“I’m gonna fill up. I’ll pay at the pump - will you run in and pick me up a Chick-O-Stick?” Ben asked his sister, Staci.
“Ugh!? I’m not really dressed for it…”
“You’re not dressed to buy a Chick-O-Stick from the gas station?” He asked in a flat tone.
“Fine.” Staci relented.
She wasn’t dressed to buy a Chick-O-Stick at the gas station. They had just finished painting their grandparents’ shed and she had on a t-shirt that said “I See Dumb People” and jeans that had a large tear across the posterior exposing her underwear. Begrudgingly, she went inside.
She quickly scanned the aisles of dog food and soft-core pornography until she spotted the candy. She scurried over, careful not to make eye contact with any of the patrons or staff. There was a large assortment of hanging Sathers candy bags that distracted her momentarily - Orange Slices, Cherry Slices, unsettling-colored Circus Peanut candy, Blue Sharks, Assorted Sharks, Darlin’ Marlins - then she found the horizontal candies; candy bars, taffies, boxes of balled candies and chewy fruit-flavored candies in capsule form. On the top shelf, almost out of sight, were the Chick-O-Sticks. Unpleasant, orange sticks of sugar and dust. Why he preferred those was beyond her. Probably the price - they were only fifty cents.
She retrieved a stick of Chick and went to the counter to pay.
“Oh my gawd, that’s so funny” the clerk said to Staci, looking at her shirt, unaware that she was one of the dumb people being seen.
“Heh” Staci coughed out, nodding her head once in acknowledgment.
The clerk scanned the Chick-O-Stick and looked at the price total which read fifty-six cents.
“That’ll be fifty…” the clerk trailed off as the color flushed from her face. She stared in silent horror at the number, ‘.56’.
“…O-Kayyy” Staci said, confused. She fished out two quarters and a dime from her pocket and placed them on the counter.
The clerk Stood there frozen.
“You know what, you can keep the change.” Staci picked up the candy and began to slide sideways toward the door, carefully, watching the clerk for a cue of acquiescence. None came.
Staci slowly opened the door and then shot out running toward the car. She met her brother who was fastening the gas cap having just filled the tank.
“What’s wrong?” He asked Staci.
“Dude, the weirdest thing just happened in there. The lady rang up the Chick-O-Stick and began to tell me the price and then she just stopped and stared at the register. She looked terrified. It was really freaky.” Staci, panting, explained.
“Oh, you didn’t know?” asked her brother rhetorically, “that cash register is haunted.”