(page 4 of 5)
I don’t want to stare into the light. That was how Carol Anne’s life took a turn for the weird in that movie Poltergeist.
I turned and sure enough, a fine mist hit my eyes, stinging and burning.
Great. I supposed I was getting maced.
“Sweetie peadie, he’s not a plant. Put away your spray bottle. Oh honey, that was mommy’s rubbing alcohol.”
I so wanted to beam out.
“I’m so, so sorry. I carry a spray bottle of alcohol to clean my glasses. Well that and I’m a CNA, studying for my RN. My daughter likes to treasure hunt in my purse. I’m really sorry.”
Tears rolled down my cheeks and splashed onto my neck. I tell my face to smile but have no idea if the message got through. But I was blinking like a strobe.
“Your pulse is good. Seem to be breathing fine. What’s your name?”
“Kirk, uhh Dave, actually.”
“Dave, I’m Rene.” She shines a penlight into my eyes. “Your eyes seem to be dilating okay. As soon as I can find a store manager, or my cell phone, I’m calling 911. I just can’t leave the kids.” She scans a 180. “Katy!”
I prop myself up on an elbow. Twilight Zone, —that would explain everything. “Oh hey Rene, I’m okay. Really. I’m good. In fact, I think I’m done here.”
My wristwatch pinged and I conjured up a grin. “There you go. I believe my turkey timer just popped.”
As the duly christened butterball, I wanted nothing more than to be done.
“Dave, you must be still. We need to get you checked out. I feel responsible. Try not to move. You could have a back injury. Or a concussion.”
Rene waves at someone.
“The produce manager’s coming over. By the way, what is your last name?”
“Hey, at least we can rule out amnesia.” She smiles. “Mine’s Mellon. Rene Eester Mellon. Maiden name is Eester. Hang on, I’ll explain the situation to the manager.”
As soon as Rene turned away, sweetie peadie, the alien OCD sprayer, shuffled close to perform an inspection. A Cabbage Patch wonder, approximately thirty-three inches tall, she sported a beaming face adorned with myriad freckles. She was decked out in reds and greens right down to the LED flashing shoes, not unlike a Martian Christmas.
She scrunched her nose and leveled a finger. “Midder. You god budder on your poddie.”
Out of the mouth of babes. How could I begin to respond to that?
She immediately plugged a thumb into her pucker and sucked with the fury of a black hole. The other arm pulled down ringlets of red hair, obscuring half her face.
It registers with me that for all the commotion I’ve caused, no onlookers have ventured over. That’s a good thing. I desire to keep it that way so I drop my elbow prop and try to become one with the collapsed cardboard display.
I lay there, perfectly still, hoping no one will see me. No one - being Stacey. After all, the status quo had changed. I think those who use athletic metaphors would say it is time to punt. I need to communicate with the Geekateers outside. Time to abort the mission. Lie low.
The freckled monster, unfortunately, harbored no cares regarding anonymity. As if reading my thoughts, the freckled waif grabbed Enterprise and shook vigorously while yelling, “Budder man fa down!”
I watched the leaning tower of frozen pizzas—my cover story shifting and sliding overboard, filling Rene’s cargo ship.
“I’ve talked to the manager. Paramedics are on their way.”
Wonderful. Rene has returned. Read my mind. Get a grip on your offspring.
“Midder. How come you go niddey nide on duh foor?”
I opt for silence, no since in egging her on.
“Midder man! Ids daydime. Ged up!”
“Emma, sweetie. Don’t bother Mr. David. He has an owwie.”
My head lolls to the side. It is then that I spy a pair of legs wrapped in sweats. Loitering near the egg case, the leg’s owner lifts onto her tiptoes. Her ankles are exposed. It might seem silly to some but I’ve memorized the contours of that gal’s feet from a couple of singles Bunko parties because they’re usually adorned with ankle bracelets.