A to Z 2016 · Fiction

L is for “Linda’s Mistake”

Fiction today; just a simple little scene. Here’s the prompt:

Fred has high blood pressure. But Linda brings home some items from the grocery store that are not so good for Fred. Write the scene with dialogue.


Nothing too complex, just a little domestic dialogue, a mini-spat if you will.


Linda’s Mistake

Linda elbowed at the back door handle, finally connecting and shoving the door open with her hip. Dropping the two enormous grocery bags on the kitchen island, she called out, “Honey! Come down here and help me!”

A clatter of footsteps on the stairs and Fred appeared in the doorway. “Thank God, I’m starving!”

She started emptying the contents of the first bag onto the counter. “Good, I bought you a chicken.”

“A chicken?” Fred pulled the second bag toward him. “Paper towels, blueberries, onions — what crazy person bagged this? — and… wait. What the hell is this?”

Glancing up, Linda shrugged. “Dinner. A rotisserie chicken. You’ve seen one before, you know,” she said, as Fred began to glower, at both her and the chicken. “Stick it in the microwave, and start some water boiling. I’m going to whip up some mashed potatoes and some of these canned peas.”

“Canned — are you trying to kill me?” He threw the chicken down on the counter.

“Fred! What? You love their chicken!”

“Are you kidding me — seriously? I can’t — where did I go yesterday?”

“The doctor. He told you you’ve got high blood pressure.”

“Right. And what am I not supposed to eat?”

“It’s right on this — where did the list go? It was on the fridge…Oh, hang on.” She dug around inside her oversized purse and finally unearthed it, crumpled, from the bottom. “Here,” walking over to stand next to Fred. “‘Foods You Should and Shouldn’t Eat for Hypertension.’ See, I got potatoes, and fish, and the blueberries, bananas. Look, I even got you some yogurt!”

“I didn’t ask what I was supposed to eat. I asked what I wasn’t.”

Linda gave an exasperated sigh and kept reading. “You’re supposed to eat poultry, and more green vegetables, Fred –” She stopped when she looked up at his face, turning a deep shade of red.

You’re still not answering the question, Linda,” he hissed.

“Oh! That’s on the other side… here. Let’s see, you’re to lower your salt and sugar intake, no deli meat, no canned soup, no red meat, bacon, alcohol, baked goods… oh.”

“‘Oh’? ‘Oh’ what?”

Linda bit her lip. “Well–I didn’t really look at this side, you see. I thought getting you what you’re supposed to eat was more important –”

Fred banged his fist on the counter. “LINDA! What else is on the list?”

She sighed, and then mumbled, “Canned vegetables, and prepared foods. For example, rotisserie chicken.”

He closed his eyes, and took a several long, deep breaths. “Thank you.”

“Oh!” Running back around the island, she searched through one of the bags and pulled out a package triumphantly. “Fish doesn’t take long to cook, right?”



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