Wednesday, June 15, 2022

WEP & Schrodinger's Letter

Like Schrodinger’s cat, the envelope rested on Ty’s kitchen island. Propped against the pepper mill.

It had been the first thing he’d spotted after the worst shift in his time as store manager.


Five shoplifters today. One had stormed out with an entire cart of groceries. She’d shoved it out the doors like she was a race car circuit. But it had been a hard right turn into the parking lot and she’d dumped the entire cart in the roadway. Then she’d run off calling him names he’d never heard before.


Two more tried to walk away with chocolate bars. Grown adults risking a charge over a hunk of chocolate.


One had played the, “Oh, I forgot I didn’t pay. I didn’t realize I almost broke the turnstile by going out the in,” routine. But he’d paid, so they hadn’t charged him.


The fifth had been a woman who shoved a frozen turkey under her sweater and into the top of her pants, pretending to be pregnant.


A frozen turkey.


And she hadn’t been smart enough to not have the tag sticking out the front of her sweater.


Then the debit machines had shut down bringing out tears and the angry idiots of the world.


A pallet of soda had been tipped over. And, no, the store wasn't going to pay the dry cleaning bill for the dingbat who'd tried bodysurfing through the orange goo.


All in all, a hell of a shift.


And now a letter bearing his name in Sadie’s handwriting on his island.


He couldn’t move past it. Couldn’t go forward or back. He was stuck in limbo exactly like Schrodinger’s cat.


If he didn’t open the letter, it could be both good and bad news at the same time. Once he opened it, he’d know.


Who wrote letters anymore?


Sadie had never written him a letter before.


Things were going well. Really well. He’d been thinking about shopping for a ring.


What was in the letter?


He finally unglued his feet and picked up the envelope. Not a business envelope, not a Christmas-card-sized one either. Smaller.


Stomach churning, Ty turned the white envelope over but there were no clues on the other side.


Closing his eyes, he blew out a deep breath and imagined a box. He opened the flaps of the imaginary box and a healthy cat popped out to grin at him.


His big hands fumbled with the flap of the envelope, but he didn’t want to tear the paper. Once it was open, he peeked inside to see a folded piece of paper.


No writing on the outside. He was still in the box.


Ty slid out the paper and blew out another breath.


He unfolded the paper.


A cartoon filled it. On the left, Sadie had drawn Ty conked out on a recliner with ZZZZZ printed above his head.


On the right, she’d drawn herself carrying a pizza box and a six-pack.


Heard about the shift. Take a snooze. I’ll see you in an hour. Love Sadie.


Love Sadie.


Schrodinger’s cat was alive and well.


Carrying the letter, Ty headed to the recliner and pulled out his phone. The weariness of the shift was gone. Time to find the perfect ring.

***

Tagline: A letter propped on a pepper mill and an empty house. Good or bad?


The above is part of the WEP Challenge for June: Please Read The Letter.

This is another song I didn't know before the challenge. I listened to it a few times, but I just wasn't in the mood for a heartbreak story, so I focused on the title itself rather than the song.

Please check the links below to find more flash prompted by the song or the title!



35 comments:

  1. Hi Jemi - this was delightful ... very clever - and I love the use of Shrodinger and his cat ... brilliant - soft and fun to read ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary - I needed something happy :)

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  2. This was such a stimulating read! :) Thank you!

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    1. Thanks - It was fun to write something light!

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  3. This is just such a fun take on the prompt! Really liked the shoplifters' descriptions too. Thanks for the smiles, Jemi.

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    1. Thanks, Nila! I needed a break from the heavy!

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  4. Hi Miss Jemi,
    Wow, what a cool story. Love the description of a bad day at the office. The frozen turkey lady made me laugh out loud. Ha ha. You kept me on the edge of my seat wondering if the letter would be good or bad news, especially since Sadie had never writer a letter to Ty before. What a relief to find good news. For sure beer and pizza is a happy thought. And, of course, the ring makes for a happy ending. Thanks for a fun story.

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    1. Thanks, Lenny! There's been a lot of tough stuff in the real world, and I need something uplifting!

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  5. Hi Jemi. I loved this happy little tale which answers the prompt and sort of counters my sad story. Glad after such a day at the store, he has such a lovely lady in his life who understands. Bring on the ring. Maybe to the tune of 'Moonlight Sonata'??

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    1. That's a great idea! I've never done connected flash - we'll see where my brain takes me!

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  6. Hi Jemi. This was so clever. I loved the atmosphere you created, the turkey theft and other things and the simplicity of the story. Splendid.
    -Sonia

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    1. Thanks, Sonia. It was time for something fun :)

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  7. I love your use of Schrodinger's cat here. It really conveys the sense of uncertainty. I'm glad that the cat is alive and well, so to speak. It was the nice sort of gesture Ty needed after such a bad day at work.

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    1. Thanks, Laura - I'm glad the cat is well too!

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  8. I love this post. I was sure it was bad news, but you turned the tables on me. Well done.
    Nancy

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  9. Phew! "Schrodinger’s cat was alive and well." Such a relief! You had me worried...
    I have to admit that I wasn't sure that the letter would be positive.
    Absolutely fun!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! I was glad to find the cat alive as well :)

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  10. This was such a romantic read and you kept me on my toes with the 'will she/won't she?' This piece ran like a short film for me--perfect details to create the reality of Ty's shift.

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    1. Thanks, Arti! I wouldn't want a shift like that one!

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  11. I could have sworn I left a comment earlier. Oh well, try again...

    I was expecting the worst, but was thrilled to see this had a happy ending. Left a big smile on my face. ☺

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    1. I wasn't sure which way it was going to go either for a while! I always prefer the happy endings though :)

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  12. I'm glad the protagonist gets a happy ending to his story. I honestly feel like this when publishing comments, which is why sometimes it takes me a long time to get around to it.

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    1. I hear ya - that Schrodinger's cat scenario applies in so many situations!

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  13. Well done, and so true, the Schrodinger's cat scenario visits too often in life. And I too, prefer the happier ending. I have to start writing more of those.

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  14. What a nice way to end a rotten day at the store! Working with the public can be a nightmare.

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    1. It sure can! I'm so glad I never had to work retail!!

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  15. What a swell ending to a craptastic day. 💍 Hope it goes well!

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