Use the prompt “measure twice, cut once” to inspire a short story, 150-300 words long, fiction (any genre) or nonfiction allowed. Your response should be in first/second draft form. Don’t worry about putting that final polish on it. We will be working on it throughout the month.
The Shopping Trip
Beverly stood in Lane 6 with her basket of essentials: pasta, jar sauce, a loaf of Italian bread, and a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke. She could see that all the lanes were open and most of them had two or more patrons, but her line had four. Down in Lane 1 there seemed to be only one person waiting. She stood looking ahead of her, at the baskets full of groceries and continued to contemplate the move. “To move or not to move, that is the question,” she said to herself.
Beverly had always heard that once you pick a lane, stay there, that is your correct place. She had switched before and once or twice she can remember it being a good move. There was the time she moved to a different lane and stood behind a woman who was convinced the ground beef was on sale, which it wasn’t, but they had to call the butcher to come confirm the choice she had made was NOT one of the sale items. That had taken all of 12 minutes, during which time she saw the lane she had originally been on cash out over a dozen “under 8 items” customers.
She felt her feet shift toward the direction of Lane 1. She saw the man at the register in her lane taking his wallet out. There were still three people ahead of her. Ugh, she didn’t know what to do. Her mind was saying to wait, but her patience was saying to walk to Lane 1. That was it, she stepped out of line, allowing the woman behind her to step forward into her place in line. She was now out of line, with no concrete decision having been made, except for the step out of the line. She turned and walked as quickly as she could toward Lane 1.
When Beverly turned past the endcap into Lane 1’s line of customers there was a man there, waiting to pay. He had a pile of coupons in front of him and his groceries were bagged. The cashier was trying to put the coupons through but there was a small pile off to the side of those the computer was rejecting. The coupons were probably worth 25 cents or less, but the man wanted his savings to go through, as he knew he had bought all the right products and none of his coupons were expired. Beverly groaned. She had done it again. Not trusted her intuition to stay in Lane 6, despite the three customers ahead of her. Now, here she was, in Lane 1, behind this coupon junkie, watching his coins pile up in the form of useless coupons next to the scanner. This was what she got for switching lanes. Maybe next time she would just stay put with an extra ounce of patience.