By Eric Raanan Fischman
Amanda is excited for her demotion. “Things are looking down” she says, smiling. I order more lollipops, and the robot responds. Everything is wearing the Universal Symbol except the employees. We have our own labels and testing: 60% water, 28% plant matter, 12% allowable contaminants. I destroy 4000mg of medicated gummies and mix them up in soil. Customers watch me like an accident.
“Is this what you want?!” I shout to the 49 cameras above me.
“Are you Recreational or Medical?” a patient asks. “We’re Metaphorical,” I say. Longhair whistles like the golden flute, Zach is slowly turning into a Key. I take my place on the bridge and reboot my station.
This whole place runs on wire magic, making oil appear out of thin air, delivering brownies by telegram. Someone returns an empty box that smells suspiciously of grape candies, and we replace it without a thought.
It’s Monday, which means it’s my Friday. The cameras still think it’s an hour ago, but they won’t show me right now. It’s not our policy to gift each other hugs, but we do so anyway. Even our shoes have SOPs to follow. Lillian’s got one foot on the front desk, one in the inventory. We are all changing faster than the regulations. Like how a few weeks ago Mechele was one person, and in 8 months she’ll be two.
It’s like, wherever we are we become ourselves. If there’s a soul in me let it break. I’ve been lucky enough, haven’t I? Charity puts our future product into fictional rooms. We have a meeting on Thursday, but I probably won’t be there. It’s Passover and I forgot to put my blood on the doorpost.
Death calls at 3AM. It’s the bad news I’ve been waiting for.
Eric Raanan Fischman is an escaped New Yorker and runaway post-orthodox Jew. He teaches at Beyond Academia Free Skool and has had work in South Broadway Ghost Society, Bombay Gin, the Boulder Weekly, and the Punch Drunk Press Anthology. He is the author of Mordy Gets Enlightened, published through The Little Door at Lunamopolis in 2017.