Sunday Snippet – 21st April 2024

Philip HarrisWritingLeave a Comment

This week, I’ve got the opening to a piece of flash fiction that was released as part of The Other Stories podcast. If you’d like to listen to the audio version of the whole story, it’s available here –


Jackson stared up at the women hanging on the wall, trying to decide which one he should add to his collection. He licked his lips. His mouth was dry, sticky. None of these particular items were available back in the U.S. At least not unless you were prepared to pay exorbitant import duties. Neither Jackson nor his dad were going to do that, and Jackson had brought a second suitcase with him just for this sort of opportunity.

He looked around the store and spotted the young assistant watching him from behind the counter.

“Hey! Mrs. Chan.”

The woman smiled but looked confused.

Jackson pointed at the display of printed body pillows on the wall. “How much are the dakimakura?”

The woman hurried forward, her confusion evaporating at the possibility of a sale. “Those are very good. Very special deal. Only 9,000 yen.”

Jackson made a derisive snort as though that was a ridiculous price. It was actually less than half what he’d pay at his local comic book store, but Mrs. Whatever didn’t need to know that.

He pointed at a pair of pillows featuring his favourite anime girls. “I’ll give you 10,000 yen for those two.”

The woman looked bemused.

Jackson sighed. “For the pillows. I’ll give you 10,000 for both.”

“Ah. Sorry, but I cannot—”

“I’m not paying 9,000 yen each. That’s just ridiculous.”

An older woman, the shop assistant’s mother maybe, appeared at the back of the store. She scowled at Jackson and began walking toward him.

“11,000 yen and that’s my final offer.”

“Sorry, but—”

The old woman placed a hand on the assistant’s shoulder. “It’s okay, Mei. I will help this gentleman.”

“Good,” Jackson said as the assistant hurried away. “I want both those, and I won’t pay any more than 11,000 yen. I should get a discount after she was so rude to me.”

The woman held Jackson’s gaze, a thoughtful expression on her craggy face. “You are collector, yes?”

“Yes, I am, and I—”

“I have unusual item. One of a kind. We have been keeping it for special person like you.”

Jackson smiled. “Show me.”

[Sunday Snippet – 21st April 2024 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 21st April 2024]

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