All right, Shayla. You got this. Go in there with a positive attitude. Notice where you parked so you don’t forget. Grab your debit card. Okay, here we go.
The wind hits my face, as does the realization that once more, I have found myself in the most loathsome store on the face of the planet. I scowl at the disgusting gangster birds that peck at breadcrumbs on the gravel.
I walk through the exit door, because apathy has already consumed me.
I pull out a complimentary Germ-X wipe and scrub the shopping cart so I don’t get some abhorrent, mutant-alien Walmart disease. I push the cart and stop, because glory of glories, someone is in my way. I take a deep breath to calm myself and head in a different direction.
I got this. I can do this.
I head for the bananas and grimace at their green skin. I sigh and place a bunch in my basket.
Why? Why are they never yellow? Who is doing this to me?
I head down a claustrophobia-inducing aisle, once again delayed by someone who refuses to move. out. of. my. way.
It is at this point that a demon child begins to scream like a banshee.
Oh, sweet death, come quickly.
I grab a jar of pickles, only to watch it come crashing to the floor, as it does every single time I reach for a jar of pickles in Walmart. Glass is everywhere. Pickles roll down the aisle. My feet smell like sour disappointment.
I try to find an employee to help, but what’s this?
Where’s an employee?
I can find no one.
I leave the mess and walk-run in shame, my pickle-juice shoes squeaking with every step.
The baby is once again being tortured, and I notice that my hot flashes have awakened like the hideous giant they are.
I’m sweating. I’m sweating. Everyone can see it. They know I’m dying.
I finally reach the milk aisle and hunt for a gallon that isn’t expiring yesterday. Then the unthinkable happens: I see someone I know.
I try to use the milk as a shield to hide my perspiration-drenched face and expression of dread.
Maybe she didn’t see me. I’m good. Oh, she’s waving. She’s waving.
I wave timidly, wiping the wetness from my forehead. I’m dressed like a hobo. I smell like a hobo. I am Walmart hobo.
Finally, I finish my shopping and head to the checkout lane.
No, no, no. Why are there only two lanes open? How does this keep happening?
I stand there with an exasperated look and note that I have brought this upon myself. Screaming demon baby is behind me.
“Oh, this is nice. Where did you get this from?” says the Walmart cashier, inspecting my can of cream of onion soup.
The look on my face mimics a type of detestation that no artist could ever paint. My face twitches, the sweat has turned evil, and my eyes are lifeless.
I swipe my card, and lo and behold, their cash register stops working because that is my life and this is how it will always be.
Demon baby mocks me.
I give him the stink eye and wait for the employee to fix her system.
I hate this place. I hate this place. I hate this place.
I push my cart out of the horrible store and can’t find my car. I try to think, but I’ve forgotten. Walmart has stolen my memory and my will to live.
Upon sounding my car alarm, I find my car. The gangster birds shout degrading things at me as I unload the groceries. I move the cart around my car, only for the wind to sweep it to the left, banging into my door. A scratch remains, and I spit upon the cart.
I drive home and realize that I forgot the one thing I went in there for.
An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.