This is my second attempt at weekly writing prompts from BeKindRewrite called Inspiration Monday II. Stephanie provides five prompts, and this time she has participated with a beautiful story of her own.
I chose two prompts and used them as titles:
Raised Eyebrows at the Checkout Line
I placed my pile of slender plastic bags on the belt. The bags, carefully folded over and bound with stickers, appeared insubstantial but each measured the weight of hope. One shrimp, one slice of ham, one of roast beef, one liverwurst, one turkey breast, one corned beef, one bologna. I had already endured the discontent of the deli clerk—friendliness is ineffective when you’re out to personally ruin someone’s day. The checkout girl raised her eyebrows but was too apathetic to comment and I too weary to explain.
When I got home I ripped open every bag and tore the slices into pieces. I took them to Buck’s bed and held them in front of his nose. No reaction to the ham or any other savory cold cut—but as I held out the shrimp, he raised his head. I ripped the shrimp into shreds and he took a bite, then another. As he finished the shrimp, I grabbed my car keys, this time with a purposeful stride.
The witch woke up midday, bleary from the last night’s bender. She looked older than her 50 years, a dessicated hag with a vindictive scowl. The fucking phone again, more idiots with their stupid complaints. Blah blah blah can you call me as soon as possible. Blah blah blah I have a problem. Blah blah blah what should I do. Screw ’em all, that’s what.
As in many depressed former mill towns of Connecticut, the witch inherited the position from her father. She hated the job, the callers, and the responsibility, but most of all she hated her wards. Today was cold and rainy and she’d be damned if she was going to walk all the way out to the kennels at the end of her property to shovel shit with this hangover. Ugly needy mutts with their empty bowls and dirty cages. Many complaints were made about the witch, but change is rarely on any town official’s agenda. One lone volunteer would come a couple times a week to clean the cages, take pictures for flyers, and cry with the dogs.
A year later the witch died of liver cancer. Nobody mourned. The nepotism ended when the witch’s deranged adult son was deemed unfit to be the new dog warden. The kennels were closed and the pound moved off the property. The long-awaited interruption of this family’s reign brought the town one step closer to outlawing this vile tradition.