First Draft

Page 23

The pharmacist assistant was frustratedly rifling through the bags on the shelves. From somewhere else in the store, Benjamin could hear another sound. “Argh!–THUMP–AGH!–THUMP–THUMP–THUMP.” The clumper was clearly storming its way, with long, heavy strides, towards the part of the store in which the burly fists were currently clamouring. Though Benjamin wasn’t standing right there to witness it, he could envision the altercation perfectly.

“New towels, you need to buy!” taunted one of the fists, while the other let out a hearty eastern-European laugh.

Ben heard a loud slap – the two comrades had just high-fived. The clumper had stopped screaming momentarily, though it was clear from the weight of it’s footsteps on the commercial flooring that it was in no mood – it was practically leaping towards the fists.

“How do you spell your name, sir?” the girl was looking over her shoulder at Ben, her hands still thumbing through the bags of prepared prescriptions.

Benjamin blinked and tried to focus his eyes on her, “Oh, D-apostrophe-capital A-M-I…”

Before he finished, the pharmacist assistant was marching contentedly back towards another shelf, wagging her finger. “That’s what it is,” she said, satisfied.

“BUY TOWEL NOW!” The distant fist was screaming again, though Ben could tell that it’s yells were not directed immediately at him this time.

“Yeah, usually the apostrophe isn’t in the system, but it’s hit or miss – causes more trouble than it’s worth” Ben chuckled, trying to remain engaged in his immediate surroundings. The Thumper gave out its most powerful, angry scream yet, followed by a booming, echoing clang – the sound of an unexpectedly powerful kick, well placed against some sort of thin metal panel.

“BUY TOWEL!” called out one of the voices, in an enraged cry. The second voice also called out , though in a slightly more pleading tone, “TOWEL RUINED, BUY NOW!”

THWANG! The sound of boot on steel echoed again throughout the entire store. THWANG–THWANG! “BUT TOWEL?!”

“I’m sorry about that Mr. D’Amico, I’m not finding it,” the girl returned to her computer. “What’s your date of birth?”

“It’s uh,” another exasperated cry called out, followed by another kick, “six, seventeen, ninety-one.”

“BUT NEW TOWELS!” There was defeat and sadness in the voice this time. Benjamin rubbed the side of his eye socket with his middle finger as the girl before him clicked away.

“Oh, I’m sorry Mr. D’Amico, it isn’t ready yet.”

From across the building, the Thumper let out an enraged scream, followed by two swift, fiercesome kicks to the same metallic object as before. He could hear it stomping, stomping and screaming back towards the pharmacy counter.

“It was supposed to be ready, my doctor told me it would be.”

“I’m sorry sir, normally it would be, but we’re short staffed today–”

“I wouldn’t have come if I’d known I’d be wasting my time.”

“I’m very sorry, sir,” the girl replied, with a slight change in her tone, as well as the look in her eye.

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