Flash Fiction Friday: Hammer Time
by Christopher Lesko
I saw this asshole pushing a shopping cart filled with groceries down the road, about a mile away from the grocery store. I slowed my car and yelled out the window to him. “Hey! You can’t take that shopping cart home!” He ignored me, kept pushing along, rumbling over gravel and shit. “Yeah, I’m talking to you. That cart doesn’t leave the parking lot.” He flicked me off.
Some people probably wondered why I even bothered to yell at him. It’s not like I work for the grocery store or anything. And even though I was on my way to that same grocery store, I didn’t even plan to use a cart. But I couldn’t stand the fact that this guy thought he could do whatever he wanted. I know for sure he wouldn’t be pushing an empty cart back to the grocery store afterward. The thing he was doing is the kind of stuff that’s wrong with the world. That and legalized marijuana. Yeah. First, you legalize marijuana, then you vote for Donald Trump because you are so high in the voting booth you accidentally voted for the wrong person . . . or didn’t even vote, and now your brain is so doped up you think you can just push a cart out of the grocery store parking lot, go home with it, and leave it there. For what? For it to end up in a ditch behind the apartment building that’s what. That cart will be back there with old tires, dirty diapers, aluminum cans of Miller Lite, broken television sets, and other shit. Then some hobo will eventually set up camp in the woods there, and then there will be a bunch more hobos coming to live there, and then all those hobos will have hobo sex back there, and then one day I might end up living back there with them. I’ll want to sleep but will be too afraid. I’ll have to sleep with one eye open, so they don’t try to lick me. Or … I’ll have to find the biggest hobo in the camp and lick him first. Show them all who’s the boss.
I pull over, get out my car, and jog up to the guy ready to push that fucking cart over if that’s the way I’m going to get him to stop pushing it any further. But before I do any such thing, the guy halts.
“U can’t touch this!” he yells.
“Watch me!” I grasp the side of the cart.
He reaches in one of the bags, pulls out a hammer and throws it down on my hand. He throws it down on my face next, right in my eye socket.
I go down seeing stars. One of those stars is I see is Mr. M.C. Hammer, dancing around in Hammer Pants. He tells me I need to use Command Strips and that I need to pray. Tells me I need to pray just to make it today. And that’s why we pray.
When I come to, I’m lying face down, outside somewhere in the shade, my cheek pressed to the cold, muddy ground. One eye sees happy green trees, and the other eye sees a mix of deep purple and bloody red trees, floating black dots, and that fucking shopping cart flipped over, missing a wheel.
I’m happy to be alive, but I know the hobos are coming … the hobos are coming.
Christopher Lesko is the author of The Grlz Like Vodka, Long Live Crazy, That’s My Ghoul, The Electric Lunatic, Fukced Up, and a handful of deranged short stories. You can follow him on Facebook and buy his books on Amazon.
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