17.

Her grocery cart squeaked a path to the bank of self check-out machines. Boxes and cans poured from right hand to left, each barcode leaking a mild, forsaken boop. Unclipping her billfold, the realization dropped like a turbulent plane — no other consoles booped, no other carts squeaked. Her head craned in silent alarm toward the lot beyond the glass, listening.

grh

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