Chicken (a short story)

So, this obstinate elderly lady takes the chicken from my hands. Actually, more like snatches it.

 

My manager had sent me to the meat department to get it because another customer hadn’t known that it was buy one get one free. She says to me, “Go to the meat department and grab me the biggest one you can find.” I do as she says, grab the biggest one I can find and as soon as I do, I get this mean stare from this lady in her late fifties who literally starts fighting me for it.

 

Now, she’s snatched it from me. Whatever. They don’t pay me enough to wrestle some old hag for a package of chicken.

 

So, next week this same lady is giving me the evil eye. She complains to my manager that I pack her grocery bags too heavy.

 

Whatever. I’m over it.

 

A week later, she complains because she says I didn’t offer to take her groceries out to her car. Next week, I do just that. No tip.

 

Several days later, there we are in the same parking lot. It’s a hot day and I’m pushing these fifteen carts in all at once. I’m pushing them towards the store. For some reason the parking lot is kind of at an incline so I have to push uphill just a little to get them into the store. And what should I see?

 

This old lady is coming right at me — the chicken snatcher. She gives me that look of hers.

 

What is she doing? She keeps coming right for me. I’ve got these fifteen carts for crying out loud. She‘s only got the one. I motion for her to move just a little. Now she looks really angry. This lady really won’t budge an inch. She’s playing a game of chicken.  

 

She doesn’t even slow down.

 

When she crashes into my fifteen carts, she kind of slips and then she goes under the carts. I got to keep pressure on the carts or they’ll all start to roll downhill, but I don’t see her come back up.

 

Finally some other people in the parking lot come to see what happened.

 

I didn’t realize it immediately, but I’d just killed Mrs. Schwartz.

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