Flights of Angels
by Melissa Shaw
She slumped down the dirty alley, ignoring the discarded garbage, the drifts of broken things with sharp edges. She felt like a broken thing with sharp edges herself.
"You're back?" came the familiar voice. "So soon?"
"I need it," she said, hugging herself. She couldn't bring herself to look at her dealer's face, so she stared instead at his maroon sweatshirt. Its nondescript faded logo had become illegible with stains. With hands that shook only a little, she held out crumpled bills.
"Tell me what you want," he said.
"You know what I want," she said, resentfully. "Angel."
"You should take it easy on that stuff," he said.
"Like you care," she said, feeling a little venom rise in her. "Like anyone cares."
He shrugged. "Your funeral." With a quick glance around, he slid a small yellow packet out of his pocket, exchanged it for the cash.
As she started to open it, he said, "Whoa, not here."
She stared at him dully, then looked down at the package again, her fingers working at the seal.
"You want me to take it back?" he said sharply. He jerked his chin into the alley's deeper shadows. "Back there. Go on."
Caught between swelling anger and fear, she shuffled further in.
"And sit down, for God's sake! You know you don't want to do that shit on your feet."