Tuesday, January 12, 2021

"Mother and Daughter" - short story

There was no need for words. Lyuba urged her daughter forward, indicating with a nod which way the young girl should go. Which person to approach. Not the elderly man smoking a thin cigarette or the gawky teenager, his head weighed down by enormous headphones. Not the fashionably dressed woman talking on her phone or the smiling couple strolling with a baby carriage. No, none of those would do. When her daughter hesitated, Lyuba prodded her in the ribs, pushing her toward the heavyset matron laden down with shopping bags.

They had been following the woman for several minutes as she made her way through a market buzzing with early morning activity. Crowds at the vegetable stalls, shoppers searching for the biggest potatoes, the ripest tomatoes, the plumpest squash. Merchants standing proudly behind pungent piles of onions and green mountains of cucumbers. Voices raised as they chanted the praises of their merchandise. Customers demanding the finest produce at the cheapest price. The stocky woman filled her bags and prepared to head for home.

“Get out of my way!” she snapped after the girl bumped into her. She bent down, cursing as she gathered the apples that had spilled onto the pavement. “Damn gypsies!”

As Lyuba hurried to the far side of the market with her daughter in tow, she laughed to herself. Just as she planned, that woman was more concerned with organizing her bags than with checking her purse.

Read the rest of the story on Adelaide Literary Magazine.

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