Fiction

Catalyst

By: Carlos Delgadillo

The cold spray of near-freezing muck from the gutter seemed to pounce on me from my right side. Even my umbrella could not protect my gray coat. It now weighed as much as a brick and was as drenched with as much water it could hold. My green eyes met the bare faces of the roses resting in my grasp. Then gazed toward the bright red petals floating down the gutter beside me. The stems met their fate as they were slammed into a nearby garbage-brimmed grave. Could you even have called them roses anymore?

He expected me to move for him, lest I would lose my twenty-dollar roses and once again drench my only warm jacket in half-frozen raindrops! It’s just like when the bus left me, Susan taking my cash, and when I got mugged. My mind raced faster than my quickening steps on the saturated stone beneath me. Not even the calm pitter-patter of the now-relenting drops of rain could soothe the anger that brought my blood to a boil.

As my viridescent eyes panned across my surroundings and all I could see were chunks of coal that added to that fiery rage. The dirty gutter was full of disposable pleasures. Each one procured with money people made using me as a footstool for their comfort. The same people who make smokestacks spew air as toxic as themselves. It made me sick, but not the same way they made Darla sick. That was, at least, until she passed away three years ago this day. But even the poor man’s roses couldn’t meet her. Instead, they familiarized themselves with the filthy floor.

The puddles, the cars, and especially the drivers were filthy too. They may as well be driving on top of me instead. I clenched my fist. Every moment of kindness from these people melted away and only their wrongs remained. Despite this, a grin crept onto my face thinking of splashing puddles being replaced with splashes of red on the wall. How wonderful our species could be if we wiped out every last person who kept them under their thumb. Every man, woman, and child above me in this world will know someday of the fury that burns within me. They will regret the day they splashed water on the man by the gutter.

Categories: Fiction

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