This is a rewrite of a story I posted last year titled “Blood Flows.”
Where the Cash Came From
By Laura McHale Holland
The mother’s stomach growls with hunger; there is no food. Her husband left hours ago to pick up Tylenol and a pizza discounted with a Domino’s coupon they picked up outside the local food bank.
She drifts into sleep and dreams her husband is chasing her. But she’s racing to catch up with a man in black who is dropping $100 bills in the snow as he walks. Her husband is dreaming the same dream while hunched over the steering wheel of their wheezing Mazda. The car went off the road when he rounded a curve and crashed into a tree. In the dream, he is limping, bleeding from a head wound, and falling farther and farther behind his wife.
Hours later the husband wakes up, eases out of the car, and with pizza and Tylenol in hand, limps back to the motel. Inside, his wife and child sleep on. Her fists are furled around wads of $100 bills. He wonders where the cash came from as he puts his wares on the table, sinks into the chair by the window and closes his eyes. Snow falls outside as a scab glistens on his forehead.