The Primark Invasion

‘Quick!’ You hiss diving around the dark space as light begins to spill in. You scramble for many seconds before turning to the rest of us with your own prize. Another necklace; bigger and shinier than the one in the robot’s midriff.

‘There’s a jewellery stand buried under there, grab something before they see us!’

And we do, with more measured calm than I might have expected. And then we form our ludicrous tableau, like a photograph of astronauts waving at a camera while the Earth explodes and in our hands, the trinkets and jewels of Primark pirate plunder, offered in good will to the harbingers of doom.

I thought at least one of us would die, imagining perhaps that their vision is based on movement, or heat source or they would have heard our thumping hearts, but like magpies, the lens of their mono-eyes point straight to the glittering temptations that dangle from our fleshy hands.


We had to stay still for a very long time while they checked and rechecked that they had every last shiny item. We lost watches from wrists and dead mobiles from pockets, but we stiffened our muscles and allowed not a flinch.

It took them hours to leave, the liquid creak muffled by the clank of cheap plastic hitting alien metal and when we finally emerged from the den we could survey the land of the meticulous theft.

It could have been a tornado, or an earthquake, or a riot but we would not have survived those so easily. The remnants of the soldiers mixed with the fabrics of the clothes and were easy to glimpse over. A couple of members of our group took up their rifles and headed out, without a word.

I grasped your hand again and you responded with a bear hug. Tears had finally reached your eyes, but you smiled through them.

‘Grab a basket,’ you said to me, and only me. ‘We need to stock up on shiny things.’

Dave Hartley is a short story writer from Preston now living in Manchester with two rabbits, five guinea pigs, three rats and one human. In 2008-2009 he wrote one short story a week for a year and posted them, often late and sometimes rushed, onto The blog was the runner-up in the ‘Best Writing on a Blog’ category at the 2009 Manchester Blog Awards. He now has a new home at where he is trying to remain at least a little bit optimistic…

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3 Responses to “The Primark Invasion”

  1. January 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm, Tweets that mention Rainy City Stories - The Primark Invasion -- said:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Isabel Joely Black, Martin, Daniel Carpenter, Bad Language, Bad Language and others. Bad Language said: The brilliant @lonlonranch has this he also features in our second anthology […]

  2. February 01, 2011 at 11:09 am, Benjamin Judge said:

    Brilliant stuff.

  3. February 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm, richard owain roberts said:

    i lived in manchester, england and they said ‘prImark’.

    i live in cardiff, wales and they say ‘prEEmark’.

    ‘s all good yo.


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