Tuesday – Anything possible – Kreative Kue #232 with Keith Channing

In Keith’s words.

“Using this photo (below) as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.”

The photo.

The Store by John W. Howell Β© 2019

“Excuse me. Do you work here?”

“This orange apron with my name written with a Sharpie by a two-year-old says I do.”

“Oh, good. I really could use some help.”

“Well, sir, as our motto says, “No item too obscure for us not to carry it.”


“Just retail humor, sir. I’d be glad to help you out. Now, which way did you come in?”

“More retail humor, I’ll bet.”

“Yes, sir. Seriously now. What can I do to help.”

“See this screw.”

“Yes, sir, I do. Rather small little thing, but I do see it.”

“I need another one just like it.”

“That shouldn’t be too hard, sir. Follow me.”

“Oh, thank you. I have been wandering around for hours, it seems.”

“Goodness, do you need some water?”

“I could use some, I suppose.”

“Here, take this canteen.”


“Yup. We are required to carry a canteen in cases like this.”

“Is this sanitary?”

“Don’t worry, sir. I have never been accused of backwash yet.”

“Thanks, I’ll wait until I leave.”

“It is ten miles to the exit, sir. I think you will thank me for the water later.”

“Fine. There now I feel better.”

“Ah, here we are at screw acres.”

“Screw acres?”

“Yeah, that’s the name of the section. Don’t tell me you are one of those weirdos who makes a sexual innuendo out of everything.”

“Where are my screw sizes.”

“Sir, I’m going to ask you to stop. You are making me uncomfortable.”

“I just want to get my screw and get out of here.”

“Understood, sir. You. will have to wait to get home for that. Anyway, here is the section for tiny screws.”

“Here is my size. Wait, does this come in a quantity less than 10,000.”

“I’m afraid that is our smallest, sir.”

“Who buys that many screws?”

“You’d be surprised, sir. Now is there anything else I can help you with?”

“I guess you could give me directions to the exit.”

“Don’t you have a map app on your phone?”

“Yes, I do.”

“It would be a lot easier for you to do that. Once you have the directions, I think you can hitchhike your way there.”


“Yeah, all the carts with loads usually stop for pedestrians. Good luck to you, sir.”


“Yes, sir?”

“I still don’t have my screw.”

“I would try our on-line store, sir.”

“Online store?”

“Yes, sir. https://saveatriptohell.com.”


“Always happy to help. Bye, sir.”

“I wonder if I will wake up now?”



  1. LOL! I can tell you had fun with this one, John. Happy Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jill. I did have fun. Come to think of it maybe I have too much fun with these prompts. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nothing wrong with that, John! Who says writing always has to be painful? πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah. Who says? πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Does this place have any face-melting arks on sale?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the retail humor bits!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    WOW, I’ve never had a dream like that but I feel the angst, which you’ve cleverly created! Great job with the photo prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Home Depot visit will be the inspiration for such a dream. Thanks, Gwen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gwen M. Plano · ·

        I love Home Depot and Lowes and Menards. I could spend hours at each. But, a warehouse, like the one you describe, sounds terrifying. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, terrifying.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicely done, John. I have an old boss who wouldn’t shop in Ikea because he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to find the exit in an emergency. Good luck trying to get rid of the other 9,999 screws.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Going to use the 9999 as traction aids during an ice storm. Wait, that may not work tire wise. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Funny one πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ but hey John …just image that place on the picture is full of your books. And there’s a queue outside. Aaaaa!! Cool? One day. Hopefully β€œoutside” of the story :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your version of outside the story, VR. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, let’s move in that direction ;)) 😁✌️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Okay. πŸ‘ŒπŸ€šπŸΉπŸ’Έ


  7. Your story is almost perfect. Except for the omission of the satisfaction survey. I am going to grab my shovel and run for the garden. Is screw acres adjacent to Cheshire Cat country ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Twelve clicks away.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Buahahahaha!

    This is exactly how I feel every time I go in one of these stores. I never walked the length of Rhode Island, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same difference.


    1. So true. Bring the LL Bean hiking shoes. Thanks, Marc. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, you already got the canteen, LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel the same way about those places. Better to try some bailing wire for a year or two than go there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Duct tape is my temporary fix of choice. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great, John. Thanks.
    Remember that outfit that started life in 1994 selling books? Twenty-five years later, this is a small part of the inside of one of their three fulfilment centres in our town (yes, we took up their offer of a free tour – something of an eye-opener).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. It is amazing. Thanks for the backstory.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am truly laughing out loud, John! Sadly, it is too true of the big stores anymore. But hitchhiking?? Hilarious!! Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  12. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    I feel like that in some stores now, John. Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I can so relate to this one. It seems like every chain store has to be gargantuan-sized now. I think you ticked a box for all of us, John–and made it fun at the same time. Loved the humor!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mae. It was fun to do. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh that was perfect, John!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, GP. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah, I will now wear hiking boots next time I go to a big store since navigating them feels so much like hiking that hitchhiking would not be a bad idea :). Thanks for the chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Take a tent too. And food. Yes, dehydrated food.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Well done, John! Those warehouse-sized stores can be intimidating. You’ve capture its immensity and reminded me why sometimes it’s better to shop local (as in the Ace Hardware store)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with​ the local, Debbie. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lol, love the online store addy 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha.Thanks, Jacquie.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Now that was really funny! The website was perfect. Loved it, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. LOL! That was funny! Probably more so because I can so relate to being lost and overwhelmed in a certain big box hardware store.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deborah. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This is wickedly funny, John. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rob.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can still hear their voices echoing in the vast expanse of a Home Depot somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. They go on forever. That is one way to immortality. Visit a Home Depot and yell out your name.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. […] The Store by John W. Howell Β© 2019 […]


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