The Incense Salesman
And the Wind Continues to Blow
Gill is about to close out Buyify when a little red circle in the top left corner of the screen catches his eye. In addition to being an ecommerce platform, Buyify is also a social networking website; moguls (that’s what the users are called) have profiles where they can post status updates and advertisements for new products or sales, a friends and competitors list to keep tabs on their close and closer ones, and, perhaps most importantly of all, a virtual mailbox for sending and receiving private messages. This morning, Gill has two messages clogging up his inbox. His pulse picks up just looking at them, and he begins to salivate.
The first message is from his Father. It reads:
I just wanted to thank you for being so, so helpful in the police investigation last night. In case you forgot – or, in your specifically delusional case, you thought you were dreaming – my house was broken into and robbed, and you slept through the entire thing. Fortunately, the bastard didn’t steal anything of real value, just a bunch of toys and knickknacks from your childhood, but still, that doesn’t make it right. Because you were asleep, the guy got away and the cops had no leads to go on, so I’m assigning the project to you. I want you to investigate my house and find evidence: a strand of hair, a dried pile of spittle, a clue of any kind, and if you can’t? Well, I won’t be surprised in the slightest.
You know what? Don’t even fucking bother, you’d probably just fall asleep during your search or turn in one of your own hairs, because that’s the kind of man you are. A failure of a man, one who will never have success no matter how hard he tries. I’ve tried with you, Gill, I really have – the fact that I even referred to you by your name just now should tell you exactly how hard I’ve tried – but you’re a lost cause. There’s not even hope that you’ll become someone’s trophy husband one day, because you’re not a trophy. All you are, Gill, is a Goddamned consolation ribbon given to the untalented kids who still have the guts to perform at their talent shows. Untalented kids just like you, that is, except you don’t even have any guts, you only performed because I fucking made you. You’re a fucking disgrace.
By the way, your rack of consolation ribbons was among the things stolen. No great loss, in my opinion, and as far as you’re concerned, my opinion is fact. No; my opinion is LAW.
You disappoint me,
After wiping the tears from his eyes with the neck of his white tee, Gill presses the blue save button and stores his Father’s latest correspondence with all the rest so he can go back and read them one day. On the inside, Gill doesn’t think he’s a total lost cause, he still has some semblance of hope about his future, but he also knows how smart his Father Bill is. Not just anyone could have developed Buyify, and the fact that Mister Bill Milligan was able to singlehandedly swindle the software’s sole developer out of the company without paying a cent in lawyer fees just speaks on the man’s intelligence; if and when the day comes where Gill realizes how much of a failure he really is, he wants to have this archive of emails to remind him why he is the way he is, to keep him anchored in reality, to give him a way to know that it’s not all just a bad dream.
The second message is from a Buyify user named Smells, of the firm Smells Inc. It reads:
Hrll0 they’re, iMsitr Gi1l Bootless! Mi nmae is Sm3llz, amd I an am djincense salismen. I wuz luokngi ay tuor syte nad its perty guud! Du yoo wnat two trie s3lli7g my djincense butnres? I cn synd yew a fr3e s4mp1e! Jsut rpley me yur adres nd I wi l l s3nd i+ 3 yiu.
Although the message is hard to read because of the apparent learning defect of its sender, Gill doesn’t waste a single second – like Father always said: When an opportunity presents itself, you better as hell jump onto it, because they’re quick like a jackalope and, in your case, Gill, a lot smarter than you are. A lot smarter than you’ll ever be. He types up a quick reply to this Smells, taking care to proofread his writing so Smells can maybe learn from his example, and then hits the send button. The whoosh sound brings a smile to Gill’s face, the first in days, and within seconds he gets another message in his inbox. It’s from his Father, and it reads:
P.S. I will not be coming home for a few days, as the rage I feel towards you has convinced me to stay out of the state. You don’t need to know where I am, and I doubt the burglar will come back – hitting homes twice in a row is not part of his pattern.
Unless he makes it so, starting with my house. If he comes, try not to sleep through it this time, hm?
Gill’s smile widens. He debates pulling up an adult video site to treat himself to something special this morning, to celebrate his Father’s absence and his upcoming success as a seller of incense products, but ultimately decides against it. Once the money starts rolling in, Gill will be able to hire his own actors and actresses to make videos just for him, videos that won’t be seen by anybody else. It’ll be worth the wait.
After opening the adult video website anyway – just to look at the thumbnails; don’t worry, Gill isn’t that depraved – Gill’s smile widens to the droopy lobes of his ears. With the cuffs of his pants pulled up around his mid-calves, Gill walks downstairs to get himself some breakfast.
Hello Commons, this has been the fourth subchapter of the eighth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Convenient Incidents and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here.
Be well Commons~