This is another old one, from years, eons into the past, back when I was young and beautiful and full of shit. I actually don’t remember when I wrote it… that’s how old it must be.
“I don’t think so,” she said with marked finality.
The grocery boy paused in his bagging before he realized that she had an earpiece in and was speaking on the phone.
“No, no, I–yes, that’s mine, just put that — NO, I can’t let you do that…”
The grocery boy slipped a black cat into one of the plastic grocery bags and tied it off while she was distracted.
“Because it wouldn’t look good… because it’s stupid.”
The grocery boy slipped a dachshund into the other plastic bag and tied it off. This was a little harder, as the dachshund was wily.
“No, just put it– yes, put it center, like I asked. …center, like I told you. This conversation is over.”
She clicked off her earpiece, grabbed all the bags without acknowledging him, and headed for the door.
Then her groceries exploded into action.
Lean Meal Frozens skittered across the floor. Peaches sailed through the air in a flurry of barks and yaps. An otherworldly scream sounded from within the second grocery bag, and a bag of frozen french fries went straight up into the air, pirouetted, and plummeted straight down onto the startled woman’s head.
The cat and the dachshund clawed their way free from the bags she dropped, and streaked out of the room after each other in a blur of primal fury.
Lemons stopped rolling. Graham crackers skittered to a halt. The woman collapsed, dead with fright.
The manager poked his head out of the staff room and quickly appraised the scene.
“Goddamnit!” he said. “Who keeps putting animals in the groceries?”
Nobody said a word.
The bagboy smiled to himself and surreptitiously slipped a ferret into a distracted woman’s purse.