Saint John City, Part 1

Times were slow in Saint John City. Events were slow. Sometimes, the people weren’t too quick, either. Yet, Ida knew a sleepy veneer could hide secrets. That’s why she stood against the stucco wall, black hair whipping across piercing gaze, soaking in the everything around her.

“Well, hello, Ida,” tottered old Mrs. Benjamin Wilson. “Waiting for your husband, are you?”

Ida smiled. “Hello, Mrs. Wilson.” She shrugged. “No, I’m just …watching.”

“Oh?” The old woman’s sagging eyes turned down as her mouth did. “Well, Dear, in my day…”

Ida saw movement in her peripheral vision. Petey Sanders shrugged out of his car and headed toward where Ida had been loitering most of that morning. She watched while Mrs. Wilson’s tongue kept wagging. She needed to keep him in sight.

“Of course, Mrs. Wilson.” Ida hoped her answer fitted the one-sided conversation. “Now, I’m so sorry to leave you but I need to get my shopping done.”

“Oh, all right, Dear-“

Ida heard no more, nor no less than she had. Like Petey, she entered the swish-cooled doors of the local, only grocery store. Like Petey, she walked past Bob McClintock and Sue Smith -the local, only employees. Like Petey, she walked past the gum and magazine racks, past the frozen food bins, and past the small display of bandages and greeting cards.

Here, the resemblance stopped. Fluorescent lines reflected from an empty floor, a vacant refrigerated section, and a vacated aisle. Petey was nowhere to be seen.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Keep reading to Part 2.

©2020 Chel Owens

18 thoughts on “Saint John City, Part 1

  1. kat October 13, 2020 / 11:04 pm

    Hmm…I wonder where he went.

    Liked by 1 person

      • obbverse October 14, 2020 / 12:36 am

        Is that the floorboards in the aisle groaning or the groanworthy ‘pun?’

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens October 14, 2020 / 12:54 am

          The latter. That grocery store had linoleum, for Petey’s sake!

          Like

  2. johnlmalone October 14, 2020 / 2:42 pm

    something strange is going on here ; a good set up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bereavedandbeingasingleparent October 17, 2020 / 9:30 am

    Where has he gone. We used to have a rule that if we lost someone we should meet at the frozen pea section. Maybe they should look there. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. H.R.R. Gorman October 24, 2020 / 7:51 am

    The last name “Sanders” gives me a certain taste in my mouth anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

      • H.R.R. Gorman November 2, 2020 / 5:54 pm

        He’s fine. It’s the Sanders that gives me a burning sensation I was thinking of.

        Liked by 1 person

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