by Dale E. Lehman

“It should be here,” Bernard muttered, pushing soda bottles around. The grocer’s shelf was so tightly packed, he might have been working a sliding tile puzzle.

Melody watched impatiently. “You sure he said soda?”

“Yes.” Hidden among the liquid sugar should be the drop, front money for a job they’d been hired to do. Center of the soda aisle, fourth shelf up.

“Maybe you misheard.” Tired of waiting, Melody wandered off to look at the chips.

Irritated, he glanced back at her. “Hey! Keep watch!”

“Nobody’s coming.” She snagged a package and read the ingredients. “Maybe he said baking soda. God, look at the salt in this stuff!”

Why, Bernard wondered, did she warp everything like that? Soda it was. But fourth shelf up or down? He got on his knees to check. The shelves soon looked like a one-year-old had been playing among them. Head stuck halfway back, he heard a sharp rattle, then loud crunching. “What are you doing?” he snapped.

“These are terrible,” Melody said around a mouthful of something.

Oh God, Bernard thought, not again. He extracted himself from the bottles and looked around, alarmed. Nobody there. Yet. He got to his feet and snatched the bag from her hands. “Cut that out!”

Melody gave him one of her dark looks, then gazed upward. He followed her eyes.

Security camera.

Rapid footfalls approached from around the end of the aisle.

She nodded at the bag. “Oh, Bernie,” she said sadly. “You’re in trouble again.”

 

© November 2016 By Dale E. Lehman.  All rights reserved.  You may share links to this web page, but otherwise copying and redistribution of page content by any method for any purpose without written consent of the author is prohibited.