Maggie loved bingo, but for some time now, bingo had not loved her. But, today, her losing streak ended with the Grand Pooh-Bah of pots going solely to Maggie. With a bounce in her step and a wad of cash in her wallet, Maggie walked home from the bingo hall.
She already knew she would spend some of her winnings on a new rug; hers had seen better days. She had her eye on one at the Happy Shoppers Outlet, and until now, she couldn’t afford it. The rug was maroon with taupe and emerald green accents. It will complement my drapes perfectly. She was almost giddy.
As Maggie approached Bishop’s Convenience Store, Maggie decided she deserved a celebratory treat.
“Is that all today, Maggie?” Bob Bishop asked as she placed a jumbo bag of salt and vinegar potato chips on the counter.
“I believe so, Bob.” Maggie smiled, anticipating the potato chips’ salty tartness and satisfying crunch.
“Oh, fiddlesticks!” Maggie exclaimed, realizing she had left her bingo chips at the hall.
“Hmm, I think we’re out,” Bob said.
“Oh, I didn’t mean—”
Bob hollered to his wife in the storeroom. “Sue, do we have fiddlesticks?”
“Isn’t that a game?” Sue Bishop yelled back.
“You’re thinking of tiddlywinks, dear. Maggie wants fiddlesticks.”
“No. No, I don’t,” Maggie said.
“Fiddlesticks is glazed popcorn and peanuts.” Rachel, the Bishop’s teenage daughter, interjected without looking up her homework at the far end of the counter.
“Order fiddlesticks for Maggie.”
“Hold on there, Bob. I never –”
Sue bellowed, “Rachel, can you handle that for me?”
A printer hummed and whirled next to Rachel. “Already done, Mom.” She handed a sheet of paper to her father.
“Okay, that’s forty-three dollars and twenty-two cents.”
“What!” Maggie’s mouth dropped.
“It’s a special order, Maggie; you have to pay upfront.” Bob studied the invoice. “But look, you get a whole case.”
Maggie snatched the paper from Bob and held it out to read.
“I didn’t say I wanted fiddlesticks or Fiddle Faddle, which is what you ordered.” She pointed at a spot on the invoice. “You see, I left my bingo chips back at the hall and —”
Bob gave a reassuring smile and held his hand up. “Hold on, Maggie. Sue! Do we have any bingo chips?”
Linda Chandanais lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with her husband and two dogs, Penny and Raven. Her love of storytelling began with ‘stories from her head’ told to younger siblings. After a decades-long hiatus called adulthood, Linda has renewed her passion for storytelling. Her works have been published in The Drabble, CafeLitMagazine, Entropy Squared-A Story in 100 words, Everyday Fiction and SpillWords.