Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a "never have/had I ever" story.
Today’s post is written by Phil Yeats. Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) has published two soft-boiled police detective stories in his Barrettsport Mysteries series. They’re set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community with very quirky citizens. The Amazon link for the more recent one is: https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/
The Two Bears Bakery
by Phil Yeats
“Never have I ever seen anything like this,” the stranger said as she handed him his change. He stopped with his hand on the handle of the exterior door. “Two-hundred-fifty billion dollars of debt we’ll never repay.” He walked away, leaving the door open, and the shop exposed to the blustery spring weather.
Her husband hurried from the tiny office behind their serving counter. He approached the door and wiped the handle with disinfectant before pulling it closed. The restraining spring hung free, another repair to make before returning to his ovens.
Their first day since the loosening of pandemic-related restrictions that forced them to close their little bakery had been successful. She’d sold almost all their loaves of bread and trays of pastries.
Welcome news because the previous night, as he mixed his tubs of dough, he had no idea how many he should make. Would they see hordes of customers or only a few?
“What was that about?” he asked as he settled onto the stool behind the counter. She’d been there since nine and deserved a rest. He’d mind the store until they closed for the night.
“No idea,” she said as she glanced toward the stairway to their apartment above the shop. “A stranger, so what can I say. Same for everyone who entered. None could resist unburdening little corners of their souls.”
“Everyone’s been alone for far too long. They need someone to talk to.”
“So it seems, and they had strange stories to tell.”
She placed her arms around his shoulders after collecting one of their few remaining loaves. “Been a tough day, we’re out of practice. I’ll make some dinner, and then we can relax.”
“But worth it, don’t you think,” he called as she climbed the stairs. “We belong here. Our regulars will return, and we’ll return to normal.”
He meant what he said. They had a hard life, running a mum and pop bakery in a North America overrun with big-box retailers. They’d raised two daughters who were married with children. One would arrive to help her mother in the morning. The second would be in the kitchen baking cakes to order. And their kids would rush about, causing mayhem, and entertaining the customers without forgetting their mandatory face masks and social distancing. They had everything they desired.
The Spot Writers—Our Members:
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com
Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/