Monday, November 30, 2009

Discount Primrose (an Abbott challenge vignette)

Patti Abbott challenged the assembled to write a vignette about WalMart. A sleepy weekend didn't push me in one of the three directions I was thinking of, but this is the one that I actually spooled out:

Discount Primrose

Long ago, folks used to leave the store. I don’t know why or what they did, but that’s what they used to do. The Greeters went to the doors and welcomed people in, weren’t yet the Priests of Walton, or at least not the same way. Remarkable.

[The rest is currently in contractual reservation to the e-book DISCOUNT NOIR, edited by Patricia Abbott and Steve Weddell.]

Copyright 2009 by Todd Mason, solely and entirely.

10 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I want a refabricator. I have in mind that it will take care of a lot of things I need taking care of.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Such a clever story, Todd. I enjoyed so many lines, especially, "I dreamt that the Big Smile told me that I was the Truly Among the Discounted, The Very Special." What a riot. So glad you participated in the challenge!

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Kathleen. One of my notions was to do something in the mode of John Collier's "Evening Primrose"...but we go with the vignette we actually get down in phosphor...

Patti, wouldn't we all. The best story about this kind of thing is the introductory vignette to Damon Knight's A FOR ANYTHING, which I don't quite review below. His vision Much grimmer than mine.

sandra seamans said...

Wow! What a world you've created here. You left me wanting more and wondering what would become of your narrator.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Loved that!

Todd Mason said...

Sandra, Paul, you are too kind. Thanks. (I hope to read yours, Sandra, in the next day or so, along with the balance of the other contributions.)

Evan Lewis said...

Nice. Blessed be the Big Smile. I know where I'm heading when the apocalypse comes.

Todd Mason said...

Evan--Targets are slightly better appointed. Even if they have an unfortunate name if it's a matter of Avoiding Ground Zero.

K. A. Laity said...

You almost made me think kindly of Wal-Mart.

Almost.

Ah, the comfort of a big reassuring smile grinning down on you until its very oppressive cheerfulness would make you lose your mind...

Todd Mason said...

Oh, I certainly boycott WalMart. They strike me as the epitome of casual corporate evil, not really made up for by their aid in New Orleans and environs and what other small benison they might've done.

Also, I find the stores themselves, when I've been in them not buying with people who insisted on buying at them, they've been unpleasant in a way that even K-Mart and Target are not. And the latter are no great shakes.