Copyright © 2008 M. E Ellis
All rights reserved, Wild Child Publishing.
This excerpt contains some strong language.
Just what the hell is that noise back there in the storeroom? I'll bet that shit-poke kid from Honeycomb Apartments slipped in without me noticing. Darn brat. He needs a good kick up the ass. This is my store, and nobody has any right back there but me, especially not a teenage boy with a predilection for thieving. Last time he came in here, he swiped a Snickers. I informed the police, but what did they do? Nothing.
Nothing. At. All.
It doesn't help that his father is the sheriff.
That aisle there...aww, who went and spilled a packet of Froot Loops on the floor? That's another job to add on my to-do list. And fancy making a mess and not paying for them. Now, who's been in here today? Didi Brunbert, she came in for a packet of cheese slices--for her burgers, no doubt. I can tell she eats a lot of those. Her roommate, one Sheeba O'Malley, she came in a short while after. And didn't I hear some gossip she's pregnant after a drunken night out? Tsk. Just who do the youth of today think they are?
I have my suspicions who the father is. That young lady ought to hope he does the right thing and meets her at the end of the aisle in Lunaville church. Before the bump shows.
Ouch! Who moved that shelving unit? Darn thing just jabbed me in the hip. I'll bet it comes up in a big bruise. Just what I need, a contusion of mammoth proportions--and it can only be mammoth. I'm not lucky enough to get away with a small one.
Today is not my day. At my age, I should be retired, not working my ass off selling groceries to a bunch of weird townsfolk. And boy are they weird. Seems everyone has--
There it is again. That shuffling noise. Oh, that's it, heart. You go on and ticker like a goodun. Go ahead and have an attack, why don't you? A good old palpitation that leaves me gasping for breath, unsteady on my feet, and freaked out of my old lady skull. Let's face it, it wouldn't make my day any more annoying than it has already been.
Again. That noise. Oh, hell. But I'm not scared. No, siree. Ain't no one or nothing gonna scare ol' Edie Shawston. I'm made of stern stuff, see, sterner than....
Oh, good Lord above. Shadows, I see 'em. See 'em? Over there in the corner of the storeroom. Aww, times like this I wish Mr. Jedadiah Ackerknight would come in here and save me from certain death. That shit-poke kid's gonna jump out at me any second wielding a carving knife stolen from his mother's kitchen and--
Oh! Oh, shit me up and call me a freaked out granny! That frigging stray cat has just leapt out at me from the storeroom, fur bristling, huge claws on show. Looks like he's sporting a Mohican down his back and along his beastly, snaky ol' tail. Reckon I'm a lot more scared than that mangy, ripped-eared little fucker. My! I feel that a visit to Dr. Wingsgrove is in order, oh yes I do. That feline'll have a matching rip on his other ear if I get my hands on him.
"Here, kitty! Heee-re, kitty! Come to nice Miss Shawston now. Yes, I know. I see your big gold eyes peekin' at me from under that shelf, you little bast--no, I'm not going to say it. Cursing isn't right--doesn't make a good impression, Mr. Ackerknight says."
Goodness, my lungs are fit to burst, and my pulse! It's throbbing like a prostitute's john.
Calm down, Edie. Just calm down.
"You scared, kitty?"
Not half as scared as you made me, you little shit!
"Come on now, I know you want to make friends."
Hmm. I wonder...will he eat some of those Froot Loops? I could give it a try. I'll put some down on this here floor, entice the little fellow out. Now, what aisle were they down again? Three or four? Four, yes, that's it. Down the same aisle as the cat food, funny enough.
There. Here you are, kitty. Come and taste this nice cereal. You know you want to.