Dishwater (Angel Fiction)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A day and a year in the life of an angel, wondering place to place, disguised as many, trying to make a difference. 3635 words written to entertain mostly, but also make a reader think.

Submitted: September 25, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 25, 2017




He looked over the long nose of the beat up and well past its prime Autocar tractor as he neared the accident scene.  With air brakes hissing and squealing, he finally got close enough to gawk like the rest of the 'rubberneckers'.  As he passed, he took time to study the carnage.  The firemen were working the jaws of life and it was clear from the brains splattered against one of the windshields there was at least one fatality.  He made a mock salute towards the scene but didn't get a response from any of the rescuers.  They didn't know that angels were shadowing their every move as they worked hard to save the rest of the victims.  It would take forever to clean up this mess and for the police investigation to be finished.  He was glad they had the forethought to clear a path for traffic to pass.  He began going through the gears to get the car hauler up to speed, and hoped he could make up the lost time.  There were three classic Chevy's chained down to the trailer he was pulling that needed lots of love and restoring, and a more modern foreign job that looked like a Craigslist special.  "No accounting for a collector's taste", he pondered.

Just as the old rig reached the speed limit, a young woman came into view in the distance.  She was standing on the shoulder with her thumb in the air.  Official management policy may have been to not to pick up hitch hikers, but his personal policy was “blonde hair plus decent body equals stop”.  He laughed at that thought, because there was nothing very angelic about it.  The young woman raced along with the truck as the brakes hissed and slowly brought the rig to a stop.  She climbed up and opened the door like she had done it many times before.  Her name was Becky or something, but he would just think of her as “dishwater” for the unimpressive color of her dirty hair.  He cringed, and then laughed to himself as he examined the teeth she proudly flashed at him with a big grin.  They looked like the enamel had been eroded; maybe from years of drug abuse, and, while there weren’t any holes in the “fence”, her smile was definitely not her best attribute.  She leaned towards him to snap her seat belt in place, and lingered so he could get a good look down the front of her tank top.  He knew it was on purpose and figured she would probably lean in a few more times to soften the blow of spotting her 40 bucks to score her drug of choice later.  Becky was a chatter box and annoyingly laughed at everything either one of them said.  In between mindless stories of her adventures on the road, he told her she could call him Mich (Mitch).  After a few miles and a lot more unsolicited blather, she invited herself into the sleeper cab and lay there staring at the driver of her giant, noisy taxi.  Before long she was asleep and stayed that way for about 100 miles.

As she stirred, Mich noticed the dents in "Dishwater's" weathered face, from sleeping so soundly, and the drool spot she left on his covers.  She pulled herself back into the passenger seat, rummaged through her stuff for a cigarette, and then leaned out the window and admired herself in the large side mirror, while she smoked.  All at once, she looked around like she realized just how far they had come while she napped.  She suddenly “remembered” that she lived near and began to scout the horizon for the rock side-road that would take her home.  After a few minutes, she pointed to a road in the distance and explained that she "lived just a few miles off the main highway".  After telling him he could just “drop her off”, her face, and another lean, implied that a ride all the way home might result in some recreation Mich was badly in need of, once they got there.

Mich looked in his side mirror at the giant dust ball that had formed behind them as they steamed down the back road to Becky’s place.  When he looked back over to her, she sat there with a serious look on her face and a small revolver in her hand.  “This is far enough”, the young woman said, without the bubbly, annoyingly shrill voice he had grown to know and love.  She looked at her quarry and sized him up.  The tattoos on his arm consisted of pentagrams, and other Devilish shit.  His black, straight hair and nose stud set him apart from most truckers, and his thin frame didn’t worry the now-armed "meth head".  “A punk rock wannabe” she thought as she motioned, with the gun, for him to step outside of the truck.  As he stood on the rock road, he could hear her rummaging through his stuff; looking for anything of value.  She climbed down with her pockets full of his things after a moment, and then faced him.  She wondered why this devil worshiping, nerd “never was” was coolly staring at her like this wasn’t going to turn out to be the shittiest day of his possibly very short life.  She instructed him to unload the drive-able looking sedan, and assured him that, “no one would have to get hurt”.  Mich continued staring while he sized her up in his mind.  “Did she really intend to shoot him?”  “Would she just let him go after she got what she wanted?”  “Get on the stick butt wipe", she yelled as the man she was robbing at gunpoint just stood there and stared at her.A voice in his head told him that there was a chance she could, conceivably make the choice to put a hole in him, but insisted that she also might have some slight, redeeming qualities hidden deep, that might make her worth keeping on this Earth for a while.

The would-be hijacker looked at Mich like he must be nuts, before yelling at him again to comply with her demands.  Suddenly, she dropped her shooting arm to her side and squeezed the trigger.  She yelled bloody murder as the .38-caliber slug ripped through the top of her right foot, and she felt herself began to fall.  To her amazement though, she didn’t…she couldn’t!  Becky, if that was her real name, stood there in anguish as the blood began to soak through her tennis shoe, and everything below her knee throbbed in pain.  Tears ran from her eyes as she stood there bleeding, because something was certainly “off” here, and she knew she had found her way into something she couldn’t talk or “suck” her way out of.  She cried even harder as it "dawned" on her that she might die out here in the middle of nowhere at the hands of this weirdo.The suddenly frightened little girl was attempting to make sense of these last few moments of her life, while trying to lift her arms to fight.  She still could not move as he ripped his wallet and jewelry out of her pockets and put them in his.  He put his very scary face a half inch away from hers, before roughly pulling the gun out of her hand and throwing it into the weeds.  She could feel his warm breath as he stood there studying her for a moment.  His eyes were as intense as anything she had ever seen, and seemed to cut right through her; and not gently!  She winced as her bladder spontaneously emptied and left warm trails down her legs.  After whatever mysterious force that was holding her up let go, she fell into a puddle of pee and rock dust while wailing, "I don't want to die!”.  Mich just climbed into his truck and drove away.  After a mile, he passed a pickup truck going the other way and chuckled at the thought of her trying to explain what the heck she was doing out there and how she got shot in the foot.  Mich drove back towards the highway to resume his journey.

When he finally got his wheels back on concrete, there were four of them instead of eighteen.  He looked into the rear view mirror to see that his hair was long and closer to the dishwater color Becky took so much trouble to maintain.  His arms were now adorned with just as many, but far less menacing tattoos.  Mich drove for awhile before pulling over to a road-side picnic area to see what surprises he might find in the wicker basket sitting on the passenger seat of his new wheels.  He settled in at the closest table and got his first good look at his glorious ride.  The large car carrier had become a VW micro bus that had great need of restoration, or, perhaps, a car crusher.  It was a shit box, but got him this far without incident.  The basket contained two sandwiches and a bottle of water.As he bit into the mystery meat-filled manna, he thought fondly of every cheeseburger he had consumed on this trip so far.  His mind was still traveling through "cheeseburger dreamland" as a truck, pulling a small camper, arrived and parked just opposite him in the restful little nook carved out near the highway.  Back to the reality of his bland, lifeless lunch, Mich watched as a man and a kindergarten-aged tot got out and stretched like they had been traveling awhile.  The girl looked sickly, and the man followed her every move.  As he continued eating, Mich wished he, at least, had some chips or a pickle to go with his “half star-rated” lunch.  He sat and stared at the second crappy sandwich he knew he would still eat.  Though not in his nature to miss anything, he was caught off guard by the little girl approaching him with a plastic tea pot and two cups. 

"Would you like to have a tea party with me?”, she asked as she showed her teeth in something much less than a smile.  She looked frail and he could tell by her "stick thin" arms,  patchy, lifeless hair, and her sunken, pale face, that her problems amounted to much more than the common cold.  She introduced herself to her new friend and Mich reciprocated with his own information.  As the fearless little female stood there, Mich couldn't help thinking about the hundreds; thousands of children, both prosperous and needy, he had interacted with during his existence.  Her father poked his head out of the camper and noticed his daughter’s overture to the strange hippy, who drove a micro bus and looked like he needed his clothes washed with a match.  He approached, apologized, then introduced himself and his daughter to the guy with the “Scooby” van.  He reiterated his sorrow for bugging Mich, and began to shoo his daughter away from the dirty stranger.  To the man's surprise though, Mich insisted that the little girl sit down and pour him some tea.  The father warily agreed to let her play for a few minutes while he got their food laid out.  He kept a very close eye on Mich, while he pulled things out of the camper and placed them on a picnic table.Mich reached into the basket and pulled out a bag of chips.  He was a little annoyed that they only materialized after the girl showed up.  He could just taste the salty treats as he looked longingly into the bag before giving it to his tea party hostess.  The girl looked over at her dad who, for whatever reason, had become very comfortable with his daughter socializing with the “van bum”.  She nibbled on one of the chips but didn’t take a full bite.  He could tell she was at a stage where she might not be around much longer.  He wished he could do something for her, but there was no little voice talking to him right now.  As they chatted and drank fake tea, the little girl managed a half smile a few times.  She told him that "Mommy went to Heaven, the day I was born", and that she, "had to take care of daddy because he was sad a lot".  “I have to be the Mommy at our house”, she said as she looked over at him putting the finishing touches on their picnic.  When he called for her to join him, Mich watched the poor guy's face as she slowly made her way back over to their side of the area.  Mich was sad for them, but was busy trying not to be jealous of the “feast” her father put in front of her.  Daddy forced a smile as he plied her into taking a few bites of her cold chicken.  Mich felt bad for the guy, but knew that whatever was in store for these two must be above his pay grade.  His sympathy for the two souls took a back seat for a moment to him looking out at the trees that surrounded the picnic area.  He quietly, and reverently, listened to the breeze as it blew through, as if it was talking to him.  After a moment of communing with his surroundings, he checked the basket to see if more chips, or maybe a pickle had appeared, but it was all for naught.His taste buds were bruised by the beating given him by two bland, but filling sandwiches.  As he cleaned up his mess, he tossed a few scraps of bread to a squirrel that was circling his feet like a pet.  He walked over to the sad duo to say his goodbyes since the little lady had so graciously served him the delicious faux tea.  He shook the sick little girl’s hand and said, “it’s so nice to meet such a beautiful, polite little lady”.  He lingered with her hand in his for a few seconds before adding, “your dad should be proud”.  He saw the growing pain in her Dad’s face.  “Thank you” he muttered while looking like he was about to explode into tears.  Mich unconsciously put his other hand on the girl’s neck and ran it down to the small of her back, before saying, “see you around kiddo”.

Mich packed his basket into the van and set out for the remainder of his journey.  A few miles down the road, he slowed, then nonchalantly put his left hand out the window and dropped a large, cancerous mass of puss and red goo that had previously encircled the little girl’s spinal cord and had stretched to almost every part of her body.He shook the remainder of the "ick" off and smiled as he thought about his “busy” day.  "Snuck that one in on me", he said out loud.  The pile of "sick" turned into dust and was blowing around, as he drove away.  He couldn't help thinking about how nice it might have been to spend some "quality time" earlier with dishwater, but sometimes things just aren’t meant to be.  He knew that in the absolute sense.  He scowled after running his hand inside the basket, only to find nothing sweet or savory.  He continued down the road to wherever HE was “meant” to be.

Mich sat in his latest ride; a tall, four-wheel drive pickup, with a mud-covered dirt bike in the back.  It was over a year later as he looked at the coffee shop he felt “pushed” to visit.  His reflection, in the side mirror, showed a heavy five o’clock shadow and piercing eyes to go with the surprising good looks that came with this shell.  He hoped this handsome facade wouldn’t go to waste.  As he sat and waited for the "right" time to go for coffee, he daydreamed about his time in Afghanistan a few years earlier.

It was the early days of the conflict and the men in his unit considered him the luckiest guy in country.  It was a title that most people would fear, because it could draw crazy bad luck fast.  He had come in as a regular replacement, and outwardly looked like a normal, sturdy, rock-solid “gi-reen”, with his helmet and body armor on, and his semi-automatic rifle in hand.  Mich was the go-to driver when it was time to “mobile patrol” the landscape of this shit hole in search of Taliban and other baddies.  He had over twenty rough missions under his belt that had seen far less men KIA or wounded than was the norm.  It wasn't surprising that he was passed around the unit to “spread” his good fortune so no one would be left out.

He and Gunny were leading the caravan today as the convoy rolled down the dirt and sand road.  As they bantered back and forth about the “chicks” they had banged back home and what they planned between tours, a large IED exploded a couple klicks in front of them, where the enemy was setting up an ambush.  This wasn’t the first time a patrol he led experienced this kind of “good luck”.  As they arrived, they saw that there was  blood and body parts strewn all over the site.  Mich and the rest of the squad were already firing their weapons as their boots hit the ground.  The firefight was on as the insurgents began to come out of the woodwork.  He moved through the lead screaming past his head and gunned down several of the enemy.  A man jumped out from behind a burned-out vehicle and pointed his weapon at him.  He had Mich dead to rights, and put three right in his face.  Without flinching, Mich approached and slapped the guy on the forehead.  He fell to the ground; “out cold”, but still breathing.  Mich pointed his weapon at him, but turned away without firing.  He didn’t know why, but the guy who would have killed him without hesitation, still had some time left on his “meter”. 

The short battle was over and the patrol piled back into their vehicles.  As Mich led the caravan back toward the support base, Gunny stared at him like he had seen a ghost.  “I need to get some water on deck man; I must be pretty dehydrated”.  Mich turned to him with a quizzical look on his face and asked “why do you say that?”.  Gunny paused, like maybe he wanted to keep it to himself, but then blurted out, "I know I’m freaking crazy, but I swear I SAW you cut a couple of those mothers in half with a huge sword--and...and, it was on fire!!!".  "You looked like you were dressed for a toga party or some shit; and was floating through the air!???"  “Go figure”, he continued as a rocket-propelled grenade came through a shrapnel tear in the side of the armored Humvee and exploded a few inches from his head. 

No one remembered or talked about Mich, the guy with all the luck, after that day.  It was as if he never existed.  Mich knew everyone couldn’t be saved, but he still wished sometimes it could be that way.  As he shook the fog of war from his head, he remembered how shocked he was that Gunny got to see the real him that day; if even for a few seconds.  He never figured out if it was for a specific purpose, or, if it was only because the patrol leader was so close to death.

Mich walked into the coffee shop; not knowing what adventure might be waiting for him inside.  He stood patiently in line before it was his turn.  He wasn’t interested in any of the “foo foo” crap they were slinging, but looked forward to a nice strong, black cup of “joe”.  As he gave his order to the cashier and paid her, he noticed a familiar, dishwater blond, young woman coming out of the shop's office.  He could see her barely there, pregnant belly showing through her oversized uniform top, as well as the simple, gold wedding band on her ring finger.  A pretty, grade school-aged, little girl followed her out and waited impatiently for “Mommy” to brush the hair out of her face; then use a pink clip to hold it in place.  She picked the little one up and playfully kissed her face several times before turning to the man, who had followed the giggly, little girl child out.  Mich recognized the two from a roadside picnic and tea party a while ago.  The couple kissed lovingly and they all shared a three-way hug before “mommy” shooed the two back into the office, and then relieved Mich’s server.  She displayed her much-improved smile as she looked up and handed him his coffee.  She was suddenly overcome with joy as she felt the little boy inside her kicking for the first time.  She put her hands on her belly as she studied her handsome customer's face.  Her look suddenly turned to that of absolute terror as she somehow knew exactly who he really was.  She was frozen in place, though not by any supernatural force.  She managed to lower her head to wait for the deserved death blow she knew she had coming.  After a second or two, she peeked up and saw Mich smile.  He put twenty dollars in her tip jar, and gave her a wink.  “Looking good dishwater”, he said as he turned and walked away.  While walking back to his truck, he seemed to be having a conversation with himself..."yeah, were right... you told me".

Micha:  Angel of the divine plan.

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