Monday, July 31, 2006
New Beginning 25
Audrey sidestepped so the man she could see from the corner of her eye could slide past her in the aisle. She pressed back into a rack of clothing, the thrift-store smell wafting out at her. She kept her eyes down, waiting for him to pass, then glanced up to see that he was standing in front of her, staring at her intently.
"Pardon me," she said, stepping aside again. He just looked at her, which upped her city-girl dander. "Is there a problem?"
He thrust a flier at her, big black letters on bright yellow paper. Just a crazy, that's all.
"I'm okay, thanks," she muttered, and headed down the aisle.
"You really need this," he said.
"I'm all full up, honestly." Audrey looked around for a clerk. No one in sight. If this guy got any closer, she was going to stomp on his instep.
The man turned away. Thank God. But as he turned, some of the black letters on the flyer jumped out at Audrey. Audrey Quigglesthorp. What was her name doing on the flyer?
"Give me that!" Audrey snatched at the page, but the man held it above her head.
"Can you pay the price?" he sneered.
"Damn right I can." She stomped on his instep, then tackled him into a rack of shirts.
"You're too late," he laughed. "You had your chance."
As they lay among the garments, Audrey pounded on his face until it was an unrecognizable bloody pulp.
"Too . . . late," the old man moaned.
Audrey grabbed up the flyer. Her name was nowhere to be seen. It was nothing but a coupon for ten percent off her purchase. At the bottom it said, Expires at 5 p.m.
She looked at her watch. 5:02.
Continuation: Nancy Conner/Evil Editor