Flash Fiction: There Will Be A Party

Twelve women filed into the living room, which seemed to shrink its 20 x 15 size. The red couch seats were gone first, then the tan recliners, but the folding chairs remained mostly unoccupied until Melissa made the announcement.

“Hi Everybody! Thank you SO much for coming. I think most of you know, Heather. And if you know Heather you know she sells Ostaka.”

That made the women laugh.

“So I am hosting this party because I wanted an excuse to see you all, and I wanted a discount and free gift.” They all laughed again. “So, please, keep eating, definitely keep drinking, but I’m going to turn it over to Heather.”

She turned to Heather who nodded and gathered the brochures from the coffee table.

“The LookBooks are here, they’re gorgeous by the way,” she began handing them to each woman. “Feel free to just peruse these while start the personal demonstrations. Who’s first?”  

In the ensuing pause, Heather pointed to Sarah, who stood aside from the group stacking tater tots into a pyramid.“You want to be my first one? I’m so excited!”

“Oh, me?”

Heather patted a seat. “Here, here.”

Sarah sat and placed her taters in her lap and her wine on the nearby side table.

She asked, “How long have you been selling Ostaka?”

“It’s been 5 months.”

“You like it?”

“LOVE it. Are you familiar with the product?”

“A little. My cousin sold it for a while. She does the bag thing now.”

“Oh, Carrollita?”

“Yeah. That one.”

“I’m surprised she switched. The income potential is way lower, but everyone knows what works best for their demographics, you know?”

“Hmmm.”

“So, you didn’t wear makeup, right?”

“I did.”

“Wow. It looks so natural. Well, I can just put the product on your arm to test.” She opened the clear plastic bag she was carrying with about 8 little sample bottles inside. “Was there anything in particular that interested you in the line?”

“The moisturizer maybe. And not just because it’s the cheapest thing.” Sarah winked and the women shared a smile.  “I’m out at home of my regular stuff.”

Heather pulled out a bottle with pastel yellow cream and began to tap it against her thigh. “The moisturizer is amazing.” She unscrewed the silver cap. “Here, lend me your arm.” Heather took Sarah’s wrist in one hand and used the other to squeeze a thin line of cream onto her forearm. “Blend that in.”

Sarah did as she was told.

Heather said, “I was just telling Melissa that if you get the moisturizer, that’s her free gift, you should really get a Start 1 Cleanser because the natural acids in the cleansers work, scientifically, with the oils of the moisturizer so that there’s no buildup in the pores.”

Sarah used her newly moisturized arm to grab her wine. “Oh, yeah?”

“Totally. I used to sell a lot of just the moisturizer and my director was telling me that sometimes, if you just do the moisturizer without our cleanser, there’s a small chance for breakouts.” Heather pointed at Sarah’s arm, “Smell it.”

Sarah lifted the wine over her head to sniff her forearm. “That’s nice.”

“Feel it too. Can you tell how that changes the balance of the skin?”

“Mmmhmm. I’m prone to breakouts though.”

“It’s super rare, actually. I just don’t feel comfortable not mentioning it if I am only selling the moisturizer. But today, if you get the Sample Start Pack, which has Start 1, moisturizer and night cream, the price on everything drops by $7. It’s a great deal.”

“Cool. I can appreciate how that all… scientifically goes together. But I can’t afford the Sample Pack, and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“I shouldn’t have said ‘uncomfortable.’ Between you and me, just trying the moisturizer won’t hurt if that’s all you can afford. It’s a great starting point. Then if you like it … the Start 1 Cleanser or Sample Start Pack would be, like, a perfect NEXT step.”

“No. You were right to warn me,” Sarah stood with her empty plate and winked. “Actually, I’m just here for the tater tots. Can I get you anything while I’m up, so you can keep working the room?”

Heather stood and rubbed her hands together, spreading out the remaining moisturizer and her smile. “No, thanks. This isn’t even work! We’re just a bunch of gals hanging out, sharing beauty tips and wine.”

“Well, alright then. Thanks for the breakout prevention tip.”

“Well, thank you for coming. I’m sure Melissa is really happy you’re here.”

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