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Mr. Supermarket


(Based on a true


Jacqueline Du

Isobelle Carmody Award

for Creative Writing

Honourable Mention

It was a frosty July afternoon in the heart of winter and I was in a

dilemma. Dad had told me off last week for constantly relying on the

school cafeteria to provide my lunch, which was, in his words, ‘a

convenient but expensive way of eating unhealthy food’. So for the

week to come, starting tomorrow, I was to make my own lunch. Only

I had just realised about six minutes ago that I couldn’t actually make

my lunch out of nothing. Who knew you needed food to make it?

Apparently not me…

I slung my bag over my shoulder and grabbed my house keys from

the hook behind the door. ‘Hey Mum! I’m just going out to

Woolworths for a few minutes to grab some stuff to make lunch with!’

‘Leaving things until last minute again? Fine, as long as you take

your phone!’

‘Duh Mum, I always have my phone on me!’

Slipping into my black flats, I pushed open the front door and

stepped out. Grey clouds were scudding across the sky overhead,

warning of a looming storm. I’ll have to hurry, I thought to myself. I



want to get stuck in rain, especially because I happen to be

having a terrific hair day today! Leafless trees lining the sidewalk

reached their long, bare fingers up in vain attempts to snag a wisp of

cloud. I smiled, finding beauty in even the gloomiest of days.

Arriving at Woolworths, I strode through the automatic glass

doors and headed straight for the bread section. A loaf of wholemeal

bread went flying into the plastic shopping basket I’d picked up on

the way in. Dashing over to the long fridge at the back of the store, I

added four mini-tubs of Chobani greek yoghurt, blackberry flavour

– my favourite. After some fruit went into the basket as well, I

realised it was getting quite heavy, so I placed it down on the floor by

the corner. Next, a bag of those ready-washed salads from the veggie

section. I walked slowly down the aisle, reading all the names and

descriptions of the salads. A traditional garden salad would have

been the safe choice, but there were also the leafy greens to consider

which claimed to be ‘a delightful assortment of textures and flavours’.

Or I could have got one with cherry tomatoes, but that one wasn’t

on special… and let’s be honest, I was not made of money.

After an agonising five minutes or so of trying to choose the

perfect salad, I looked up. That’s when I noticed him. He was a

middle-aged man with short light brown hair, standing stock-still

about two metres away just staring at me. I did a double-take and