47 comments

Submitted on 07/27/2020

Categories: General

10:30 PM, Almost Closing Time


Damn it, I gotta hurry. 


“Coconut vodka, check. Mac and cheese, check. Where’s the red velvet cake?” I say to myself. 


I quickly paced across the aisles; I knew I saw it around here somewhere. In the corner of my eye, I spot something on the floor. I stop the cart to look. 


A baby? What’s a baby doing in the middle of an aisle? I peek my head out of the aisle for a second. No one’s here. Huh, it’s a little quieter than usual. Okay, I guess I got a baby to take care of now. I picked her up. 


“Aw, she’s so cute!” I said to myself. 


But she’s sleeping. I hope I don't wake her. I place her down safely in the cart, and continue my search. Oh my GOD! Where is the Red Velvet Cake? 


“Right there.” 


“Oh, thanks!” I reply. 


Wait, who the hell said that? 


“Me.” She said. It was the baby.


“Oh, shi- shoot! You can talk?” I said, startled. 


“Yes, why does that come as a surprise to you?” 


“Um…. we should get you to Child Protective Services.” I said. 


“NO!” the baby shouted. 


“Um… What’s going on?” I asked, confused.


“Look, I’m just trying to get out of here, same as you.” 


“Wait, whose kid are you?” 


“You wouldn’t know them anyway.” 


“True, True.” I agreed. 


We went to the checkout center. Weird, no one’s here; no one at all. Just me and the baby. 


“Cool, we don’t have to pay!” She said. 


“Ha ha. Where’s the manager? We can talk to them.” I said. 


I went over to the back room door. Locked. What now? I look out the window. The snow was swirling around the parking lot, toppling onto the cars. About 4-5 feet already on the ground. Looks like we weren’t getting out anytime soon. 


“Um, what should we do?” 


“I don’t know, you’re the adult.” 


“Yeah, okay. Uh…. you hungry? I got Red Velvet Cake.” 


“Are you stupid? I’m a baby, I need baby food.”


“Right, right. Wait, how am I not questioning your vocabulary for your age? How old are you?” 


“5...” 


“Oh, nevermind.” 


“Months.” she finished. 


“What? 5 months old talking like that?!” 


“What can I say? I’m an advanced child.” 


“Ok, but for real.” 


“Almost 1, but I consider myself 26.” 


“Why so specific?” 


“It felt right to say.” 


“Okay then. Baby food aisle it is.” 


11:17 PM, Closed


We were in the baby food aisle. I was sitting on the floor, leaning on a shelf. I had already eaten a piece of the cake. The baby was just making a mess of her food. 


“So… how’d you get here?” I said. 


She gurgled, then spoke. 


“My mom came here with me, said she was gonna get something real quick, then left me.” She explained. 


“Woah, that’s a pretty sad origin story.” 


“A sad story about an orange? I’m good, thanks.” 


“That's not what I-- nevermind. What’s your name?” 


“Samantha.” 


“Huh. So… Samantha, have you ever tried red velvet cake?” 


“What? No.” She said, disinterested. But I was determined to get her to try it. 


“C’mon, it’s sweet and soooo delicious.” 


“Um, not really selling it for me.” She replied. I looked at her food packaging. 


“It tastes better than Apple and Banana Sauce.” 


“Better? Impossible.” 


“C’mon. C’monnnnnn. You know you want to.”  


Her eyes were slowly drawn to the cake. 


“Maybe…. just a little bite.” 


She nabbed a piece with her hand. 


“Gross, just use a fork, Sammie.” 


She gave me a glare. Kids. 


“Mmm.” 


I knew I’d get her to like it. She was eyeing the rest of the cake, so I slid the rest over to her. 


“So, what brings you to a Safeway?” she asked me.


“Oh, just a casual grocery run. I was gonna get some stuff real quick before heading back to my apartment. My girlfriend’s waiting for me.” 


“Oooh, you got a girlfriend.” she said, teasingly. 


“Yeah, she’s great.” 


“What’s her name?” 


“Emily.” 


“That’s a nice name.” 


I sighed contentedly. I miss her. I wonder if she thinks I got lost or something. 


“We were supposed to watch Black Mirror and-- cuddle, but I’m stuck here.” 


“Oh, well that sucks.” 


“Yeah, it does.” 


“Well, can we try that?” She asked, pointing at the bottle.


“What? This?” I picked up the coconut vodka.


“Nooooo. No no no. You’re way too young.” 


“C’mon, you let me try red velvet cake, I’m not even supposed to have sugar!” she whined. 


“But this is different. This is…” 


I tried to come up with something on the spot. 


“No-no juice.”


“No-no juice?” She questioned. 


“Yeah, No-no juice. It’s banned in every Safeway except this one.” 


“Woah…. So that must mean it’s rare.” 


“Not rare, just dangerous. Drinking it could mean death.” 


“Cool, I wanna die!” She said cheerfully.


“I don’t think that’s what you meant.” 


Just then, a faint creak, followed by a loud noise emanated from 2 aisles over.


“What was that?” Samanta asked, now looking a little shaken. 


“I’m sure it was nothing serious.” 


“Uppy.” She said to me, with her hands in a grabbing motion. 


“What? You want me to carry you?” 


“Mm Hm.” She murmured. 


I sighed. I picked her up and crept around the corner. A whole shelf knocked over, but no one was there. 


“Maybe it was a ghost?” 


“Ghosts aren’t real, idiot.” Samantha said. “It’s my mom.” 


12:46 PM, Still Closed 


“Your mom? I thought you said she left you.” 


“Yeah, but not the store!”


“Oh, well, maybe I can talk to her.” 


“No! You don’t understand. My mom, she’s…” Samantha froze, seemingly afraid to admit the truth.


“She’s what?” I asked.


“She’s right behind you.” 


I slowly turned around. Her eyes were as big as dinner plates, with pupils the size of dots. Her snaggletoothed grin projected across her dark, gray face. She was… not human. She towered over me, maybe 14 feet tall. 


“Run.” Samantha whispered to me. 


I sprinted away from her mom, Samantha now starting to cry in my arms. 


“What’s wrong?” I said, clutching her like a football. 


“She’s gonna kill us both.” She whimpered. 


“Not if I can help it.” 


I slid across the Deli Counter and locked us in a meat freezer. I heard a couple loud bangs from the door before the noise began to fade. 


“You’ll come out sometime!” She shouted, letting out one last bang before disappearing.


“It’s so cold in here.” Samantha whispered. 


I gave her my coat. Luckily, I still had a sweater and jacket, so I was fine.


“What is your mom?” 


“She’s… it’s hard to explain.”


“You can try.” 


“Well, the thing is, she’s not real. None of this is.”


“What?” I was shocked to hear this. 


“I’m not real, she’s not real, this store isn’t real. You’re imagining this. You’re in a asylum. It’s only a matter of time before you completely lose it.” 


Her voice became clearer. What was once a child-like pitch deepened into an adult voice. I woke up, strapped to a table, two doctors holding me down. 


“Lemme go!” I shouted. 


“This’ll only take a minute.” One of the doctors said. My eyes slowly closed as the needle went into my arm.


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47 comments

Dude your stories are awesome. You had me hooked from the beginning to the end. I love the twist you had there at the end. Also, Samantha reminds me of the boss baby that kid movie. Anyways, great job.

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Lily Kingston
23:28 Aug 22, 2020

Funny story and I love the dialogue. Keep up the good work and keep writing!!

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Daryl Gravesande
04:46 Aug 23, 2020

Awww, thanks! :)

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Avani Gupta
19:41 Jul 27, 2020

Nice story! The ending was a great cliffhanger! I agree with Rhonda when the beginning was rushed, and the ending also didn't make much sense. BUT. It was great nonetheless. ;)

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Daryl Gravesande
21:40 Jul 27, 2020

Aww, thanks guys! :)

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Daryl Gravesande
21:40 Jul 27, 2020

Spread the word, please?

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Avani Gupta
00:29 Jul 28, 2020

Sure!

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Sahitthian 🤗
03:27 Sep 15, 2020

Good story and funny story.Great job keep it up.I loved the twist.Keep writing. Would you mind to read my story “The dragon warrior part 2?”

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Daryl Gravesande
23:26 Sep 15, 2020

Sure

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Dude your stories are awesome. You had me hooked from the beginning to the end. I love the twist you had there at the end. Also, Samantha reminds me of the boss baby that kid movie. Anyways, great job.

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Daryl Gravesande
14:12 Sep 01, 2020

Awww, thank you Melony. I LOVE ur comments. I hope to see more of ur feedback! And thanks, I was kinda going for that, lol.

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I'm so happy you do! I'd be stupid not to go check out more of your stories. You did a great job doing that lol.

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Krishi Norris
20:11 Aug 13, 2020

❤❤❤ This is awesome ❤❤❤

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Daryl Gravesande
01:34 Aug 14, 2020

Aww really? Thanks! :)

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Krishi Norris
01:34 Aug 14, 2020

I love your stories so much, would you mind checking out a few of mine?

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Daryl Gravesande
01:37 Aug 14, 2020

yess maaaam

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Daryl Gravesande
01:37 Aug 14, 2020

do you have Insta, if you don't mind me asking, lol

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Krishi Norris
11:31 Aug 14, 2020

No, I don't use social media. What about you?

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Daryl Gravesande
23:38 Aug 14, 2020

Yes, I do. lol

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Keerththan 😀
08:07 Aug 10, 2020

The ending was great. The dialogue was so well constructed. Beautiful story. Keep writing. Would you mind reading my stories too?

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Daryl Gravesande
18:47 Aug 11, 2020

Sure! :)

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A. S.
23:29 Aug 09, 2020

Good job! I liked the twist in the ending, it pulled the whole story together really nicely. I wish you had used a little bit more imagery to show us what was happening. Would you be willing to read my story “Paper” and let me know what you think?

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Daryl Gravesande
18:47 Aug 11, 2020

Yeah, no prob and thanks for the FEEDBACKKKK

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Pragya Rathore
18:19 Aug 09, 2020

The story was beautiful!!!!!!! I really am in awe (and quite envious) of the way you write. This is an amazing interpretation of the prompt. It's lovely! Please post more stories, I'd love to read them!WOAHHHHHHH, the way you addressed the prompt- SPOT ON! I loved this story and got sucked in reading it! Hope to see more like this coming! Please read and review my stories too ;)

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Daryl Gravesande
18:48 Aug 11, 2020

Really? thanks, lol. It means A LOT

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Verda H
17:19 Aug 06, 2020

Interesting and new. I like it!

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Daryl Gravesande
18:48 Aug 11, 2020

Thank youuuu! :)

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Shivani Manocha
17:34 Aug 05, 2020

An amazing concept. Loved the story. Just one thing. I felt that the narrative tense kept shifting between past and present. "A baby? What’s a baby doing in the middle of an aisle? I peek my head out of the aisle for a second. No one’s here. Huh, it’s a little quieter than usual. Okay, I guess I got a baby to take care of now. I picked her up." The beginning of this paragraph is in present, like the story is happening right now as u re narrating it. But then "I picked her up" not "pick" I went over to the back room door. Locked. W...

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Daryl Gravesande
18:49 Aug 11, 2020

Yeah, you're right, lol. I rushed it a bit, so I didn't know which way to go. Hopefully it wasn't too confusing lmaooo

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Roshna Rusiniya
03:46 Aug 02, 2020

An interesting story. Loved the ending.

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Daryl Gravesande
18:49 Aug 11, 2020

THANK U!

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Roshna Rusiniya
09:00 Aug 12, 2020

You are welcome! If you have time, please have a look at mine. Thanks! :)

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Melanie Stark
17:44 Aug 01, 2020

Cool story! Love the profile pic too haha

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Daryl Gravesande
18:49 Aug 11, 2020

Awww thanks! :)

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Abigail Slimzy
15:56 Jul 30, 2020

Wow! Nice one! Please if don8 mind, could check out. You new stories?

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Daryl Gravesande
18:49 Aug 11, 2020

Yesss maaaaam

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Arya Preston
15:26 Jul 30, 2020

Woah, that cliffhanger was great! I really hope you expand on this story, it was quite intriguing and I'd love to know more. I think you could have added a bit more descriptions to the beginning because it was sort of out of the blue - though that may be the prompt itself - still an interesting read :)

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Daryl Gravesande
18:49 Aug 11, 2020

Thank you for the feedback :)

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Zion Hintay
00:32 Jul 29, 2020

Man the whole delusion was hilarious. I loved the dialogue with the baby. Didn't know how it was going to end. But dang it was a fun one to read. Thanks for that Daryl.

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Daryl Gravesande
18:50 Aug 11, 2020

No problem. I'm glad I was able to make it humorous! :)

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Thom Brodkin
01:38 Jul 28, 2020

I like it. I knew it wasn’t real but you drew me in anyway. I chose the same prompt and I’m enjoying finding other takes. Yours is one of the best so far. If you get a chance check mine out. I’d love to hear what you think of my take.

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Daryl Gravesande
18:50 Aug 11, 2020

WOW, best take? I'm flattered, really. I'll read urs too!

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Rhondalise Mitza
05:04 Jul 27, 2020

Interesting take on the prompt. Remember to use the names of numbers; fourteen feet and not 14 feet. Dialogue was good, nice use of commas. The beginning felt rushed. There could have been more room to transition into the story. Also. Did you mean asylum instead of penitentiary? Because one is for people who are diagnosed with a mental disorder strong enough to make them a danger to themselves and to others, and the other is a place for people who have been convicted of serious crimes. Could have been some more character building but then ag...

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Daryl Gravesande
21:39 Jul 27, 2020

It did and THANK YOU! :)

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Daryl Gravesande
21:40 Jul 27, 2020

Spread the word, ma'am?

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Rhondalise Mitza
00:05 Jul 28, 2020

Will do, sir, will do.

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