Story Starter Challenge April 12

Today’s sentence: “What can I get you today?”

The words were said in perfect innocence, but Jami fainted dead away to the floor.
When she awoke, she was in an unfamiliar room with a cool flannel on her forehead and a concerned member of staff at her side.
‘I’m so sorry. What happened?’
‘You fainted dear,’ the matronly woman told her. ‘There’s no problem. We’ve called the paramedics as a precaution. You sit right there and take it easy. Can I get you anything? Tea? Coffee? A glass of water perhaps?’
Jami nodded and asked for water.

As her eyes closed, her mind drifted back to her childhood.
‘What can I get you today?’ the friendly shop keeper had asked her.
She offered her penny and asked what her choices were.
‘You can have a gobstopper, four blackjacks or four fruit salad chews, two aniseed balls, or  a liquorice wheel, watch or pipe. But there’s quite a selection on the shelves in front of you. I’ll let you decide.’
Jami looked at all the treats available and settled on two blackjacks and two fruit salad chews so that she could share them with her younger brother.
Every Saturday when she got her pocket money, she would go down to the sweet shop to spend it. The shop keeper was nice, always making her laugh and telling her when there was something new to be tried.
‘What can I get you today?’ he said with a smile and Jami pointed to something in the cabinet, asking how much it was.
‘Oh, that’s tuppence, but I’ll tell you what, you come and keep me company for a little while and I’ll let you have two, one each for you and your brother, how’s that?’
Jami was thrilled. Her Daddy had always told her she was good company, so she thought nothing of it when he put the closed sign up and locked the door.

Tears were streaming down her face when the medical team arrived to assess her.
They were professional and asked her questions as they took her temperature, blood pressure and pulse.
It all came out in a rush then, things she had bottled up for years, all thrown into disarray by a polite enquiry.
‘You poor lamb. How old were you?’
‘Seven.’ Jami whispered, and burst into tears again.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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7 Responses to Story Starter Challenge April 12

  1. colonialist says:

    Dreadful – and that’s how it can so easily happen.

  2. Sadje says:

    That’s so gut wrenching.

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