The Pusher – “The Art of Food” Exhibit

CholocateI recently announced on Facebook that a piece of flash fiction I wrote was selected for display in “The Art of Food” exhibit and promised some folks I’d post the story somewhere (like, right here) where they could read it.  So here it is.

All that’s happened so far is this piece has been selected to be included in the show.  It hasn’t won any awards but there’s a small chance it still could.  Awards will be announced at the show reception on August 11th.  Wish me luck!

Full exhibit details

From the link:

“Food is vital to our lives, but its concepts and standards are as diverse as the culture that consumes it. What is the connection between food and art? The Art of Food, calls for artists and writers who seek to explore representations of food, food consumption, food production, culinary traditions and emotional manifestations of this relationship. This juried show is open to all art media including the written word, traditional to contemporary work, 2D or 3D, using a singular method or using a variety of techniques and imaginative interpretations.”

The Pusher

By Chris Negron

She found him where he always was: in the back, a chameleon blending into his surroundings. He didn’t call out to the passersby like some carnie hocking his wares. Fact was, he didn’t need to entice his customers at all. He knew they would find him.

They always did.

And she was no different. At this precise moment, time and again, watching him from a distance, plotting her next move, she almost mustered the strength to turn and leave, almost won the perpetual fight against her desperate urge. Almost.

She should resist this time, she knew she should.  But she just…couldn’t.

Her legs propelled her toward him. She glanced left and right, concerned someone might notice her involuntary progress. She was sure it exposed her obsession, laid bare the addiction she fought so hard to hide.

But no one was there to see it. They remained alone – a woman and her supplier.

When she reached him, she quickly requested her usual, hoping to expedite their transaction. He started to present it, then paused, pulling it back. “You sure you’re not ready for something stronger?”

“Something stronger? You mean, like…something new?” she asked.

He nodded. “Eight-five percent. I found a new source in Columbia. A single source.”

“Columbia. Really?” She sensed her voice had raised an octave and worked to lower it again. “Is it any good?”

He grinned. “You know I only carry the best. If you try this, I guarantee you’ll never go back to that other stuff.”

“Can I get a taste first?”

He shook his head. “Sorry, this one’s too rare for samples. You either want it or you don’t.”

She sighed. “How bad will it hook me?”

He smirked at her. “How bad are you hooked on the last stuff?”

She cast her eyes down at her feet and whispered, smiling in spite of her evident shame. “I-I can’t stop thinking about it.”

“Well, as I said – this is even better,” he assured her, deftly sliding his prize toward her.

A crowd had gathered around them now, other interested customers stopping to inspect his merchandise. She felt trapped. She wanted to escape.

“Okay. I’ll take it,” she blurted, snatching the package and dropping it into her basket. She began to hurry off.

“Wait – we have it with almonds, too!” he called after her, but she didn’t dare turn around. She just kept marching away, her straight-ahead stare interrupted only by periodic glances down to confirm the treasure she’d procured remained safely nestled amid the rest of her groceries.

One gleaming bar of Columbian dark chocolate. Eight-five percent pure.

She doubted it would even make it to the car.

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