Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Monique struggled with the elderly woman, but no matter what angle she came in on, she kept getting her hands slapped away.
"Come on, Granny. It's time to take your medicine." Monique wrapped one arm around Mrs. Drummond’s head and tried to shove the spoon in her mouth. The old woman turned her head and bit Monique on her boob.
“FUCK!” The nurses aid dropped the spoon and clutched at her breast. Feeling something sticky, she pulled her hand away and examined the stain spreading across her white uniform. Part of the top was ripped away, along with some of her flesh. “Shit!”
“I told you, I didn’t want to take no, damn medicine.”
“Fuck you, bitch. I don’t care how much this job pays, it aint worth it.” Pressing a towel to her, Monique began pulling medical supplies out of her bag. Finding the antiseptic, she went to the kitchen sink and stripped off her top.
“In my day, girls wore bras,” Mrs. Drummond cackled.
“I thought they burned their bras in your day,” Monique shot back. She inspected the wound. The bitch had taken a nice chunk out of her. “Shit, this is going to need stitches.”
“You have a potty mouth, you know that?”
“I don’t really give a shit what you think. You took a bite out of me, what do you want, for me to say thank you?” Monique shook her head. Grabbing some bandages, she decided to try butterfly tape, since the closest hospital was fifteen miles away.  “I shouldn’t have taken this job anyway. I hate being out in the sticks… no one around to talk to but an old woman and her creepy son. No wonder you can’t keep help out here.”
“You ought naught call my Billy creepy. He’s got designs on you. Be nice to him, girly…” the woman paused then, a sly smile on her face, “and he’ll be nice to you.”
Monique shuddered at the suggestion, but kept silent. She wanted to tell the woman what she thought of her son. But sometimes discretion was the better part of valor. That’s something her mother had told her once. She wasn’t exactly sure what her mama meant by that then and she still wasn’t, but she knew it had something to do with it not being a good idea to taunt a woman about her son… even if there was something mentally wrong about him. The aid turned to retrieve her shirt and discovered it wasn’t where she had left it.  Billy Drummond had entered through the back door and was holding the uniform top in his oversized hands. Realizing she was naked from the waist up, Monique crossed her arms across her front and glared at the man. “Do you mind?”
Billy came all the way into the kitchen, never taking his eyes from her. He leered down at her, blowing his fetid breath in her face. “No, I don’t mind at all.”
“Well I do.” She grabbed her shirt from Billy and stormed into the living room. When she was out of sight of the bitch and her retarded son, she pulled the top back on. Then she went upstairs, determined to get her belongings and leave.
“Fucking freaks!” Monique pounded on her bedroom door. Eventually one of them would have to come and let her out… or she’d break the door down. She was surprised it was still standing, after the beating she’d given it. Between kicking, pounding and ramming it with her shoulder, it should have given. Apparently there was something in this ramshackle house that wasn’t falling apart.
Sinking onto her bed she thought about her options. The taxi cab should be arriving soon. They couldn’t keep her here then. She’d just stick her head out the window and all for help. She looked out the window. She could see for miles, but there was no sign of a car coming down the road. The dispatcher had told her it would only take 20 minutes, but she’d been locked in for nearly an hour. It was then that she remembered the taxi driver that had dropped her off a month ago. He’d told her he was the woman’s grandson.
“Most of us in these parts are related one ways or another,” he’d said. Then he’d proceeded to give her some story about how Granny was a Hoodoo priestess. “She can cure anyone of their illness.”
“Well she must not be able to cure herself, since she needs a Nurse Aid out here.” Monique couldn't help the sarcasm. Hoodoo? Really? Ignorant hicks.
He’d chuckled then.  “You’d be surprised at what granny can cure.” The way he’d looked at her had made Monique feal… dirty. She’d avoided his eyes ever the rest of the way. It was obvious to her, he must have called and let them know she was leaving. Monique had been in the processes of packing her bags when she’d heard the lock click. It had to be Billy, his mother hadn’t been upstairs the entire time Monique had been here. She doubted she could even climb the steps.
The butterfly tape had come off while she pounded on the door. Her shirt was soaked with blood. She didn’t think she would bleed to death, but she needed stitches. If they wouldn’t let her out and she couldn’t break the door down, Monique would have to find another way out. There was a small ledge outside the window… if she could climb onto it and make it to the next window… the room was locked but there was a tree, she thought she could reach one of the branches. Monique figured, worst case scenario, she falls. She’d still be out of the house and the ground wasn’t that far. Her mind made up, Monique opened the window and climbed onto the ledge. Turning, so she was facing the wall, she gripped the spouting and prayed that it would hold. She moved towards the edge and stretched her leg across to the next. Now she just needed to shift her other leg without falling or the gutter coming down on her.
”Please, Lord,” she prayed, “I promise, you help me out of this mess, I’ll clean up my language.”
Taking a deep breath, Monique lifted her foot off the ledge, using the spouting to hold herself up as she shifted to the next window.  The piping groaned and then broke. Screaming, Monique flailed her arms and then latched onto a bar that was sticking out above the window. Letting loose a string of obscenities, some of which called Jesus’s character into question, Monique leaned against the window, relieved to still be alive. She had a clear view of the room on the other side. The door had always been locked so she’d never seen in before. Now she found herself staring at a bed where a woman lie, wearing a white wedding dress. “Oh, shit.” Monique breathed. She’d been a nurse long enough to recognize that the woman’s eyes were void of life. She was dead.
The door opened then and Billy came storming into the room and straight for the window. Screaming, Monique let go of the pole and fell backwards.  
Monique opened her eyes. She couldn’t move her head, so she rolled her eyes, trying to see where she was. She recognized the curtains. She was back in her room. She tried to move her legs, but they wouldn’t respond.
“Let me help you up.” The old Drummond woman helped Monique into a sitting position. Monique tried to shrug her off, wanted to tell her she could sit up her own damn self, but she couldn’t. She was too weak. And why did Mrs. Drummond look younger?
“Just a bit of Hoo Doo,” the woman said. “I only took a wee bit of your life. Not enough to kill you, just to keep you here. Billy has plans for his new bride.”
She stepped aside then and Monique could see her image in the mirror that hung on the wall. She was wearing a bridal dress.
“Now don’t you worry none,” Mrs. Drummond said, “my Billy will make you a fine husband. You just be nice to him and he’ll be nice to you.”
Picture is courtesy of George Hodan, at Publicdomainpictures,net

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