Emerging Market

I pushed myself up against the rock, lifted my gaze to the horizon, wiped the sweat out of my eyes, and blinked against the salty sting. By squinting, I could cancel out some of the glare from sun glinting off hundreds upon thousands of tiny white sand crystals…or was it hundreds of millions? Either way, I could just about make out the line where brilliant blue-white sky met brilliant gold-white sand. It couldn’t be as straight and mercilessly empty as it looked, could it? When the sun lowered I would be able to see more clearly, find some point of reference.

It’s strange how things work out. One moment I was about to close the deal of a lifetime and the next it all collapsed, like a seemingly perfect cake whose middle suddenly and unstoppably sinks before your eyes. I had even precisely followed every step of the Manual this time. It’s not supposed to get you robbed, beaten and abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

Oh well, no sense in brooding. We travelling merchants are made of sterner stuff than that. And it was important to get back, so my experiences could be analysed and added to the Manual.

I decided to rest against my rock until sunset. Then maybe the horizon would reveal more. If not, I’d use the stars to follow a consistent direction. Walking at night should keep me alive longer. I had to believe that I would see a different horizon before it was too late. It was all the hope that I had and it was what the Manual suggested.

2 thoughts on “Emerging Market”

  1. You’re very good at these tantalising in-the-middle-of-a-story things – I enjoy the way this refuses to commit on whether it’s a futuristic or perfectly mundane salesman whose deal has gone spectacularly sour. I also liked the details of the landscape, the sun/sand etc. If I had any problem with the piece it’s in the ending, which seems a bit abrupt and inconclusive even for this slice-of-longer-narrative thing.

  2. I’m intrigued by the Manual. Following the steps of the Manual shouldn’t get you beaten and abandoned in a desert but something similar happened in the past because the Manual suggest how to survive such an event – believe in a new horizon. But then her/his encounter would be analysed and added to the Manual. So following the Manual is supposed to have a specific outcome but in case it doesn’t there are various follow up options, that are continuously updated. Fantastic, they can rely on the Manual to be unreliable but they still follow the Manual and appear to hold it in some sort of reverence.

    I enjoyed the idea of the Manual more than the actual story – oops…

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