Market High

Published by: Mat on 2nd May 2018 | View all blogs by Mat

Market High

by brightonsauce



Draft 1 pre-literature

Market High

The market hall is a fabulous Georgian pile with a vast internal space where once upon a time I deduce they sold fish.  Fish or seaweed.  And for my two penneth there is certainly room in the seaweed market for  a small trader/a boater such as myself  A dinghy stuffed with seaweed and moored at the beach.

‘Go on fatso, knock yourself out.’

Is what I envisage.  Tubby Lardon the weed addict gobbles giant facefulls of popping postule rock stickler, I dunno.  And then he burps and hands me a fiver.  In my trade the great danger is vibrating white ankle from standing in the shallows.

Anyway, fish at the market.  Well, there are not plenty more fish in the sea, so today the market sells bread and vegetables and cakes and stuff for handbags.  But it’s all cash, you see,  and artisan and terrifying human intercourse, all talking to each other, a great horror with the butcher.  There’s two butchers actually.  One butcher is lovely.  I need to go back and find Fred, and the tinkle in his eye during our conversation about mince and onions.  But with this cashless business business, most sensible folk haul the extra mile beyond the market up to McTescos and wander aisles searching for Mrs Furcoat Knickers and her favours.  But she is never there.

[Don’t read this baby, it’s literary fiction.  I would never make love to a stranger hag in a supermarket/divethrough into a freezer cabinet, thrust among frozen fish fingers and chips]

Now up at the market, it is rather desolate in December.  Only a handful of weebles wobbling in the spectacles and beige,  they are my people – but they do not know it as yet, [the] miserable buggers,  and time is tight, people.  And  I haven’t returned since my deafness confidence affliction.

I did visit at 4pm on Christmas Eve.  I roused Enoch from his attic, and said to my boy,

‘Come on laddie, Christmas Eve, we must share mince pies among homeless fellows, shower trinkets on the poor, purchase bottle of Givenchy no 7 for mother to drink.  Praise the Lord,’ I sang.

He growled and humped the pillow with his enormous genitals.  Finally, I dragged them both out of the sack.  He washed it and swallowed his coffee down,  and together we explored the wonderful and mysterious catacombs underneath the market.  A world designed for chaps such as ourselves.  A comic stall, a second hand book shop, mod clothing, records, lps of bandleaders from ’49.  A paradise, a little tired around the ears.  They maybe did deserve some customers, and what was the point of removing a pile of Warlords from here,  and piling them 100 yards down the street I began to realise.  But among those dreadful stalls of crock-shit, one single micro-business gleamed like a pearl.

‘Cowboys and Indians of The Frontier,’ estab 1973.

We rushed through the doors.   Enoch donned a headpiece, a tomahawk, and holding his tin of white lightning in my hand I reached for a Colt 45 and a sombrero.  We had not enjoyed such great pleasures since the millennium firework.  I shot him to death and I chewed my cheroot.

But yes, of course, it was quite unlike the final scene in the Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  He snapped shut his pocket watch, and there, slouched behind the till was the most disgusting and unhappy blob miserable shop-keeper and southerner I have ever witnessed in my life.

Bearded, and packaged in the distress of the 52-57 crime bracket, he pointed a stubby digit at my chest, and then he raised this finger toward the sign – ‘Do Not Touch,’ it said.

Well, I spat my cheroot to the floor.  ‘Sorry Dad,’ I said, ‘Are these quilts genuine Cherokee?’ I continued, and fingered the beads on the cabinet.

Again he pointed to his sign.

I knew in that moment this man was not to be the great companion I seek in Skaboeuff. This chap was not to be my buddy and inspiration down  at the Pipe & Anchor hostelry.

We removed the garments and left his store in our underpants.  Caught in the moment, and in the festivities, I hung my suede pigskin upon his mannequin.  I am too ashamed to return.

That’s all for now.  As summer approaches, I will go find my friend again.  It was probably seasonal–affected disorder on his behalf.  The shop-keepers down there,  I considered a place among them , and my plastic spitfires might yet rule the world one day.  But that day I couldn’t see any one of the fellows making more than fifty pence a session.  I’m sure summer crowds will bring a smile to all their lips.  All the best, and to everybody.



  • BellaM
    by BellaM 2 months ago
    I always look forward to your surreal tales and this one does not disappoint. Vibrating white ankle. You couldn’t make it up...
  • Mat
    by Mat 2 months ago
    Hi Bella,

    Thanks for saying that.

    From a writing POV - these ‘shorts’ always appear so lucid to me for 12 hours. And now, lying in the dark the dread creeps over me! I return a week later & jam in fifty prepositions. I’m boring myself now. Night :)
  • TheWeyMan
    by TheWeyMan 2 months ago
    I like it!
  • Mat
    by Mat 2 months ago
    Hi Wey, how are you, are you writing, how's man in the puddle story from ages back? I liked that one.
  • Barny
    by Barny 2 months ago
    Only fifty?
  • TheWeyMan
    by TheWeyMan 2 months ago
    Hi Mat, I'm good thanks! Hope you are too.
    I am writing, yes. First draft of the man in puddle story finished - people are reading it at the moment. If you wouldn't mind being a beta-reader, I will happily send you the full lot for a read through :)
    Bet you wish you hadn't asked now! Feel free to decline of course.
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