30 May 2011
From Mr Storyteller
I entered a TK Max today. An odd breed of store with a seemingly transparent slogan ‘designer labels for less’, Looking for a deal, I compromised myself. Crossing the threshold of the doorway like an ending to a so-so honeymoon, the street behind me moaned. The cold kisses me goodbye unable to follow, but something new lingered patiently, purposefully; ready to pounce on every new unsuspecting
And there it was, the stench of broken dreams mixed with the ever-popular aroma of fresh cow carcass drapery. A smell so intense, the fragrance of all the thrift-eyed yummy mummy patrons could not muster up the courage to mask. The plaster slowly prying free from its windowless constraints, like a snail heading towards the busy roads unaware of its fate. The neglected floor lies in tatters under foot. Once proud and flawless, Most likely cannot remember the last time its been baptized with the warm caress of soapy goodness, seeping into its pores. The stringy arms of a morbid mop massaging its wrinkles.
Once happy and proud balloons sag under the weight of their purpose in life, to trick people into happiness. A cunning and exploitive ploy to forgo their monetary concerns and deplete their savings for the splendour of a new shiny item of inconsequence. Signs hung mercilessly from the rafters, with overly common typography, swaying gingerly from the stampede invading the floor above. The drone of fifty six mourning worker bees, there for all to hear if you stop and listen closely, collectively sighing from their mistakes in life that got them to this place. Was it the missed lecture that one insignificant Monday after a heavy weekend? Was it something that could not be controlled, written in the fabric of time? Every new prospective customer they sell themselves to is a reminder of what they could have become.
“Five minutes until closing”, a musky voice crackles through the ambient noise over the intercom like a sudden stay of execution being called. The relief shows in the posture of the scurrying servants, ever so slightly more confident in their strides.
A security guard stands proud at the doorway, strength and resolution in his eyes, shooing away the no longer welcome vermin.
I leave, bag clenched in hand content with my purchase, not swayed from the harrowing exhibition on display. Guilt washed away by the feeling of investing in a new part of me for all to behold. The Cold welcomes me back with open arms, rich coffee, freshly baked baguette in the air. Until we meet again, desolate charlatan.
Dear Mr Storyteller. Thanks for your email. And your delightfully-crafted little anecdote there. Unfortunately, I'm not a judge for a short story competition, I'm a single lady looking for a date. So I'm afraid your wondersome wordsmithery has gone to waste as all I was after was a 'you're fit, fancy a fajita and a fumble?'. So may I suggest you go back to the storyboard whilst I go back to the drawing board. Oh well. Yours fablelessly