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#a389 :: Amethyst “crystal”

March 11, 2009

031109She regards it with suspicion.

“Amethyst?”

The Chinese shopkeeper nods firmly. “Finest, from Xian province. Xian province. Terra cotta warrior. Xian.”

He keeps nodding.

She drums her French-tipped nails against its too-glossy sides. She pricks at her fingertips with its perfectly asymmetrical point. She hefts it. Rolls it over in her perfumed hand.

Then she waves it at him: “Bullshit. It is not …”

“It is, lady. Finest amethyst, from Xian. Terra cotta warrior. Xian, lady. Finest quality crystal. Amethyst. Xian.

She cocks a skeptical brow at him. Rolls her eyes a bit for effect.

He keeps pointing at it, insisting, “Xian, Xian.” When she doesn’t bite, he hops down from his stool and pulls a few more from the case.

“You no like that one, look this one, very fine. Very fine. Hunan province. Powerful, this one. Hunan. Powerful. Look. No, look this one, also Xian province – big. This big one, very powerful.

He snatches away the first, hands her the second and third – which look even glossier – than the first.

“I need this to be real. I need this to be the real thing,” she snaps. “I need it for a healing ritual. Do you understand? It’s important. You’re bullshitting me, and this is important. Don’t bullshit me. “

Exasperated, he pulls out a huge crystal the size of his fist.

A car horn honks outside. It sounds expensive.

She cringes. Sighs. “Come on man, don’t you have anything real? This looks like a fucking peasant polished it for 9,000 hours on a fucking wheel, it’s too fucking perfect!

She is crumbling. The horn blats again, this time longer. Insistent. Impatient.

“This is fucking bullshit!

“No bullshit, lady, no bullshit, finest amethyst! “

He’s shaking the big crystal vigorously. Bouncing on the balls of his feet.

He frowns now, and shakes his head.

“You look, look here! This natural!” He points at the flaws running through it, tracing the veins of quartz with his fingernail, a man trying to convince his fellow castaways he knows the route out of the jungle to civilization.

“Natural! Finest amethyst!”

“It’s not, it’s fucking glass!” Her hands are flapping like injured pelicans now. She is crying. She is tugging at the elaborately scissored T-shirt she spent $300 on, wishing he’d fucking listen. The honking stops. A thick car door thunks shut. Outside, someone curses. Twice.

“I needed amethyst! How much!?” she shrieks, dabbing her eyes, sniffling.

He taps out a quick sum on the calculator, flips it to show her. “Thirty-four ninety-seven. It real! Good amethyst!”

She starts plucking bills from her wallet with a stiff pincer grip. “For the cleansing … All I needed … FUCK! … All! I needed! Was some real! Fucking! Amethyst!

Footsteps now. Stalking louder. “Keep the change!”

She bolts, and outside two sharp voices burst into a scuffle. Doors slam, tires chirp and a 12-cylinder engine howls up to a scream a block and a half away before shifting .

He exhales after a second.

He looks down at the seven 50-dollar bills in his hand and mutters.

Then he drops the first three crystals into the trash and sets about rearranging the rest of his stock.

Filed under: Artifact, Fetish, Microfiction, Mineral, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

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