Cash and Carry-oke

Cash and Carry-oke

Assistant Manager Mateo Couch bounced from foot to foot, looking at the bank of security camera feeds in the Cash and Carry’s main office. Corporate management had given him one chance to turn around the store’s profits and make it competitive with the Wull-Murt superstore that had just opened across the road. He had put everything he had into this.

The TV screens were set up all around the store, currently showing the specials for the day and the store hours. The shoppers drifted through the aisles to the soporific Muzak coming from the speakers.

“It’s all yours, Couch,” the Manager said. Her name was Jillian Feeney but everyone just called her the Manager, which she preferred.

Mateo hit the switch and the Muzak died away. The screens around the store went dark.

Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing.” The sounds of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline came over the speakers. A few shoppers looked up and smiled at the lyrics now scrolling across all the screens.

Hands, touching hands.

Then it happened, one lone tenor voice coming from the baked goods aisle, singing along. “Reaching out, touching me, touching you.

Sweet Caroline. BAM BAM BAM!” The store exploded into singing. Shoppers all over the store were singing now. In the dairy aisle, a small conga line of shopping carts had formed, heading towards the yogurt case.

It was working, it was actually working. Mateo looked back at the Manager. She permitted him a quarter smile, which was the equivalent of a bear hug from someone else.

Someone in the bakery section was filming the scene on their phone. Perfect. This might go viral. They’d be famous as the cool grocery store. He saw people dancing, throwing groceries into the cart with glee. Yes.

The song ended and there was a cheer from the shoppers. This had worked better than he had even dreamed.

The next song came on. Mateo looked at the name. He didn’t recognize it. It started with a whisper. It was too quiet. He turned it up a bit.

“Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the FLOOR!”

Shoppers screamed. A glass bottle of artisanal olive oil shattered in the International Foods aisle. An old man went down, clutching at his chest.

Mateo dove the power button, and the music died. A few seconds of ringing silence passed before the soothing strains of Muzak came over the speakers.

“Great concept,” the Manager said. “Truly original. But please let me approve the song list from now on.”

For context:

Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline

Drowning Pool – Bodies

Since this story incorporates music into fiction, I thought I’d give a shout out to my friend Miles Rost over at Music and Fiction, a writing blog he has been running for about as long as this blog has been going. Go read some of his stories, if you get a chance.

About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

3 responses to “Cash and Carry-oke

Let me know what you think. I appreciate all comments and criticisms.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tao Talk

Taotalk is a forum for the discussion of both the academic and pragmatic aspects of dao and Daoism, with participants expressing themselves on Daoist writings and pragmatics from their unique perspectives. It serves as a community for Daoists, and those interested in Daoism, to gather and talk dao.

H J Musk

Taking on the world one story at a time ...

CG Express

Writing, Musing, Sharing

Bridgette Tales

Everybody has a story. Here's a little of mine.

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Rolling Boxcars

Where Gaming Comes at you like a Freight Train

Lady Jabberwocky

Write with Heart


Self Improvment through Islamic Wisdom | All faiths welcome

The Pinay Ajumma

Stories, Inspiration, and Beyond

The Green-Walled Treehouse

Explore . Imagine . Create

One Minute Office Magic

Learning new Microsoft Office tricks in "just a minute"


Just grin and bear it awhile

Linda's Bible Study

Come study God's Word with me!

Haden Clark

Philosophy. Theology. Everything else.

Citizen Tom

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

The Green-Walled Chapel

Writings on Faith, Religion and Philosophy

To Be A Magician

A fiction blog of funny and dark stories

My music canvas

you + me + music

Eve In Korea

My Adventures As An ESL Teacher In South Korea

Luna's Writing Journal

A Place for my Fiction

Upper Iowa University

Center for International Education

Here's To Being Human

Living life as a human


Book Reviewer and Blogger


kitten loves the world

Strolling South America

10 countries, 675 days, 38,540km

It's All in Finding the Right Words

The Eternal Search to Find One's Self: Flash Fiction and Beyond

Reflections Of Life's Journey

Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green Stories

The Best Short Stories on the Internet

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author


Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)


Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

The art of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress

she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!


a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

%d bloggers like this: