Purchase Today

by Nick Chlopicki


In the last moments of closing time the remaining

purchasers are confronted with a choice. In the

rear aisles, certain characters chant miss-

remembered union melodies, demanding product life

cycle extensions. A fluorescent light twinkles the rhythm

of nervous feet shuffles. Along the boundaries of the

designated aisle zone a bargain remains un-purchased. In

tandem with the brussels sprouts, Isla's roll on deodorant

tailors an odourous shrinkage. Diane inspects the arrow

of the lime green exit sign, mistakes it for misdirection,

is noodled accordingly. Louis' oyster black quilted bag

dangles, with elbow on hip and left arm crooked at a

banana angle. The swivel casters rolling an

anachronistic trolley snap and crackle as they are

mysteriously traversed between the gaps in the vinyl

tiles. A light beam drifts down on aisle 5, illuminating

the newly arrived reduced salt baked beans. Theo

brushes the mashes of dirt off crème potatoes for the

sake of later emerging as dutiful. While certain of her

ambitions, Isla looks left down the aisles

questioning the crammed organisation of rows and rows

of shelves. It is time proper for Penelope to step

away from the anthropomorphic jowls of denial.

There is a cockroach that flutters in and out behind the

underworld of shelves and taste-tests the sudden

atmosphere. Please enjoy the entirely emerald daylight

beans. Froth on the fabulous frozen fish. Retire remains

of an afternoon grollicking. Great value all around. A

ducted air conditioner rustles on the condition that

Theo's hair conditioner remains lavender. The swoosh-

whoosh squeak of a wrinkled forehead gasping around in

sudden doubt. A pastel balloon exclaims a bright lettered

bargain. The airwaves coil below to Diane, now ordering

oranges alphabetically. David cheekily pops a grape into his

mouth and scrunches the sweat from his brow with a

complimentary basket wipe. The hooks of the closing time

clock ticks in tune tension buzzing from puzzled purchasers.

To soothe himself, the Clerk expresses sentiment in the

form of advertising slogans.


About the author

Nick Chlopicki is currently completing his Honours in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong. Nick has publications in Tertangala, Menace, Marrickville Pause, APL's digital chapbook 'Tell me Like You Mean It' and recently a short-play called Luvstuff staged as part of DIY. He currently resides in North Wollongong.

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