Serial Saturday – Die, Blossom, Bloom #6

Saturday already? Either the weeks are getting shorter, or I’m getting older! Time for another part of Die, Blossom, Bloom. When we left Ted, he was in the local store and had encountered Butler-Thompson, once more looking down her nose at him.

You can read last week’s part HERE. On to today’s part:

“Ok, pick what you want.” Jordan trudged off towards the chocolate aisle, and she turned to Ted. “Children!” Ted shrugged. “Oh, that’s right. You never had any, did you?” She lifted her shopping onto the counter and pulled out her purse.

“No, no children,” said Ted.

“Was it your wife? Was she…what’s the word…barren?”

Ted took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. “I don’t think that’s the word but no, we just didn’t want any.”

“Really?” Ted got the impression that she had deposited that information somewhere in the bowels of her memory, to be used at a later date.

“Gran?” Jordan slapped two chocolate bars on the counter.

“Two? Oh well, alright.” She stroked his hair out of his eyes then slid the money over to Jack, who had been standing silently, observing the interplay. He had wanted to like Ted, as did others in the village, Sissy too, but Mrs Butler-Thompson was a larger-than-life personality, and in such a tiny community, no one wanted to rock the boat, so the couple were largely ostracised. Jack thought it wiser to stay quiet, scooping the money off the counter and in to his hand. The till rang as he deposited the money.

“Thanks again, Jordan.” Ted jingled the change in his pocket. “I’ll leave those others, I think. They’re yours if you can find them.”

Jordan made a face at Ted. It could have been a smile, or it could have been a sneer. His face, like the rest of his body, was plump; his cheeks were pushed outwards, distorting his lips, and his eyes were slits, making it difficult to read.

Ted held his stare for a moment, trying to decide if this Butler-Thompson was going to be another version of his gran. Sceptical by nature, Ted heard Sissy’s voice in his head: benefit of the doubt, Ted, benefit of the doubt. He smiled and nodded at the boy before leaving the shop.

Mrs Butler-Thompson began loading her canvas pull along shopping basket with her purchases as she watched Ted walk away from the shop. There was another tiny jingle as the door closed, and she turned to her grandson. “Please try not to help that man. I think subterfuge is afoot.”

Jordan stared at his gran and took a bite of one of the bars of chocolate.

She shook her head. “Do you know what that means?”

“Not really.” The bar was half gone.

“It means I think that Mister Harris may very well have a secret.” She touched the side of her nose with her index finger. “I think he may be cheating in order to win this year’s competition.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Well, just look at his garden. It’s quite a turnaround from his last year’s dismal showing, don’t you think?”

“I’ve never noticed.”

“Well, you need to pay more attention.” She rapped her knuckles on his forehead.

“Yes gran, sorry gran.” Jordan’s face flushed, and he turned away.

Mrs Butler-Thompson shot a glance at the shopkeeper, who stood behind the counter, watching the exchange. “And you, Jack Farnham, had better keep your mouth shut about what I just said.” Jack cleared his throat and stepped back from the counter. “What does he buy here?”

“Groceries, mostly. Bread, milk, eggs.” Jack shrugged. “I can’t see Ted-”

“I didn’t ask for your opinion, thank you.” She placed her items into her pull-along trolley. “Come along, Jordan.

As the two left the store, Jordan turned to his gran. He was already on the second bar of chocolate. “Do you really think he’s cheating?”

“Well, I’m not certain, but shall we say, I have strong suspicions.” Her jowls wobbled as she pulled her shopping basket over the cobbles. “You might be able to help me with that.”

“What can I do?” Jordan looked at her.

“I need to think.” They walked the rest of the way home in silence.

***

That’s it for today, folks. Butler-Thompson continues to be a thoroughly unpleasant person. Maybe she can turn it round in time for next week. But then again, maybe not.

Have you ever met anyone like her? I certainly have!

4 thoughts on “Serial Saturday – Die, Blossom, Bloom #6

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