The Trifextra Challenge for this weekend is to write three truths and a lie in 33 to 333 words.
I'm so glad that Terry has decided to appear again this weekend. Who knew I had a fictional story lying in wait? And as promised, I've compiled a list of the parts of this story to date. It appears at the bottom of this page.
Along the Rails -- Foraging for Food
The shelves were crammed with big-box stock, but the store was different than ones she knew. This was hodgepodge: cereals piled high against toiletries, soup alongside dog food.
She wrinkled her nose.
“Shop the edges,” her dad said on weekly trips. “Fresh foods are priced cheap to attract the suckers. Like flies to honey, most believe the lies on the packaging.”
Here the greens were wilted, cucumbers and apples wrinkled, onions softer than her sister’s chubby arms.
Red basket in hand, she dubiously plucked products from shelves, each coated in grime.
She didn’t even look at prices; for the first time ever, money didn’t matter.
As the basket filled, her arms ached. She swallowed hard the hopelessness she’d been fighting since the raid, ducking around a corner when a woman started down her aisle.
As she approached the till, the nine year old consulted a paper pulled from her pocket.
“‘Cheryl”, she whispered to the sloe-eyed checkout woman.
“I’m Cheryl,” she repeated, louder now, “My grandmother, Ma Eaton, has an account.”
Terry mustered a tiny, sweet smile, exactly as her mom demonstrated. The woman’s face brightened.
“You’re Caro’s granddaughter? How’s that poor thing?”
Terry steeled herself to deliver her last line. “Grama said to put this on her account.” She pushed that smile out again; carefully, not too much. Showing too much teeth, her mom said, was worse than no smile at all.
“No problem, hon. I’m meaning to look in on her. Tell her Babs will come soon, ‘kay?”
Walking back was brutal. No one way of carrying full bags was easier than another.
Terry was glad for her bangs as tears flowed. Exhaustion, worry and sadness engulfed her as her body recognised opportunity.
Finally she arrived at her destination. She climbed onto a rotting porch and silently put one bag beneath an overturned crate.
She stepped off the porch, lifted the remaining sacks, and slipped around the house and down a path half-hidden in the bramble-filled backyard.
Links to the other pieces of Along the Rails, in the order in which they were written:
Along the Rails (Trifecta: Week Sixteen)
Meet Terry (Trifecta: Week Seventeen)
The Arrival (Trifextra: Weekend Fourteen)
Foraging for Food (Trifextra: Weekend Fifteen)