Sunday 26 May 2024

Sunday Serial, 280 x 70, Gill James, 18. Seasonal Shop, 6 December 2018,cava,



This collection is a collection of seventy stories, each 280 words. They were inspired by the first picture seen on my Twitter feed on a given day.


Offers everywhere, it seemed. That turkey was half price? Who needed that many parsnips anyway? Two for one. Huh! Smoked salmon as a starter? On Christmas day? Cava as an aperitif? What had happened to good old sherry?

Best stick to her list. Rather short actually. They were getting a turkey from the butcher. Their son was bringing the booze and their daughter was supplying the deserts.

She just wanted to get her few bits and bobs and get out of here. Wait, though, shouldn't she get some more wrapping paper? Just in case? Oh, and those mince pies looked gorgeous. Why not get some? It would save the bother of making them.

The list was soon forgotten. The trolley became harder to push. There was the smoked salmon after all. A couple more selection boxes for each of the grandchildren. Baileys on offer. A family board game.

She wondered how she was actually going to manage to lift this lot into the car.

"Spare a few coppers, lady?" That homeless chap who slept in the entrance to the supermarket. He made her shudder. He looked so much like her own dad.

What could she give him? The raw parsnips would be no good. The salmon was too rich. He'd probably like the Baileys but she wanted to offer something more substantial.

"Help me with this lot into the car and I'll pay you." Would he only spend it on booze? Well his choice.

"Ooh, selection boxes," he said as they stashed the bags away. "I loved those when I was a kid."

She thrust one into his hands.

He beamed at her like an excited kid. "Thank you, ma'am."


About the author

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown. 

She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation.

She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.





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