Friday, May 16, 2008

After Midnight

"I'm not going to fuck you," she said, glaring at him through raccoon-black eyeliner.

He choked. "W-what?"

"I am not going to fuck you."

He tripped a step backward. "That's, um...."

She stayed frozen.

"...good to know."

He yanked his gaze over to the automatic doors.

What the hell? Did he look at her wrong?

He peeked. The raccoon eyes narrowed.

"I really wasn't going there," he said. "But thanks."

She picked up the bread, and the conveyor belt dragged everything forward.

"What do you call these?" she said, thrusting out a produce bag.


"What are they for?"

"You, um, steam them," he said. "You eat the leaves by scraping them with your teeth. The heart is excellent."

She wrinkled her nose.

Or not.

Behind him, the gentle sound of metal stacking on metal clicked. He turned to see a mouse scurry around a dude building a display of canned mushrooms.

It shot down the next aisle and triggered the automatic doors. The darting shape curved off into the sleepy street noises.

"This is a pretty weird grocery store," he said. "The lady at the deli told me about all her menopause periods. She pointed to the trashcan and said she runs through like a dozen maxi-pads a day."

No reaction from the cashier.

"I'm not sure I want to eat the chipped ham now."

"I've never had a period," she said.

He nodded a few times.

She dropped a bag of apples on top of his Wonder Bread.

He shrugged and handed her the twenty.


ChrisEldin said...

Is this your way of telling Aine you don't like to go grocery shopping? ;-)

Weird, whacky, and funny!!

SzélsőFa said...

I wonder if people actually tell about things like that to complete strangers... I bet they do. Sometimes even I do. Mwah-hah-hah.

paisley said...

god i hope this is a dream....

Sarah Hina said...

For some reason--and even though the whole thing was very quirky and dryly funny--my favorite line was, "What are they for?" Like she was even suspicious of those artichokes' motives...

And dump the ham, Jason. Not worth the risk. ;)

JaneyV said...

So funny Jason! There's this cashier at the supermarket I used to go to who commented on everything she put through the scanner.
"Condoms? Wine? Where's the orgy and am I invited?"
That sort of thing! She really cheered me up!

Can't wait for the Menopause!

Miladysa said...

Remind me not to shop there :-D

lol @ janeyv

Remind me not to shop there - ever! :-D

My favourite line?

"She dropped a bag of apples on top of his Wonder Bread."

girl with the mask said...

Hello. I like your blog very much. I like your style. I promise to come back.

girlwiththemask x

Jaye Wells said...

How could you not love a story that begins with that first line?

Geraldine said...

Jason: I'm wondering too, was this a dream?

FANCY said...

Oh...My...the F-word...That can catch the most uninterested to be interested ;-)

anne frasier said...

loved it!

wordtryst said...

Grabbed my attention from the f-f-first sentence, and never let go. Love the writing. Yeah, people sometimes blurt out the weirdest stuff to me and I have a hell of a time trying to keep my face neutral. Been told I don't succeed.

Popped by to let you know that author/literary agent/writing coach Orna Ross will be stopping by my blog on Sunday 18th, (that's a few hours away) and will answer any questions left in the comment trail. You're welcome to drop in!

Anonymous said...

Well, f-luck me! or not, as they case may be.
Too funny!

Anonymous said...

Chris, ha! You're on to me. ;)

Szelsofa, I've definitely had some strange things said to me.

Paisley, for some strange reason, this scene popped into my head. I decided to capture it.

Sarah, yeah, those artichokes are very suspicious. :) The ham had to go.

Janey, that sounds like a fun grocery store! Party indeed.

Miladysa, someone told me a true version of the mouse story. I bet that was fun to watch.

Girl with the Mask, welcome! I'm happy to have landed on your blog. I look forward to future visits!

Jaye, no one can resist it, I hope. ;)

Geraldine, weirdly, it was a daydream. Maybe I need more sleep!

Fancy, hopefully not too shocking.

Anne, I could see this store in a back corner of Tuonela.

Wordtryst, thanks! I'll try to stop over.

Aggie, LOL! I'm sure that guy couldn't wait to get out of there.

Patricia J. Hale said...

I loved this! Found it a little dark and scary, noir-like. You know, great.

Anonymous said...

Patricia, thanks! That's exactly what I was going for. The novel that I'm working on is somewhat like this in style and tone.

Deborah said...

Boy, I felt sorry for that grocery store clerk, lol! Great story.

Scott said...

"I'm not going to fuck you."

If I had a dime for every time I heard that...

The Quoibler said...

This cracked me up. I think I've shopped at this store... though no one has ever accused me of trying to have sex with them.

My only question: What's a guy who's buying artichokes doing with a loaf of Wonder Bread?


P.S. I'll bet she pockets the twenty. :) -AHC

Ello said...

Ok - this felt like a modern Twilight Zone type of moment. But I found it strangely real because there really are these strange folks out there. Very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Deborah, definitely a strange place.

Scott, oh man, that was too real.

Angelique, he's an eclectic sort of guy. ;)

Ello, that's a good way to describe it. I saw it like an alternate realty. Taking a walk on the wild side.

Precie said...

LMAO not only at that store but at this comment stream! I definitely got a "we're not in Kansas anymore" kind of vibe. Great atmosphere! Great weird characters!

And I'm pretty sure I would NOT eat anything from that store! LOL!

Therese said...

Love this. The surprise factor is excellent, and it ends on a great note.

briliantdonkey said...

excellent job on this. Good to see that you are staying busy with your writing. As a bartender for years I can tell you people wont hesitate to tell you the wierdest of things.