This is my first attempt at Friday Flash. It's an idea that's been churning in my head as I finish my suspense novel, and I wanted to share it with others. Hope you enjoy it!
“I don’t understand.” Jaymee slapped the pink paper onto the manager’s desk.
Cigarette dangling from his mouth, he glared up at her. “What’s not to understand? You’re a month late with the lot rent. Now you got two weeks to come up with the money or get out.”
“But my boyfriend paid you,” Jaymee argued. “I gave him the money three days ago.”
Mr. Shaw crushed his Marlboro Light into an overflowing ashtray. “I didn’t get it.”
Jaymee frantically dug into her bag. “I can post-date a check.”
Shaw laughed showing his yellowed teeth. “Right. Then it’ll bounce. Cash or money-order only.”
She didn’t have it. Jaymee was barely able to put food on the table let alone replace rent money. Furious, she grabbed the pink slip and stormed out of the manager’s office.
That bastard. Wade had promised he’d pay the lot rent. What had he done with the cash she’d given him? Spent it on hookers? More drugs? Probably both.
She trudged down the winding dirty path grimacing as her worn heels began to fill with sand. Fawn Lake Court was much less beautiful than it sounded. Forty or more dilapidated mobile trailers lined the park. Children played in the empty lots and neighborhood dogs roamed free along with raccoons and other night bandits.
Jaymee’s trailer was at the south end of the park. One of the “newer” models, the paint was only moderately chipped and the tiny back deck was only partially rotted.
Her life was never going to change. The child of a factory worker and born-again Christian, a pregnancy at sixteen had killed Jaymee’s dreams of becoming a lawyer, and her righteous parents had thrown Jaymee out when they heard of her condition.
“Good Christian girls don’t get themselves in trouble,” her mother shouted. “How could you do this to us?”
Her father had clutched his Bible to his heart. “You’ve shamed this family, girl. There’s no place in God’s house for whores.”
Jaymee wondered what her father would think if he knew his own brother had fathered her child in the backroom of his dingy laundromat, holding Jaymee down while she fought in vain against his considerable weight.
Good ole’ Christian Joe would probably still find a way to blame her.
The hot August sun bore down on her soaking the roots of her shoulder-length brown hair in sweat. A single bead of perspiration trickled down her neck and into the crevice of her bra.
So much for northern Minnesota not having any humidity. Today was miserable.
Suddenly, a rotting stench wafted through the summer air. Jaymee gagged and covered her mouth. Two doors down from her trailer, her neighbor’s trashcans were knocked over, debris spread everywhere.
“What the hell did she put in her garbage?” Jaymee muttered.
All the windows of the trailer were open—couldn’t the woman smell that? “Crystal, you in there?” Jaymee shouted. “You got a big ass mess out here, girl!”
Loud barking was her only answer. Crystal’s dog, an ugly stray mixed-breed she’d name Mutt, stood at the back window, yapping urgently.
“Shit. Crystal must’ve forgot to let him out.”
Jaymee sidestepped the trash, holding her breath as the smell grew worse. Thick and putrid, it seemed to be emanating from the trailer. “Mutt, did you crap in there? I’m not cleaning up after you.”
She shoved her spare key into the flimsy lock and pulled open the door. “Holy fuck!” Bile rose in her throat as the stink intensified. Mutt scrambled past her with a yelp and made a beeline for the empty lot.
He’d made a mess of the trailer, knocking chairs over and digging at the flimsy door.
But he didn’t leave those cabinets standing open.
On edge, Jaymee stepped further into the small trailer. A kitchen drawer lay on the floor, mismatched silverware scattered around it.
Survival instincts told her to run; she was getting herself into something she wanted no part of. But something propelled Jaymee forward. She reached the closed bedroom door and slowly pushed it open.
Nothing could have prepared her for what she saw.