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Friday short story time: "Contact"

In this week’s story, it’s another all-dialogue effort, only days after I wrote a blog post about how much I love dialogue. Wow, it’s almost like I actually plan this stuff.

Also inspired by my friend Alastair using contactless card payments at the branch of Pret where I was trying to think of a story. I’m simple and easily influenced sometimes.

Anyway, let’s go!


By Nick Bryan

‘Sir, I see from your card that you can now use contactless payments!’

‘Come again?’

‘Contactless, sir. You touch your card here, the payment goes through and you don’t have to type in your PIN number.’

‘But what if I want to?’

‘Type in a number?’

‘Put my card in the machine. Like I have done for years. It took years to adjust to even that.’

‘Sir, you’re buying a newspaper, three bread rolls and a can of Diet Irn-Bru. Surely for such a small purchase, you may as well…’

‘Maybe I enjoy the interaction, young lady. What do you think of that?’

‘Sir, I’m sorry if I’ve upset you, the PIN pad’s right here if you want to…’

‘Perhaps I get a small twinge of pleasaure from coming to your shop and speaking to you ladies for a few minutes about the affairs of the day whilst waiting for that huge calculator to take my money.’

‘Well, I certainly didn’t mean to belittle…’

‘And another thing, whatever happened to the customer is always right, eh? I come in here, wanting nothing more than to go through the day as I normally do, and you can’t leave me be can you?’

‘I’d be happy to call my supervisor over so you can talk to him inst… I mean make a formal complaint.’

‘What’s next exactly? Are you going to force an iPhone down my throat?’

‘Sir, I really can only apologise if I have upset you, but the queue behind you is getting rather long now. I’ve got the total value of your shopping at £1.70, I will pay for it in cash out of my own pocket now if you promise to leave quickly and quietly.’

‘In cash?’


‘Not card?’

‘I promise, sir.’

‘Okay. I’ll allow it.’

‘That’s very generous of you, sir.’

And so Frederick Fox left the corner shop, having used that method to get a free newspaper from different shops every day for a week. Tomorrow, he would finally be caught out after he tried to get a bagutte instead of the bread rolls.

Copyright me 2012, no swiping, email me if you want, etc. Frederick Fox is such an obvious name that I am sure it must be from somewhere, but can’t remember where right now. Is he a superhero? Is he… Fox-Man?


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