‘Are you absolutely certain this product is GMO free?’ the woman asked the spice merchant.

‘Without a doubt, m’am,’ he answered, a friendly if not unsettling grin on his face.

‘And it contains none of those added chemicals?’

‘None at all, m’am. It’s completely natural.’

‘And it’s also vegan-friendly?’ she asked.

‘Yes, m’am.’

‘Gluten free?’

‘Best believe it, m’am.’

‘Wow,’ she said, sniffing the product she held in her hand. ‘It has quite a distinct smell to it. What did you say this was called again?’

‘Hemlock*, m’am. Or poison Hemlock, in some circles.’

‘Wait  a minute,’ she said, obvious suspicion arising in her voice. ‘It’s not from one of those Mosanto farms, is it?’

‘Monsanto?’ the spice merchant said, seemingly pensive. ‘Can’t say I ever met the fella. Wait, do you mean that Guatemalan chap selling fruits on the side of the road?’

‘No, Monsanto is . . oh nevermind. ‘She clapped her hands together in excitement. ‘I’ll take five bags then.’


*For those not familiar with Hemlock, it is a plant most famous for its toxic properties, that, if consumed by a mortal human, could result in a tragic case of absolute if not poetic deadness.