SHELLY’S WORLD FICTION: The Happy Store – The Shoppers from Hell

Updated 37 weeks ago By Shelly Reuben
SHELLY’S WORLD FICTION:  The Happy Store – The Shoppers from Hell

Clementine Fraile takes a backseat to poetry in our 19th adventure at The Happy Store


In retail one deals with the good and the bad

It’s our job in the long run, to sell.

It is usually pleasant and quite often fun …

Except for the Shoppers from Hell.


They come in assortments; they aren’t all the same

Some are short; some are thin; some are fat.

But the minute they open their cynical mouths

One can instantly grasp where they’re at.


They cannot stand in line like the rest of us folk;

They know nothing of courteous deeds.

At the snap of their fingers or grimacing glares,

We must pamper and service their needs.


There’s a smudge on this mirror!” one says with


But the “smudge” is a dust mote – no more.

Yet they fuss and they fume for a discount or else,

I will never return to this store!”


And returns … Oh, good heavens. The things that

    They do!

Buying pillows and candles and jugs,

And all at full price, not an item for less,

Even napkins, and bookends and rugs.


They keep them two months, ‘till the store has a


Then – determined they’ll not be out-done,

They pack it all up (truly … have they no shame?)

And return every single last one!


Item by item, these shoppers make sure,

They get credit for all that they bought.

‘til the debit and credit lines in their accounts

Come together to read nought and nought.


Assuming the customer then will depart,

We say, gritting our teeth, Thank you, ma’am.”

Never expecting – Who’d DO such a thing?

Her next diabolical scam. 


“Don’t put those away!” she says, eyeing the goods

That mere seconds ago she had spurned.

You assumed she’d not wanted them, bringing them


Which was why they had all been returned.


But she pulls out a coupon from … heaven knows

    Where …

(And does what? Do you think you can guess?)

She demands to re-purchase each thing she’d

    Brought back,

Paying, this time though, ten percent less!


Such are the people who sometimes come in.

Disruptive, disgruntled, pell-mell.

So unlike the ones who bring joy to our lives,

They are truly the Shoppers from Hell!!!


Copyright © Shelly Reuben, 2019


Originally published in The Evening Sun, Norwich, NY - Shelly Reuben’s books have been nominated for Edgar, Prometheus, and Falcon awards.  For more about her books, 


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