggered.

“Someone’s bitterrr!” He said.

I whirled around, ready to cuss that person out, but my throat went dry when I saw him.

Blake.

*-*

“Why are you stalking me?” I yelled at Blake once we were out of the building.

He shrugged, smirking slightly.

“I knew your you got in trouble cause of me, so I followed you. Wanted to make up for it.” He said, kicking tufts of grass at his feet.

My cheeks burned, and I stood there gaping like an idiot.

“Well, what are you thinking of?” I asked him.

He smiled slightly.

" Maybe... Chez Panisse?” He asked, hesitating.

I gasped. That was the place where their linen cloth napkins were like twenty-four bucks, let alone the whole meal.

“Well, isn’t that the place where couples go? I mean...we're not even dating.” I said.

Blake faltered, and his face turned a blotchy red color.

“I get it. You don’t want to go.” He turned around to leave, but I held on to his arm.

How could I be so stupid? Most girls would faint on the spot. Some would even die in joy.

“I really love the gesture... just you know don’t...okay?” I said.

He gave me a nod, then turned around and walked the opposite direction. He seemed almost glum, his whole posture suddenly drooped. I felt like a rotten person, turning him down like that.

Blake had an ego bigger than his head, so when he got turned down on his first time, his ego would drop a million degrees. I didn’t feel so bad for him after a while.

I stared at him until his little figure disappeared. I sighed, and looked sadly at the ten bucks I had crumpled in my hand.

*-*

I sighed and slumped on my now clean bed. I was smart enough to wash the sheets, since they reeked. I sighed as the lavender aroma enveloped me. My brain was at rest, and a comfortable silence filled the house. I felt my little flip phone buzz. I sighed, and slipped it out of my pocket.

Apparently, Susan was texting me. I sat upright, paying attention. It was a single sentence that sent chills down my spine.

I need help.

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