Entry Eighty-six: Adam Mahoney, You Just Won!

[The next many entries are the current story I am working on. This is sixteen of who knows how many will be posted. Enjoy it while it lasts...]

He walked up to the glass doors, fully expecting them to slide open with his first step on the black, ribbed pad situated on the ground right in front of the door. But nothing happened. He tried pulling the door handle, then pushing it, but it was obvious it was locked. Inside, the store was dark, in the same condition it had been in when the squatters did their work at 4 a.m. four days ago. He peered into the window, cupping his hands around either side of his face, shielding his eyes from the sun glaring off the glass. Everything looked normal in the store. Nothing seemed broken and there were no puddles of water from broken freezers or air conditioners. In fact the glass was cool to his touch, indicating the air conditioning was still cranking inside the store. Adam stepped away and tried to decide how he was going to get in.

He knew the easiest thing would be to grab a rock and break one of the windows, but he didn’t want to take that route unless absolutely necessary. Destruction seemed useless if there was a better alternative. He started walking along the front of the store and turned at the corner to see if there were any doors or openings anywhere else. The side of the building was nothing but brick, no vents or windows, so he kept walking toward the back. When he turned the corner he was facing the loading dock so he climbed up to the platform, pushed through the walls of hard, plastic flaps and found himself in a large room with several doors, giving him options to enter. All of them were locked but he noticed one was only held in place by a padlock. Although heavy duty, it looked like it had been in use for a while and was possibly the weak link he needed to gain entrance into the store. He looked around for something to break it open with but the loading dock was spotless. “Just my luck. I get to try to break into the cleanest grocery store in the southeast,” he thought as he ran to his car, hoping he had something in the trunk he could use. The only tool he found that was worth trying was a tire iron so he grabbed it and ran back to the loading dock to try see if it would work. The lock gave way easily and he was in the back of the store within four swings of the metal club. He had entered the area where the business offices were located and the silence was once again alarming. It was the middle of the day and a grocery store was not supposed to be that quiet. His shoes squeaked on the linoleum floors as he made his way through the halls, searching for the entrance to the store. When he walked through the correct door he was greeted with the smell of food. No food in particular, but a mingling of a variety of scents that created one strong but not-quite-overpowering bouquet. He made his way to the front of the store, winding his way past the fully stocked shelves. As he found the train of grocery carts by the front door he glanced outside and looked at his car. It was an odd site, the Volvo, alone in a vast parking lot and he, standing inside, also alone, getting ready to put food in a cart that no one would charge him for. It wasn’t exactly shopping, but was it stealing if no one could ever possibly find out? He pulled his list out of his back pocket and began steering the cart toward the first aisle, hoping the cheese was still fresh in its air-conditioned shelves.

All words and images ©2006/J. Colle

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