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Some Assembly Required pt. 2

25 Mar

Some Assembly Required pt. 1

FAllen

Artie realized the gravity of the situation. He was trapped. His leg was in agony and he thought it was surely broken. Above all, his chief concern was that his beer buzz would pass without him watching his Netflix shows.

His cell phone vibrated on the kitchen counter. “Help!” he meekly shouted. He tried banging on the floor, trying to get the attention of the tenant below. His efforts were met with a few thumps back from the handle end of a broom.

He felt himself losing consciousness. He decided it was better that he let the feeling take him away. Either he would wake up to a possibly more favorable scenario or the sweet relief of death would alleviate the situation.

An amount of time unbeknownst to Artie had passed before he came to. He people talking. He tried to cry out but he had no voice. His vocal chords were not damaged; just nothing came out despite his better efforts. He also had no response in his limbs. “Oh my god” he thought, “I´m paralyzed.”

The voices were clearly talking about him. There was no urgency to help. They seemed to be gossiping about Artie. Nothing they said was flattering. In fact, it was hurtful. Artie even tried to cry, but no tears fell. He slipped back into unconsciousness.

Artie was startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He was still encased in the darkness of the armoire, yet the arm seemed to just pass through the wood.

“Artie, are you all right?” the voice asked.

Artie came to and saw his neighbor. The armoire was still in the upright position it had been before the fall. The ladder was capsized on the floor. Artie had smashed his head on a pile of lumber.

“Artie, I heard a crash and I ran up as fast as I could. I found you here unconscious! Good thing you keep your door unlocked.”

“How long ago did you hear the crash?” Artie asked.

“A few moments ago. The time it took for me to get up here”

“Wow, great!” Artie was relieved that it was only head trauma that made the episode feel like a long time had passed. He was happy to know the window of buzz was still open for optimum Netflix viewing.

The end

A Speedy Recovery Part 5 (Final)

4 Nov

Part 1    Part 2     Part 3    Part 4

Sweeping

Months went by and although business was gangbusters, Carl had a lot of questions. First, where was Dustin? Second, how did his business go from almost going under to breaking all previous sales records if basically nothing had changed? He sold his entire stock every single day since the promotional party that Dustin threw together.

One Saturday night, as Carl was sweeping up, Dustin appeared, from what seemed like out of thin air, walking from the kitchen into the dining room.

“Hey” he said, startling Carl half to death.

Carl was at a loss for words. On one hand Dustin had, for lack of a better term, pulled a Dustin. On the other hand, things were going great and quite possibly the promotional party that Dustin had produced may have played a role.

Carl sighed “Hey. Where have you been?” he asked.

“You’re never gonna believe this” Dustin answered.

“Try me”

“Well, let me show you” Dustin said, before vanishing.

Carl demonstrated his shock with a loud “Huh?”

Dustin appeared again. “Crazy isn’t it?”

“What’s going on?”

“I’m dead Carl!”

Carl just fixated on Dustin without blinking or saying a word.

“Well, I owed someone, like, a lot of money. So I decided to sell our stash to pay it off because they were going to kill me! But, the deal went bad and I got “got””

“Oh my…” Carl said, putting his hand to his mouth, “That’s why you disappeared”

“Yeah, but check this out. Apparently, on the other side, where you go when you die, you get to call up a favor. Even a scum bag like me! So, I felt bad, for like, fucking you over, so I asked to help out the shop with my favor”

“I’ll be…” Carl just stared at Dustin, even passing his hand through him.

“I know you said ‘no fuck ups’, but I made it right, didn’t I?”

They talked through the night until Dustin had to go. Carl told of the success of the shop and Dustin told what he was allowed to of the other side. Dustin also told Carl that the shop would only continue to have success if Carl personally ran it. As soon as he stopped or tried passing the shop along, the favor would not work anymore. It was part of the “Rules”. Dustin promised to visit Carl as often as he could and that made Carl very happy.

The End.

A Speedy Recovery Part 4

28 Oct

A Speedy Recovery Part 1

A Speedy Recovery Part 2

A Speedy Recovery Part 3

bucket

Weeks past and business boomed. The store was crowded from the time it opened until the last call. No one had seemed to be the wiser about the special ingredient.

Carl was very conscience about trying the sandwich himself. After all, he had watched the movie Scar-face and rule number one was “don’t get high on your own supply”.

Dustin was good about keeping the supply of product flowing but was a little flakey about actually coming in and working as per the agreement. Carl was okay with that as long as he had his special ingredient.

Carl didn’t worry much when three days passed and Dustin hadn’t shown up. On the fourth day, delivery day, he became rather upset when neither Dustin nor product showed up. In fact he panicked.

With the prior stress of being in the financial doldrums, mixed with the new stress of his illicit activities, he was already having small panic attacks. Now that his special ingredient, the chi of his success, dried up, he was experiencing full blown anxiety.

He needed an escape. He wanted to feel better. He wanted to at least feel different from what he felt currently. He decided to eat a sandwich to see if it would make him feel good. Thousands of local customers couldn’t be wrong, could they?

He sat down at a table with a root beer and thought to himself, here goes nothing. And that was exactly what he felt after downing half of the sub. Nothing. He thought he should eat more but he could only put down another half because he was so full.

He felt no different, except that he was stuffed. He was perplexed. The bread was made this morning. He went to the vat that held the remainder of the secret ingredient. He scraped enough to make a pretty decent sized line and laid it out on the stainless steel prep table.

He cut a third of a straw off and snorted the substance. “What the fuck?!” he yelled aloud, eyes watering. He knew nothing about drugs but was an expert in baked goods. It was nothing more than manioc flour.

“I’m gonna kill Dustin!”

 

To be continued…

 

 

 

A Speedy Recovery Part 3

19 Oct

A Speedy Recovery Part 1

A Speedy Recovery Part 2

sandwich

A few weeks later on a Saturday afternoon, the place was packed.

“It worked! You really pulled it off. How did you get D.J. Cyanide, one of the biggest DJs around to agree to do this?” Carl asked Dustin.

“Well, I’m a fan of his and he’s a fan of a certain product. I just called in a favor” Dustin answered.

“I’ve never seen so many people here before. This is bigger than when 94.1 ZROK did a remote from here 15 years ago!”

“And everyone’s eating sandwiches!” Dustin added, rubbing his hands together in a sinister fashion.

The place remained at capacity until closing time. Dustin and Carl had to practically beg a few stragglers to leave so they could clean up and count the day’s money.

“We did well, Dustin. This is by far the most successful promotion the store has ever done” Carl said as he sorted debit receipts from credit receipts.

“This is nothing, bro. This just gave the public a taste. The real “W” will come when the people are trying to smash down the door to get more”

“Your mouth to God’s ears”

“Ha! God…I’m not sure He’s gonna be a big fan of this endeavor”

The next day Carl saw a crowd in front of the store as he pulled up. It was only 7:00am and the store wouldn’t open for another three and a half hours. He was there to make the day’s bread.

The crowd cheered as Carl stepped out of his car.

“Sandwich man!” a man in the crowd shouted.

“We’re hungry!” another voice shouted.

“Folks, we don’t open until 10:30!” Carl said “I still have to make the bread”

“I’ll take some dough raw!” a voice cried. It was followed with a salvo of “Me too!”

Carl had a sinking suspicion that he may have gotten himself in over his head.

 

A Speedy Recovery Part 2

8 Oct

A Speedy Recovery Part 1

Talking

“Let me get this straight, it’s like speed, but you can eat it?” Carl asked out of morbid curiosity.

“Yes! Not only that, it doesn’t lose its potency at high temperatures. That means it can be baked into foods…like bread!” Dustin answered.

“But it’s gotta taste like shit, right?” Carl probed.

“That’s the beauty, no! Doesn’t change taste or texture. You’d never know it’s in there. Also, the buzz is subtle. You gotta snort it to get really high. But when you eat it, it gets metabolized by the liver and smooths out the buzz” Dustin stated with pride for having knowledge of something.

“Is it addictive?”

“Well, I don’t need it and I’ve been using it for months, but some people catch the hooks”

Carl knew “the hooks” meant chemical dependency; he also knew Dustin was not being completely honest when he said he hadn’t caught them himself. They went on to discuss price, availability of product and Dustin’s possible cut if they were to go through with this. One thing that held Carl back, not morality or ethics, was knowing Dustin was a world class fuck up.

“If we’re gonna to do this we’re gonna start very small and Dustin, look at me, no fuck ups. Especially that mouth of yours. You’re gonna have to keep real quiet about this”

“Scouts honor” Dustin replied, raising his right hand with his index and middle fingers extended.

“No one is even coming in to the shop, how are we going to get people hooked in the first place?” Carl asked.

“Leave that to me. I have some ideas”

“That’s kind of scary but I’ll have to trust you. I don’t know much about this world”

“Well, that’s about the only thing I know about”

“Make the calls, let’s do this” Carl said with a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.

 

To be continued….

A Speedy Recovery Part 3

 

A Speedy Recovery Part 1

30 Sep

Sandwich shop

As the fiscal year was winding down, Carl realized that his sandwich shop might not break even for the first time since opening. He had even made a nominal profit his first year in business. A more health conscience public and a rough overall economy were his proverbial rock and a hard place.

He tried a marketing campaign on social media, but the coupons had an error and he ended up losing money every time someone redeemed one. He tried having an in-store even but his brother got so drunk he embarrassed himself and Carl. That event was deemed a disaster. He even tried taking the healthy approach to sandwich making but that, too, fell flat.

One slow afternoon, Carl was googling small business consultants when his ne’er-do-well friend form high school, Dustin, barged in.

“Hey man! How you doing? It’s been a while. Shop’s looking good. Got any water?” Dustin said in what seemed like one breath and with incredible speed.

“Hi, Dustin” Carl replied, “You can grab a water from the fridge”

Dustin paced around the empty tables in a curious manner to get to the beverages. “Thanks man. Hey, it’s lunchtime, why so empty?” he then drained the bottle of water and let out a loud “Ahhhhh”

Carl sighed, “Everyone’s on the low carb kick and if you take the bread away, what is a sandwich?” he asked rhetorically.

“Uhhh, a shitty salad?” Dustin earnestly answered, getting a chuckle from Carl.

“You’re a little extra fidgety today, what the hell you on this time?” Carl asked.

“A little bit of this, a little bit of that” Dustin smirked.

“You haven’t changed a bit” Carl laughed.

Dustin startled Carl when he exclaimed with all the animation he could muster “I can save your store and make some cash too!!!”

“Dustin, if it’s illegal I don’t…”

“Just hear me out!”

 

To be continued…..

A Speedy Recovery Part 2

Defense

23 Sep

Jungle Kingdom

Victoria and Gordon were in love. Victoria’s father did not approve and would not let them marry. Her father reigned over a fairly large kingdom. He was afraid of being ridiculed and possibly weakened due to this interspecies romance. It’s worth mentioning that Victoria is a lioness and Gordon, a bonobo ape.

They came to the conclusion that to be happy, they would have to start life anew, far from the reach of Victoria’s father’s power. They wandered for months before settling on a new home. It was enough like the place they left to be comfortable, yet far enough away to go unperturbed. There, they were sure, they would start their family.

They adapted well to their new home. Gordon quickly ascended to power. It helped that he had a lioness behind him. He found himself the king of their territory with Victoria as queen in little time.

A group of marauding chimpanzees got wind of the new, growing empire and saw Gordon’s infancy as a ruler as a weakness they could exploit. They had spies within the domain and were gathering information. Gordon was a fair and generous leader so one of the turncoats turned once again and alerted the king of the plot.

After discussing the situation with his advisors, Gordon came up with a plan. Their numbers and strength were weak compared to the ferocious, brute strength of the hordes of chimpanzees. It was decided they would use a biological solution; the employment of killer bees.

Gordon had the advantage of knowing exactly when the attack would take place. It was to jump off at day break in three days. Defensive preparations were made and bees were secretly gathered from all around the kingdom and beyond.

The fateful day came. A conch shell was blown to call the commencement of the attack. The chimps were me by thick clouds of bees. The jungle vibrated with their loud buzz. Screams echoed through the trees. The chimps dispersed in confusion. Some fell right away due to anaphylactic shock. A few jumped back into the river only to have their muscles seize and be carried away to their watery end.

Gordon sent his first wave of infantry to counter attack. Armed with spears, they made quick work of the remaining, confused chimps. Most were writhing in agony. The chimps spared by bee or spear saw their imminent failure and ran to save themselves. The battle didn’t last more than thirty minutes from the signal to attack.

Gordon and his subjects were ecstatic. They hadn’t suffered one casualty. Their only strife no was the inconvenience of having to remove the carcasses of their fallen primate foes. After that was taken care of, they put all normal activities on hold to have a mass celebration. The festivities went well into the night.

A little after nightfall, Gordon, slightly intoxicated, went looking for Victoria. He was told she had already retired to their royal quarters. He was more than happy with this revelation. His victory had made him rather randy and he wanted to celebrate intimately with his queen.

As Gordon pushed open the door to his bed chamber Victoria pounced upon him.

“Oh, my love, I think you’ve read my mind!” he said. Feeling sharp claws digging into his sides, he immediately realized she had other intentions.

“No you fool! I’m through with you! The last domino has fallen. I shall reign over our, I mean MY, kingdom by myself from now on” she replied.

In shock and in great pain he managed to ask “WHY?”

“I’m tired of living this freak show life. My father was right, it’s not natural. Besides, you cannot give me what I most want, a son!” she said, digging her claws even deeper and baring teeth.

“Look at what we have built, my love. Look at all we have! We have survived, conquered and endured” he pleaded.

Victoria shouted an order in a strange language. In came two chimpanzees with dressed wounds. “Take him out of here” Victoria ordered in the language of the chimps.

The chimps muffled Gordon’s pleas for help as they drug him away.