Santa Baby

I lay my hands on the dingy brown paper sack. “The question isn’t where I got it. The question is are you willing to pay the agreed upon price.”
Big Dollar was a six foot four tower of muscle, covered in the Consho Cru tats and scarred from death matches at the Naval Yard. He stared at me radiating menace with hands like baseball mitts. And I would have been scared if I didn’t know he wanted what I had and he needed me for more. Those big fingers flexed yearning towards my sack.
“Deal.” He slid a small cardboard box across the tabletop.
“Deal, Biggie.”
Peeking into the bag, the prizefighter’s face split into a toothy grin. I hid my own grin. I pretended to study the ceiling as the big man regained his manly composure. Big Dollar patted my shoulder as he tucked his precious under his arm. He bent down close to my ear.
“Any update on the Yasmin with the accessories and the holographic poster, Baby?”
I spread out my hands. “Bratz intact complete with accessories are rarer than hen’s teeth. I know a guy with a one armed Sasha hardly played with.”
Big Dollar looked stricken.
“Ok, ok, I can’t say no to those baby blues. Next week I’m heading over to what is left of Jersey to mine the warehouses. I will scour for you,” I said.
The lopsided smile he gave me showed the child beneath the man. He clapped my shoulder hard enough to bruise. Big Clam disappeared in the night. Tequila sent me a bottle of water on the house. I made a few small trades, a few Lego kits, an unboxed My Little Pony, and an used American Girl with authentic outfits. The crowd at Chez Tequila’s was light so I decided to split before the murder gangs rocked the block. I blew Tequila a kiss and she caught it from behind the bar. Kansas and the Other Bob escorted me to EV. I tipped them a couple of Pokémon and they watched drive away safe.
I scanned the streets and sang Dolly Parton to settle my nerves. I had protection wards from all the major and most of the minor street gangs but still. My satchel was empty of toys and full of vegetables, protein bars, and an actual fresh orange. In my secret jacket pocket the bottle of Metformin leaned against heart. I didn’t like to think what would happen without it. Closer to home I back tracked and false turned to throw off any potential tails. I had grown up ashamed of my mom as a hoarder and my dad as a doomsday prepper. Our family was that family, the weirdos.
I parked in the garage, slipped in the door hidden behind tool shelf, and keyed in my passcode. My sister unlocked the release latch. Michaela pushed me out of the way to grab my satchel. There is only the two of us now and I guess we are still the weirdo family.
“Broccoli! Shane tell me you got broccoli,” my little sister shouted. “That pony was mint.”
I let her grab the groceries. I added the prescription medication to her bug out backpack. Laughing we headed back to the kitchen.

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