Friday, February 5, 2010

A bad case of salesman’s toe -- flash fiction

Mick had been selling door to door for over two hundred years. His toes had taken a real beating in that time. You don't get company provided steel toed shoes until you hit the two hundred and fiftieth year; that is unless you decide to pay for them out of pocket and Mick had always been a cheapskate.

Even though his flimsy shoes offered little to no protection, Mick would slide his right foot over the threshold as soon as the mark opened up, and leave it there no matter how many times they slammed the door. Oh, some of the musicians and artists recognized a kindred spirit right away and swung the door wide, but when he was confronted with the eggheads and the inventors they often resisted his charms and really put wear and tear on his foot.

But Mick would keep on spewing his spiel, until something caught their interest. Mick knew that the best thing he had going for him besides the lack of feeling in his foot was that his product never went out of style. If he could just keep the sucker interested long enough they invariably bit.

Who wouldn't want eternal life? Oh, not the kind you get from King James, or the kind that demons are said to offer from time to time to hapless goofs who sell their souls willy nilly. No, what Mick carried door to door was something that every mortal lusted after.

Fame.

That thing that every soul at one time or another had craved….. be it fifteen minutes worth or not.

Mick had been bitten as a young lad with the need for fame and after he'd signed up had been elevated through the ranks of indentured servitude until he was so useful that his immortality now had staying power. He was famous for all time. No one hit wonder was he. Mick had even worked the problem with his dead right foot into his act. It had morphed in to his signature cock of the walk dance.

He only had a couple of regrets. He regretted signing on for a three hundred year stint, it could get grueling touring the globe while he was supposed to be on hiatus from touring with the band, and he regretted not taking the Dorian Gray clause. But he consoled himself with the fact that even if he had, he would never have looked as good as Sting, who was a goddamned alien after all……and he'd never, no matter how long he lived or how long he toured, look as bad as Keith.

50 comments:

Anton Gully said...

Normally I just lie, out of politeness, but that was a really funny zinger at the end.

Mel Morton said...

This is great. It builds up, drawing you in, leaving you wondering what he is selling and what/who he is. I loved that it was Fame. Very appropriate in this day and age.

Really enjoyed reading this.

Michael Solender said...

Poor Keith, but he always manages to get the super model.. very imaginative and creative piece here Karen.

Alan W. Davidson said...

That was very cleaver. The man who seems to go on fovever.

mazzz in Leeds said...

That ending is priceless (and didn't Keith always look like that..?!)

The Dorian Gray clause - haha!

Karen from Mentor said...

I loved him in the "pirates" movie Mazzz.... they didn't even need to use makeup....

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Alan...indeed he does...an icon our man Mick...

@ Melanie...thanks for stopping in. I was new to your work...enjoyed your flash today!

Karen from Mentor said...

Thank you very much Michael...and I have it on good authority that there may be a little bit of magic involved in bagging those supermodels....

[extrapolate from there...I'll wait...]

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Anton, so glad you didn't have to be polite today. I know how that irks you. :0)

Marisa Birns said...

"cock of the walk dance" Heh. I knew it had a name a rooster could love.

Yes, Sting is an alien. And he could never, ever look as good as Bowie, who came from a neighboring galaxy where the Ziggys play guitaarrr!

Keith does look bad but his son, Captain Jack Sparrow, is not bad, not bad at all.

Karen from Mentor said...

Almost went with Bowie, but since he'd proclaimed his other worldlyness to the universe already I didn't think that would have any jolting power... I mean really...he has two different colored eyes and everything!


Re: Pirates...I never figured out if they were father/son or siblings...cause all he says is how's mum? then the shrunken head...hee hee hee....but Johnny Depp? There are not enough m's in the word yummmmmmmmmmmm.

Eric J. Krause said...

Excellent story. Quite amusing. Especially liked the ending.

~Tim said...

I always knew there had to be some other-worldly explanation for the attraction to rock stars. Very funny ending with this. And we both reference rock icons in our flash this week!

Michelle said...

Great story - loved the ending! :)

Mark Kerstetter said...

Even - especially - as a young man, Richards was ONE UGLY MFer. I really enjoyed this piece.

Weezel said...

This was a great read with an extremely funny ending! Bravo!

judy said...

Ha! Love this one! And I always suspected there was magic involved in bagging the supermodels!

Laura Eno said...

Fun! The first sentence was a great hook, and the last...priceless! ;)

Chris Chartrand said...

Very funny. That explains his "dead foot".

Carrie said...

Great imagination here. Perhaps we'll see some action from this salesman next time?

Karen from Mentor said...

Nah Carrie, I think this was a one shot deal for me... that said..."see some action" led me down an interesting path....[not judging anybody] what you all do on your own time and with your own rock icons is purely between you and your writing muses.....

[grins at you] and people wonder why we write....

Sam said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this - what a great story. Loved the last line, it's just perfect.

Linda said...

Great story, framed perfectly between your 1st and last lines. Lots of fun... Peace, Linda

Melissa said...

I loved the title first. Started laughing, knowing I was in for some fun. I agree with Linda--very well-framed. The piece also built my curiosity until I *had* to find out what he was selling--and the answer, with the rock star twist, was just wonderful. Sting as an alien...so that explains it...

Karen from Mentor said...

Melissa, I've always loved Sting. And I think both he and his work have gotten better with maturity. I saw an interview with him a couple of years ago and at one point he was doing yoga in these teeny tiny briefs......how do you spell hommananahommanna? I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I laughed at the ending. I wasn't so sure about the middle....

Thanks for stopping in and taking the time to comment.

Karen :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Sam and Linda and Weezel and Michelle,

Thanks guys! Glad you enjoyed the last line especially.... It surprised me at how short the story turned out, but apparently these few words were all Mick needed to tell the tale.

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Mark...I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. Thank you for restraining yourself whilst describing Mr. Richards...[grins at you]...try using "twinkle" as a swear word sometimes.... it will most likely bewilder those around you...and that's always fun.

katirra said...

What a fun story! I especially loved the ending but all of it was wonderful. Sting in tiny brief doing yoga? I bet if he added that to his show, it was cause a riot.

Tony Noland said...

I loved this, and the final line about Keith... priceless! Well done!

shannon said...

Yes! Yes! Thank you, I always wondered why he walked like that! lol, thanks for the giggles, Karen. :-)

Karen from Mentor said...

You are most welcome Shannon!

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Hee hee hee ... katirra,
I can just see the headlines....Sting starts riot with "Reverse Warrior" pose...

I'd watch that "film at eleven" ....

[heck I'm watching it in my head right now...]

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Eric and Tim and Judy and Tony and Chris,

Thanks so much for stopping in guys and taking the time to comment!!!! Really appreciated.

Karen :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Laura, a giggle from you for a zinger?
*happy dance* [and if you snorted anything through your nose...I'll add a cartwheel...]

:0)

livloveslit said...

Ahh, poor Keith. That man is a walking skeletor! Loved all the rock references. I'm still such a groupie!

PJ said...

What a busy guy he is! Touring and still peddling his wares ... who knew! Very cute story!

Deanna Schrayer said...

Well Karen, I can only echo what everyone has already said - this whole story is just priceless, perfect first sentence, perfect, hilarious ending. Just plain fun!

P.S. Sorry it took me so long to get here - just had to finish that heartbreaking story for next week. I hope it makes at least one person cry as much as it did me!

dan powell said...

I love how this starts in one place and ends up somewhere quite different. Great tone to match the subject matter and that ending is laugh out loud funny. Brilliant.

Cascade Lily said...

I love how you had the salesman lingo down pat! Great lead-in to this piece Karen :)

And yes, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Johnny Depp mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)

Karen from Mentor said...

laughing @ [and with] Lily.... :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Olivia and PJ, thanks for stopping in guys, glad you liked it. Yes, poor thing he's wearing himself right down to the bone....

Speaking of bones....LOVE the word "skeletor" Liv !! But the funny thing? The action figure for skeletor has a LOT more meat and muscle on it than one would expect....

*says someone who sometimes [secretly] browses in the comic book store....

Karen from Mentor said...

That's a ringing endorsement for you flash next week Deanna....now I don't know if I'm looking forward to it...or dreading it....but either way...I'll bring tissues....

Glad that this one made you laugh...

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Dan,
Woo hoo! A laugh out loud funny and a brilliant!
[head swells to alarming proportions]
Thanks so much for the kind comment here and the glowing endorsement on twitter...It was so enthusiastic that it made ME want to run off and read it again....

Karen :0)

Dana said...

Hee -- I really enjoyed this!

Cathy Olliffe said...

I came to read your flash.. and, like everyone else here, thought it was hilarious... but I stayed to read you random thoughts. You are just the funniest thing since sliced bread!
And, I dunno, I always thought Keith looked hotter than the rest of 'em. I guess I'm just a fan of the tall-dark-and-wasted.

CJ Hodges MacFarlane said...

Heh, artists and musicians always open up, eh? I'm sure many scientists & eggheads are opening the door a bit quicker these days.
A fabulous idea, I loved the idea AND the fun bits with stars you put in.

Christian Bell said...

Love the opening line to this! The last line is great too! Oh, hell, they’re all great! This is quite a clever and amusing tale!

estrella05azul said...

Hey honey!
I just stopped by to see what's new on MY since I couldn't poke my head in in so long...
and your flash caught my eye from the very first sentence!
Very funny and imaginative, I'm now picturing a door to door salesman who's trying to save his foot from your banging the door on it :P
But I say it's worth getting your foot dead if it triggers your imagination which produces this great flash :)
Very nice, loved it :))

Cat Connor said...

Well that explains a lot really.

I've been a Stones fan since I was young (and just for the record I'm not THAT old now) - always wondered about Mick's walk...

And well, Keith's always looked like he'd just fallen out of a coconut tree, imagine my amusement when he did. (but the man can play guitar)

Karen from Mentor said...

Yes the man certainly can play Cat!

It's nice to see you out and about again Estrella, missed you!

@ CJ and Christian and Dana, thank you for the enthusiastic comments, and for taking the time to read and tell me you liked it.

@ Cathy Olliffe, wow! My random thoughts are the "funniest thing since sliced bread" that's quite a debut comment. I'll keep churning out random thoughts if you keep enjoying them. Deal? [they will insist on showing up in my brain anyway, but this way it seems like I have a reason for them] Thanks for stopping in.

Karen :0)