No deposit, no return

It’s #flashfictionfeb and Writer’s Digest has a 28 day challenge with prompts! Eeep! I love flash – this is my day one entry.

**Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today’s prompt asks for no dialogue. #FlashFictionFeb

No Deposit, no return #flashfictionfeb Day One post

Sugary, bubbling goodness. Happiness in a bottle. The satisfying hiss of sweet-smelling pressurized fizz escaping as the cap cracked open on his fifth Kroaka-Cola of the day was just as intoxicating as the first time he got on the junk. It would never change. He had a monkey on his back he couldn’t shake.

The gateway syrup was Orange Crash. He chuckled as memories flooded his dopamine-addled brain. It was so easy to get mom to buy it. Things were so easy back then. Before he could feel the judgy eyes on him in the supermarket when he had to venture out on his own as an adult and full-blown addict.

He knew the toned girls in yoga pants laughed behind his back. He knew a guy 6 feet tall shouldn’t weigh what he did. It was no mystery to him that buying 7 cases of assorted flavors of fix once a week constituted a notable occurrence in his Hicksville hometown. Everyone knew he lived alone. Everyone knew he was the one using. They stared, they snickered, they rolled their eyes.

But it didn’t stop him. He needed the gallons of chartreuse goo in Mountain Screw that calcified his kidneys just like a heroin addict needed opiates to keep from having sweaty bouts of diarrhea.  The nectar in which gloriously huge amounts of sugar were delivered directly to his mucous membranes kept him calm. It made him feel normal even though he knew he looked anything but.

The irony of this conundrum wasn’t lost on him. He knew he had a choice. He chose the junk freely because it made him happy like nothing else could. The thought of being without his one and only vice was paralyzing enough to force him into action.

He was a man of contradictions. He must persevere through the obstacles to obtain his poison.

No deposit, no return.

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As a former transportation industry writer, I learned that a regular paycheck is nice, but writing about something you're no longer interested in is miserable. Apparently, I like writing more than money - so I'm back to freelancing at 52. It's not as altruistic as it sounds, I'm also cranky and difficult and refuse to fit in anymore, making steady employment pesky and potentially dangerous to my psyche.

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