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Fiction Funny People of Color

It was a dark and stormy night—- well, it wasn’t a dark and stormy night. It was quite a regular night if one is being honest— but saying it’s dark and stormy makes for a better story most of the time. If one is telling the truth—- this is not a dramatic story. This is the most boring story in the history of boring stories.

This story truly starts in the ice cream aisle of a grocery aisle. It’s not a special grocery story– it’s just one of those quirky mom-and-pop grocery stores that you can find in most small towns. The kind of grocery store that’s kept alive and running because of the loyalty of the customers and just plain luck. It was a small grocery store— shoved between two an antique shop and a sandwich shop—- and was the size of a small apartment.

This is where Tenesha found herself at three in the morning in her sweatpants, t-shirt, silk bonnet, and snoopy slippers. It was her night off from the graveyard shift at her job. She’d spent her night off constantly napping and taking breaks for cleaning, laundry,ordering pizza, and  falling back to sleep. The problem started when she woke up from one of her frequent naps and had a craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was a strong craving— she was torn between being extremely lazy and not leaving her apartment— but the call of ice cream was strong. She was rather reluctant to leave her apartment seeing as she had pizza stains on her shirt from her earlier dinner.

She worked twelve hours shifts from seven p.m to seven a.m at the local dairy factory. It wasn’t a bad job— it had good pay, she had days off—- but the problem with working nights was that the world was constantly trying to interrupt her sleep.

Mainly– it was the sun— it just had to come up and peek through her curtains. It didn’t matter if she used a sleep mask or black out curtains— she always slept poorly throughout the day. Which made her equally tired and grumpy—- and  over all a very cranky person in general.

So the problem was— she wanted ice cream.

The other problem was that she had to leave her apartment to get the freaking ice cream and she was not very happy about that all.

So she left her very dinky apartment— and walked a couple of blocks in the middle of the night to the local 24 hour grocery store. Now most people would think she was crazy for walking  at three in the morning to the local grocery store. This was the United States…… people were generally as a rule— perfectly nice. However, there was always the very real reality of the batshit crazy, the criminal, and people just looking to get over on you. Tenesha was a very practical young lady if you asked her. She knew walking at such a late/early hour was not a good idea— so that’s why she brought her lucky box cutter knife that she used from work, her pepper spray, and her cell phone. She took a wicked delight sometimes in flicking open her knife on some local group of bullies who thought they could steal her purse— not realizing that she really was not the type of young lady who did things without a reason. So she carried a purse— it was empty—- she kept her money in her snoopy socks. It always brought her a wicked type of glee when someone tried to steal from her and instead got a purse full of tampons.

What can she say? She has a wicked sense of humor.

So… here she was walking into the local grocery store at three in the morning and looking like a hobo. However, at three in the morning on her night off— everyone could just go fuck themselves if they wanted to judge her. She was a grown woman— a grown, tired, woman– and could look like a hobo if she very well wanted to.

She walked into the local grocery store and took a second to ask herself how badly she wanted this ice cream.  Because as soon as she got to the ice cream aisle— after waving lazily at the night cashier with the colorful foot-long nails and he rainbow braids— she saw the very Last person that she wanted to see.


Now when Tenesha said she hated that bitch with a passion— she absolutely meant it. The problem was— they worked together— and Tippany had  very severe control issues. Her idea of working was standing at the back of the work room on her phone and only leaving to talk shit and tell people what they were doing wrong. Now normally….. Tenesha was a chill individual. She did her job, didn’t cause any trouble, and helped her co-workers accordingly. However, the problems started when she realized her co-workers didn’t help her in return. This resulted in an argument that would’ve resorted to blows if Tenesha was less of a class act than she really was. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t ready to throw down— she really disliked bullies and refused to be bullied what-so-ever.

But now—- here she was on her night off and she had to deal with Tippany and she wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with her.

And ‘lo and behold— here she was at the opposite end of the aisle in her pajamas and silk hair bonnet and squinting sleepily at Tenesha as if she wasn’t sure she was real.

“I’m gonna be the bigger person here.” Tenesha said to herself as she squared her shoulders and proceeded to ignore Tippany and walk down the ice cream aisle. It was way too early or late to be dealing with her bullshit of a co-worker that she didn’t even want to see.

So she pretended Tippany was a fucking ghost, or air, or generally someone she didn’t want to deal with. She headed straight for the middle freezer that held the mint chocolate chip ice cream.

As soon as she grabbed the freezer door— another hand grabbed the handle as well.

Tenesha closed her eyes and counted backwards from 10.

There was only one carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream left— and while normally she would just pick another flavor to keep the peace if Tippany wanted it— the woman was currently on her shit list and she could eat shit if she thought she was going to get the last carton.

She opened her eyes and looked straight at the beady eyed bitch…..

“Do we have a problem?” Tippany asked her in a nasally voice. Tenesha looked at her and said nothing. She found that silence was her best weapon when dealing with bitches.

Instead she forced open the freezer, grabbed the last carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and proceeded to walk past Tippany.

Fuck her…. And especially fuck her if she wanted the last mint chocolate ice cream.

“Mint chocolate?” she heard Tippany’s nasally voice say as she walked in the opposite direction. “Ew. That’s Nasty.”

“So’s ya mama.” Tenesha muttered back as she walked proudly to the cash register to pay for her ice cream. 

Mission Accomplished.

February 01, 2023 12:31

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1 comment

Laurel Hanson
13:12 Feb 09, 2023

The mysterious "laura" of reedsy has sent me this story to critique this week. Though I find it awkward to critique the work of people I do not know, I respect the intention of reedsy in encouraging us to look critically at writing, both others' and our own. I like your opening, playing on the typical "dark and stormy night" and then undermining it. That sets up the subversion of the typical story arc, which you do in the plot that follows, where there is not a standard conflict. That works. SO do the fun details like the Snoopy slippers, wh...


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