James Holden: Freebies

I was crammed into a corner below the steps that lead off the Great Northern Line platforms at Finsbury Park station. Wearing a loud fleece, I was stood behind a massive plastic barrel, giving freebies to the harassed and hurried commuters.

A man came up to me, wearing a suit, shirt open at the top button, a day’s stubble on his face and a copy of Metro in his arms. He looked to be in his mid-thirties.

“What you giving away? Is it yoghurt?”

“No, not yoghurt…”

“But it’s some sort of food, right? ‘Cos I didn’t have time for breakfast this morning.”

“Er… no. Today’s freebies have been provided by the London Review of Books.”

“The … what the… what are they giving away?”

“Well …” I dipped my hand into the tub. “There’s a copy of Das Kaipital.”

“Sounds foreign – is it by the same guy that wrote those dragon tattoo books?”

“No. It’s by Karl Marx.”

I drew out a different book. “Or I could offer you The Future of Socialism by Tony Crossland.”

“Sounds a bit left-wing.”

“Well, that’s kind of the point. They’re giving these books away in response to the general election result.”

“Oh. But you definitely don’t have anything to eat?”

“No, sorry. But I do have The Road To Wigan Pier by George Orwell.”

“Oh, we watched an animated version of Animal Farm in English for our GCSE’s. Give me one of those.”

I delved in a pulled out a copy, handing it over to him.

“Cheers mate.” He took three steps towards continuing his commute, before turning round. “It does have talking animals in, doesn’t it?”


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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2 Responses to James Holden: Freebies

  1. mat says:

    if you enjoyed this you might like bureau of small observation by Matt Sheret http://tinyletter.com/smallobservation

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