The Cook

by Larry Strattner

“She said I hurt her and my father, the both of them.”


Rose patted her round belly, carried high and in front, likely a boy. “I can see that.” Her red knit top was stretched taut.


“Well I can't. I always treated them with respect. Mor'n I can say about how they treated me.”


“They only wanted you to work. Make something of yourself. Be somebody.”


“I am somebody. I got the best meth lab in the county.”


“Not that kind of somebody. A normal somebody, like Roy.”


“Roy is an asshole. I was to be like Roy we'd be making seventy five dollars a week.”


“My point is it would be a legit seventy five. I think that might be your Mom's point too.”


“Legit; shit legit. I can buy and sell Roy. The kid'll be born down at the good hospital. We got the money to do what we want. Won't be no spaced out midwife taking care of you. Be a card carrying doctor.”


“All that's true. I'm only saying straight money's got less pain riding on it.”




“It's not bullshit. It's why your Mom and Dad are hurt. Why they say you hurt them.”


“Well, I'm not going to stop. It's what I do. You and the kid will be set pretty good. Talk to me about something else. Something I can do something about.”


“Well if you can't do something about you and your Mom and Dad; second, I'd look into getting myself some teeth, I was you.”