An excerpt from piece of fiction currently in progress by Lauren Slater:
“Here,” he said. “You dropped this on the way out.” [The grocer] handed Peter the receipt.
“Thank you,” said Peter.
“So if you bought Godiva,” said the grocer, “it should say so on this receipt.”
Catherine, suddenly exhausted, lowered herself onto the curb. Peter reached out, slowly, took the receipt and then unscrolled it. He put his glasses on. They were tiny spectacles that gave him a grave, old fashioned look. He traced the columns with his finger.
“Okay,” he said at last. “I see you’re right. No Godiva on my receipt. Perhaps you forgot to ring it up?”
“No,” said the grocer sorrowfully. “I saw you slip it in your bag on the way out.”
“Oh for god’s sake” said Catherine from the curb, but she seemed to be speaking to the street.
“Look,” said Peter, “I’m more than happy to give you the chocolate back – ’’
“Yes, please do,” said the grocer.
Peter knelt and from the bottom of the bag pulled two thick bars of chocolate wrapped in golden foil.
“I’m sure this is all an innocent mistake,” said Catherine.
“Every week,” said the grocer. “Every week he takes a little something. And you know what?” the grocer said, kneeling down now, face to face with Catherine so she could see his eyes, cracked and bloodshot. “When it comes to stealing from me,” the grocer said, “he’s not the only one around in this town who does.”