“My special Sleuth Holly Ward doesn’t solve mysteries alone. She has her police detective grandfather on one side and her footballing boyfriend Samuel on the other. Let’s join Samuel on a shopping trip, he’ll never forget.”
I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
#Writephoto Challenge — Picture above by Image by KL Caley
Word of the Day — Crave
Pensitivity’s three things Challenge — Button – pin – stud
Francis the Frenchie’s Daily Phrase Challenge — Training Session
Attack in the Aisles
Footballer, Samuel Reed had just completed a training session with the Broadland City under twenty-one football team. As team captain, he was pleased with how the boys had performed ahead of their match against Swansea City U21 at the weekend.
Having left the training ground, he was on his way to the Workhouse Restaurant to be with his girlfriend, head waitress Holly Ward. He knew he couldn’t spend much time with her while she was working in her mother’s restaurant. Yet just being in the building with her was enough to make him feel good about life.
Samuel was the careful, respectful driver of a midnight blue Ford Focus. He drove back into the city with a smile gracing his just on chiselled features. The smile vanished as he hit traffic caused by new roadworks.
The National Grid was repairing power cables. Except those workers leaning on their vans and filling their faces with snacks, of course.
Samuel watched one dispatch a caramel doughnut in two bites. While he shook his head at the bad mannerism, the footballer was reminded of Holly. She would often crave a slice of gooey caramel millionaire’s shortbread.
It took twenty minutes to negotiate the temporary traffic lights. During that time, Samuel came to a decision. Once he was on his way again, he made a detour to the supermarket.
He parked on the same line as the windscreen repair service tent. Then passing five men wearing black hoodies talking in hushed tones, he entered the supermarket.
Selecting a basket, Samuel walked through the automatic doors and gazed about the busy aisles and checkouts. He didn’t much like shopping being alone. There was no way to explain it, but the place gave him a little anxiety. He would never complain and not go, especially if he could shop with Holly.
Setting off down the aisles, he notice a big banner proclaiming the new PS5 and X-Box 1 were available in the entertainments section. Ignoring the pull of new technology, Samuel began to search for things he intended to buy. Beyond the fresh produce lines, he came upon the toiletries, sanitaria and perfumes section. A cardboard display case there made him smile. It read ‘GOLDEN LADY’
‘That’s bad advertising. Holly is not for sale,’ he thought as he selected a couple of cans of deodorant for himself.
Moving on, he nodded to a blonde lady doing a good job of stacking shelves. The next aisle was loaded with biscuits and sweets. Being a healthy footballer, Samuel passed those without a second glance. He did take a six-pack of Lucozade from the deal ladder at the end of the line though.
It was as he turned into the bakery aisle; the trouble began.
Samuel heard a thud; he was in time to see a man in a black hoodie pounced on a baker. He slammed him back into a shelving rack; hard enough to dislodge packets of scones onto the floor.
“Hey! What the hell?” yelled the baker pinned by the scruff of his shirt. “Let me go!”
Hoodie said nothing as he drove his fist into the employee’s stomach. He tore the man’s employee pin from his shirt and measured a second punch to the head and gasped as a hand seized his wrist.
“Enough. Let him go!” Samuel ordered. Twisting his wrist, he propelled Hoodie back a few feet and stepped between him and the baker.
“You’ll pay for that!” Hoodie seethed, his nose wrinkling beneath his hood.
A female screamed in another aisle.
Samuel glanced that way. Then heard cans crash to the floor and scatter in a different direction. “What the —”
Samuel swung his basket, cracking him in the knees. Using his football training, he jinked aside and drove him into the shelves causing an explosion of croissants.
Hoodie rebounded with his fists flying, one caught Samuel on the button and sent him reeling. It was then hoodie drew a long flick knife.
Samuel hit the opposite rack with stars popping in his vision. Seeing the knife, he gripped the shelf and tried to breathe through his panic.
Hoodie danced the knife before him like a martial artist bearing an evil sneer. “Now I flay you!”
The footballer beckoned him. “Try me!”
“Yargh!” Hoodie plunged the knife before him.
Samuel dropped to his knees and threw a 2 kg bag in front of him.
The weapon stabbed and killed the packet of flour in an explosion of white powder.
Hoodie took a face full and staggered back choking.
Samuel seized the knife as he sneezed through the cloud of flour. He dragged Hoodie to the floor but he was too strong. Overpowered, the footballer found himself on his back with the man on top.
“Die, her —” a sickening thud echoed around the aisle.
The baker had bludgeoned his skull with a bread tray launching a dozen wholewheat loaves everywhere.
Samuel followed with a powerful haymaker.
Hoodie slumped into the shelving rack of bread rolls.
Samuel rose and dusted himself off. Nodding to the bread tray he said, “That was using your loaf.”
“Sorry, I didn’t have a baguette handy,” the baker grinned.
“Then find one because we’re not done yet.” Samuel set his face with grim determination as he took Hoodies belt off and tied his wrists with it.
As if signalling doom; a loud crash and a scream carried through the supermarket.
“What on Earth is going on?” said the baker losing his focus to panic.
“There’s four more of these guys raising hell in here for some reason.” Samuel looked about him. “Get out the back and call the police — do it now!”
“Okay!” The baker set off running so quickly he skidded on the floor as he dashed out of the aisle.
Samuel crept the other way. Reaching the end of the bakery section, he peered around the checkouts. With the advent of self-service, there were only two where you could be served by a friendly human here. Both of those had been ladies this afternoon.
One of the gang members had them lying face down on the floor.
“Please, let us go!” One of them cried. “I have a son and two daughters. Don’t leave them without a mother, I beg you.”
“Aww, diddums’ doesn’t want to make three little orphans. How sad!” jeered the hooded man standing over them. He reached and removed a sparkling stud from her ear and pocketed it. “Don’t move, and you might just live!”
It struck Samuel odd, that he wasn’t forcing the ladies to open the tills. Of course, the bulk of transactions were done on cards these days. Even payments made with banknotes went into cash safes accessible only to restricted management. ‘So, the cash in the tills isn’t worth robbing the place for. What are you up to?’ he mused as he started back down the aisle.
Hoodie was still out cold.
Making a right, Samuel glanced back along the toiletries aisle.
Another gang member had seized the blonde employee there. Dozens of bubble baths, shampoos and deodorant cans were scattered about the floor. The man grunted as he pressed his body against her. The sick creep was having so much fun he never noticed Samuel until it was too late.
“Excuse me, I have to say you and your manners stink!”
“What!” the man snapped around.
Samuel unleashed two jets of FemFresh deodorant right into his face.
The man screamed and clawed at his burning eyes. He turned into a withering slap from the shop assistant.
“I’ll teach you for manhandling me!” She screamed as she plunged her knee into his groin.
Samuel dumped him to the floor and quickly restrained him with his belt. “There now you’ve been penalised and deodorised. I hope when your vision clears, you’ll see females in a fresh and respectful new light,” he said like a salesman.
“Thank you,” said the shop assistant smiling at him.
“We’re not out of danger yet, try to get out through the bakery.” Samuel slipped away again. Moving along the back of the aisles, he searched for the remaining two gang members.
It came with great relief to see the shop front windows flashing with blue light. The baker must have summoned the cavalry.
Samuel passed the pet and cleaning sections and shuddered as he entered the cold fridge and freezer aisles.
There was gang member number four. This guy had his hands around the necks of two young boys. “Remember, if you two move, these boys get it!” He threatened two male shop assistants sitting on the floor.
The footballer glanced about him and grinned. Seizing a heavy object from the freezer, he slipped up behind the gang member and cracked him over the skull.
The object crumpled and knocked him out cold.
“Ouch! I’m not sure that’s what you’re supposed to do with a frozen turkey!” Remarked one of the employees getting to his feet. His remark left the boys laughing.
“It’s alright I didn’t break it!” Samuel chuckled as he dropped the frozen bird on the criminal’s stomach with a grimace of pain flaring in his right wrist.
“You are under arrest! Get down on the floor, hands on your head, and don’t move!” yelled a police officer.
Samuel peered around the aisle and smiled as he watched armed police arrest the man at the counter as others began to file around the store.
Walking back through the shop, the footballer picked up his basket. He added that millionaire shortbread he came in for. Then approached the self-service checkout.
“Sam. I just knew it would be you,” remarked a young, blonde officer coming over to him.
“Officer Klass, good to see you.” Samuel scanned his shortbread and put it in an eco-friendly paper bag. He knew the officer from run in’s involving Holly and the mysteries she found herself sleuthing out. “How did you know I was here?”
“The baker said there was a young footballer he’d seen playing at the stadium playing vigilante in here when he raised the alarm. It had to be you.”
“Oh, I see.” Samuel chuckled. “I think there were five bad guys, I breaded, basted and, deodorised three. That left the one at the till, and the fifth I never saw.”
“It’s okay, the boys found him out the back trying to force the manager to unlock the high-value storeroom.” Jake made a note in his book, “Seems the gang were all trying to steal the new games consoles that are on sale here.”
“That makes sense,” Samuel finished his transaction and paid with a twenty-pound note. Collecting his change, he smiled. “Am I okay to leave?”
“Please do, I know where to find you if I need more information,” Jake shook his hand. “On behalf of the employees, thanks for saving their lives.”
Samuel saluted and left the supermarket. He was forced to wend his way through a large collection of police vehicles and ambulances to reach his car.
There was somebody there waiting for him. She was pacing and held a very concerned figure until he approached. It was then her icy-blue eyes sparkled and she beamed. “Oh, Sam! There you are, they would let me come in to find you.”
“Holly!” Samuel dropped the bag on the bonnet of his car and hugged her for all he was worth. “I’m so pleased to see you, my precious. I don’t know how you found out what was going on, but I’m so sorry I scared you.”
“My granddad has the police force on orders to call him if they think his family is in danger. That includes you. When the baker mentioned a footballer vigilante. Dispatch knew it was you and let him know. He told me and I ran to police headquarters in time to get a lift.” Holly released herself but kept hold of his hand. “Are you okay?”
Samuel shook his head, then brushing his nose against hers, he kissed her.
Holly kissed right back, “Well, your kiss still works. So, you must be okay,” she breathed as they parted.
“I am now. I admit I hurt my wrist in there, though.” Samuel indicated some growing redness.
“Oh, no. How did you do that?” Holly began massaging the soreness away.
“I went to get my precious some millionaires shortbread and ended up braining a guy with a frozen turkey. It was heavier than I thought and it seems I winged myself in the process.” Samuel grinned.
Holly giggled, “Silly sod. Thank you for buying me my favourite treat though.”
“It was more of a mission than I planned, but you’re welcome.” Samuel handed her the bag and unlocked the car.
“Are you okay to drive to the restaurant?” Holly asked as she climbed into the passenger’s seat.
“I’m okay to drive you wherever your heart desires. You see, just by sitting next to you my heart has everything it will ever need.”
“Aww, I feel the same way too.” Holly nestled her head against his shoulder.
Samuel eased out of the parking bay and gazed back at the supermarket. He was in time to see one of the gang members loaded into an ambulance. He was going to the hospital to deal with a concussion no doubt. Samuel set off toward the restaurant, he was looking forward to a much more normal evening with Holly. Although he knew with her mystery magnet permanently switched on, something dramatic would happen again very soon.
Thanks for reading my friends.
Have a great day!