Damaged Goods

His sign read: ‘People for Sale’.
He said they were just odds and ends that he’d found in the back of his closet or up in the attic, that he’d been collecting for years and needed to get rid of.

I browsed through the bargain bin, found a tall blonde with a broken heart and a scruffy looking young lad with some battle scars. There were some others too, which had been marked down due to some wear and tear. A boy with a missing tooth and a domestic violence t-shirt, a priest with a missing collar and some sexual scandal staining his robe, a college graduate with some crushed dreams  and even a house wife bearing some scars from self inflicted wounds, but the man assured me they were just oven burns, nothing a good scrub and some bleach couldn’t fix.

A woman approached, eyeing a particular item on the sale rack; a sweet looking little girl with some spare change in her one hand and child molestation in the other. ‘How much for the girl?’ asked the woman. ‘£40’: said the man in a stern bargaining voice. ‘£40 is preposterous for that, look at the state of her, I’ll give you £10’, she said without flinching. ‘£15 said the man and we’ll call it even.’ They both nodded in agreement, exchanged some paper and the woman walked off with her bargain buy.

I turned to leave and as I walked away from the damaged goods, I couldn’t help but think that £40 is a bargain, even if all that girl had was some spare change and some child molestation, she was worth a whole lot more than that.

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