“Line Jumping” by George Knox

More money than she knew what to do with, politely looked the other way. She felt uncomfortable standing in line behind them. Them being just barely getting by from pay to pay in one piece and her two, no three children: she was pregnant. Money’s feigned smile did little to distance her from second place in line behind them and her efforts to divert her eyes toward someone or something with a touch-less stress and depression attached to it briefly culminated with a quick appraisal of the tabloids arrayed before her. Britney’s gone crazy, Angelina adopts another baby, and Marie divorces a cheating husband, yet, my God it was the dead of winter and just barely getting by was wearing no coat! Thumbing through a magazine she had no intention of buying she watched as the contents of the cart were emptied; a case of diet soda; a family size bag of Doritos and two bags of slim Jims. Then her eyes briefly caught sight of the blue check case filled with coupons, vouchers, and food stamps. She hastily returned to reading the tabloids hoping her voyaging eyes had not been seen. But instead of seeing headlines all she saw was red, and somewhere beneath the dyed blond hair arrayed in a frozen spay of lacquer, perched upon Jimmy-Choos designer heels and surrounded by Eaves St Lauren perfume, she heard preacher Hamilton, “We must help those who are willing to help themselves, for would not God want those of us that he has blessed the most, to help those that have fallen to the wayside?” That is all she heard. But as she stepped forward, two children in tow still watching her, she did what she always did. Placed her purchases on the belt and debited it all away.

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