Shopping Trip

Once back at the university, Jiggs had only the will to fribble about the lab distractedly.  A couple of his student assistants arrived about noon hoping to make a few extra Ḱlupies washing and drying socks, or looking for ballpoint pens.  Trying his best not to appear testy, Jiggs dismissed them for the weekend.  They were only slightly disappointed.   There was beer back at the dorm, and after all, as the saying in Outer Farbania goes, a Ḱlupie earned is an afternoon burned

After an hour or so, Jiggs decided that his time would be better spent shopping for washing machines.  It was a beautiful, warm Farbanian spring day, and he felt like a bike ride around town would help clear his mind.  He locked the lab for the weekend, got on his bike and left campus headed for the commercial section of town.

Several blocks away from the university, Jiggs spotted Szymon’s Appliances on the right.  He pulled his bike to the curb, hopped off and chained it to a lamp post.  Looking through the front window, Jiggs didn’t see any washers or dryers, but felt sure that they were somewhere deeper inside the store.  He went through the front door and soon spotted a large, clean shaven man with plump red cheeks, dressed in black slacks and an oversized blue suit coat with shiny elbows.  Pinned to the man’s breast pocket was a laminated plastic badge that proudly proclaimed, ‘Szymon’.

Jiggs approached Szymon and asked to see his washers.

“Why of course sir.  Just follow me.”

They proceeded through several dimly lit showrooms filled with items that initially Jiggs found puzzling, and then disturbing.  There were hooks hanging from ceilings and walls, cages lined with spikes or razor sharp edges, odd contraptions combining shackles, pulleys and levers, and other things that he didn’t even want to identify.  Then at the end of a darkened hallway, they entered the ‘Washer’ showroom.

The showroom was filled with what appeared to be large steel cylinders with belts and pulleys attached to motors for rotation.  Jiggs hesitantly peered into one of the ‘washers’ and the smell almost caused him to stumble backwards.  It was the odor of blood.  He sensed movement to his left, looked around and saw Szymon’s ham-like hand spread as it moved toward the back of his neck.  He quickly lowered his head, and moved to the right.  Szymon grunted and lunged for him.

Jiggs was too quick for the pudgy ‘appliance’ salesman.  He retraced his steps through the low light of the store’s interior, Szymon in pursuit, calling out for his associates.  Jiggs could hear several other pairs of feet hitting the stone floor, but didn’t yet see anyone else.  He made it through the front door out onto the sidewalk and unlocked the chain just as Szymon, followed by three similarly sized men came out of the store.  He sacrificed the chain, jumped on his bike, and pedaled with all the strength and skill he could muster.

When he reached the apartment, he was shaking uncontrollably.  Beelzebeth met him at the door, and told him that Professor Kavalioŭ had phoned asking for him.  He knew that he would have to regain his composure before he returned the call.

The End

3 comments about this story Feed