Freedom And Flies, What's So Wrong About That?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story of drugs, desperation, cops, and users.

Submitted: June 11, 2016

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Submitted: June 11, 2016



Freedom and flies, what's so wrong about that?

They met in an alley, hidden back in the shadows behind the piles of rotted wood, old tires, and garbage. He grabbed the envelope, just like he did every month, clockwork.
And the flies buzzed incessantly around the both of them. Irritated, he swatted at them. He hated flies. He hated dealers. He hated the homeless. Goddamn, he hated those stupid druggies who were ruining the city. 
The detective counted expertly, sifting rapidly through the stacks of twenties, 25 makes 5, 50 makes a G, he muttered as he counted.
250 twenty dollar bills and a minute later, he stuffed the envelope inside his vest and pulled out a large manilla package. Five G's a month, that's all this bastard had to pay him. About time for him to be retired from the game.
After handing the manila envelope over to the drug man and giving a long, detailed explanation, he stepped away, quickly distancing himself from the dealer he secretly considered scum.
It was going to be different this summer though, they were making sure of that starting now. Too many transients, too many runaways, and all running and flocking to this city. Out of all the places for these lowlife little dirtbags to go and screw up life, why here? Flocking like flies on shit, they were.
Inside the duplex, he handed out handfuls of the little whites, the dealers crowding around in awe at the sight, each eager to get his or her hands on their share of the treasure.
"Pig pills", he said."But look like real old school OC's." he said. "And far as I know, they are. I guess these are a special treat for the homeless and the runaways coming in lately, so do your dealing down at the train stations or the Greyhound lots."
"And shit, for some reason I got these free, so make what you want, just move them all in two days. My guy says it's going to pay off and bring it all down to the ground, so I'm taking it he means the competition will be crushed. So let's get to work."
They had been sitting at the little table outside of the McDonalds for over an hour. It sure was hot and she sure was tired.
The free cup of water she held was more than warm from the heat by now, almost steaming. Her clothes clung to her skin and the discomfort of everything, no showers, no sleep, and no pills, it was almost too much to bear. Adding to it all the low growling of a stomach that hadn't eaten for days, which protested the smell of fast food wafting out from the restaurants vents had her near tears.
She came out of it abruptly though, as his hand slapped loudly onto the plastic tabletop, smashing a fly. God, she hated flies. Death and disease, that's what they were. He snapped out, "It's time." and they hurriedly arose and jogged around the back of the place and to the dumpsters.
Time expired and the place had to dump everything that was still sitting and not sold. Time to go get that "happy meal".
She gave a quick glance around, but it was far too hot for anyone to be eating outside in this weather, though she did notice a couple in the drive-thru watching with curiosity.
He peeled back the flap top on one side, and vaulted over to land inside with a loud oomph! Like a dark cloud, thousands of flies rose in a swarming, buzzing mass of twisted motion, their incessant drone and whirring wings almost like a melody of rhythm to his actions.
Flies, he hated the flies. Flies always made him think of death, bringing death, surrounding death, eating off of death, loving death. He hated flies. She hated them more.
He scooped armfuls of food up and out, burgers, fries, garbage, liquids, all mixed together into a huge jumbled mass which he stood knee deep in.
He would scoop and lift, and she stood outside, holding the garbage bag open, doing her best to catch the sandwiches as they cleared the dumpster's edge and tumbled down in a messy shower of wasted food.
As soon as she heard the slamming of a door, she shrieked, and he vaulted back out, then, as she clutched the slippery bag, he shouldered his backpack and grabbed her own. And they raced from the lot, down streets and through alleys, until at last, they stood panting in the backyard of a recently foreclosed house.
People would be stopping by soon, maybe in another hour they would start trickling by, and they would be hungry.
Together they went through the garbage bag, separating and stacking the different burgers and making piles of fries as best they could.
Some were smashed, most were far from perfect, but it was food and it was free, and that's what they had to have. Really, that's all they really wanted, freedom to be free, what's so wrong about that?
Two summers ago, there had been a nice manager working that McD's, and she would have the workers just set the expires out in trays, but last summer they started throwing them in the dump and this year they were calling the cops. "Damn, going to jail for stealing free burgers and fries", or "flies", he mumbled. It just gets worse every year. "What will they do next, kill us?"
They had hit 'em all up, damn near every person of interest who stepped off of a Greyhound or the Amtrak today. 
Somebody sidled up, a whispered question, a muffled conversation, a quick meet up in the public bathroom.
After checking with them all, he called the cop. "It's all out there," he said. "Just one quick question boss, why all the free pills?"
The cop paused and then into the phone, "That is why, for freedom." and he hung up.
Everyone had gorged and they now sat and lay around throughout the empty house like slumbering herd of cattle.
The new girl and guy had just arrived today and to everyone's delight had passed around several beautiful OC 80's for all.
Soon, the quick snips of straws, the flickers of lighters and the shine off of foil turned the scene into exactly the horror the cop and the town couldn't face.
And it hurt, God damn did it h-uu-rrr-ttt! The pain spread throughout, started in his chest, seemed to flow slowly down, freezing yet hot all the way to his feet.
He lifted his arms to try and ease up the pressure which was building, but they just wouldn't rise. Paralyzed, that's what it was. He tried to yell, and could elicit only a tiny moan.
His head hurt, and it seemed to be growing, expanding, blowing up in itself, larger and larger and bigger and harder, and the pressure, it hurt, so much, it hurt so bad.
His stomach twisted into itself within, and he felt the pain of a thousand stab wounds all at one time. And he rolled onto his side, staring at the pile old, old food and the cloud of black flies swarming around it. And he died.
She came to in the silence, and with one breathe began retching and gagging, crawling for the door. She fell through the door and lay on the porch, her eyes wide, breathing in ragged gasps. And the flies were everywhere.
She forced herself upright, peered through the doorway, and they were all dead. Laying like little rag dolls after being tossed uselessly across the empty floor, tattered heaps of once human life, now lying silent and sad. And the clouds of flies hovered everywhere.
All across the city, groups of runaways and older transients were found lying dead in nearly every section of the city they would occupy.
After testing, it was found that they had all died from an unknown poison which they had unknowingly ingested while using illegal narcotic pills.
A very dedicated investigation by one of the cities finest detectives resulted in the arrest and prosecution of a very well known drug dealer. The officer was noted as saying that this was all due to his ability to do "real police work", and thanked all for the freedom to do so, because, as he stated, "It's freedom, what's so wrong about that?"
As one reporter described it, "They were dropping like flies."

© Copyright 2017 DavidPaul. All rights reserved.

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