NOTE: “The Story Of The Month” changes every month and might also have been featured in my collection DOWN INDEPENDENCE BOULEVARD published by MiddleRoad Publishers in 2017 and available on Amazon, or might be an Extract from my two novels RACING WITH THE RAIN and JUNTA.
FOR MORE WRITING LIKE THIS CHECK OUT
Down Independence Boulevard: and other stories
by Ken Puddicombe
December -The Touch Of Peace
Jan – The Interview
Feb – The Underground [2nd Prize Polaris Magazine]
Mar -Welcome To Punta Canada
APR – Return Of The Prodigal [from Down Independence Boulevard and Other Stories]
MAY- No Thank You
JUNE – The Shoplifter
THE SHOPLIFTER ©
“I saw you,” the man shouted, and it seemed as if he didn’t care that the entire store or the whole world might hear him. “You put the lipstick in your purse. I saw you.”
“It’s not true,” the woman said.
She was blonde, perhaps forty, well dressed in a grey business suit, her five feet eight inch frame held erect. Despite the vehemence in the way she’d been accosted, she had remained composed, as if the man’s words were having no effect whatsoever on her. Water off duck’s backis the term any observer might consider.
“Yes,” he shouted again, “you did so, I saw you. It’s only when you saw me looking that you put it back on the shelf. You had every intention of taking it and not paying for it.”
“It’s not true,” she said, as the clerk placed her groceries in the re-cycled green bag.
The man seemed to be a far cry from what a store security guard should look like. He was dressed in a faded, tight fitting t-shirt, blue jeans, a cap pulled over his forehead, both the cap and the shirt embossed with the insignia of the Toronto Blue Jays. His thick, black kinky hair showed through the side of the cap. No uniform for him—he was undercover.
“You are not welcome back here in this store again,” he said. He seemed to be familiar with crescendos and diminutions. His voice was raised even louder, as if he were on stage, an actor trying to project his speech to the back of the theatre. He looked around, as if to ensure that his entire audience was paying attention, and they were. All activity in the store had ceased—cashiers hesitating at the till, customers pausing at checkouts, stock boys hovering at shelves.
“It’s not true,” the woman said, continuing to avoid his gaze, focussing instead on the clerk packing her grocery in the second bag.
“If you come back here, you will not be served,” the security man said, his voice increasing in intensity, again. “And if you’re caught shoplifting, you will be turned over to the police. That’s the way we deal with shoplifters here. No exceptions.”
The woman shrugged. “It’s not true,” she said. “Simply not true.”
The clerk had remained aloof to the goings-on. She completed the transaction, extracted the slip from the cash register and turned it over to the woman. The woman placed her two shopping bags in her cart and started to wheel it away.
“I’m passing your profile to every grocery store in the province,” the security man said to the woman’s retreating back. “They will know who you are.”
“It’s not true,” the woman continued to mutter all the way to the exit.
The security man kept his eyes on her, even as she made her exit. An almost imperceptible smile crept across his face. He turned away and headed to the office in the mezzanine.
The woman proceeded to the parking lot, opened the trunk with her remote control and placed her two bags inside. She reached into the trunk and pulled out a black canvas bag, taking it to the driver’s side of the car.
Inside the car, she pulled out a laptop from the bag and powered it up. In a few seconds the computer screen came alive with icons. She clicked on a program and waited for it to populate. When it did, she started to enter information.
Under the field for Resolution, she entered: Test successfully completed. Store meets all requirements for security validation.She hit the Transmit button and closed the lid.