Bootleg Bacon

It was austerity that had done it, it had finally broken Rosaline, the middle aged woman who had once been a teacher. She was hungry, she hadn’t had anything other than cups of weak tea for three days and before that it had been sandwiches morning and night – there wasn’t enough to do a noon meal with. The breaking point had come as she queued for the terminal in the library, you could no longer book it and so she would spend from 9 till 6 queuing, getting to the slow key worn machine, use it for 20 minutes until her time was up and then re-join the queue. She must have applied for thousands of jobs but she was 36 and past it for most career climbers, and over educated for pretty much everything that did come up and these days they checked you out – they didn’t want any more union coos caused by intelligent people getting mundane jobs.

It was drizzling and she was shaking from need of food, a gnawing in her belly made her feel bizarrely sick. And then the man with the shifty eyes and the bow tie shuffled up beside her, she had seen him around, even been approached by him before but now she was glad to see him. He had a long grubby beige mac.

‘Aai luv want some suasage?’

Back when her life was good she would have taken him for a flasher but now she knew he was the purveyor of stolen culinary delights. She was so hungry she couldn’t form the words to answer him, the thought of sausages was enough to make her go giddy. He took her non-response as a no sale and went to walk away but then paused.

‘I can see you is an upstanding member of society still so no knocked of stuff for you! How ’bout some bacon! It aint nicked!’ she stared wide eyed as he produced a bad of floppy bacon rashers with white vains of fat. She sighed and asked how much.

He grinned and wiped his nose on his coat sleeve. ‘Call it 30 quid and you can ‘ave the lot!’

Rosaline almost collapsed from the stress and disappointment.

‘But… I don’t have that sort of cash!’ she wailed alarming him, he stepped back from her shushing her as if she were a child and checked that everyone was studiously not paying them any attention.

‘I tells ya what, you can haves some very special bacon for a fiver,’ he produced another bag about the same size as the first but the bacon had less fat.

She narrowed her eyes at him, ‘what’s wrong with it?’

He stood awkward for a moment, ‘nuthing as such, it’s just sorta erm… fake, yeah it’s bootleg bacon that’s wha’ it is!’

She stared at him, ‘what does that even mean?’ snapped the inner teacher, she regretted it as his manner became cold.

‘It’s very special this bacon, I made it meself.’

‘Oh god you’ve got one of the nicked vats!’

‘Nah, too hot thems is, this is just good ol’ home splicing.’

‘You’ve not mucked around with the hormones or anything?’ she asked timidly. He shook his head and she found herself handing over half of the money she had left for the month. Of course they would stop her money all together if they found her doing anything illegal but she was now too hungry to care. She slipped the meat into her bag and tried not to think of cell sludges turning out synthetic meat as apposed to mr piggy in his field. To think she had once protested against GM crops now she didn’t care.

The afternoon seemed to stretch out with the thought of the bacon she carried, she couldn’t wait to get home to eat it and almost gobbled it raw. It was strange she thought as she chewed a piece, it tasted exactly the same to her, she just prayed it would not kill her.

Posted: Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 @ 11:03 pm
Categories: Flash Fiction.
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One Response to “Bootleg Bacon”

  1. Kev Sparrow Says:

    Ouch. I had a vision of something not quite right about this.

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