Happy Ending

Vicki passed through the whoosh of air into the supermarket.  She grabbed a cart and checked her watch.  She had a babysitter for forty-five more minutes.

With a twinge, she remembered that she never needed a babysitter until Josh left her for his twenty-year-old “muse.”  At least the midlife career change gamble paid off.  The commercials were right – she earned her certificate in under one year, and now made her own schedule.

She circled the apple display and stopped by the least expensive variety.  When she reached for a bag, a man backed into her.  “Sorry,” she muttered.

“My fault,” he said.  “You come here often?”

“Only when I need food.”

He laughed.  “I’m Steve.”  He extended his right hand.

“Hi.”  Instead of returning the handshake, she tore a bag from the roll.

“So, where do you work?”

“I’m self-employed.”  She dropped an inspected apple in her bag.

“What do you do?”  Steve pulled a bag from the roll and dropped in several apples.

“Massage therapy.”

“Really?  I’ve had a sore shoulder.  Can you help?”

“Maybe.”  Eager to build her clientele, she handed him a business card from the outer pocket of her purse.

He read the card.  “Victoria Rossi.  Beautiful name.”

“Thanks.”  She placed the apples in her cart.

“Do you offer happy endings?”  He added two more apples to his bag and winked.

She frowned.  “I’m not some cheap harlot.

He held his arms up in an exaggerated gesture of surrender, the bag of produce in his right hand, her business card in his left.  “Hey, I just wanna get what I pay for.  So…do you?”

She smiled.  “Actually, I do.”  She walked over to him and kneed him in the groin.  Hard.

“I’m happy this conversation is ending,” she said as he fell, writhing in pain.

She picked her card up from the ground and left him clutching his apples.


This is my second entry in the Trefecta Week 20 challenge.  The prompt is cheap with the following definition: cheap adj \ˈchēp\ – (a) of inferior quality or worth : tawdry, sleazy <cheapworkmanship> (b) contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities <feeling cheap>

The challenge is to use the word “cheap” with the above definition in a post that is between 33 and 333 words (mine is 313).  The word itself needs to be included in the response.  You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.  Additional posting instructions are in Trifecta’s challenge post.

45 thoughts on “Happy Ending

  1. Scriptor Obscura March 27, 2012 / 5:44 PM

    Great story, Janna! I really liked this one! 🙂

    • Scriptor Obscura March 27, 2012 / 5:46 PM

      That ending is just great, by the way. What a jerk that guy is!

      • jannatwrites March 27, 2012 / 8:41 PM

        Thanks, Scriptor! The story was actually inspired by an event that happened to my massage therapist (only she didn’t knee him in the groin or get her business card back.)

        • Scriptor Obscura March 27, 2012 / 9:15 PM

          Now you’ve got me curious, Janna! What did she do??? What did she say to the guy, if anything? Or did she just turn and walk away without saying anything at all?

        • jannatwrites March 27, 2012 / 9:24 PM

          This was a few years ago, but if I remember correctly, her boyfriend had gone shopping with her – he’d been looking at something in another area, but showed up at the right time. She was nervous the guy would come to her house, though (she runs her business from her house…the address was on the card.) I would’ve been scared, too!

    • jannatwrites March 27, 2012 / 8:37 PM

      Thanks, Scriptor. It was a bit on the sassy side and I almost didn’t submit it…then I figured, why not?

  2. nrhatch March 27, 2012 / 6:05 PM

    Well written, Janna . . . but I’m not sure the punishment fits the crime. I can’t imagine kneeing someone in the groin based on one slightly suggestive remark. 😦

    • jannatwrites March 27, 2012 / 8:45 PM

      Maybe she had a bad day? One happy ending request too many? 😆 Yes, it may have been harsh. *I* wouldn’t do this, but I’ve met people who just might have!

      Thanks for giving your opinion on the story, Nancy. I appreciate your feedback!

    • Widdershins March 28, 2012 / 9:35 AM

      Sometimes it’s not the words, but the whole mindset that allowed the man to believe that he was entitled to, and had every right to, suggest what he did without any consequence. And then to dismiss the woman’s reaction as a joke.

      Sometimes our rage at such things overwhelms the tight controls we have over them in order to walk through this world, and we choose to strike back.

      • jannatwrites March 28, 2012 / 10:02 PM

        I like how you worded this, Widdershins. Thanks for sharing your perspective on what triggered her response.

    • jannatwrites March 27, 2012 / 8:45 PM

      Thanks, Linda. I think she had a bad day!

  3. timkeen40 March 27, 2012 / 7:45 PM

    Very well told. As a man, I have to cringe at that ending and wonder if there is anything that could justify such a cruel punishment for such a seeminglly innocuous exhange. He wasn’t harming her in any way other than to make her feel uncomfortable. Then I put my wife or my daughter in that same situation and can answer that question easily…Hell Yeah!


    • jannatwrites March 27, 2012 / 8:49 PM

      Your comment cracked me up, Tim. Yes, it is a bit harsh. I couldn’t imagine doing such a thing, but thankfully, I’ve never been in a situation where I thought it was needed. I hope I didn’t make the guys double over with this ending…I didn’t think about that when I posted it 😦

  4. The Gal Herself March 28, 2012 / 12:51 AM

    I’m never in favor of violence but I hated how he not only disrespected her as a woman but as a professional. Good story! (And thank you for tipping me off about the world verification on my own blog.)

    • jannatwrites March 28, 2012 / 5:31 AM

      Violence doesn’t get my vote either – I think we have too much of it in the world. (However, if my life is in danger, I’m fighting it!)

      The word verication problems just might have just been me, but ‘you’re welcome’ 🙂

  5. Carl D'Agostino March 28, 2012 / 3:25 AM

    left him clutching his apples. Now that’s rich. I mean really down town !

    • jannatwrites March 28, 2012 / 5:35 AM

      Thanks, Carl! I’m sure the man in the story probably doesn’t think much of the ending. If this really happened, she probably would’ve been picked up by store security and the man would have pressed charges. Not worth it, if you ask me 🙂

  6. suzicate March 28, 2012 / 4:07 AM

    “left him clutching his apples” – what a great ending!

    • jannatwrites March 28, 2012 / 5:36 AM

      Thanks, SuziCate. Moment of violence aside, this was supposed to be funny story 🙂

  7. Jonesingafter40 March 28, 2012 / 7:50 AM

    It IS a funny story JannaT and I can’t say I blame her for answering his disgusting question with action instead of words. Thanks for the laugh!

  8. Libby March 28, 2012 / 5:59 PM

    Wow, I didn’t see THAT coming! And, neither did he!

    • jannatwrites March 28, 2012 / 10:06 PM

      Ha! He probably didn’t see it coming, or he would’ve left her alone 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read my story, Libby!

  9. Chris March 28, 2012 / 10:25 PM

    Awesome. That’s all I can say. I love when people stand up for themselves and she did it with strength, wit and some quality sarcasm. I think she’s my new hero. Great story.

    • jannatwrites March 28, 2012 / 10:38 PM

      Thanks, Chris! I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion 🙂

  10. pattisj March 28, 2012 / 10:47 PM

    Haha “…left him clutching his apples.” Too funny, very well written!

    • jannatwrites March 28, 2012 / 10:50 PM

      I don’t think it’s a serious contender to win the challenge, but I had fun with it 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Patti!

  11. Sparks In Shadow March 29, 2012 / 12:10 AM

    I like how you built this story. You had me with you all the way to the end. I wouldn’t have the guts, but he kept pushing it. I felt a twinge when he wouldn’t take no for an answer. It feels so creepy when that happens.

    • jannatwrites March 29, 2012 / 6:53 AM

      Thanks, Sparks. I don’t think I could do it either, but I have a feeling he might think twice before being creepy next time.

    • jannatwrites March 29, 2012 / 2:34 PM

      Most guys didn’t cheer for that ending 🙂 Thanks for reading, Jim!

  12. Debbie March 29, 2012 / 12:20 PM

    Good story with a nice surprise ending!

    • jannatwrites March 29, 2012 / 2:37 PM

      Thanks for reading it, Debbie. It wasn’t a very nice thing to do, but I think he was surprised 😆

  13. lexy3587 March 29, 2012 / 12:50 PM

    love the double-entendre at the end 🙂 Plays on words are so much fun!
    You put a lot of backstory into the piece without making it overwhelming – great story.

    • jannatwrites March 29, 2012 / 2:41 PM

      I enjoy word plays, too – I’m glad you liked this one, Lexy! I appreciate you stopping by to read it and share your thoughts.

  14. Latitudes of a Day March 29, 2012 / 5:14 PM

    I enjoyed the read. The rest is just me thinking out loud.
    I love the story, but being a supermarket conversationalist, I doubt a woman would knee a man without more serious provocation than lewd innuendo–such a guy thing. Vicki has clearly lost her sense of humor. I feel sorry for the guy. At least he made the effort which is more than Vicki is doing. Does one bad apple spoil the cart?

    • jannatwrites March 29, 2012 / 5:27 PM

      Hehehe…love the apple joke, Latitudes 🙂 I guess a man was not on her shopping list…especially since her husband recently left her for a younger woman. I think it’s a good thing the general population shows more restraint. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts on the story. I appreciate your POV and feedback.

  15. Sandra March 29, 2012 / 6:17 PM

    I feel the frustration of Vicki, from her personal life to uninvited and inappropriate questions directed towards her. A great run of dialogue to illustrate all of it!

    • jannatwrites March 29, 2012 / 9:03 PM

      Thanks for stopping by to read, Sandra. I had hoped some of her circumstances might help explain a bit about her actions.

  16. jesterqueen March 29, 2012 / 7:50 PM

    Oooh. Clutching his apples. Hahaaahaa!!

    I’m so easily amused.

    My massage therapist is an awesome woman. She’s only had to deal with a couple of aggressive men who wanted something more than a massage. But I do believe she dealt with them well. I believe apples were also clutched in both cases.

    • jannatwrites March 29, 2012 / 9:06 PM

      I cracked myself up with that…it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one 🙂

      Now I’m laughing at your comment about your massage therapist handling her situations and clutched apples! Good one, Jester Queen 😆

  17. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) March 30, 2012 / 4:42 AM

    Ouch! (It’s David here, not Lisa…). I have to say I laughed out loud at your last line. It was fantastic. I enjoyed this scene and it was well told and well paced. I think the guy got exactly what he deserved. Hope you can link up for our weekend challenge too.

    • jannatwrites March 30, 2012 / 6:13 AM

      Thanks, David. The last line was intended to be the ‘kicker’ to a painful moment…glad you found the intended humor in it 🙂

  18. GodGirl April 1, 2012 / 2:43 AM

    Very clever! Loved this.

    • jannatwrites April 1, 2012 / 1:11 PM

      Thanks, GodGirl! It didn’t place in the contest, but I had fun writing it…which is the point of it anyway 🙂

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