Monday, 20 October 2008

Flash Fiction

Death Levels

I'd known Rosie for years. She'd been in and out of nick so many times that she was like a regular down the pub.
I knew her. Like I actually knew her. Talked to her. Told her to get out of 'the game' and Rosie'd just give that weak smile and I knew that she wouldn't.
Rosie had two kids - one of each and about a year between them. She didn't know who the fathers were but, then, she didn't care.
Give the girl her due she tried to get a job but not even the local supermarket would let her stack the shelves. No, all she had were her benefit cheques and child allowance and that had to pay for the gas and electric and the food etc.
The family lived in a small two-bedroom council flat. When she had the boy she went to the Council and asked for a three bedroom place. 'So what' they said. 'Be grateful with what you've got. There are others who are a priority.'
What no one knew was that those kids were Rosie's life. She wanted them to have better than her. She wanted them to have good clothes and toys just like other kids - and she wanted them to have an education.
'It's important," she told me. 'I messed up with school and look where it's got me.'
So, for the sake of her kids she went on the game - and to keep awake at nights she resorted to drugs. Rosie's life was on a downward spiral.
It didn't surprise me when I was called to a crime scene and found Rosie's body lying half-hidden beneath a tarpaulin at the back of a rundown warehouse.
Now she has just become another case to be investigated just the same as if that corpse had been the respectable Mrs Brown found dead in her front room.
What is it about our perceptions? Rosie was just another prostitute - right?
Just that we don't call no woman respectable until she's dead.
Not in the case of girls like Rosie.


Gerald So said...

Fine character sketch. Care to give your full name for a listing of all the flash challenge stories and authors on my blog?

sandra seamans said...

Wow! This is really wonderful.

David Cranmer said...

Ray, I was wondering where you were going to insert the call no woman respectable line and bam you surprised me at the end. Excellent!

r2 said...

Very, very nice piece. Wonderful characters. A lot of feeling in very few words.

Cormac Brown said...

A good sparse story and a nice incoporation of the sentence to strike the tone.