These red goldfish candy are too hard on my teeth. I know why: the corner green grocer is a vampire. A soul-sucking psychopath devouring spare change aggressively borrowed from rich school kids. That monster has a lot of nerve. Do you know how many books I must have thrown into speeding bus paths to get where I am today? I think: It’s all for nothing. Candy’s not even chewable.
But where else can I go? He owns the only store where penny candy’s still available. And he knows this. Looks down at me from behind a low-rent homemade counter and smiles. Unbrushed fangs dripping my earnings right into Clark Kent’s cash register. What a cheapskate! Won’t buy a real one like Rita’s Deli. At least she has some class for a fat bitchy, overpriced sandwich-making windbag.
This guy, no, he’s a crooked-eyed ghoul straight out of Marvel comics or something.
A freaking city-licensed villain forever tracking public school victims. Once I wanted to buy a notebook. No can do I. The damned thing cost as much as three pork chops with a little left for kidney beans. He knows our needs. Knows our contempt for his kind. Fanged smirk reading poor children’s thoughts. Knowing our yo-yo budgets overflow after parochial loans are disbursed. Privately, I really do like those corny striped uniforms. Hope their bloody noses ain’t taken too personally. Candy demands sacrifice, theirs usually. Its just business. Their daddy’s would certainly understand. Half do it themselves. Vampires. Them. Him. The whole godforsaken bunch of bone-breaking SOB’s.
Last weekend my friends voted to light O’ Fanged One’s store on fire. Of course, while El Thiefo was home counting up our hard-earned money. Passionately I disagreed. Profanity leaving my lips like pregnant clouds pissing rain. I’d vote first to give his son a good beating—but my homework might suffer. Fire’s far too extreme; stale substitute for stylish payback. His customers had to get the message. Had to puke their rotten guts out, after ingesting chemically treated vegetables, to understand our discontent. Our toilet bowl campaign of protest was a big success.
What’s a little vomit for the cause of justice? Vampires don’t belong in our world. There are enough monsters to go around. More than willing to trick underprivileged school kids with spoiled candy. Raise prices to torture non-English speaking newcomers. Smirking with glee every miserable moment their cruelty is left unchallenged. We stood up for what’s right in our world. Some of his cowardly customers won’t stand up for days. Suddenly aware vampires don’t belong. They don’t belong—get it! And if you don’t get it, I got some special vegetables for you to eat. You’ll be bending over more than a two-dollar hooker at a cop convention. I see, you get it. (Yeah, like I really need your approval.)
Mark Antony Rossi’s poetry, criticism, fiction and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Another Chicago Review Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Collages & Bricolages, Death Throes, Deep South Journal, Ethical Specacle, Deep South Journal, Flash Fiction, The Magill Review, Japanophile, On The Rusk,Purple Patch, Sentiment Literary Journal, The Sacrificial and Wild Quarterly. His most recent play Eye of the Needle was produced by Grin Theatre, Liverpool, England and its youtube recording is available at the link below. http://markantonyrossi.jigsy.
Eye of the NeedleSLIME GREEN GROCER by Mark Antony Rossi,