Somewhere there is a marketplace where you can buy anything you want. Anything you can imagine exists at the marketplace, anything from the depths of the darkest nightmare to the heights of the most glorious dream. And you can have it all, as long as you can pay the price.

His smile was like a diseased caesarian section, a dark slit in pale flesh that stunk of rotting fetuses. His eyes looked like swollen pits, stained black, as if they'd been gouged out with tar-covered thumbs. Everything about him was abhorrent, from his face to his slick, thinning hair and his long, reaching fingers that seemed to be permanently practicing strangulation.

He was perfect.

The woman in black nodded as the auctioneer called out for last bids. Jealous stares darted towards her, visions of shock danced through the other patrons of the market but no-one out bid her. He was hers.


* * * * *


Andrew was sat on the park bench he always sat on, eating his usual lunch. A ham sandwich, a shiny green apple and a bottle of mineral water. The same items he had brought with him every time for the last seventeen years. Routine was Andrew's anchor, it kept him safe, at kept things reliable, which at the end of the day, Andrew supposed, was all you could really ask for in life.

He watched the children playing while he munched on his sandwiches in the usual fashion, starting at the corners and slowly eating the crusts first. The left one was eaten, then the right one, until all he had left was a little square of bread and ham with bite marks all along three edges. This promptly disappeared into Andrew's mouth and he swallowed with the satisfaction one can only get from completing a routine with perfect precision.

He glanced at his watch, it was 1:47, as always, and now was time to walk around the park for five minutes and then head back to the office with exactly one minute to spare. He placed his now empty lunch box into his bag and began walking. One minute into his walk he nodded to the right where the mother of two always sat with her kids, and he received a wave back as always, three minutes in he got a smile from the old lady walking her dog as she always did at this time. Four minutes in and he was thrown to the floor as a small boy burst out from the bushes alongside the path and ran past him. Time seemed to slow down as he fell and as he saw the look of what was it? Fear? In the boy's eyes, he could only think about how his routine had been ruined.

It just wouldn't do. It wouldn't do at all.

The End

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