My guineas are being killed. I wrote this short work of fiction this morning to get my mind off that. Hope you like the story.
The old woman with her buggy full of groceries hesitated for a moment near the checkout area of the Piggly Wiggly.The store was practically empty and the girl at the express checkout called to her. "Ma'am, I'll check you out here."
With that the old lady swerved her buggy to the side of the counter and began unloading the groceries. She had the look of old women you don't often see anymore. Gray wiry hair that weeks ago had a permanent but was now over grown and slightly unkempt as if it had been carelessly brushed a few times before she left home. There was no makeup on her face and it was gently wrinkled around her eyes and mouth. She was slightly overweight. It showed in her sagging throat, her fatty upper arms and belly. And she was wearing a dress.
She wasn't aware of the younger man standing next to her buggy until she laid two bunches of bananas on the counter. He said, "I'm going home with you."
She looked around at him not knowing what to say. He was a nice looking middle age man, nicely dressed." The man smiled and quickly added, "it looks like you are going to make banana pudding."
She smiled, "why yes I am. My husband loves it."
"I do too," the man said.
She continued talking as she and the man unloaded the buggy. "The doctor says I have to be careful about how many bananas Ed eats, he can get too much potassium."
"If that doesn't make him too bad sick, the pudding is worth it," the man joked.
The old woman laughed a little.
The man loaded the buggy with the checked out groceries while the old woman slowly and carefully wrote a check for payment. When she was done the man said, "where's your car?"
The old woman grew a little apprehensive. It was one thing for strangers to be friendly but this was getting out of hand. The man had a firm grip on her buggy though and she couldn't think of a way to get rid of him politely.
She pointed to the right front doors of store, "this way."
She walked in front of the buggy and the man followed her her quietly. The noise of the buggy wheels on the pavement seemed uncommonly loud as the silence between them became increasingly uncomfortable.
When they reached the car, she said, "I've never seen you in the store, do you know me somehow?"
The man said, "I'm not from around here and I'm looking for a lady about your age. Have you ever heard of a woman named Janie Kuykendall?"
A look of wonder came over her face. Her eyes brightened and widened, mouth parted as she almost whispered, "that was my maiden name."
Tears filled the man's eyes as he extended his arms. He said, "Mom."