Holiday Bundle



Holiday Bundle




The gleam of a silver barrel polished handle shinny in florescent light. Beautiful and horrifying, all in a five-pound package.

In a long list of death-defying moments—nearly drowning, electrocution during a kite mishap, skating boarding down a steep hill—starring down a loaded .45 Magnum tops the list. Facing down said weapon on Black Friday didn’t seem in the realm of possibility. Oh sure, the way you live, being shot by an irate lover or the spouse of a lover someday was just a given. A Granny wielding a hand cannon, not so much.

This was going to be your legacy. Killed by an old lady for a fucking Nintendo console. It wasn’t your fault that the sale only applied to a specific holiday bundle, or the store was only supplied six that sold out in less than ten minutes.

How could that be your fault?

Stuck between a rock and hard place, you try to be polite, “I’m sorry ma’am, but we are already sold out of that Nintendo Bundle. We do have the standard bundle for five percent off, all weekend long.”

“Five percent!?! The ad says fifty!”

Oh shit. One of those people. Taking a deep breath, you do your best to be diplomatic, “That’s for the holiday bundle, ma’am. The three games, the console, and controller case. We only had a limited number of those units and we already sold out.”

Not deterred by logic, she pulls out a copy of the advertisement, “See, this doesn’t say any of what you just said. Nothing about limits or a special ‘holiday bundle’.”

“May I?” She hands you her version of the ad. Upon closer inspection, you see it is a printed copy in black and white. The round sticker listing the type of console and quantity is conveniently blurred out, the fine print at the bottom of the page is cut off.

This isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve seen this tactic more times than you care to count. Like Velma the comparative shopper; her diminished stature, thick glasses and a penchant for bright turtlenecks and bowl cut, she resembles the Hannah Barbara character to a tee. Unlike her cartoon counterpart, she’s a sad straight woman armed with stacks of advertisements from rival big box stores, and the occasional Prime Day listings snuck in. As if the Amazon smile logo wasn’t a dead giveaway. Because of this, you always keep multiple copies of the sales ads. It really comes in handy for difficult customers, or those that think because you work retail, you are slow witted.

Showing Grandma the full advertisement and being polite as possible, “As you can see, ma’am,” pointing to the circled text and fine print, “Limited quantity of six holiday bundles per store, first come, first serve, no reserve.”

“Are you calling me a liar?”

Yes, yes, that’s exactly what I am calling you, trying to pull a fast one so you don’t have to pay full price.

“No ma’am, of course not.”

“Then do what I tell you. Sell me the other system at the lower price.”

“I cannot, ma’am. I cannot sell you the regular bundle at the holiday sale price.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

“I cannot, not without managerial approval.”

“Then get a manager,” she says as if it is dumbest, most obvious notion.

“Yes ma’am,” you sigh.

You put the call in over the store PA system. Today being Black Friday, the likelihood of upper management answering said call is about as likely as there being an honest politician. You’d have a better chance at convincing an anti-vaxxer to follow CDC guidelines than for a manager to materialize.

“A manager should be right along, ma’am,” you say ringing up another customer, another customer who had been waiting patiently, money in hand.

Grandma is displeased.

How dare you attend to the needs of other customers? How dare you not put the world on hold for her and her grandchild?

“What about me? I’ve been waiting. I’m waiting for a manager. If that’s who you called.”

“I did call a manager, ma’am. You heard my voice over the store—”

She cuts you off for your insolence, “Do it again! I want a manager right this minute.”

Three customers have been rung up and have departed during this exchange. You and the fourth share glances: What a bitch! The young customer relents with a nod.

Once again, out goes your nasally vestige, marred under the din of scrambling bodies and commerce. You hang up the phone and continue with another holiday shopper.

Irate, Grandma demands, “What’s your name?”

You know what’s coming. She’s going to threaten you with complaints to management, corporate, congress, Twitter, God, the source wall, and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. All chin of her wagging will fall on ears deafer than deaf since it is Black Friday. Most Black Friday complaints are frivolous, ranging from the annoying: people often complaining about the lack of good door busters. To the outlandish: the term Black Friday being racist against black people. Regardless, you point to your name badge.

Vigorously writing on a slip of receipt paper, “Daria? Daria what?”

Ideally, you could tell her you are not aloud share your surname and she would stop pressing. Clearly logic is not in this woman’s dojo, so you say, “Morgendorffer.” You’re banking on the fact that she’s not familiar with the MTV cartoon.

The customers in the know glare at you, as if to say: “You’re not even trying.”

True. Had it not been such a busy and draining day, you might have thrown out Alexandrovna or Oblonsky. Nothing better than a Tolstoy based insult. Tonight you don’t have time to spell out those Russian surnames. Though a mouthful like Morgendorffer, you were expecting she’d ask you for the spelling.

Must be German, you reckon. Explains her relentless desire to yell at you and conquer Poland.

“Well I hope Mister Morgendorffer can afford you losing your job. When I am done with management, you won’t have one.”

You can’t help yourself, “Missus Morgendorffer.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Missus Morgendorffer. I took my wife’s name. A bit traditional and modern all rolled into one.” She starts turning red. “What? You have a problem with gay marriage?”

Grandma’s now a tomato. You crossed a line. And so does she, “Look you uppity dyke, I demand an apology along with a game bundle.”

“You want a pony, too?”

Shaking, “I won’t let some heathenish trash like you ruin my grandson’s Christmas.” You roll your eyes at that. “Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me. I am a paying customer. I demand to be treated with respect. I demand a game bundle, and I demand an apology, in that order.”

“Fat chance of that, lady.”

“How dare you?!?”

“How dare I not? I have been accommodating as I can under the circumstances of a very stressful day. I told you the truth that we were out of the holiday bundle. I even gave you an alternate. But that wasn’t good enough for you. No, you wanted more. And the fact that I wouldn’t bend over backwards to your whims and cower like a dog was too much for you to handle. God forbid you actually listen beyond your own myopic malaise. If anyone needs an apology now, it’s these people who were here long before you, and for wasting all of our time with this piddly little bullshit, the result of your piss poor planning during an electronics shortage. If it was so goddamn important for you to purchase the overpriced piece of shit for your ADD riddled grandson, why the hell didn’t you buy it on Amazon four months in advance like everyone else in the known universe? Oh right, you didn’t want to pay full price because deep down you know you can’t buy love, but if you get ‘em something that’s bright and shiny that blinks, he’ll pull his eyes away from his phone long enough to give you a half-hearted ‘I love you’ before he moves onto the next bright shiny thing that blinks.”

Through gritted teeth, “Get me that bundle.”

“Or what?”

“This.” In one swift motion, she pulls out a silver .45 magnum revolver, desert eagle, a barrel as long as her arm. Grandma Dirty Harry. She points it right at you.

The crowd backs away from the counters.

A few screams.

A whole lot of phones are pulled out. Not to call 9-1-1. Rather to capture video. A granny dropping a clerk with a .45 will garner a shit ton of hits on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

Priorities after all.


“It’s for my grandson, damn you,” she says shaking. You see a cross bobbing around her neck.

Last time you checked, the Sixth Commandment was fairly cut and dry. Grandma’s version must have an asterisk next to it. “Thou shalt not murder… Unless there’s a bitchin’ sale, then by all means, lock ‘n’ load.” The Charlton Heston Edition Bible.

“Not very Christian to kill for a toy.”

She cocks the hammer, “Game bundle… now!”

“You’re really going to shoot me for a game?”


She has to be bluffing. You step forward. “I don’t give a damn about you or your grandson or Nintendo or this job. Go ahead and fucking shoot me… bitch!”

And so she does…

Like a battering ram to the chest, you are knocked off your feet as blood erupts like a gauzier. You fall back to the counter, sliding to the floor.

The crowd disperses.

Grandma doesn’t have storm trooper aim. She unloads four more rounds into you. She’s ready to Mozambique your ass with the last round, pointing the barrel at your forehead.

Then, Grandma stops. She sees an expensive game console tucked behind the counter in a store bag. She picks up the console and runs off as you bleed out.

The world is fading fast.

You’re too weak to call out.

You’re too weak to hear if anyone is calling for help. Even if they are, those five massive shots are doing their job, tearing apart your insides. You’ll be long dead long before any help arrives.

Your last earthly sight will be your shitty counter at this shitty store on this shitty day after Thanksgiving.

The immortal words of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman come to mind, “…A salesman got a dream, boy.” Well so does a clerk.

Not enough time left for regrets. The pool of blood expands beneath you painting a horrifying Monet.

Killed for a goddamn Nintendo. What a fucked up legacy. Grandma will get away with murder, while you will be forgotten as some story, some statistic, some meme, some whatever.



Keira C. Lewis 


In 2004, after graduating with a BA in English, Keira took the world by storm. At least in her dreams. The universe had other plans--bad jobs, bad relationships, and gender dysphoria to add to the mix. She came out as trans in 2007, leaving behind the shackles of confusion, only to trade them in for the indignity of bathroom politics and care taking of her father. In 2018 returned to writing and had ten short stories published on various independent literary websites, and for some damn foolish reason decided to write a book. And here we are.

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