Saul Lies by Tony Van Hart

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Saul Lies, 33 and uneager to lift his head off of the hair-grease–stained pillowcase that absorbed his mental anguish most nights, stayed in bed past noon. His reluctance to face the world pre–”Days of Our Lives” had been ongoing ever since Burger King outlawed smoking.

Saul had worked retail since sixteen. And since sixteen, no matter what product or merchandise he was asked to sell, he’d sell it. He could sell anything: ice to an Eskimo or donuts to a guy working at a donut shop. Anything.

But while Saul wasn’t selective about selling hairnets to bald chefs or bibles to nonbelievers, he was extremely selective about his work’s proximity to the Burger King. Every day, Saul had a vegetarian Whopper with cheese and extra mayo. And that side order of half french fries, half onion rings wasn’t allowed for just anyone—it was simply a perk of Saul’s having gotten in good with the lunch crew. And all that greasy goodness was accompanied by a Newport and the only soap opera he’d ever heard of, “Days of Our Lives.”

There was something about the taste of mayonnaise, the seeds on a Whopper bun, and the onions that, when mixed with menthol cigarette smoke and an hour-long dose of reality, made Saul tick. It made him feel alive.

The Surgeon General’s concern for the purveyors of Burger King #177 swiftly ruined that.


Tony Van Hart is a writer living in Milwaukee, WI. His work has been featured on WUWM’s Flash Fiction Friday and in Untoward.

© 2012 – 2013, Metazen.

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