Friday, May 25, 2012

At the Store

Stella ignored the pungent aroma of ripe strawberries and made a bee-line for the items on her list. On the way to checkout she passed by them again. She closed her eyes for a moment but could not block the soft, cultured store music. She had known she'd regret stopping by the most expensive super market in town but she was in a hurry.

She laid her items on the conveyor belt (a cucumber - not the organic kind, 2 frozen pizzas - on sale, potato wedges & fish sticks - store brand). The woman in front of her, with the shiny honey blond hair, wearing a freshly laundered beige suit and six-inch beige high-heels, had a pint of natural, organic yoghurt, a bunch of yellow, perfectly shaped bananas and yes, strawberries.

Stella's cell phone started ringing out the first chords of Take It Off.

The woman turned around and looked at Stella, taking in her grey hair roots, her baggy eyes, the wrinkly pink t-shirt and her faded jeans. She smirked.

"Hello?" said Stella timidly.

"Your boy made the honor-roll again", said the old voice. Pause. Stella could hear her grandmother lighting up one of her cigarettes. "Come on over, I've got strawberries." Click.

Stella fixed her eye on the register and began to add up the prices in her head, even though she was pretty sure she had enough money with her. She didn't notice the cashier's withering look. She was too busy smiling.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood


  1. This is a really sweet piece. I absolutely love her grandma calling her and putting everything in perspective. Reminds me of my own grandma.

  2. Thanks. The piece was supposed to be about location but it took a life of it's own.

    1. That often happens and when it does I say go with it!
      Thanks to you I am craving strawberries :-)

  3. I love Grandma's phone call in the middle of it. You really captured the fancy grocery store and how it feels when you feel out of place. Great job!

  4. I'm pretty sure I was that frumpy lady at the Whole Foods just the other day. I'd say you placed us firmly in the setting as regards your character.
    Loved the Grandma on the phone, no fuss, no chit chat, just come on over.

  5. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    I love Grandma's call, too, especially the fact that she had strawberries. Very evocative--you nailed the assignment.

  6. Nice. I thought I knew where this was going, but then came that phone call and - bam - in a completely different and nice direction. :)

  7. I like the internal friction: she didn't really want to be there and the others looked at her with disdain, proving to her that she didn't belong. And then, like the others, Grandma to the rescue! Well done!

  8. Loved both characters and the thought of those 6" heels. I love the smell of strawberries so I could very much imagine the store but, of course, I've quickly run into them myself. I would be in my own world too with such a call from Grandma plus she will have strawberries after all.

  9. That was good. Loved how the Grandma's call completely turned everything around. =)

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is a great piece of writing! Loved it! In fact, I'm going downstairs right now and washing some strawberries...;)

  11. I love the grandma calling. Loved it totally.

  12. Ah, great story! I love the end how the judgmental looks don't phase her at all because he mind is so focused on the good news.

  13. Many thanks to everyone's comments. Much appreciated. :)

  14. I have to add my kudos to the rest. I think you did a marvelous job of showing the elite setting, the contrasting character and grandma putting it all into perspective with something as simple as strawberries. Bravo!


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