Green Things GrowingMature

Lyn looked up at the huge vaulted ceilings, as tall as a cathedral.
"There's nothing growing in my womb." Lyn insisted.
"Laugh if you will, but I got a feel for these things."
What did she mean by that? Did she mean that she knew women's bodies, or something—else?
“Ty, you ever have a dream where you can control what happens?”
She shook her head. “My dreams is pictures mostly, flashes. I like to think of them as alternate futures. You know, like possible timelines.”
They sat silently as Ty licked the edge of the spliff, which was almost perfect enough to pass for a store-bought cigarette.
Lyn said, “Alex had an overdose this morning. Were you home? Maybe that was what your prediction was about." Lyn eyed Tyree furtively.
The joint hung off the tips of her fingers. She shook her bald head. "No baby, life is a pitiless journey and you just setting out." She cupped her hand around a shiny silver lighter and inhaled. She didn’t pass it to Lyn, who regarded any kind of smoking as an unpleasant exercise.
“Yeah, but,” Lyn said as if joking, “You said you saw blood. Is it my blood?” She hiccuped a little laugh.
Tyree exhaled. “Comes from you. Got to be your blood.”
Lyn took in the big open living room, not sure how or if to respond. The room was too bright and colorful for this ridiculous talk. She tried to imagine what it was that Ty saw—what she thought she saw—this blood, what part of her body it came from, how much there was. But she didn't want to give the topic any more weight, as it had gotten already more than it deserved. She imagined herself in a white room, her arm comically ripped off and red gushing like a faucet. She shivered. What a terrible trick to play on her; could this be a way to weaken her defenses, so she would take the job?
Lyn looked through the double-paned, honey-colored glasses to measure the honesty coming out of Tyree's eyes. But her heavy lids were barely open. She only looked stoned.
Suddenly the scent of the spliff was revolting. Lyn thought she might throw up.
Tyree tapped the manila envelope. "I got the paperwork here. I'm just saying. Maintain your dignity. I'm not about to throw you out on the street. I just need a sign of your goodwill. An indication that you're willing to step up to the plate. An inkling that you ain't just going to throw away easy money when it's begging in your face." And the last part she said with some aggression, like not filling out the form was an insult to the easy money and the good faith in their landlordly relationship.
"Excuse me," Lyn said, "I'll have to think about it." And she rushed to the bathroom, pacing herself but feeling her ramen and coffee rushing to greet her mouth, with an extra rush of saliva. Through the screen of her glasses, Lyn was sure that Tyree was watching her, judging, coming to plain and clear conclusions. She did not have the time to lock the bathroom door; instead she turned on the tap and dropped before the toilet, greeting her soup as it rushed back to her mouth.
She must have the stomach flu. She did not look up at the giant mosaic of Marilyn Monroe that she knew was plastered over the toilet. Even the eyes of gentle Marilyn were more than she could bear in that moment. She wiped her mouth, breathless from the effort of reversing her digestive system, and watched her mess flush away.
She rocked back and forth on the cold black and white tile. What a fool she had been. She would fill out the forms. She would take the job. She had no choice. But for now she wanted to be anywhere but there.
Ty's words came back to her: A child in your womb. The pale cold potion wears a crown. don't go chasing serpents down the serpent hole.
She closed her eyes and tried to remember the snake in her dreams. was he black or green? He was both, striped, the stripes changing in her mind like the twist of a Barber's pole. She saw it drilling into the earth, tilling the soil like a giant earthworm, green things growing in its wake.

The End

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