An emu is like an ostrich
by Jeff Tapia
Tracey got in her mom's lane because her mom got an employee's discount. Tracey's mom was real good with a checkout scanner, and she didn't get paid much, either. They said hi. Tracey's mom checked her out. She bought a lot of things. It was back-to-school time. Like a pack of 12 high-quality pens. Their anti-pushback points were going to ensure dependable writing. And some glue. Tracey's cart was pretty full. She also got a self-stick framed bulletin board for her two older daughters. They were unique and durable. The whole surface was sticky so they wouldn't need tape, pins, or tacks. Tracey's mom asked how they were doing. Tracey told her. Next came the backpacks. Her mom said they were selling a lot of those. Tracey looked hard before picking the one she finally did. She went with the one with Ergonomic Back System (EBS). It was either between that one and Big Student which had 2200 cubic inch capacity. That made Big Student bigger, but it didn't have EBS. It had a front zippered organizer pocket, instead, and two exterior supplement pockets for school supplies. That was what made it a hard decision. Tracey hoped she wasn't making the wrong decision. Tracey's mom kept checking out more stuff. She asked Tracey if Jim was working two shifts to pay for all the stuff. It was a joke. Then that was all the stuff, and her mom went on break, and her and her mom sat down in the snack area which was right there. It a was convenient snack area. Tracey's mom got free popcorn so she went to get some popcorn. They both thought they'd have some popcorn. Her mom came back with a medium bag of popcorn. It stood up on its own and had a special coating to prevent the butter from leaking. She said her and Willy might go to Red Lobster that evening. They might not, though. Tracey said that sounded good. Tracey loved shrimp sauce. She asked her mom what it depended on if they went or not, and her mom said if they felt like it or not. Tracey said that was the best way to decide if you wanted to or not. Tracey and her mom talked. Tracey told her mom she was worried because Pammy was starting middle school on Monday. She said she was worried because how bad Pammy sees. Tracey didn't want Pammy to get picked on. Tracey's mom said she knew she would do fine. Tracey didn't know how she knew, but her mom said she just knew. They both said the popcorn tasted real good. But that it made them real thirsty. Tracey's mom got back up and got them two orange-aids. That quenched their thirsts real good. They each had a few napkins because of the butter. One napkin wasn't enough because they were small and not very absorbent, and they tore. Her and her mom weren't the only ones sitting in the snack area. Then Tracey's mom pulled something out of the front pouch of her uniform vest thing before she forgot. The pretty, heart-shaped locket had a miniscule dent in it and wouldn't open. You couldn't even see it. It just didn't work. That was how come her mom got it for free. She showed it to Tracey. The rope chain was 24 inches. It was draped between her mom's fingers. The locket part of the locket was tri-color. It had a classic floral design. Tracey said it was pretty and sterling silver and that her mom should try it on. Her mom wiped her hands real good and tried it on. Tracey said it looked real good. That made her mom feel real good. Her mom said that since it looked real good, she was going to ask Willy if he wanted to give it to her. She said Willy hated looking for presents. Tracey said that was a good idea. She said she could eat popcorn forever. Then her mom made sure Tracey had a key to Willy's house because Tracey was supposed to pick up his mail while they were gone. Willy didn't have a pet or any plants to water. He was the only thing alive in his house. Tracey's mom said it was going to be the longest they were ever going to be gone together, and the farthest away. Tracey said she hadn't known it was going to be the farthest away. She said she knew it was going to be the longest. Willy and Tracey's mom went on a lot of short trips together. Willy loved driving. He never got lost. He had excellent car insurance. And almost even better health insurance. He sold car insurance. Tracey's mom always sent her a postcard. Then Tracey's mom asked her if she knew what, but Tracey didn't. But Tracey wanted to, though. Tracey's mom finished what she had in her mouth. Then she said she was pretty sure Willy was going to propose to her on the trip. Tracey said wow. She asked her mom what she was going to say if he did. Tracey's mom said she was going to say yes. Tracey asked her mom if she was going to say anything to him about the lump. Tracey's mom said she wasn't yet. She said it still could be a fatty deposit. Willy already lost one wife. He wasn't going to want to go through another ordeal. Tracey's mom said she was so fortunate to have found Willy. She said Willy said he was happy, too. Then Tracey's mom wiped off the table with her napkin. Some popcorn fell on the floor, but it blended in with the tiles. Tracey's mom got up because she had to get back to work. She asked Tracey if she wanted any more popcorn. Tracey said she didn't. She said she had to go pick up the girls from animal camp. She said they were supposed to be petting an emu today. It was like an ostrich.
About the author:
Jeff Tapia has been living in Vienna, Austria for several years and working as a writer and translator. His plays, written in German, have been produced throughout Germany and received various awards. He is currently completing a collection of stories in English. Jeff now works as a librarian at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.