A Good Job

Five years on from when we last visited this world, the Matriarchy is now firmly established, has become the norm with men resigned to losing what they once had, now gained by women who once had not…

“Hey Marky, I think you’ve done a good job with your make-up. I mean, it took you long enough time in the bathroom – no I am only joking – you look amazing.” Agnés leant forward, to try for a better view. “Ever since women were encouraged to abandon the application of cosmetics and men were forced to adopt them, you’ve led the way in ingenuity and artiness.”
Marky stared into the mirror, not admiring his 1.5 hour-long investment of time, but straight into his own eyes and only broken by the compulsion to blink, at 20 second intervals.
“Marky? You know the colours you have applied to your face have a kinda sunset feel about them. You are much better at this than I ever was.”
Agnés felt activated by Marky’s impassiveness. She wanted to help somehow, but was unsure how to. Plus, “helping” and “fixing” by women, as of the 4th of May in the previous year, had become viewed as a social gaffe, largely frowned upon and could get oneself into trouble if repeatedly spotted fulfilling these out-of-date traditional roles in public. This, Agnés knew well. After all, the Women’s Party had secured an overwhelming landslide victory and second term in office on this single, “No More Fixing” manifesto pledge.
“I love the almost horizontal straight lines across your face. Just how did you manage that?”
Marky remained silent.
“Marky sweetheart,” Agnés decided upon a different tact, “are you still ruminating over the Scottish pop star you ran over yesterday, whilst driving to the midi-market for this week’s food shop?”
If Agnés could sit somewhere comfortable inside Marky’s brain and watch on loop the memory news reel of his conscience, she might better understand his trauma.
Just for one moment, his concentration had shifted, he’d taken his eyes off the road. Passing through the half kilometre contra-flow, he’d flipped the sun shield down and checked his eye make-up in the stadium shaped vanity mirror.
Fifteen unattended seconds was all it had taken. A loud bump, followed by a flattened slide across the car bonnet, ending with an ungraceful roll along a half-length of the car roof.
Knocking traffic cones aside, Marky had pulled over and wasting no time, got out to see if the accident had caused serious injury. It had not. Instead it had caused a swift death. The Scottish has-been singer, was toast.
As Marky unceremoniously shoved the corpse into a deep trench dug into a section of cordoned off carriageway, not a single passing motorist appeared even vaguely interested.
“You understand don’t you Marky? We’re living in an age where no fuss is made when an unpopular male dies.” Agnés adopted diplomacy. “The law is not interested, the media and the general public. Now, even the families are accepting. Plus, he was very elderly.”
Marky dabbed at his lips with a folded cotton pad, minutely re-shaping the red lipstick. He closed down the invasive images in his imagination and set about preparing breakfast for them both.

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