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.