BAD CALL - CHRIS BENTON
I’m back in the packing department just after lunch break when I hear the first shots. I know it is Dean, and I don’t need gunshots to tell me that fucking him was the worst mistake of my life.
I met Dean during a grave-yarder I took a week ago at Cornfield Optical. After work we went with a few of the crew to Whitey’s for breakfast then headed to Dean’s trailer, which was stocked with supernatural amounts of beer and weed. Dean was a handsome dude, quiet with a razor sharp wit. When the rest our co-workers left, he put on Patsy Cline and we danced until noon before he took me by the hand and slowly led me into his bedroom.
I never liked men with big dicks; I’m a tiny woman, a quantifiable munchkin. The reason I say this is because most men I’ve known with big dicks like to give it crazy, with remorseless pride, like I’m supposed to thank them for any possible hemorrhages. Dean had a big dick, but he didn’t wield it like a weapon, he was slow, he was tender, and he liked kissing. He was a good kisser, and he didn’t want to chew my nipples like bubblegum. The only problem was that he nearly strangled me to death in his sleep. I managed to wake him up with an ashtray to the head and was already out the door and putting my car in reverse wearing nothing but a t-shirt when he stumbled out of his trailer chasing after me naked and screaming. For the next several days he left messages on my machine that only man-eating Martians could translate. I deleted all of them.
Why have I always attracted psychos? Is it karmic? I didn’t use to believe in that shit but now I’m wondering if maybe I ate my kids for breakfast in a past life.
More shots and a roaring jolt tell me God is in a bad mood today. We begin running under flickering rows of fluorescents toward the shipping docks. Smoke is crawling behind us like a vengeful promise. There’s another explosion and I think of Dean again, how a single man can contain such destruction. All this is my fault, I guess; I fucked a maniac. I made a bad call and it is killing people. I vow right then to become a lesbian if I survive.
The doors in the shipping docks wouldn’t open. There are curses and screams crashing into the walls and one of my co-workers, Christy, just gives up and curls into a fetal ball behind a crate. Christy used to talked tough shit after hours but I guess disaster brings out the truth in people.
Lang is on it though, hero-style. Lang worked at Cornfield for almost twenty years and he already has a ladder poised beneath an open window twelve feet above us.
As we climb greedily towards salvation, workers on fire begin rushing into the shipping docks like angels with their heads chopped off. You know what people do when they’re on fire? They want to run up to you and give you a great big hug. They don’t want to drop and roll, they want you to burn in hell too. We dodge and kick and burn our arms and fists fighting away these poor bastards until they finally crumble to the floor.
I’m last up the ladder crawling through the window when my left breast blows apart into the smoky wind. I find myself suddenly soaring with the cold wings of shock toward mountain peaks of darkness. I guess I can kiss my future life as a lesbian goodbye.
BIO: Chris Benton was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina where he still resides. He can be found on Facebook.