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Fairfield, Queensland, Australia
Fairfield Writers Group is a mix of beginner and experienced writers who meet the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Brisbane City Council Library in Fairfield Gardens Shopping Centre, Fairfield road, Fairfield, Queensland. Our passion is writing and we work hard at our craft. Our aim is to encourage, support and help each other to reach new heights in our writing. New members are always made welcome and usually whisked off to the local coffee shop at the end of meetings for sustenance and socialisation with the rest of the crew.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Short Story: Waiting by Anna

An exercise completed on 'Emotional Body Language'


The queue hadn’t moved for five minutes. Looking at my watch impatiently I could only wait ten minutes more, before I had to go back to work. I saw there were another ten people behind me and still five people in front of me. I was really getting annoyed! Surely they could put another person on at the cashier, can’t they see there is a big line forming. People were not moving, it seemed to be endless! As I tried to see what was going on up the front, I noticed a little old lady was at the checkout putting her groceries onto the counter one by one. She looked frail. She must be at least eighty I thought.
One can of soup, five cans of cat food, one carton of milk and one loaf of bread. That was all she bought. As she finally put down the last item, she started searching through her bag. It seemed like another ten minutes before she found her purse. Opening it, she took out the coins and began to count them. She squinted to see the amount on the screen and recounted the coins again. I couldn’t hear what she was saying to the cashier but I knew what she was feeling. She was trembling, her voice was low and she sounded teary. I couldn’t quite see what was going on but the people in front of me were whispering. Catching a few words I knew I was right. The poor lady didn’t have enough money to pay for her groceries.
My heart went out to her.
She stood there hunched, turning around to see the huge queue behind her. Blushing, you could see she didn’t know what to do and by the harsh look the cashier was giving her, the little old lady wasn’t getting any help from her. “Well I am not going to let this poor woman stand there embarrassed like that” I thought, making my way to the front of the line. I could hear comments of annoyance as I pushed my way up the line.
“Hey, where do you think you’re going?” the man second in line growled at me, as I stood next to the lady.
“I’m here to help this lovely lady and if you were half decent you would have stepped up and paid for her bill,” I growled back, as he looked at me half shocked. For a five foot petite woman I had one ferocious roar.
“Yeah, she’s right” and “Good on you”, were the responses from the rest of the queue.
“How much does the lady owe?” I said, as I opened my purse. Paying the bill I looked at the woman who was struggling to speak as tears trickled down hers cheeks.
“Thank you,” she whispered, as I gave her a hug. Straightening up to her full height, she hugged me back with such strength that it surprised me for a moment. Looking at her there was no need for her to thank me her smile and the joy in her eyes was gratitude enough.

Author:  Anna

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