So today seen as it’s all about change, gifts, and strangeness (Bunnies laying chocolate eggs?) so I thought i’d talk about my short story “Fair Trade”. It’s a story about love, and the lengths people go to try and keep it. It’s also about strange stores that sell products to help you forget about all of the painful parts of life. There’s mention of body washes that help wash people out of your life, pencil shaped soaps that help clean and clear away all memory of teachers, bullies and ignorant parents. It slowly slips from a sympathetic post-breakup, and quickly enters something dark.
Here’s a little piece.
“I’m looking for something for my girlfriend, well actually she’s my ex girlfriend.’
‘That’s too bad,’ said Jennii with two eyes with a sympathetic tilt of her head. It reminded me of a dog that’s just been shown a card trick, but I decided not to point it out.
‘Would you like to purchase a present for your ex-partner, or perhaps yourself?’
‘Why would I buy a present for myself? I don’t really use any of this stuff.’
‘We have an excellent range of removal products to help you move on with your life.’
‘Look, I don’t think a makeover is going to cheer me up.’
‘Are you sure?’ said Jennii with two eyes snatching up a small tube from the table beside her. ‘This is a first kiss lip scrub.’
‘It’s really nice, but I don’t wear makeup you see.’
‘You don’t have to wear it for long. You just slide the applicator across your lips, and the product will remove that troublesome first kiss,’ she said miming the the action across her mouth.
‘I don’t get it? Is that its slogan or something?’ I asked.
‘No. It literally scrubs away that first kiss,’ said Jennii with two eyes casually. ‘You see the first kiss is the concrete proof that someone is actually interested, everything leading up to that moment can seem stressful and arduous, but once your lips meet in that magnetic moment a little piece of the universe becomes that bit brighter.’
‘And why would you want to get rid of that?’ I asked wondering whether she was pulling my leg or I had somehow managed to get the one mad member of staff.
‘To some of our pessimistic customers the first kiss is viewed as the beginning of the end, and once the relationship has run its course they wish they had never tried in the first place. This lip scrub takes away that first kiss. You will find some feelings still linger, which is to be expected, but it would only manifest itself in the instant chemistry we share with all surface encounters.”