Checkout

by Melissa Mann

I polish the soles of my best shoes on the entrance mat, then, leaning on my stick, try to see if she’s still on the five items or less till. With shoppers trolleying past me on either side like recurring dreams, I shuffle towards the fruit and veg aisle, legs having a grumble; this is the third time I’ve been here today. I make it as far as the melons, shelves and shelves of them – dimpled galia, pert cantaloupes, smooth-skinned honeydews – pornography to a widowed old man like me. Clutching a bag of loose apples I don’t need and concussed with longing, I head towards her, Ruby, my life’s work, for what else is there for a man just south of 90 who’s losing the thread of his life story? I drink her in, big brown breasts bursting through her blouse onto the scales where she’s put my apples, braids swinging, beads clacking, almost saying something, almost speaking to me. Then, like an exotic bird with a human voice she asks me for £3.85, to which I reply, “Most expensive fruit in the whole of England, my dear Ruby, but worth every penny!”

6S

Melissa Mann, author of Stick, is a writer and the founder & managing editor of the litzine "Beat the Dust." Her stories and poems have been featured in many online and print publications, so it's only a matter of time before the Pigeon Fanciers' Gazette finally succumbs and accepts a piece from her. For more free radical writing from the Bradford 1, go to the holding cell of your nearest police station, or, failing that, go here.