This Is the Air by Paul j Rogers

We’re back with our latest By Prescription Only: Themed Writing short story and essay showcase, this time with the theme of Regret. To start us off is our own Paul j Rogers with a story fit for a rainy day.

Read this backwards: The following story is entirely a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, events, etc. are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in the following works of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners. Some stories in this showcase contain adult themes, so reader caution is advised.

This Is the Air by Paul j Rogers

I don’t give a crap about mushrooms. But people who do will tell you that if you’re after a decent yield then you’ll need special sheds as temperature and humidity (not light, as many believe) are the most important factors. They’re grown indoors because the climate isn’t conducive to year-round harvests. Mind you, the climate in South West England isn’t conducive to anything, except, perhaps, boredom.

Like I said, mushrooms blow and all I do is pick them – button, chestnut, flat, portobello – I’m a part-time harvester, seven-till-seven, three nights a week. Still, it pays pretty well. That’s the only reason I do it. I harvest mushrooms three nights a week in cold sheds so that the rest of the time I can do as I please.

When I first started, they taught us about the different species and how to de-stalk them with a mushroom knife. My shifts were pretty haphazard back then, mostly covering people’s sickies. After that, I worked one day on, one day off. Now, though, after a year of sliding along aisles on a trolley in the dark, my week is nicely blocked. Sunday to Tuesday and then I’m done. In a neoliberal society that couldn’t give a toss, it’s the best deal you can hope for.

Which is why I always leave home in plenty of time before a shift…

To read the rest as a free pdf, click the “Download Now” button below.

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