Miss Taken

"WHERE IS SHE YOU SCABBISH KNAVE?"  I cried, nearly throttling the man caught within my machine-like grasp.  He was short and frightened looking, a perturbed brow fitting neatly between dark, shell-like hair and gold-rimmed spectacles.  The spectacles decorated a round, boyish face with freckles and a short rubbery nose compacted even further by my menacing pointer digit.  The rest of his body disappeared beneath a red apron, embroidered with white lettering mostly blotted out by the harsh imposition of my left elbow.

"I. . . I don't know," he stuttered, causing me to widen my gaze and flare my nostrils, like a bull sizing up its next charge.

"You do know! You know everything! It says so right here!"

I menaced him with a button I had previously ripped from his lapel. It was bright and yellow and said "Ask me!  I can help!"

I tightened my grip on his collar and lifted his gaze to meet mine.  His eyes rolled up and he passed out.  Inconsiderate.

I gently stowed the unconscious clerk beneath a shelf of rainbow colored cereals of dubious nutritional merit, and brushing aside some drool on my shirt, resumed a towering stance above him.

"This is not going to work if I strangle the informants," I murmured to myself thoughtfully, "I need to tie them up and torture them.  But that means. . . the adhesive aisle."

Laying hold of the shelving I propelled myself up, up, up until I stood on top with a view that encompassed the entire store.  I scoured the shelves for duct tape, cattle prods, anything to aid me in my cause.  Then I saw something that rattled my knees and froze my skin.  A woman was putting all the fudge bars in her cart.  "HEY!" I shouted.  I shoved off from my perch atop the cereals.  "HEY, MY WIFE WAS GOING TO GET THOSE!"

Landing deftly I sank into the linoleum and sprang into a charge down the aisles toward the imperiled fudge bars.  I imagined a terrible alien maw gnashing them to bits, capturing the remnants with a dripping red tongue and forcing them back into an unwholesome esophagus. Meanwhile, the rack where I might have purchased them for myself lay desolate. Not on my watch.

While en route I snatched several mops to employ as weaponry.  I helmed myself with a bucket, but lacking eyeholes it was less than I envisioned, and in consequence I barreled through a number of display racks and browsing patrons and their children.  Their calls of distress reminded me that war is a grim undertaking. Yet my banner did not waver, for my cause was just.

As I careered into the avenue which housed the fudge bars I was shook to see their shelf was as empty as I feared.  But before despair overcame me I caught glimpse of a cart brimming with the errant boxes. I extended my gaze to a woman, the thief, the warmonger, and wait, no, she was merely my wife.  She must have fended off the interloper and recaptured the prize.  This reminded me that I had been looking for her.

My wife forced me to remove my adopted raiments of war and accompany her to the checkout aisle.  I demurred.  As we were leaving a group of police constables burst into the store, shouting something about a madman on the loose.  I almost corrected them that it was madwoman poaching fudge bars, but my wife gave me a look which said the matter was well-in-hand.

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