First Pitch / Gary W. Hartley

So how’s it work again?

Premise: He had arrived at the door hours, perhaps days or weeks before. Consider that there were no doors at this point, so you’re going to have to think of a relevant proxy.

Things expressed, in the manner of the era: It’s too early. We’re still scratching phantom tadpole tails. Exchange of goods and/or services? Really we’re not sure what you’re talking about. We’re trying, honestly, we’re trying.

Conclusion: Inconclusive. On the one hand, it was a bad day for the globe’s first salesman. Let’s give out that title, considering that even though he was not a man as you would understand it, he had sales down to a degree incongruous with his appearance.

Look, he had unquestionably failed to make an actual sale, but this is a fact mitigated by the alternative fact that there existed neither products nor services at this point. When shadows have grown and shrunk a fair number of times over, his pitch would be seen as a glorious upwards swell from the primordial sludge. A joy. A smudged Ayn Rand face possibly discernible in a ragged bunch of ambitious cellular material.

Skills: Free optimism as standard. Every pudding over-egged. Speed. Definitely that; he was so far ahead of his time the concept of winning an unrewarded race with time was moot. Time was a shiny orb flirting unsubtly with uncertain skylines.

Feelings: Though he would scoff at such a suggestion from others, land still felt all too solid beneath his feet. The idea of a languid, slightly-salted flap at the dirt came with every doubt that made an appearance, and he was occasionally known to suck at stagnant pools of water expecting oxygen. That pointed out, he didn’t doubt a lot – these were anomalies, areas for improvement. That’s all. He would be the father of an empire of concrete-toned strivers and several million douchebags.

Dreams: You need them; plus you need to persuade others that your dream is the dream that they should dream, to the abandonment of all the others. He couldn’t accept they were just not ready to hold hands in shaking format and walk weirdly forward in an unbroken line that some would call history and others would later proclaim the end of.

He had the thought of a suitcase in his unclasped early rendering of a hand. The gods stayed silent and stock still, terrified of being noticed. If pushed hard for an independent adjudication, they might scrawl ‘whatever’ in the thick air with an index finger, to a non-specific audience.



Gary W. Hartley is from Leeds, but has voluntarily exiled himself to Athens for the time being. He used to co-edit The Alarmist magazine, and has a book of poems out on Listen Softly London Press.

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