Big Sugar

She whipped her head up and glared at Big Sugar, then clutched the .44 closer to her bosom, pointing it inward, over her heart, and screamed, “No get away, I found it and it’s mine. It can get rid of my constant pain. I know, I talked to it and it told me it would, I don’t want no more bread; I wanna go home now. I wanna go somewhere where there’s no pain, the preacher tol’ me there’s no pain if I can just go home.”

Big Sugar knew that Doris was a sixteen or seventeen-year-old runaway and that she had lived on the street for several years. It was rumored that she had been sexually abused by her own father and sometimes spoke of tracking him down and killing him. She stuck the gun in her mouth and Big Sugar saw the motion and grabbed the barrel. His grip was so powerful that by a mere twist of his wrist the gun-barrel quickly came out of her mouth, slightly cutting the inside of her cheek. The pistol, a .44 Magnum, had been on the street for years, the serial numbers had long ago been filed off, and it had been the cause of several deaths, before turning up in the garbage can that Doris had found it in, with a fully-loaded chamber. It had been set to have a hair trigger and when Big Sugar pulled it from Doris’ grasp it went off and the bullet, cut on the top to explode on contact and do more damage than an ordinary bullet, being referred to on the street as a dum-dum, exploded into Big Sugar’s left eyeball, ripped through his eye-socket and exited out of the top of his head, taking blood-splattered clumps of brain matter, facial bones, sinus fluids and uprooted teeth with it and slamming them onto an already blood-smeared concrete wall, like a new age painter, who had just finished a masterpiece. It was too much for Dumb Eddie, who stared at Big Sugar’s slumped over body for several seconds before letting out an inhuman, ghoulish howl that awoke even the most inebriated of the incoherent residents in this section of hell.

It was also too much for Doris, who delicately walked over to Big Sugar’s corpse and snatched up the .44 Magnum, which was so full of blood and gristle that it nearly slipped out of her hand but the hair-trigger outdid even its own intentions when it went off at almost the instant that Doris turned it towards her own face, leaving her with a lump of unrecognizable bloody flesh, where once had been a beautiful, angelic child’s face. She was so young and emaciated, and her skin so thin and pale white, that she looked incredibly like a store mannequin. A store mannequin that no longer had a face and therefore was of no further use, in a capitalistic society that discarded any object or piece of merchandize that could not financially benefit the owner, amazingly like Doris’ own life, for, in reality, the store mannequin would be thrown out, much as Doris had been thrown out; the mannequin would go to the city dump, Doris’ corpse would go to the city morgue and then, along with the Jamaican known only as Big Sugar, to a pauper’s grave.

-7-

ALL HOPE IS GONE

The setting of a great hope is like the setting of the sun. The brightness of our life is gone.





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