SPELL to Shed One's Ideology in the Gods' Domain
Lucy Biederman

He's basically the king of the electronics area. He doesn't mean to brag, but life is good. If you can't live on the salary they're giving you here, that's on you. He makes the same as the other guys, and he lives in his own apartment, a condo, with two televisions, one of which offers a 4K viewing experience. That one he purchased with his employee discount. He bought the other at Best Buy, because he didn't want to take advantage of Walmart by making too many large purchases with his employee discount. He'll do that occasionally, shop elsewhere although he knows Walmart has the best prices. For example, he'll often buy cosmetics like shampoo and conditioner at the CVS by his condo, for the sake of convenience, it being so close to where he lives, and also so as not to abuse his Walmart employee discount. However, he knows that Walmart has the freshest produce, so he picks up groceries there a couple times a week after his shift. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps by starting in grocery and working his way into electronics, increasing his hourly salary by, well, it would be rude to say how much, so he'll just say a lot. Sometimes, he actually does end up telling people how much he makes, but only customers he has developed a relationship with, by serving them on either multiple occasions or for an extended period of time on a single occasion—for example, if they're making a large purchase, like a television. To be honest, he's not entirely sure that Walmart has the freshest produce. Once, when he was still in grocery, he opened a box of potatoes that were all soft and moldy, and his supervisor told him to put them out on the floor. But that could have been an aberration. Anyway, nothing like that would ever happen in electronics.

Lucy Biederman has work in or coming from AGNI, Conjunctions, Ploughshares and others. This short is from THE WALMART BOOK OF THE DEAD, which is just out from Vine Leaves Press.

Read her postcard.

Detail of photo on main page courtesy of Random Retail.

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