Jeannie sorted through her change purse, counting out nickels and pennies to pay for the milk.

She would have rather had a Yoo-hoo but remembered all those School House Rock songs about nutrition.

Funny how things can get stuck in your head.

She had just enough, with three cents over.

The man behind the counter smiled.

“You have twigs in your hair,” he said.

He pushed a key across the counter.

“There’s a restroom around back if you need it.”

Jeannie picked up the milk and left.

She walked down the highway, brushing her hair with her fingers, drinking milk.


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  1. granonine

    Huh. This raises more questions than it answers, for sure. She seems rather nonchalant about the storekeeper’s obvious idea of what she’d been up to. And where does she get money?

  2. 4963andypop

    This has the feel of an earlier time before swiping, when nickels and pennies could buy something. And people carried change purses. And drank Yoohoo when they could get it! Love the childish ways implied by the singsong memory, thelonging for chocoate milk, the fingers in the hair, the storekeeper’s smile. Letshope she is not forced to grow up, and quick.

  3. pennygadd51

    That’s an encouraging story, Josh, with its small act of thoughtfulness by the storekeeper. I hope Jeannie stays safe! I wonder if she’s running from somewhere, or to somewhere; it makes a difference.

  4. Jelli

    I like it. Perhaps she is homeless, perhaps coming from a liaison… either way, it’s well written, and leaves the reader wondering just what happened “behind the scene”. :) I’m not fond of the new inlinx either, it gives my firefox a screaming fit.

  5. Lynn Love

    I got the rough sleeping thing, Josh – never occurred to me anything sexual had happened … until I read the other comments! I like the note of kindness you inject from the store keeper. Great story

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