For those of you who have heard that you shouldn’t make a writer angry because you might end up in a story: It’s true.
WHAT COMES AROUND
By Melissa L. Webb
Bob was a truly rude man. He absolutely had no compassion for people. He always looked down on others as if they were merely flies needing to be swatted down. It didn’t matter who they were or what they wanted, he just didn’t care.
This was surprising, considering he worked in customer service. He had done so all his life. True, he never kept any job for too long, but he would always find another one and continue his reign of tyranny upon the population.
Bob had recently taken a job in a department store. Fate had once again placed him at the courtesy desk, where he sat day after day, unsatisfying people.
One particular afternoon, he was feeling especially cold and bitter. Bob glanced at the clock, willing the hands to move faster. All he wanted to do was crawl back into the solitude of his house. If he had to look at one more person, Bob thought he might actually claw his eyes out.
He was just wrapping things up, when a girl walked up to the counter. He rolled his eyes with a sigh and stopped mid task.
“Yes?” he asked curtly.
“Hi,” the girl said as she sat a shopping bag on the counter. “I bought this last week and it doesn’t fit.” She took a shirt out of the bag and sat it in front of Bob.
He looked at the shirt in distaste. “It doesn’t fit, eh?”
The girl shook her head as she smile slightly. “No, it’s just a little too big. I’d like to return it.”
Bob frowned as he picked up the shirt and turned it over in his hands, his eyes searching the fabric. After a few seconds, he stopped and smiled slightly himself. “The tags are not here.”
The girl nodded and reached into the bag. “They’re right here. I took them off to wear it, but I still have them.”
Bob looked at her, his smile growing wider. “I’m sorry. The tags have been removed. You can’t return the shirt.”
The girl looked at him in shock. “That has never been the policy before. I shop here all the time.”
Bob shrugged. “Well, it’s the policy now.”
The girl shook her head. “I want to talk to a manager.”
Bob just looked at her. “I’m sorry. The manager isn’t available right now. You’ll have to come back later to speak with one.”
The girl frowned. “No, I’m here now. I demand to speak with a manager this minute.”
Bob shrugged again. “I’m sorry, but we’re not bothering him right now. “You can just come back later.”
“No,” the girl said and crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not leaving until I speak to your manager.”
Bob smiled at her. “Then I’ll just call the police and have them take you away.”
The girl looked at him in disbelief before grabbing the shirt and bag off the counter. With a final glare, she turned around and started to walk away.
“Have a good evening,” Bob called coldly to her as she walked.
The girl turned on her heel and looked at him. “You know what?” she spoke softly to him, her voice completely devoid of emotion. “”What comes around, goes around. You’d do best to remember that.” She turned around and walked away, exiting the store.
Bob just smiled and shook his head. Another whiney person. At least he had gotten her to leave. Now that his shift was over, he was free to head home.
Bob left the store and headed down the street. His house was only a few blocks away. Soon he’d be locked in the confines of his house and he wouldn’t have to look at another person for the next couple of days. He grinned at that thought.
He turned the corner, when he heard a noise from behind him. Bob glanced around in the darkness, but didn’t see anything. With a shrug, he continued on his way.
Bob got another block, when he heard the noise again. He turned and listened, trying to place the sound. It was a skittering sound, like a hundred discarded plastic bottles blowing across the street. The sound seemed to surround him.
Panic rose up in Bob’s throat. He knew he had to get away from that sound. What it was would be the end of him if he didn’t act now.
He turned and ran. Bob’s feet covered the sidewalk in as big of strides as he legs would let him. He just had to make it to his house. The solitude there would keep him safe.
Bob turned another corner and came to a sudden halt. Up ahead of him, in the darkness, was a set of glowing red eyes. The eyes seemed to be coming from Bob’s own yard.
His mouth hung opened in shock. His solitude had been violated. How could this have happened?
Bob looked around him. Suddenly the night was alive with a thousand red eyes. They were all around him. He took a step back as the terror began to flood his body.
A deep rumble began as the first red eyes moved forward. A dark shadow seemed to follow them.
Bob clamped his lips over a scream as his body stood there, frozen.
“It’s about to go around, buddy,” the shadow behind the eyes rumbled as it descended upon Bob, while the surrounding eyes watched with glee.
©2010 Melissa L. Webb