Down Belladonna Street (Pt. 1 of 6)

Nobody owns life, but anybody who can pick a frying pan owns death.
-  William S. Burroughs


It’s six AM.
She’s been staring at ceiling for one hour. A good time to get up as any, but the sun makes it a classic.
He just hit the REM sleep. His fingers and feet move in little ways, much like a pup. Those dreams are a thrill.
Her back is, as usual, in pain. But she can reach her walker. The day she doesn’t she’s done for.
In his dream, he runs. Not from something, but towards it. He feels a rush of adrenaline by doing that. Is he remembering?
Those lazy helpers didn't even arrived yet… But no foul, Georgie from security is a darling. He'll get her the smuggled goods before that nasty breakfast.
Or is he fantasizing? It might be both, as the last time such things happened it was all pretty much a messy haze.
She reaches for her radio, hidden of course. Dangit, it's out of batteries. Well, as if it would matter. Music these days is as good as white noise.
A haze of neon red and violet, filled with tribal sounds and nothing but fulfilment. He wished it would come back when awake, so his head fulfilled it to its most when he dreamt.
Anyway, she grabbed her glasses and one of the old newspapers. Better that than nothing, she guessed.
His blood rushed and he sweat, he was almost there. His hands clasped with anticipation, but as he was reached for it… He woke.
After all, she had plenty of time to kill.
And he only wished he could do the later.


Betty was about tired of reading those papers for the gosh knows which time. She peeked out of the door, in the hopes that Georgie would be passing by with the goods.
You know, chips, white chocolate with raisins and that dang coffee hard candy.
The good bad stuff.
And, just as she thought of the food she clearly was not medically allowed to eat, Georgie popped up. He was wearing the grey security uniform, as he usually did, and strolled casually down the corridor with his big rectangular size and lovable manner. His fingers filled with uniquely colored tied ribbons, three in each an avid one could say. That'd be both his age and the amount of elderly people he had to get going with the contraband. He also had a huge "laundry" bag, and one of those squaredy security caps, with the company's badge above the bill.
"Adityi Solutions", written inside the "police knock-off" brazen. No one inside the retirement home bothered to know though. Three quarters of them would need a magnifier to check that too.
He noticed Betty, and after looking to each of his sides he moved towards her in his "stealth" mode.
He just hunched down and walked doing hand gestures.
"Huh… Hello there Mrs. Okeke!"
"No need for formalities Georgie boy, where's my gains?"
"Oh! One sec."
He opened the bag, and inside it there could be seen several other neatly packaged bags, each with a different pattern and visible huge amount of care. The security man checked his ribbons, and untied the bright red ribbon from his pinkie finger.
Georgie handed the old lady the shining silver star pattern bag and a, not surprisingly, red ribbon.
"There you go, ma'am!"
"Ah! Thanks, sweetie. You're the best we could get here."
He blushed.
"No prob, Mrs. Okeke… I just want to make sure that at least once a month you friendly folk can get some nice treats."
"Well, be assured that we are as grateful as we can get when it comes to it. Only the devil knows how they get to make such poor tasting food around here."
"Hehe, I know the feeling ma'am. Ma used to buy food like that for gramps. I tasted it once, but frankly I couldn't say because it basically nothing to the mouth. But what can we do? The doctors pretty much force us to serve that."
"To hell with those demons! Can't believe we stand their machinated nonsense. Well, enough of my silliness, soon Jenkins will get up. You know how he gets when you don't deliver his stash on time."
"Well, yes! I'll be going then."
Betty waved as he went to the other end of the corridor, clumsily as he usually does, and then closed the door.
He had good intentions, making sure to spend some of his money on those elders… He just didn't realize on how that was prejudicial. Their happiness come first to his thoughts than their lifespans, one could suppose.
She carefully separated the contents of the bag on the bedside table, filling her pockets with the coffee candy, carefully aligning the chocolate behind a painting on the wall and placing the chips inside her pillow, while carefully hiding the gift wrap under her bed. Those had to last for a month.
After that, the elderly lady laid back on the bed again, picked one of the coffee candies, unwrapped it and put it in her mouth.
Some people would ask if liking them was a thing she got over time.
She'd say "No, I've always liked those…"
That wasn't quite true.
She despised coffee, having to feel its smell everyday at every hour as her mother worked.
She hated to be woken up early, after a whole night studying, just to be tired and have the house filled with it too.
She didn't like the fact that she had to have it going down her throat as she got older and staying awake got harder.
It was an all around bad experience bringer.
Well, it was until she met him.
He showed up all of a sudden, as she was there sitting alone in the park.
He smiled at her, she blushed. He made a joke, she laughed.
And so they were talking.
And then he asked… "Do you like it?"
A coffee candy in his palm.
And ever since that day, she liked it. Life got a little bit easier whenever she'd have to deal with it.
It eventually became a reminder of how things can change for good.
Her daughter brought her some after his funeral.
She didn't want them, she said "No, I've always hated those".
A couple of years passed, money got tight. She had to leave.
She asked for her daughter to bring some over the phone on her first day there.
And so in the second.
And the third.
But in the tenth she realized no candy would ever get to her.
Betty whipped her tears and put another candy in her mouth.
Yesterday's phone talk was all but nice.
She blinked twice and snapped out from the memories, what time was that?
She picked her nice wristwatch, 9:39 it showed.
'Odd…', She thought.
They caregivers were a lot late. She put the watch, her earrings and necklace.
'Where could those fools be?'


“I’ve got to start eating at home more.”

Nothing like home cooking while doing some good ol' reminiscing. Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong but the thought. Come back to get together in the next part right here!