Jem had never been in a “real” store before, and the store knew a rookie customer when it saw one. As he slid his goggles to his forehead to see clearly in the gloom, the glittering tiles lit up beneath his feet, and a thousand soft hooks reached for his eyes. Rainbows of choice wove radiant tentacles about him! How could the severe Saver exchange malls wreathed in black crepe have ever prepared him for this? JUST KEEP MOVING, KEEP MOVING, DON’T LET YOUR EYE REST ANYWHERE, he told himself, walking firmly down the aisle toward the seemingly distant and unreachable counter. But the dreams were stacked so thick and bright on the shelves; it hurt not to reach out and touch them. Bright bottles of soda with their implicit promise of fun-filled romps with laughing girls, menthol cigarettes pitched by tinnily singing penguins holostitched on the cartons. KEEP MOVING! JUST KEEP MOVING!, he thought. But narcotic lollipops in myriad flavors leaned toward him like flowers toward a rare beam of sun. Bottles of cheap gin and mescal featuring skimpily clad sirens of several genders invited him to an afternoon of debauchery, cheap blue packets of cockroach editing software gave confident promise of virtual pest control, and rows of laundry soaps emanated their sweet and sickly perfumes, strangling him softly in a paradise of fluffy towels and sun-drenched sheets.
The lemon yellows and sweet purples of the packagings made him dream of synthetic blossoms—lawns of artificial grass, fanned by a climate-controlled breeze under a fluorescent sun. Meadows of cool, quick, sweet feeling spread in front of him, lands where true joy and real pain were equally impossible—landscapes looking into sunlit kitchens that were somehow everybody’s kitchens, full of always happy faces and endless platefuls of the world’s most delicious waffles. Mmm! Looked pretty tasty—especially the frozen ones with the pink bunny doing somersaults on the box, and perhaps … NO! NO! JUST WALK TO THE COUNTER! LOOK AT NOTHING! TOUCH NOTHING! FEEL NOTHING!
Rod Clark reads from “Redshift: Greenstreem”Published November 17, 2011 CBR Press , Kindle , Literature Leave a Comment
Tags: CBR Press, Redshift: Greenstreem, Rod Clark