'Off the Peg' by Debbie Taggio

A grubby hand punches through the open window of my musty-smelling estate demanding money;  his arm hairs tickle my nose and my eye follows his pointed finger along a muddy track to a youth wearing an oversized radioactive green hi-viz gillet.  The youth beckons me onwards, stopping me with a Native American How, indicating my trading spot for the next four hours.



Mourning my Sunday paper lie-in, I unload a horde of essential-at-the-time junk onto the dewy grass and fight with the bent legs of my dad’s saggy pasting table to display my dusty bargains.  Professional car-booters rootle through my unwanted chattels with black-Friday style abandon, firing questions at me like a Guantanamo Bay interrogation:

'Jewellery?'

'Designer bags?'

‘Porcelain?’

‘Gold.’

Yes, and I’ve put them in a special box along with the Faberge Egg over there, marked MUG.

‘How much for Alanis Morrisette, luv?’

‘CD’s? 50p.... luv.’  I say, getting the hang of the lingo.

Rummaging around in his jeans pocket he places a groinally heated coin into the palm of my hand which I throw like a burning ember into my cash tin.

A woman grinds the fabric of a Next suit my husband bought for a christening between her nicotine-stained fingers, sniffing the length of the trousers like a lover kissing a woman’s arm.

‘It’s only been worn once,’ I offer, '£3?'

'50p?  It's for my son, for court.   It might not fit and I don't want to take the risk.'

'£2? You can't get much for two quid these days.'

'Sorry luv, 50p's me limit, its the risk...'.

'Yes, you said. Fine.  Far be it from me to deny your son a decent outfit to wear in court.  What's he done?'

'Nothing luv, he's the brief!’

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

‘Honey’ by Patricia Quintana Bidar

'How to Sacrifice Your Life in the line of Duty and Still Go Uncommemorated on War Memorials' by Jan Kaneen

DEBUT FLASH: 'Come home' by Anne Chapman