A.J. Walker


Sanderson Filibuster’s...

Sanderson Filibuster’s Amazing Shopping Emporium
(somewhere off the beaten track)

‘Build it and they will come.’
‘I’ve heard that.’
‘Received wisdom.’
‘Maybe an old wive’s tale.’
‘A wise old wife.’
‘Or not, I mean come on!’
The silence rang through the store like a truth told in Parliament.
‘So, has there been anyone in today?’
‘Lots. Looks beautiful doesn’t it?’
‘Very Christmassy. I assume that’s what you mean.’
‘Good work from Ethel. I’m minded to give her a Christmas bonus.’
‘Erm… nice idea.’
‘What’s with the “erm”? I mean it is Christmas and she’s done a fab job.’
‘Stop it with the “erms”!’
‘Okay, um…’
‘Now come on, an “um” is the same as an “erm’.’
‘Is it?’
‘Yes, everyone knows that.’
‘Well look, yes, she’s done a fab job, the store looks amazing.’
‘Capital, who says that?’
‘I just did. Stop digressing; the ums?’
‘Okay, my point is the store is busy with people; packed in fact.’
‘Well all these people work here, don’t they?’
‘Yes. Yes indeed.’
‘Spit it out man, what you getting at?’
‘It was the same yesterday. The day before. The week before and the month before.’
‘Let’s cut to the chase. We haven’t had a customer here since June. And she was only her ‘cos she was lost.’
‘I remember, Brenda. Said she loved it. Filled in a form.’
‘Yep, I know. It’s on the top of the pile of customer questionnaires. And the bottom.’
‘Not everyone fills them in.’
‘There hasn’t been anyone else.’
‘It’s been slower than I’d want.’
‘Slower! It’s dead!’
‘Dead. Look, I have two pieces of advice my friend.’
‘Go on.’
‘Make sure your fire insurance is up to date – I know a man with a can.’
‘Oh come on!’
‘You can’t go on like this, it’s not healthy. As “mad as Sanderson Filibuster” is a saying now.’
‘A fire. That’s like giving up.’
‘It IS giving up. But with a money back guarantee. It’s the only option.’
‘I’m not saying yes, but what was the second bit of advice?’
‘You must take out a Contract on the wise old wife who told you “they would come”. Bloody liar.’
‘Ho ho fucking ho!’

'Flash Master' - Angry Hourglass 120 (December 2016)
Word Count: 360