Today’s prompt says:
Write a scene that involves birthday cake.

Inspired by the man in front of me at the Etobicoke Metro last night.


Suhit pulled out his phone to show the sales clerk a coupon for Freshco’s sale on goldfish.

“I have a coupon – I think these are cheaper…” the sentence trailed off. He felt the eyes of everyone in the line behind him start to glare.

It was 1130 at night and this was the only open grocery store in the area. He had been searching for an open grocery store for 15 minutes now, going from area to area of the city, looking for one damned-open grocery store so he could do this. So he could buy a bag of goldfish crackers.

It wouldn’t have been so difficult if the stores would just turn their lights off when they were closed. But more than once, he saw a store in the distance that seemed to be, was hopefully, just might be? open? So he made his way, his eyes going from the road to the store, looking for signs of life, tossing back and forth in his mind the answer to were they open?! It wasn’t until he turned into the lot and got close up to the store did he find out.

His excitement at finally finding this store was replaced with frustration at realizing he was entering a colossally cold, confusing structure. Nothing was where it was supposed to be: the fruits and vegetables were all the way on the other side of the store, not that he was looking for that, but it was weird. When he first came in he was greeted by the bakery section, all the cakes for every occasion lined up to entice him to buy.

His eyes landed on one brightly coloured cake with “Happy Birthday Abby!” written on it in obnoxious script.

“I wonder if they would know how to spell Lenmana,” he thought. He could see the scene already. His voice was already low so he would have project a little to start with. But the person behind the counter would ask him to repeat the name, and no doubt he would be asked to spell it. “Better to just write it beforehand on a piece of paper. Or spell it on my phone and show it to them.”

Eventually he found his way to the Salty Snacks section, and selected two different brands of Goldfish. It never occurred to him to do this. After bringing Goldfish to Lenmana the 14th time, she suggested he look for sales, or try to price match them instead.

He seldom got tired of this routine. It was more of a necessity to him than anything else. It was simple: he wanted certain things from her and she would give those things to him if she got the Goldfish. Not for a kid or anything, just for herself.

At the cash, the clerk did the least she could to not look annoyed. “It’s 1130 at night, sir,” she said in her mind.

Out loud she repeated what her managers had told her to say in these situations: “I’m sorry, we don’t price-match here.”

Suhit searched his wallet for his debit card, pointing to one of the bags he picked up that had goldfishes on it swimming in blue water. “Fine – I’ll just take the… those ones.”

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