Written for Measure twice, cut once in Go Dog Go cafe: https://godoggocafe.com/2020/03/14/writers-workshop-i-week-2-batting-practice/ WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 2, Batting Practice
Beverly stood in Lane 6 with pasta, jar sauce, a loaf of Italian bread, and a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke. All the lanes were open with two or more patrons, but her line had four. In Lane 1 there was one person waiting. She continued to contemplate. “To move or not to move, that is the question,” she said to herself.
Beverly always heard that once you pick a lane, stay there, that is your correct place. She had switched before. Once 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 while the lane she had originally been on cashed out over a dozen “under 8 items” customers.
She shifted toward Lane 1. The man at the register in her lane was taking his wallet out. There were 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. She was now out of line. She turned and walked briskly toward Lane 1.
When Beverly turned past the endcap into Lane 1 there was a man there, waiting to pay. He had a pile of coupons and his groceries were bagged. The cashier was trying to put the coupons through but there was a small pile the computer was rejecting. The coupons were probably worth 25 cents or less, but the man wanted his savings, as he knew he had all the right products, and none were expired. Beverly groaned. She had done it again; not trusted her intuition to stay in Lane 6. Now she stood 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. Next time she would just stay put with an extra ounce of patience.
Draft 1 = 478 words
Draft 2 = 367 words
change – 111 words (23% less, I think I did the math right!)