Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
TITLE: Shop Till You Drop
By Linda Gage
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The spectacular same neon billboard illuminated the full parking lot and she impressed herself by getting the front and center spot. She ignored the shrill up her spine as she entered because another bright light caught her attention. Even more luring than a blue-light and possibly leading to the deal of a lifetime.
She headed for the light making her way through various departments. To the right were racks and racks of women’s clothes. Clothes were her passion. It seemed there was no organization, so she just dug in. She pulled out a fuchsia taffeta dress that reminded her of her high-school prom dress. She had begged her mom for the backless dress. She shoved it back remembering how it did not make her more popular as she had hoped.
She flicked through hangars one by one, wading through, satin jackets, leotards, name brand jeans and then multiple sweatshirts with torn collars that went out in the 80s. Some seemed familiar. In the shoe department were Reebok pumps, moccasins and jelly shoes? She spotted some crystal heel Guccis, but already owned a pair. She made a mental note to shop online later.
She bypassed the appliance section, though a front-load washer caught her eye. It looked similar to one she had years ago. After 6 weeks, she demanded her husband to get another top-load because felt like she was at a laundromat.
Home décor was her favorite indulgence. This store was not in short supply. Aisles and aisles of wall art, tapestries, clocks, shelves, picture frames, vases, artificial flowers, figurines in iron, wood and copper. Then something stopped her in her tracks. A 5-foot replica sculpture of Venus de Milo, exactly like one she had long ago. She had tried to fix her nose after a moving mishap. The putty totally failed and she replaced Venus with 20 fake ficus trees. When the ficus trees gathered too much dust she sent them to the dump with Venus. This Venus de Milo had a crack in her nose.
The bright light beckoned, but she turned toward the furniture department. She weaved through the couches, beds, lamps and curio cabinets by the thousands. She sat in a recliner. Though, it still hadn’t occurred to her that everything was familiar, the comfort felt familiar. It suddenly hit her as she looked around. This IS her living room. The new leather couches, 90-inch LED TV, Tiffany lamps, Van Gogh print, all hers. Yet, the recliner was old and tattered, like one she sat in as a child with her mother.
Suddenly, she recalled something weird about the parking lot. It was full of familiar cars. Next to her 2019 Lamborghini, was a ‘65 Mustang, just like her first car. Her eyes widened. She saw the 1977 Charger, 1984 Mustang, ’97 Trans Am. All of them, cars she previously owned. But why? How?
The answer was at that light. She jumped up and ran toward it, weaving through years of her purchases. The faster she ran, the farther it seemed.
She fell back from exhaustion and was caught by the old recliner. This time she saw the book, displayed on the second shelf of the glass coffee table gathering dust. The one handed down from grandmother to mother to her. She sank in that recliner where her mother would read from it every night. The light seemed close now. She feared judgement, curled up in that chair and peeked through covered eyes. Then she saw what she needed to see, NOTHING.
The light moved away. Everything went black!
“Ma'am, you’re going to be okay. Breathe deep. It’s oxygen,” said the firefighter who pulled her out of the burning car.
Her body was burnt and bruised. She glanced over to her car wrapped around the neon ‘SHOP TILL YOU DROP’ sign post. Though dazed, everything was very clear.
She looked up, to the light and warmth from a loving detour that reminded of her something she learned as a child. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth… But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Mt 6:9-21)
“Thank You, God,” she whispered as she was moved to the ambulance.
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