The Weight of Things

A close-up of part of a produce scale.Every Friday, she’s on time to pick up her grandfather, who teases, “Punctuality is your best quality.” She could take his list, go alone, but this, it’s theirs.

She pushes as he walks alongside, pointing his finger and triggering his thumb to greet fellow shoppers whose names he no longer knows. He likes to look at the weight of things, occasionally exclaiming, “You were exactly this size at birth!” This he remembers.

Aisle after aisle, he calls out needs in their shorthand: “Old-man candies” is Werther’s; “yellow box,” Cheerios. And while “lamb-chop” is ricotta, “my little frozen chicken” is her.



Audrey Alt is a proofreader by day and a writer at night, when her husband and dogs are asleep and her white noise machine roars.

Photo Credit: Katya Horner

8 Responses to “The Weight of Things”

  1. Mark Alden says:

    Great story! Encapsulates so much in so few words. I come away feeling as if I have a strong sense of these characters and their relationship. Beautifully done.

  2. Peyton Ellas says:

    Good story. Has that nice twist of the best 100 word stories, and feels real.

  3. Anna Brooks says:

    This is so beautiful! I love the way the unavoidable sadness is balanced by the joy of their relationship.

  4. Neil Moran says:

    Nice story, says a lot in a short space.

  5. Joanna says:

    I love how you captured the relationship in this shopping trip. Beautiful.

  6. nadia says:

    She wrote in an emotional way-I like this passage.

  7. Yvonne Morris says:

    Great dialogue and pace. I really enjoyed this piece!

  8. Doug Sylver says:

    I love the way the grandfather-granddaughter relationship is shown here, especially their common and secret vocabulary. Very well done.

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