Donâ€™t believe that bullshit they told you in orientation, kid. Itâ€™s always an easy sell. This is a new economy weâ€™re dealing with. Trust the product. You trust the product, itâ€™s an easy sell.
You ever been to Lagos, kid? In Lagos, thereâ€™s these big bastards, carry around hyenas like pets. I shit you not. Fucking hyenas. I was dealing with Samson, who was head of a tribe of Hyena Men there. Brother had Lagos in the palm of his hand, but it wasnâ€™t enough. Couldnâ€™t have been, or I wouldnâ€™t have been there, you know what I mean?
So weâ€™re at the restaurant–swank place, very swank–and hereâ€™s this man-mountain, Samson, and heâ€™s got this gigantic mongrel right there at the table. Itâ€™s the size of a Saint Bernard because of all the growth hormones Samson pumped into it, and itâ€™s right there at table, giggling and drooling, in a place that wouldnâ€™t let in a Welsh corgi.
I start off smoothâ€”always start off smooth. â€œLet me ask you a question, Samson. Are the Hyena Men respected? Or are they feared?â€
Youâ€™ll notice I went off the script, got to the point. You should stick to the script. Later, when you know it, then you can pull whatever you want out of your ass thatâ€™ll get you sales. Until then, stick to the script.
So Samson likes that I got right to the point and smiles like only an eight-foot tall bastard who regularly reams an entire city up the ass can. â€œYou tell me,â€ he says. â€œYou tell me, do you respect or fear me?â€
â€œHonestly?â€ I said right then. â€œNeither.â€
And then, BAM! That goddamn 300 pound beast is all up on me, like out of nowhere! Now, the Hyena Men train their mongrels to go for the jugular, and I could feel the fuckerâ€™s teeth scraping up against my neck. Naturally, everyone in the restaurant pretends not to notice. And Samson, Samson cannot wait to gloat over this.
â€œWhat now, my friend? Do you feel fear, or respect?â€ Goddamn smug bastard.
Iâ€™m not going to press my luck too far, not with that beast on my neck. So I say, â€œIâ€™m afraid of this furry fucker, I wonâ€™t lie to you. But the funny thing about fear, Samson, is that it can disappear pretty quickly.â€ And then I disintegrate the goddamn hyena. Now who has the respect?
This is why I love the fact that the demo models they give us now have that one live shot. I mean, you had no idea how hard it was to demonstrate proper destruction with a handful of blanks. You probably noticed how tiny the demo model is. Makes it good for dramatic situations. You know, after youâ€™ve learned the script.
Samsonâ€™s now aware of the destructive power of the X-J23, and heâ€™s this close to ordering a gross of ray guns for all his other little Hyena Men, but heâ€™s balking.
So I mention the bigger models. That lights up his eyes, tout suite. But not quite enough. So I mention Mantari, the head of a tribe of Hyena Men up in Cape Town, and how he had wanted the larger models, had his eyes on â€˜em. So I give him The Line. The Line always works. You should stick to the script, but let me tell you, The Line always works.
â€œMantari wanted some, but he couldnâ€™t pay. Not properly. Some people just arenâ€™t prepared for the new economy.â€
Samson grins real big, talks about how he is prepared, and buys damn near the entire catalogue with fucking gold bars. A week later, I donâ€™t even have to say shit, Mantari in Cape Town does the same.
Easy sell, kid. Theyâ€™re all easy sells, long as you trust the product.
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.
Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org