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Title: As Plastic as Bags

There were hundreds of them.  They wandered elegantly from store to store, their arms bent at the elbow to support brand-emblazoned bags, each one filled with designer goods.  And all goods paid for using their husband’s or boyfriend’s credit cards.

The lives of such women were meaningless and utterly superficial.

From the rooftop level of the car park Edward continued to watch as the women, mannequin-like, slinked and swayed down the street, each one as plastic as the bags they carried.  They looked serious in their vapid quests for more goods – new things to slot into the empty voids of their pointless existences.

Edward raised his rifle and aimed it at the street below.  Peering into the weapon’s telescopic sight he began to search for her.  She would be taller than most of them, he thought.  And her obsession for pink scarves should make her stand out.  He should find her quickly.

He was right.

Carrying just a single rope-handled bad the woman swayed out of a jewellery store, the bony lumps of her semi-emaciated catwalk figure obvious through her translucent white thigh-length dress.  On matchstick fake-tanned legs she glided through the crowd of shallow women, her pink neck scarf resting flat against her sunken chest.

The crosshairs of Edward’s site were now firmly centred on the woman’s forehead.  Edward tracked her and grinned.  The moment he had planned had finally arrived.  Years of torment, constant nagging and soul-destroying criticism would now end the instant he fired.  His heart raced.  Beads of sweat started to collect on his balding scalp.  He prepared to pull the trigger.

And then she looked directly at him.

Startled, Edward released his finger.  Fear and dread filled his mind as his gaze locked onto hers.  How could she know?

The woman raised her arm.  She pointed at him and opened her mouth wide.  A shrill scream, grating and sustained, emanated from her.  Her eyes were now wide, her gaze penetrating.  The scream continued, unbroken.

The other women in the street stopped walking and turned.  They all pointed at Edward.  They all screamed.

“Bloody hell!”  Edward exclaimed.  He dropped his rifle and ran.

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© Copyright Peter Fothergill 1992 - 2017

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