Challenge #01927-E103: Clean-out in Aisle SeventysteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  7 months ago


The joys of 'Bargain bins' and 'end of Season' clearances. -- Anon Guest

Sale (n): A period of time in which retail emporiums lower the prices of their merchandise to cost or slightly below cost to save on storage fees. -- The Cynical Dictionary.

Wise men said that only fools rushed in. They were the ones who spent their savings on shiny gimcrack that wouldn't even last a weekend. Therefore, when the doors opened on the Big Box Mart Once A Year Sale, she walked past the big displays were people were already trying to kill each other for the nastiest of shiny things. Lynn knew better.

Softly and quickly, that was the key. They kept the good stuff in the back of the floor displays. Hidden in the shelves. Not out in the open where the mortality zone was. Lynn steered her trolley to the side as soon as possible. In between the shelves, where the foolish and the greedy rarely wandered. Waiting for a true bargain to present itself.

She always took the opportunity to stock up on toilet paper and paper towels. So cheap on this day that the store actually paid her to take them away. Stowed in the bottom of the trolley whilst the avaricious only had time for what they could carry. A big crate of ramen was pretty much the same, but customers had to take special tags to the checkout, and have it delivered to their domicile later. Same with the freeze-dried veggie packs. Those tags, Lynn stuffed into the tiny, otherwise useless pocket of her jeans. On to the good stuff.

Racks upon racks of shoes waited her next turn. Lynn knew the brand that would last the longest, and the range of sizes to grab. Two pairs for this year. Two pairs the next size up for her kids to last into next year, and a next-size-up pair in case of growth spurts. Same with the jeans. Same with the generic shirts in a sampler of colours. They could customise those later, if they wanted. And a couple of new dresses for herself, of course. The good ones that would not develop mysterious little holes inside of two weeks. Lynn always picked the serviceable stuff for herself. Things that would last. Things she needed.

And finally, she was in the very back, where they hid all the good stuff that the grasping greedy rarely reached. The stuff that the store secretly didn't want to sell. And worse for them, Lynn had coupons. Enough to make her prize cheap enough for her to afford.

The sales staff guarding it took one look at her and knew she meant business. There were those who came for anything they could grab, and there were those who came with a strategy. And systematically clean them out of stuff that the likes of Lynn should not have any legal way of owning.

"I have two thousand coupons for the Lifetime Guarantee Minibus with all the extras and fifteen years of fuel," she announced, showing them the lockbox wallet.

"Name of the individual whose lifetime is the guarantee?"

Lynn named her five-year-old son. Protected by the laws of the world because he had to work off his school debts. Rattled off his citizen number five times, and revelled in the faces that the staff made. Management would not be happy about this, but Management could suck a big one. They had made this loophole, and she planned to use it.

They still made a play of counting the coupons. Lynn had fifteen extra, which guaranteed her a meal for herself and her family... and the ability to drive the thing home as her son's legal custodian. And she got them to pack all her other purchases in the rear for the ride.

They paid her to get out of there. Game set and match.

Give them two years, tops, and they would forget that people could do things like that. But that was okay. Lynn was patient and persistent.

She could wait.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Baloncici]

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