First published in China Grove Magazine

As Opal Pratt pushed her grocery cart to the Piggly Wiggly exit, she saw the clump of other shoppers bunched up and staring outside with exasperation. From the sound and scent, she knew before she saw it that another fall downpour was gracing the parking lot. The left side of the wide set of doors was crowded intermittently with shoppers running in, wet and yelling, from the outside. Opal never understood why the yelling was necessary, but obviously it was. She was too far back in the outward-pointed group to get out of the store easily, so she waited. Every few minutes, one or two shoppers in her group became either brave or impatient and made a dash for their cars. More yelling. A man and woman two shopping carts ahead of her laughed loudly and made a run for it. Opal saw something small, a paper of some sort, float out of their basket as the couple sprinted through the exit. The gust caused by the opening doors gave flight to the paper that crash-landed just three feet from Opal. She looked around and … Continue reading

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