| 03:40:47 13 July 2005
On forum: 05/13/2004
The clerk at the counter busily checked out the family man ahead of Vlad. The young girl was attractive, in her early 20's. Vlad thought immediately she was a university student working part time to help pay the bills. He caught her eye as he watched her work and he smiled. She smiled back and continued checking the groceries and bagging them for the customer ahead of him. She gave the man his total for the groceries and he mumbled something incoherent, but Vlad's trained ear picked up that he was unhappy about the price given. Feeding a family is not cheap and something Vlad was glad at this point in his life he didn't have to worry about.|
She placed the groceries into several plastic bags and handed them across the counter as he handed her the money, exact to the change even. She quickly counted it out as the line was not getting any smaller and placed it into the cash register drawer. His receipt printed out and she handed it to him.
"Have a good evening sir" she said to him with a smile and then looked at Vlad. A slight blush rose to her cheeks and Vlad smiled back as the family man grabbed his bags and left.
"Next please." she said.
A further flash of lightning struck followed by a clap of thunder that shook the building. The cashier jumped and let out a scream as did some other people in line. The young couple that was at the door earlier moved further into the store.
Vlad looked outside with a concern and heard a siren. An emergency vehicle passed by, an ambulance, followed by a police squad car. They roared passed the store and in the direction towards his apartment building.
"N..next please." the cashier repeated. Vlad turned to face the cashier, who appeared visibly shaken at the ferocity of the storm raging outside.
He placed his armful of groceries onto the counter and the cashier began checking them out and placing them into a plastic bag. As he had very few she gave him his total and he paid using his debit card. He really appreciated the convenience of not carrying around alot of cash and having the funds transferred directly from his bank account. She swiped the card, and flipped it checking his signature. He had written "See ID" on the signature panel. He entered in his PIN into the number pad on the counter and his transaction came up approved.
"May I see your ID please?" she asked.
Vlad pulled out his state-issued ID card and she verified that it was indeed him from the picture. She handed it along with his debit card back to him as the receipt printed out, which he replaced into his wallet.
She seemed more relaxed now and smiled as she handed him his bag of groceries and his receipt, that hint of blush returning to her cheeks as she smiled at Vlad.
"Thank you and please come back again." she said smiling.
"Thank you." he replied smiling as well, not one to refuse a smile to a pretty woman that found him attractive. The fact that she asked him to return again was not lost on him as she had used a standard farewell of "Have a good evening sir or madam" on ever customer prior to him since he had entered the line.
"Next please." she asked...
He grabbed his bag of groceries and left the line...as she began to check out the groceries of the person standing behind him.
Then he noticed another siren of an emergency vehicle, another police squad car from the sound. He had trained himself since he was a child to detect the difference between emergency vehicle siren sounds and knew this was a police vehicle.
The American-built Ford vehicle roared past the store, sending a great gout of water towards some pedestrians on the sidewalk as it hit a puddle that had built up on the street. Several pedestrians walking along the sidewalk, already soaked from the recent downpour were now completely drenched and an elderly man shook his fist after the speeding vehicle, letting loose a string of curses.
Vlad chuckled as he opened the door, offering it to the elderly gentleman who entered the store, still muttering insults and swear words. He let loose the door as it closed behind the old man and noticed immediately that the rain had eased up considerably. People were beginning to emerge from shelter under awnings and inside doorways of shops and buildings along the avenue. A sense of normalcy was beginning to return to the streets of Moscow...all but the distant sounds of thunder and sirens from the direction that Vlad had to go to get home.