Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tommy's Tool Town - Chapter 76 - All Hallows Eve

By 11:30, the store was a flurry of activity.  The entire night crew had been called in, including Wilton Scott, who'd evidently volunteered for PVC cleanup, seeing it as some sort of missionary adventure.

"They could build schools from PVC in Nigeria, and perhaps run water through them for hydration," Wilton said, and Kitty rolled her eyes.  "What?"

"Wilton, where do you get this crazy stuff?" Kitty asked.

"The Internet.  Did you know that most of what occurred in Star Wars is so realistic it could happen?" Wilton proclaimed, changing the subject drastically.

Only Wilton could travel from Nigeria to the Death Star without missing a beat.

"I don't think so," Kitty remarked, taking a moment to sit on a toilet display.

"It's futuristic, I'll admit, but even so, we aren't that far from making intergalactic travel a reality," Wilton declared.

"Hey, Wilton," Stockwell yelled.  "Why don't you go into the Receiving Galaxy and hop on a forklift."

"I'm not certified," Wilton said sullenly.

"Well, maybe you'll find Yoda back there.  Perhaps he can drive a forklift," Stockwell suggested, looking immensely pleased with himself.

"Drive a forklift, I can," Wilton stated impressively.

"Sonny Brooks is floating around somewhere.  He showed up with Mitchell about fifteen minutes ago.  He's probably rusty, but he's certified." Stockwell shook his head and walked away.  He was lacking in caffeine and sugar, and he'd have sold his own mother for a King Sized Snickers.

Kitty frowned as Stockwell passed by.  "What?" he said.  "You want a Snickers, too?"

"I'm sad and worried," Kitty mumbled.

Stockwell knew he'd regret it, but he asked anyway.  "What's wrong?"

"It will be Halloween in a few minutes, and I always wear my Great Pumpkin pajamas the night before, and wish for a husband who likes dogs and karaoke, Renaissance festivals, and long walks on the beach......"

Stockwell began wishing JJ had killed him.  He hated this woman stuff.  It was reserved for soap operas and Danielle Steel novels.

Kitty looked forlorn, and as if she had more to say.


"I can't reach my mother or grandmother," Kitty whispered.

"Dear God, you don't think?" Stockwell asked.

Kitty looked at him.  "Of course I do."

"You think they're here?" Stockwell asked, feeling the blood supply cut off to his head.  He felt dizzy and his blood sugar was plummeting.  He couldn't imagine where Daisy had gone.  Perhaps she'd planned to butcher the burgers herself.

"Kitty?" Stockwell said very gently, almost lovingly.

"What?" Kitty whimpered.

"Do you have a Snickers anywhere?  Your purse, your locker, stashed under self checkout?"

"I bare my soul to you, I tell you about the Great Pumpkin pajamas, and you ask me if I have a candy bar?" Kitty asked incredulously.

"What can I say?  I'm a real catch," Stockwell said.  He obviously had the jitters, and Kitty figured the request was more a survival mechanism, and less a lack of bedside manner.

"I have food!" Daisy announced suddenly, and everyone flocked to her as if Jesus had just shown up with a basket of fish.

The food was gone in five minutes, and sedate, the Tool Town crew prepared to take on the night. Bernice and Penelope watched the clock intently, counting the minutes until the showdown at midnight.

Daisy Cates did the same, knowing Hannah was skulking around Receiving, planting bugs like the Orkin man.

Kitty set out to walk the store, certain a grandmother lurked somewhere in the shadows.

Slick Mitchell sat in his office, playing with the gun in his ankle holster.  He hoped he wouldn't shoot his foot off by mistake.  He hated the idea of wearing only one wingtip.  He planned to put a bullet in Mickey Burger, whoever he might be.  If it was Stockwell, he wondered if the wound would ooze chocolate. 

Midnight was upon them, and everyone was ready.

Everyone but Wilton.

He was in Receiving, talking to himself, and trying desperately to start a forklift.

He gave up after a few minutes, and hopped off the machine.  He could hear the hum of other machines, and figured everyone who could run a forklift was probably on one.

He turned and faced the machine.  He assumed the stance of a Jedi, and called upon the force.

The forklift roared to life.

Wilton almost shit himself.

"It freakin' works," he whispered.

The receiving area went dark immediately, and the forklift's lights flashed on.

"Shit," Wilton whispered.  The Jedi moment took on a Stephen King feel, and he felt like he was looking at the Christine of heavy lifting.  "This isn't happening," he mumbled, although it was.

"Astro!"  The word wailed over the sound of mechanical humming, and despite his fear, Wilton was offended.

"I am not an asshole.  I am a nice man, with a family.  I read!  I MEDITATE!" Wilton screamed, as the machine came toward him.  "WHAT DO YOU WANT?"

"Make it a daily double," the bird screamed, reciting one of Daisy's most beloved phrases.

"Jeopardy?  You want to play Jeopardy?" Wilton yelled.  "I'll take STAR WARS FOR TWO THOUSAND, ALEX!" Wilton wailed, challenging an unknown force.

The forklift went dark.  The lights came on.  Evil cackling filled the expansive space.

"What the hell?" Wilton whispered, thankful for a young bladder.

The lights went off again, then began flashing in disco fashion.  Wilton felt an unexpected vertigo assault him, and he wondered if he'd died.  He figured his hell would include disco and insults.

From the shadows, Wonder Woman walked toward him, a very old Wonder Woman with chicken legs and garish makeup.

Yup!  He'd died and gone to hell.

"Where's my kitty?" Wonder Woman yelled.  "What have you done with my kitty?"

Wilton wondered if he'd fallen asleep.  Perhaps this was just a nightmare.  He closed his eyes, opened them quickly.  Wonder Woman was still there.

"I don't have your cat.  I have my cat.  She'd old, and her name is Princess Leia, and she pees behind the couch," Wilton said through a sob.  He wasn't sure what was worse, being assaulted by a geriatric Wonder Woman, or being killed by a possessed forklift.

He chose neither.

Wilton screamed like a banshee, like a teenage girl who'd mucked up her manicure leaving the salon.  His screams drew the troops.  Everyone was there, and he found safety in numbers.

Miles had returned, although no one knew when, or from where he'd come.  He had black powder on his fingers, although it was concealed by the darkness.  He'd been arrested and booked, and printed, and blissfully released.

The Dollar Stores were all closed.

That was okay.

Miles had an overnight reprieve from needing soap on a rope.

Kitty showed up.  She was unmoved by Wonder Woman, as if she'd expected to see her there.

Stockwell staggered in.  He had Snickers on his shirt.  No one knew where he'd gotten it from, but they figured there were a couple of IOU's at self checkout.

Gary Gutzenheimer stood at attention, waiting for the battle to begin.

Aaron Faulkner decided not to give up drinking. 

At least not tonight.

He pulled a flask from his back pocket, and killed the contents in one gulp.

Daisy arrived, using the same insult Wilton had heard during the forklift apocalypse.

Wilton had no idea why SHE thought he was an asshole.

Sonny Brooks stood in the corner.  He looked scared to death.

Bernice and Penelope held hands.  Somewhere between discovering the note and the disco lights, they'd both lost their love of detective work.

Mitchell stood in the shadows, holding a gun.  He planned to kill someone, especially if it meant he could reclaim his sister, and his store.

Mickey Burger stood in the shadows, holding an IPad.  Little did anyone know the true capabilities of the Iris system.  He hit a button.

Receiving went dark, then light, but dimly.

Boxes flew from shelves, and racks shook as if they were dancing in the throes of a hurricane.

Everyone screamed, even the men.  Sonny Brooks dropped to his knees and prayed.  He was thanking God.  The place was haunted as shit, and he'd just doubled his money.

Something else pierced the darkness, something that rose about the screams of frightened humans.  The wail of a bird, a bird whose prey had been located.

Astro flew from the rafters, the man in the shadows his target.

A shot rang out.

Everything went dark.

Monday, October 28, 2013

See You on Halloween Night!

The creators of Tommy's Tool Town are putting the finishing touches on the new chapter coming this Halloween night.  Don't miss this spooktacular event, the likes of which are reserved for the finest in literary comedy.

Not caught up yet??

You'll want to be, as a few old times stop by to participate in the mayhem, as Mickey Burger wreaks havoc on the store in an overnight event not to be missed!

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to tell your friends to stop by for a dose of laughter.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tommy's Tool Town - Chapter 75 - A Bug in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

Daisy Cates had absolutely no choice.

She had to leave Astro in the store, or she'd miss the meeting with Hannah and Toothless Louise.  Five minutes after hanging up with Hannah, Kitty had called in a panic and asked her if she'd come into the store to clean up an enormous plumbing mess.

Kitty had assured Daisy it had nothing to do with shit, and Daisy agreed to help.

The PVC pipes had covered nearly every inch of the store when Daisy had arrived, but with a lot of work, and a little dancing, they'd gotten nearly half replaced by ten minutes before eleven o'clock. 

Astro had been miraculously quiet, and Daisy could only imagine what the little bastard was cooking up.  He was, without a doubt, the most ingenuous and deviant bird alive. 

Five minutes later, Daisy faked a low blood sugar attack, which Stockwell totally bought, and she'd offered to do a food run.  She texted Louise, asked for a dozen burgers and twice as many orders of fries, and told her she'd be at Bitsy's in a flash.

If everything went according to plan, she'd run to Bitsy's, get the skinny from Louise, grab a greasy sack of cholesterol, and head back.  If everything went according to plan.

Which it never did.

Daisy let herself out through Receiving and walked through the dark to where she'd left her old truck.  The truck turned over three times and sputtered to life.

She tore out of the parking lot like a bat out of hell and hit the road.

All went well for three minutes, then someone pulled out in front of her.

Daisy let out a string of profanities that would have paled a navy man.

"Watch out, Astro, you trucking stream of Schlitz," the bird screamed, and Daisy damn near ran the truck off the road.

"No way," she grumbled.  The bird's enormous head filled the side mirror.  The damn thing was in the bed of the truck, but at least he'd left the store.

"Astro, Astro, Astro!" the bird yelled, and Daisy rolled her eyes.  She was an animal lover, a lover of all creatures, but she couldn't help but wish a piano would fall on that damn bird.

A few minutes later she arrived at Bitsy's.  The parking lot was full, which she found odd.  Didn't anybody work?  Why was everybody in a bar at eleven o'clock at night?  Didn't they have to get up early?

Daisy suddenly realized she didn't care.  She had enough on her plate.  She had a mystery to solve, and a bounty to collect.  She had to get herself out of retail before it killed her.

She texted Hannah, and went around back as previously instructed, but not before suggesting to the bird he stay put. 

Louise met her at the door.  She was wearing a new set of ill-fitting dentures.  She smiled like the Cheshire Cat.

"What the hell?" Daisy asked, recoiling.

"Won 'em in a hot game of hold 'em.  I knew I had it when I got pocket aces," Louise said, as the teeth clacked wildly together.

"You look ridiculous," Hannah said, from behind them.

"They feel great!" Louise said with earnest, as the bottoms flew out of her mouth, hit the edge of the sink and fell to the floor.

"They don't fit," Daisy advised.

"I'll glue 'em," Louise said, shoving the bottoms back into her mouth without rinsing them, an act that made Daisy and Hannah shiver.

"How's that food coming?  I have to get back before anyone suspects anything," Daisy said.

"You're gonna need to be back by midnight anyhow," Louise said, smiling the horrid grimace again.

"Says who?" Daisy asked.

"The putz with the designer jeans.  He says everything is going down at midnight," Louise advised, as the top denture launched.  "Shit, they really don't fit," she agreed, as she pulled the teeth from a pot of chili, and threw them in the sink.

Daisy made a mental note never to eat the chili at Bitsy's again.

"What did you hear?" Daisy asked, as she and Hannah sat on a couple of filthy stools.

"The putz called some guy, said 'Burger, if you hurt the girl I will kill you,'" Louise said.  "Then he says he doesn't know anything about any guns or any money, but he thinks some cat lady is up to something strange, says something about her grandmother lurking around."

"That would be Kitty.  She's a nut job but I don't suspect her of anything but loneliness and an obsession with shiny shit," Daisy explained.  "I don't think she's in on this."

"He mentioned some Stockwell guy, in fact he called Burger "Stockwell," and then, "Miles," almost as if he was looking for a reaction," Louise went on.

Daisy was impressed and said so.

"I watch a lot of crime shows.  When you look like I do, you don't go out much in the light," Toothless Louise said, and Hannah grimaced.

"You look fine," Hannah offered.

"You're a damn liar.  I have no teeth, frizzy hair, no boobs, and a butt that looks like I sleep on a sheet of plywood.  Don't lie.  Society has no place for an old biker who never gave herself a thought, but if I can help you solve this, maybe my life will mean something," Louise offered with a sigh.  "Here," Louise said, handing Daisy a small box.

"What's this?"

"The rest of the bugs.  I saved a fortune buying them in bulk.  If nothing shakes out tonight, you can put them in the store.  I'll monitor the whole thing.  We'll solve this thing and we'll do it together," Louise said.

"You're damn right we will.  Louise, you stay here and monitor the bugs.  Hannah, you come with me," Daisy demanded.  "We're gonna solve this thing, and we're going to do it tonight.  We've got fifty minutes to get back, get some bugs planted, find you a place to take cover, and see if we can solve the crime of the century."

"I thought that Lingburgh shit was the crime of the century," Louise said.

"It was.  It's a new century, and we're gonna make the news of this one!" Daisy declared, tucking the bugs under her arm, and grabbing two greasy sacks.  "Let's go, Hannah!"

"Do good, girls!" Louise said, offering hugs to both, who took great care not to touch her apron.

"There's a makeover in this for you!" Hannah offered, and Louise smiled a toothless grin.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tommy's Tool Town - Chapter 74 - Bicentennial Larry

Slick Mitchell was pissed.  His sister had been kidnapped, his confidante was a wuss, and he was no closer to solving the mystery of who this Mickey Burger idiot was.

He'd gotten the text telling him to be at Tommy's at midnight.  He'd almost missed it between all the rants and complaints from Reeve Stockwell about some ridiculous PVC incident, and some exotic dancer bologna.

He didn't care about exotic dancers, not much anyway.  Granted, he always wondered when he got a wadded up sweaty pile of one dollar bills, from some toothless guy who looked likely to be arrested while lurking around a college campus, but it wasn't his business.  Money was money, regardless of whose thongs it had been tucked into.

Slick sipped his beer from the bottle, something he normally didn't do, but Bitsy's was the ultimate dive, and he didn't dare drink from a glass.  Louise, the star witness in what was likely a variety of crimes, was tending bar, waiting tables, and lurking around like a stalker.  Slick didn't like her, but figured she was harmless.

Sonny Brooks was ten minutes late.  Slick watched as he came into the bar, looking like someone who expected to be mugged any minute.  Sonny's eyes were wild and he looked terrified, and Slick imagined he'd spent more than a few minutes stuffed into his locker with his undies pulled up to his ears.

"You're late," Slick said, and Sonny sat down, but not before wiping the booth with a hand wipe he peeled from a little white wrapper.

"I know.  I wanted to make sure I wasn't followed," Sonny whispered.  Slick only heard half of what he said, and he rolled his eyes.

"Don't make fun of me," Sonny whined.

"I'm not, but if we're gonna do this, we have to speak in a volume that humans can hear," Slick advised.

In the kitchen, Toothless Louise's ears perked up like a rabbit in a game of prey and predator.  She listened closely.

"Larry isn't here yet, so you're off the hook," Slick said, taking a long pull from the bottle.  He called for Louise, who scurried over like a rat, and ordered another beer.  "You want one?" he asked, looking across the table at Sonny.

"No.  My wife hates it when I drink," Sonny said.

"You always do what your wife says?" Slick asked, and Louise circled like a vulture.

"You met her?" Sonny asked.


"Then don't criticize.  She's a peach as long as I behave myself."

"No beer for you, Sonny?" Louise asked, then paled.

"How'd you know my name was Sonny?"

Louise paused but barely missed a beat.  "I call everyone Sonny."

"Oh," Sonny said.  "I'll have a milk.  Chocolate."

Slick Mitchell rolled his eyes again.  If he didn't stop, he'd be facing some ocular disease, but after what he'd seen, he didn't think he'd mind being blind and led around by an actual dog.

"Do I look like I serve milk?" Louise asked.

"No," Sonny said softly.  "Can I get a Shirley Temple?"

"What are you eight?" Slick asked.

"Shut up," Sonny mumbled.  "I'll have a Coke."

"Certainly," Louise said, leaving in the same disturbing manner as she'd arrived.

"Who's Larry?" Sonny asked, recovering from the emasculation served up by the world's worst waitress.

"Larry Dale.  I'm bringing him into our confidence," Slick said.

"Bad idea," Sonny mumbled.

"There you go, talking in that grumbly shit I can't understand.  Speak up or leave.  I can do this without you, but I'd rather have your help."

"Larry Dale is a bad idea.  Kitty's crushing on him, and he says he's married, but I don't think so.  He doesn't act married, and he admitted to sleeping with Mick Daniels.  Maybe he's bicentennial," Sonny said.

"He's what?" Slick asked, trying not to laugh.

"Bicentennial," Sonny repeated.

"He's two hundred years old?" Slick said, nearly gagging on his laughter.

"No.  He's probably like forty two or so, but he sleeps with more than one species," Sonny said, and Slick let out a ferocious bellow of laughter.

"You mean bisexual and more than one gender," Slick said when he'd recovered.

"That is what I said," Sonny mumbled.

"Right," Slick said.

Back in the kitchen, Toothless Louise rolled on the floor clutching her sides, as Coke spilled over the top of an almost-clean glass, onto the floor.

"Sonny, I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but are you medicated?" Slick asked.

"Maybe a little," Sonny admitted.

"You are acting like a genuine dumbass," Slick said.

"The doctor says it's stress.  It's a situational disorder from working in a haunted location," Sonny explained, and Slick pounded his fist on the table.

Sonny jumped and almost peed himself.

"That is the kind of stuff that upsets me," Sonny whined.

"My store isn't haunted," Slick said.

"Is so," Sonny mumbled.

"Look it.  Larry Dale just walked in.  He is willing to help us crack the case of what's going on in the store, and he's willing to do it for the thrill of the chase.  If we solve the mystery, the money is yours.  You in, or are you too STRESSED from ghosts and shit to give this your all?"

"I'm in on one condition," Sonny stated.

"What's that?" Slick asked.

"If I hear any spirit voices coming from anywhere, like the intercom system, the walls, the phone or the computer, I'm out and I get the money," Sonny declared.

"You want the money if you hear weird voices coming from the paging system?"

"Yes.  It would prove I'm right, and the place is haunted," Sonny declared.

Larry Dale stood at the bar.  He waved when Slick looked over.

"I'll tell you what, Sonny.  If I hear weird voices coming through the paging system, thus proving your theory that my business is haunted, I'll give you the money and I'll double the offer, but that is never going to happen."

Somewhere a rambunctious parrot with a love of parodies was preparing to prove him wrong.