Tag Archives: fiction

Stranger

 A fiction prompt

In hindsight, I should have run over her.

My supervisor, Dave, hired a woman for our team, I’ll call her Shelley.  She was six-foot-tall, three hundred pounds, with bright red hair in a bi-level cut, the left side was just below her earlobe, and the right side was collar length. 

I am not a superficial person; I don’t judge others by their appearance. Hell, I would never win any beauty contests myself.  However, there was something about Shelley… a niggling, prickly sensation at the back of my head, an anxious feeling in my chest, a warning to keep my distance.

A week or so later, on my lunch break, I pulled out of the parking space and headed toward the exit. Shelley stepped right into my path and stopped. Shelley, with her outlandish hair, long purple coat, and gray boots.

Just standing there, staring at me.

After I rolled down my window, she explained that her car was in the shop and she was on foot, would I mind if she rode to lunch with me?

That’s how it started. The next day, when I left for lunch, she went with me.  She always had horrible situations going on in her life, her boyfriend said mean things, her mother said mean things, her friends weren’t generous enough, you name it.  If it was bad, it was happening to her.

Then, she started having money woes, didn’t have enough money for groceries or to buy lunch, didn’t have enough money to buy cigarettes.  It progressed to not having money to pay her rent. I got a drunken, hysterical call one night asking if she could pitch a tent in my backyard because her friend threw her out and she had nowhere else to stay.

I felt drained all the time, exhausted. Then, I got sick.  After nine months of dealing with her, I ended up in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics for a massive respiratory infection. 

Shelley quit her job a few steps ahead of getting fired.  After she left, I never heard from her again.  

In hindsight, I should have run over her.