Kreative Kue 233

Kreative Kue 232 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

The Store by John W. Howell © 2019

“Excuse me. Do you work here?”

“This orange apron with my name written with a Sharpie by a two-year-old says I do.”

“Oh, good. I really could use some help.”

“Well, sir, as our motto says, “No item too obscure for us not to carry it.”


“Just retail humor, sir. I’d be glad to help you out. Now, which way did you come in?”

“More retail humor, I’ll bet.”

“Yes, sir. Seriously now. What can I do to help.”

“See this screw.”

“Yes, sir, I do. Rather small little thing, but I do see it.”

“I need another one just like it.”

“That shouldn’t be too hard, sir. Follow me.”

“Oh, thank you. I have been wandering around for hours, it seems.”

“Goodness, do you need some water?”

“I could use some, I suppose.”

“Here, take this canteen.”


“Yup. We are required to carry a canteen in cases like this.”

“Is this sanitary?”

“Don’t worry, sir. I have never been accused of backwash yet.”

“Thanks, I’ll wait until I leave.”

“It is ten miles to the exit, sir. I think you will thank me for the water later.”

“Fine. There now I feel better.”

“Ah, here we are at screw acres.”

“Screw acres?”

“Yeah, that’s the name of the section. Don’t tell me you are one of those weirdos who makes a sexual innuendo out of everything.”

“Where are my screw sizes.”

“Sir, I’m going to ask you to stop. You are making me uncomfortable.”

“I just want to get my screw and get out of here.”

“Understood, sir. You. will have to wait to get home for that. Anyway, here is the section for tiny screws.”

“Here is my size. Wait, does this come in a quantity less than 10,000.”

“I’m afraid that is our smallest, sir.”

“Who buys that many screws?”

“You’d be surprised, sir. Now is there anything else I can help you with?”

“I guess you could give me directions to the exit.”

“Don’t you have a map app on your phone?”

“Yes, I do.”

“It would be a lot easier for you to do that. Once you have the directions, I think you can hitchhike your way there.”


“Yeah, all the carts with loads usually stop for pedestrians. Good luck to you, sir.”


“Yes, sir?”

“I still don’t have my screw.”

“I would try our on-line store, sir.”

“Online store?”

“Yes, sir.”


“Always happy to help. Bye, sir.”

“I wonder if I will wake up now?”

My effort was

It ain’t over ’till it’s over

“John, where are you? Over.”

“Aisle one-eighty-seven. Why? What do you need?”

“Just to know where you are. Over.”

“George, when did you get your discharge?”

“That was a couple of weeks ago, John. Medics gave me some cream and it’s cleared up now. But thanks for asking. Over.”

“Not that discharge, you numptie, your discharge from the army.”

“My demob? Over.”

“If you like. When was it?”

“Three years ago. Over.”

“So when are you gonna stop using the intercom as if you’re still in uniform? We don’t bother with Roger Wilko, over, over and out, or any of that stuff here.”

“Have you finished? Over.”

“Give us a chance. I only got this picking list three minutes ago. There’s a good half hour’s work here.”

“Not that. I was asking if you’d finished talking. Over.”


“You didn’t give me any indication. How do I know you haven’t got more to say? Over.”

“I can see what you’re doing, George. You want me to start using all this military rubbish.”

“It would make it clear that you’ve finished and you’re ready for me to talk. The way we do that in the army is to say over. Over.”

“Well, the way we do it here in civvy street is to listen for the squelch when I release the talk button. That means I’ve stopped talking. Okay?”

“Stopped, but not necessarily finished. Over.”


“You might release the speak button so you can scratch your nose, or pick something up or any number of things. Not necessarily because you’ve said all you want to. Over.”

“George, do you know the difference between a pendant and a pedant?”

“Course I do. One’s a thing you hang around your neck and the other one’s a really annoying person. Over.”

“Close. A pendant is hung around your neck and a pedant should be hanged by the neck.”

“What are you saying? Over.”

“I’m saying, don’t be so damned annoying.”

“How am I annoying? Over.”

“Forget it. What did you call me for? I’ve got work to do.”

“Oh yeah. I’m doing the crossword and I’m stuck. Over.”

“What’s the clue?”

“Four letters; sequence of six balls bowled by a single bowler. Over.”


On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

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