“Our fingers tap the air, as if this will summon a response; as if the gods, a god, will answer us.”
Rishi Dastidar would have us believe that we have no patience. And yet his short, Gresham’s Law, doesn’t fully reveal its value until the next time you pull out a five-pound note during one of those awkward exchanges at a till in Boots, and imagine all the things you could or could not say. For in Gresham’s Law, the protagonist meets a magical one-dollar note, that says anything it wants to. Or to be more accurate, says everything the holder is really thinking.
It’s an exploration of one person’s insularity, and their escape from it. The talking dollar he acquires brings him misfortune, but it brings him liberation too. It is both comforting and worrying to realise at the end that everything, everything, may have happened in the narrator’s head. That the dollar may have been his own paper Tyler Durden.
Gresham’s Law is a story of magical misfortune, a updated version of the ‘horror stories’ printed in the back of FHM, but it’s also an uprorious antifable, a torrent of expletives against a world where everything can be bought.
And it made me chuckle.
Gresham’s Law is part of the Bad Dollar collection, a set of stories that cost a dollar, and are about far worse ways to spend one. They’re really good.