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Adventure Funny Thriller

Reuben cracked his front door open and cautiously looked up and down the street. When he was satisfied he slowly crept down the sidewalk, while he fumbled in his pocket for his car keys. He finally grasped them when he got to his car door, which he quickly unlocked, then he leapt inside the vehicle. 


      He let out a sigh of relief, “Made it so far.” He said under his breath. Inserting his key, he started the car, after checking all of the mirrors and making sure no one was watching him, he slowly reversed into the street. Traveling down the road he took great precautions to only go the speed limit, and avoid eye contact with other drivers. Eye contact invites suspicion,  he thought to himself.


      As he slowed to a stop at a red light, he began to sweat profusely, seconds turned to  hours as he began to wonder if the car next to him was trying to make out who he was. As the light cycled to green, Reuben tried not to look eager to continue down the road. Passing through two other stoplights, he finally came to his destination. Pulling into a parking spot, he waited, checking other cars, people walking by, and the rooftops of nearby businesses. When he felt safe, he slowly emerged from his vehicle. At a very quick rate, he hurried towards the door, knowing once he was inside, he would be safe in a crowd.


     Gathering up a cart, he produced a list, not like the list you and I use, this list had items crossed out, dates of last purchase and towards the bottom the sub heading, today's goals. Heading for the produce section, he dodged a few slower moving customers as he came up to the section that held lettuce. After checking a few, he picked up a couple of heads of lettuce. He proceeded to check a few bunches of carrots for listening devices, he picked a good looking bunch. Dodging the slightest touch of an older lady, who just had to look at every vegetable twice, and would then stare at him when he would eventually pick the produce she wanted. 


     Next on his list was cucumbers, but lying between him and his purchase was a toddler, who Reuben thought was very interested in him. “They can't have turned one that early, could they.” Reuben muttered to himself as the baby just laughed at the strange man. As he reached past the child, the boy reached out to touch him, and Reuben had to roll out of the way, to avoid the child's nimble fingers. Once righting himself he saw he was right in front of the annoying woman from earlier, after what seemed like a long tense showdown he smiled and moved on to the next section, “Cucumber acquisition failed, move to the next list.” Reuben muttered to himself, hoping his superiors were listening in. 


     He quickly looked over the cauliflower, knowing that he had already been put behind schedule by the operatives in this department. He quickly snatched a head of cauliflower, while pulling it towards him, the lady next to him bumped into his arm. Reuben straightened as she looked him in the eyes, giggled and excused her intrusion. Faking a smile as best he could, Reuben quickly walked around into the next aisle, his heart was pounding out of his chest. 


      “Now they’re just toying with me.”, he growled to himself. He stood there for a few moments just trying to calm himself down before he moved on. Feeling like he had been still too long, Reuben marched down the aisle, still clutching a cupped list, moving down the aisle he checked ketchup for hidden devices, until he settled on an inconspicuous bottle of Heinz. He began to scrutinize mustard bottles, when he noticed an elderly lady on a cart, with a definite interest in what he was doing. Not wanting to give away his identity he turned around and started going through cans of beans, this was just a countermeasure of course, he knew the amount of chemicals that were put into cans goods lead to apathy and lethargy, plus the sodium alone could kill you. 


    When the lady got involved in looking at the boxed rice, he made his escape, he quickly ducked in the aisle that contained a myriad of drinks. Reuben also noticed how the aisle was teaming with people, he felt like they had headed him here, just to do him in. Although it all seemed like slow motion, he darted past a couple with a cart, cut in front of someone else, and taking a huge risk he grabbed the first case of bottled water on the shelf. I can always boil and put this water through the filtration system, he thought to himself. 


     Feeling like he had risked enough for one afternoon, Reuben headed for the checkouts. He noticed a red haired girl with an earpiece talking to herself, not wanting to risk if they were just headphones for music, he ducked into the first checkout that didn't have many people in it. After two older men checked out in front of him, he started to put his groceries on the belt. The checker was one of those bubbly people, you know the one, where you find it extremely hard to get a word in edgewise, so while she politely tried to make small talk with Reuben, he just smiled and nodded when appropriate. He desperately shoved a few bills at her when she gave the total, he barely paused long enough to take his receipt. After which, he rapidly headed for the parking lot. 


     When he got to his car he faked dropping his keys, then when he lowered himself to the ground to look for them, it allowed him a cover to sweep the underside of his car for explosives or other tracking devices. After seeing nothing that was out of the ordinary, he quickly regained his feet. Quickly tossing his groceries into the truck and closing it with a loud slam, Reuben wrenched the driver side door open. After shoving his keys into the ignition, he wiped the sweat from his eyes. Reuben knew all too well that he had taken way too much time and that could mean that they would be upon him soon. 


     With a squeal of his tires, Reuben tore out of the parking lot and accelerated to his house. Not too late, it couldn't have taken that long, he thought to himself, Reuben felt confident that his time frame was correct, but he flew home just in case he was wrong. Taking the shortest way he knew, while not letting anyone else slow him down, he finally pulled into his driveway and slammed on the brakes, throwing some of his food around the trunk. 


     Again he checked all of his mirrors and made sure that snipers hadn't been deployed on the homes across the street from him. After he swept the immediate area and deeming it safe, Reuben firmly grasped his keys. In a flash he had moved to the back of the car, gathered the groceries, and moved towards the front door. With the keys in his teeth Reuben bent over and opened the front door by turning the key with his teeth. Reuben quickly scurried through the front door, slamming it closed behind him. He stood with his back to the front door, heavily panting a low ragged breath.  


     That was close, he thought to himself, maybe we’ll do a night run next time to try and catch them off guard. Ruben then began putting his groceries away, each in their own spot. He then pulled out a large pot in order to boil the bottled water, before running it through The filtration system.

February 29, 2020 14:54

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1 comment

Zilla Babbitt
16:05 Mar 14, 2020

Here for the critique circle :). This was a fun story to read. I couldn't figure out whether he was just a paranoid man or a secret agent legitimately on a mission. I like the vagueness. There are only a few kinks that could be worked out, all of them just wording and word choice. In some places grammar and wording are just hard for me to read through. In some places you just tell the reader the facts, not show them and let the imagination take over. Like: Reuben knew all too well that he had taken way too much time and that could mean tha...


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