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Sardines (WWC 31)
hipsterchocobo Released May 18, 2015

"I'd like a tin of sardines, please."

Daniel heaved an inward sigh. Tuesday night, five minutes to closing: right on time. "We don't sell sardines, Mrs. Finch. We're a hardware store." He tapped his name tag, a smiling cartoon hammer, and watched her wrinkled face pucker with confusion.

"But I always buy my sardines here."

"No, Mrs. Finch. The grocery store closed three years ago."

"Three years?"

Daniel checked the clock again; four minutes to closing. Why couldn't she torment someone else? Why not Jacqui in fixtures? Why not that jerk Todd in plumbing? With an effort, he hitched a smile onto his face. "Forget what I said, Mrs. Finch. I'll have some ordered for you for next week."

"Thank you, dear," she said. "I'm preferable to the ones in mustard myself."

"Of course; I'll be sure to double up on those." Flying monkeys too, Daniel thought to himself, because that's as likely as you remembering this conversation.


Half an hour later, as he crossed the empty parking to his car, Daniel noticed a solitary figure at the bus stop. Mrs. Finch, patiently waiting for the first of the three buses he knew it would take her to get home.

He looked at his car. He looked at the cloud-filled sky. He'd been working all day; he'd earned the right to go home. It probably wouldn't rain. Probably.

"Mrs. Finch?"

The benignly confused face turned to him. "Yes?"

"It's Daniel-- from the hardware store? Can I give you a ride home?"

"Oh no, dear; I'm all right. You go on."

A drop of rain splashed on Daniel's nose. Then another. He decided to play his trump card: "Wellburn's is still open. We could stop and get you...

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