Disclaimer: I do not own Thunderbirds, or the Tracy family. All other characters are mine...I think.
Scan the food, bag the food, give them the food.
Eight hours a day.
There was no way of dressing it up to make the job more interesting. Working on the tills was dull. Painfully dull. Management didn't even like staff speaking to friends on the other counters. So essentially, Stacey was trapped in the till booth - in silence - until she was relieved.
The only compensation for the mind numbing task was that it gave Stacey a good chance to people-watch.
She rested her chin on her hand and stifled a yawn, listening to the terrible store music numbly as she watched the shoppers move from aisle to aisle. The CD was on a loop, and this was the seventh time she had heard the song today.
Suddenly, a small child went tearing past the counter, running down the aisle clutching a plastic toy high above his head.
"Nee-naw, nee-naw! Submarine to the rescue!"
Stacey raised an eyebrow as she watched the child run out of sight into the condiments aisle, laughing delightedly as he did so. Then, only a moment later, a tall dark haired man quickly strode in the same direction.
Stacey suppressed a laugh as a customer began unloading their shopping onto her conveyor belt. She smiled warmly at them, and thought no more of it, scanning the food and assisting the customer with packing. She was just handing over the receipt when an announcement came over the tannoy from her boss
"This is a staff announcement, clean up in aisle three. Clean up in aisle three. Thank you."
Aisle three, the cans and condiments aisle. She glanced up just in time to see the young boy from before and laughed aloud before she could stop herself. He was being held tightly by the dark haired man, and it appeared that the boy was covered from head to toe in a substance that looked suspiciously like ketchup. She only managed to catch a snippet of their conversation as they walked past.
"- causing a fuss! Now you are going to sit in the cart and think about what you've done until your mom has finished getting what she needs."
"But Dad! Johnny said-"
"I don't care what Johnny said, you don't-"
They disappeared down an aisle and Stacey grinned to her colleague, Adam, who was stacking shelves in the aisle in front of her. She loved watching the families, especially the ones that clearly had no control over their kids. Lord knows what their homes must be like.
Several minutes passed and Stacey slumped back in her seat, absently toying with her name badge as she waited for the next customer. Boredom began to set in again, until the afternoon took a strange turn...
She stared in curious disbelief as a large bottle of juice with legs seemed to move slowly in her direction.
She glanced behind her to check that she wasn't the only one seeing it, but if anyone else was seeing it, they weren't paying any attention. She watched the strange sight in awe, as the juice bottle teetered towards her, before being pushed up onto the conveyor belt slowly. Finally the juice fell unceremoniously onto the belt, revealing a little boy with untidy blond hair grinning triumphantly as he pushed it further onto the surface.
"Well, hello there!" she said brightly.
"Hi!" the boy said, still grinning. He was adorable. He couldn't have been more than two years old, and his bright blue eyes shone excitedly as he watched the bottle move down towards her.
"Did you pick this all by yourself?" she asked. The boy nodded triumphantly,
"Enough jooce for evveywun!" he giggled, throwing his arms out in an encompassing gesture. His enthusiasm was infectious, and Stacey laughed along with him.
"Well done! Where's your mommy?"
"Gettin da poppicles."
"And do you think she'll be looking for you?"
The boy frowned thoughtfully.
Stacey nodded her understanding. She was about to go and make an announcement over the tannoy system, when a young boy came striding towards her. He looked around ten or eleven, and was clearly a boy on a mission.
"Oh, thank goodness," he said, scooping the boy up in his arms and hugging him, before pulling back and looking at the boy sternly.
"Alan, what did Mom say about wandering off like that?!"
"But Scotty forgot da jooce!" he exclaimed, pointing at the bottle, which still rested on the conveyor belt.
The older boy looked numbly at the bottle, before grinning sheepishly,
"I guess I did… but still, don't run away from me, okay?" He picked up the bottle, carefully shifting Alan so he was resting on his hip. He looked at Stacey nervously.
"Sorry, Ma'am. Our mom and dad will be over in a minute to pay."
"No problem," Stacey said lightly, just as Scott waved over his family.
The mom was stunning, even though she looked slightly harassed at the moment, pushing a trolley overflowing with food. Walking beside her were two more boys, both apparently on their best behaviour. The father was the dark haired guy with the ketchup kid. And, sure enough, there was ketchup kid, sitting in the trolley, his arms folded stubbornly as he sat amongst the tins and vegetables.
Five boys, Stacey thought to herself, no wonder they were a little chaotic.
"Hello," the mother said exasperatedly, smiling at her briefly. Stacey smiled in understanding as the mother and her husband began unloading the cart.
"I wanna go on the mover!" the ketchup kid demanded, pointing to the conveyor belt.
"No!" both parents ordered.
The two adults began unpacking the cart, and as Stacey began to scan the goods, she glanced up to the man. He looked familiar, but she couldn't quite place him. Maybe from TV? The way Adam was gesturing frantically suggested she should have known who it was, but the name wouldn't come.
"Luce, did you pick up any juice?" he asked absently as he lifted the ketchup kid out of the cart, holding him easily in one arm as he continued unpacking the trolley.
By now the two boys had moved around to the end of the conveyor belt, and seemed to be having some kind of race to see who could pack the bags the fastest. The mother sighed and straightened up, pushing her blondhair out of her face
"No, hold on I'll -"
"Here it is," Scott said, putting the juice down. "Al got it."
"You did?!" the mother exclaimed, grinning at the small boy proudly, who was still being held by the eldest "Good job!"
Alan giggled ecstatically as his mother planted a kiss on his forehead. The father was trying to suppress a smile as the ketchup kid sighed dramatically in his arms, watching the conveyor belt go by mournfully.
"That'll be $230 please," Stacey confirmed. The mother nodded and put her card in the machine, smiling warmly at her.
"Next time I'm shopping on my own," she joked, typing in her security number to confirm the payment. The machine beeped a confirmation and she removed the card, helping the two boys with the last of the bags.
"Daddy, I'm real sorry I maded a mess," the ketchup kid said forlornly. The dad looked at the child in his arms and hitched him up, his expression seeming to soften slightly.
"It's okay, Gordon. Do you know why Daddy had to tell you off?"
The young boy nodded apologetically. "'Cause I maded the shop man do lotsa work to clean up."
"That's right," the dad confirmed, "and that wasn't kind, was it? "
Gordon shook his head sadly. "And I got covered in ketchup."
Stacey couldn't help but snort with laughter at the child's response, and immediately realised her mistake. She looked up in horror, waiting for the family to shout at her for eavesdropping, but the mom just smiled at her with equal mirth. Indeed, Stacey thought she could see a smile tugging at the corner of the dad's mouth, but he was still attempting to look stern as the boy continued.
"I wont do it again. I promise. Can I get down now?"
The man looked at the child in his arms and smiled, attempting half-heartedly to wipe some of the ketchup off his sons cheek.
"Not while everyone's packing up, Gordon. But what say we get you cleaned up and then go swimming, okay? Just Gordy and Daddy time."
Gordon's eyes lit up and he nodded enthusiastically, flinging his arms around his fathers neck. He left a red ketchup stain on his father's cheek, but the man didn't seem to notice.
"Here's your receipt," Stacey said, handing the mother the long till receipt.
"Thank you," the mother said warmly, "and thanks for your help."
"Any time," Stacey replied.
"Okay guys, good job!" the mother enthused as the boys put the last of the bags in the cart. "Are we all set?"
"All set, Mom," the chestnut haired boy replied.
"Then let's go."
"Mom, can I help make dinner tonight?"
"Sure, John, honey. I'll teach you how to make Gordon's favourite spaghetti meal. How does that sound?"
The group began moving away from Stacey's till and towards the exit. Stacey watched them leave, chattering happily amongst themselves. Those kids must be the luckiest kids in the world, she thought to herself.
Her colleagues were all staring at her, waiting for her to give them all the gossip on that guy…it was bugging her now. What was his name? Before she could think of an answer to that question, a woman dumped a basket onto her conveyor belt, startling Stacey out of her thoughts abruptly.
"Well, come on then! I haven't got all day!"
Stacey sighed resignedly. "Yes Ma'am."
Scan the food, bag the food, give them the food.
So that was Stacey's take on the Tracy's. Hopefully the short sentences and general style wasn't too dull. I was trying to get back into the 'bored shop assistant' mindset! Even thinking became boring after a while! Next one will be a little more descriptive, I promise.
Coming Soon...the photographer's eye view of the Tracy's.
Thanks for reading. This is my first published story, so any reviews, good or bad, would be appreciated. It's the only way I'll learn!