A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter VII: Day/Page 72 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . Sofia paces around the store in the boots, smiles and nods. “Yes, good,” she says, remembering more words.
From a rack of linen shirts Sofia selects two white ones and one black, and puts them on the counter, along with several pairs of socks and underwear. High up on a shelf near the front, she spots a small canvas knapsack with shoulder-strap and points to it. Marianova fetches the bag off the shelf using a long stick with a hook at the end, and hands it to her. “Yes, good,” Sofia says, inspecting it. Then, eyeing a shelf with blue-denim trousers, she crosses to the opposite side of the store.
“No, child. Those are not for you,” says Marianova, rushing over and pointing up to a black-and-white advertising poster showing a handsome, shirtless male posing barefoot on the beach wearing blue-denim jeans.
Sofia realizes the pants are for men, but she likes them anyway and gives a dismissive wave in the air like Marianova had done. “It’s nothing. Two, please,” she says, holding up two fingers and surprising herself when the words pop out. (Hey! That’s good. More words are coming.)
Marianova chuckles, stands back, studies Sofia’s waist and figure, does the same side to side head-bob she had done earlier when visually measuring her feet, then picks out two pairs of pants from the rack and hands them to her. “Come with me,” she says, leading Sofia into the back where she draws aside a curtain to a small booth, gesturing her to enter.
Instead, Sofia returns to the front and takes a shirt, a pair of underwear, and a pair of socks off the counter, picks up the bucket of water and carries everything back to the change room.
“Wait,” Marianova says, taking the bucket from Sofia. “Let me get you fresh water.” She returns moments later with clean water, a new hand-towel, and hands Sofia a hairbrush too.
Sofia takes both of the woman’s hands in hers. “Thank you,” she says.
Marianova’s eyes moisten, she swallows, and then she pushes Sofia into the change room to staunch her emotions.
“Are you serious?” blurts Ivana, having watched the whole scene. “She’s a dirty little grifter and you’re getting all misty-eyed and running around washing her feet like she was sent by God.”
“Don’t you blaspheme,” exclaims Marianova angrily. “We are all God’s children. And she’s not a grifter! You’re wrong about that. Look at her—she’s beautiful. Just dirty is all. And look at her eyes. Have you ever in your life seen eyes like hers before? I never have. And her bracelet, and necklace, and ring. There’s something different, something special about her. I can feel it.”
“Yeah, I’m sure she stole those too,” Ivana says with a curt little huff, and goes back to pretending to fold shirts.
In the privacy of the dressing room . . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
All rights reserved