Though I had been to Busy Bee Alterations and Shoe Repair before (torn belt buckle – minor surgery for a professional), I had to walk up and down Central Ave a handful of times before I could find it again. The store somehow fits seamlessly into a street full of tasteful restaurants where well-to-do people can eat without leaving their well-to-do suburb of Clayton, Missouri. The street is quiet on weekday afternoons, though at any given time you can stand on a corner and see at least one middle-aged woman walking around carrying a yoga mat, or perhaps even a street gang of suits deciding where to eat if you happen to be there during lunch hour. But swing open the door of Busy Bee and you’ll quickly forget the scene you’re leaving behind.
Drink your water, Elrod, no sudden movements. I can’t hear his voice anymore. Only the yelling. The yelling only starts when he lets those girls come over. Their voices are always the loudest.
WAIT, GUYS, HOW MANY DO WE HAVE? ELEVEN? IS THE CAB OUTSIDE? GUYS, WAIT FOR MIRANDA, MIRANDA’S THROWING UP.
Damnit, Elrod, keep it together. Where has running around in circles ever gotten you? Clearly not out of this cage. Great. Spilled woodchips all over the floor again. Perfect. At least the ones from last time are still there. Should be alright.
A semi-fictional fiction story.
I met the girl of my dreams yesterday during a bomb threat. The date was October 9th, 2001. I remember because it said it was Leif Erikson Day under the date in my agenda. And because it was yesterday. I had been writing down my homework assignment for Honors Math when Mr. Gibbons came over the loudspeaker to calmly announce that me and the rest of the sixth-graders could all be dead in a matter of minutes. Those weren’t his exact words; in fact, I don’t think he used any of those words. It’s just that this was my first bomb threat and I was only half-listening while trying to stop my legs from shaking. My mom said we all have to be ready because the Taliban could come back any minute. Maybe no one else’s moms had told them that, because I was the only one who seemed to realize how serious this announcement was.