Poppy Day

Was that a nut?

Bradley spit the half chewed breakfast cookie into the remains of his lukewarm coffee. That had to be a nut. Incompetent fools were going to kill him with stupidity! There’s a reason he ordered the cookie with NO NUTS.

He didn’t feel his throat closing up and he didn’t feel itchy, so that was good. Must not have been a tree nut. Calming a little, he scanned the cluttered desktop and found an old envelope to wipe his mouth with. Picking it up, his eyes widened and his spine straightened as he saw what lay under it.

How in the hell did that stupid flower get there?

He thought back to the old hag on the sidewalk this morning. She had jumped right in front of him with a red paper flower. He’d been checking his phone on his way from the bus stop to the office and almost ran her over. He half wished he had. She was muttering something about money for dead people, but he wasn’t really interested.

“Dead people don’t need money.” He had brushed past, laughing at her stupid scam.

Now Bradley’s gag reflex sprung into action as his tongue discovered a tooth sized hole. It wasn’t a nut after all. The next tooth was loose, too. He’d have to call a dentist.

He picked up the ugly flower and tossed it in the wastebasket, only to realize that it was stuck to his finger.

A movie real of images flooded his mind:

Dashing young man in uniform.

Crying little girl at graveside.

Teen playing with a Ouija board.

Pentagram around an old woman.

Bradley’s teeth began to loosen and fall faster than he could spit them out. The hag! She had cursed him!

Maybe dead people really do need money.