Nowhere Near Heaven

littleton

© Google Maps – 2008

“Nah, I’ve just smoked heroin up til now, but I got schooled on shootin’ so I figure I’ll be okay.”

“Jilly, you’re only nineteen and you don’t wanna be ruining your life like this. I swear Littleton is killing you.”

“That why you cleared out last year Marv? You were about the only good thing I had goin’ here, ‘specially after Ma died.”

“Your Ma died like you’re gonna die…of an overdose or whatever crap that scumbag dealer cuts product with.”

“You come all this way back here just to lecture me, Marv? I don’t want to hear it so shut your pie hole.”

“Get up off the filthy floor and out of this freezing house. I got me a job and a little place outside Pittsburgh. I love you too much to leave you again. I’m taking you home with me. I’ve saving your life.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use a Google street maps image as the inspiration for creating a wee tale no more than 150 words long. My word count is 146.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Littleton, West Virginia. I looked up Littleton and it’s a depressing place dominated by poverty and heroin addiction. Forget any illusions you may have had about small town America. If Littleton is any indication, they’re not true, at least not all the time.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Advertisements

New Brain

brain

Image: Fox News

Alec Reed was at the end of his rope. At age 62, he could no longer keep up with the younger software developers at Intellidrive and accusations of “ageism” or not, if his performance fell too much further, he’d be out of a job.

Before the divorce, he’d have just put in for early retirement, but when Neena left him, she took just about everything including a non-trival percentage of their savings. Now he needed to keep working another five years at least if he hoped to maintain even a halfway decent portion of his current standard of living once he decided to retire.

Getting older was a curse in an industry of the young. Alec’s thinking, reasoning abilities, problem solving skills were all lagging behind the twenty-somethings that were being hired at a startling rate by Intellidrive.

Seniority and a generally good work record kept Alec at the company for the past twenty-two years, but his new, young supervisor wasn’t letting him rest on his so-called laurels. Alec was supposed to produce on par with his junior peers and if he couldn’t, he was easily replaced.

That’s why he had stolen his son’s supply of New Brain.

Continue reading