Grocery Store

This is a bit from a piece of fiction I’m playing around with. The protagonist seems to acquire a power where complete strangers start confessing their worst sins to him. It hasn’t been decided if this newly acquired power is real or if the protagonist is experiencing a mental break from reality.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I grabbed a Snickers at the register. An older woman, probably late 50’s, rang me up.

I always hate these exchanges. I never know what to say or where to look. I decided to intently focus on the part of the register that shows the cost. You know, that dark rectangle? It was one of those registers from a batch in the 60s that clearly were made too well.

I began to space out.

I wasn’t paying attention…until I was forced to.

The woman started to tell a story.

It was clearly meant for me, but she wasn’t looking at me.

She held the Snickers bar in her two hands and starting rubbing the wrapper with her left thumb. She continued this consistent smoothing motion as she spoke.

“I was the one who mixed the Fentanyl in his bag. You don’t need much…just a few specs. It’s tasteless so he didn’t notice it wasn’t just heroine.”

“Every time I came home and saw a new stain on his shirt and smelled his rotten feet, I couldn’t believe it. Something that came out of my vagina was already long dead. Content to just wither in his 20’s. What sort of fatalism bullshit do they teach now in those schools?”

*pause*

“It was hard pretending to cry at his funeral. That really is an art you know? I wasn’t very good. People who cry usually shed more than one tear hehe.”

“So I wore an appropriate hat with a brim that cast a shadow over my eyes. I said as few words as possible. People didn’t even approach me. It was perfect.”

“No matter how cynical you are, even the most hardened detective never suspects the elderly mother. No, she’s barely with it. This dumbass must’ve just bought a bad batch from some scumbag they’ll say amongst themselves.”

“Well that is the case 95% of the time, but detectives don’t even question anymore. They don’t care.”

“No one cares anymore. And once I realized I stopped caring, I knew what I wanted to do. He got his relief every fucking day.”

“I wanted mine.”

The receipt printed out. She ripped it off and handed it to me. She smiled as she said “have a glorious day now.”

As the automatic glass doors opened, my breathing came back to me.

After a few breaths, the thought finally appeared. “Did that just happen?”

I took a few more steps in the sunshine and convinced myself it didn’t.

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