By Frances A. Garcia
It is the year 2121. Celeste, a naked woman lay dead in an alley of the city. Her thighs and breasts were bruised. What appeared to be a deep gash on her forehead was a clot of dark dry blood. People milled past the alley, some glanced at her, then, strolled by. Two men stopped and glared at her.
“Is she dead?’
“Yep.” “Did someone call the bitch detail?” echoed a third man, referring to the city’s collection of dead prostitutes. In this city, as in many others across the country, it had become the norm to eliminate them.
“Yes,” answered an elder woman who was dressed in a cotton loose-fitting brown turtle neck shirt and baggy pants with tennis shoes. This fashion mode had outlasted the show-it-all fads of the previous century. Women were covering up. And those who didn’t were tagged as prostitutes and banned from society. The woman took a closer look at the body. “She got what she deserved, the slut!” She grimaced and strutted away, feeling justice had prevailed.
The people gathered around the dead woman, nodded in agreement and strolled along. A dog came and licked Celeste’s face. The only compassion extended to her.
Soon the garbage detail came, and with a lift dumped Celeste in the bed of the truck, along with the other bodies. The dump site was outside the city in a land fill which was covered with decaying bodies. The stench was overwhelming. The driver, who was wearing a gas mask, drove away completing his task for the day. Sometimes when the stench becomes too pungent they burn the bodies, because it is the norm to do so.
Another dead woman joined the heap; Celeste need no longer fear the outcome of her chosen profession, because she had reached her anticipated end.