Amy Francisconi_Stained

Stained 

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The ’shrooms kick in as I sit on the edge of the tub talking to Trish. I know her face keeps changing because I’m high, but then I forget and it freaks me out.

She looks like a monster. Her mouth moves, but instead of words, worms come out. I tell her to stop it, but she doesn’t, so I go back out to the party to get away from her.

In the living room, a crowd jumps around to the pulse of colored lights. The song is the same one that played on Don’s car stereo when we were out in the Mitchell’s cow pasture earlier. The music pushes against my face and tries to choke me, so I hurry through it to the kitchen.

I need something to get rid of the nasty taste in my mouth. Trish and Dan told me ’shrooms taste like regular mushrooms, but that’s a lie. They taste like dirt and Styrofoam.

There’s pizza on the counter, so I grab a slice, get a beer, and take them outside. I sit on the porch step with my beer beside me and use my knees as a plate. Pizza grease stains my tights, directly above the grass stains on my knees, but I don’t care. I’m in trouble anyway.

My parents found pot in my jewelry box. They grounded me for the whole summer and, starting tonight, we’re supposed to see our pastor for counseling twice a week. They’ve been angry since my grades dropped and I started hanging out with ‘Godless kids’. They don’t know ‘what’s gotten into me’.

Nothing yet, but I’m working up to it.

My phone buzzes. I pull it out of the pocket of my jeans skirt and see my mother’s text: Where are you?

I tap the camera icon, take a selfie with the beer at my mouth, and hit send. When the phone rings, I reject the call, but I read the text that follows: Melissa Ann, come home immediately.

It’s too hard to text. The touch pad keeps licking my fingers with its sandpaper tongue, so I use the voice recognition software.
“The grass stains on my tights won’t come clean. I think you’ll have to throw them out. Dirty things don’t belong in your house, do they?”

Fireflies switch on and off around me. Their lights leave trails and I lose myself in the messages they spell: SLUT. WHORE. TRAMP.

Minutes, maybe hours, later I finish my text. “When you discovered John was stained, you threw him out. In four years, when I’m an adult, you can throw me out, too. By then I’ll have caused enough scandal it should eclipse the fact you have a gay son. Then you and Dad can hold your heads up in church, proud you purged your house of all its corruption.”

I hit send.

The phone rings. I toss it into the grass, gulp my beer, then go back inside to look for Dan.

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Amy Francisconi is a small business owner, artist, and freelance writer from Wilmington,Delaware. Amy has competed and advanced in NYC Midnight’s flash and short story competitions. Her short fiction has appeared on Gold Fever Press and author, Liz Schriftsteller’s, site. Amy has also written and illustrated a children’s alphabet book, An Audacious Alphabet, which can be found on Amazon. Learn more about Amy and her work on her blog.

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