Chapter 10: Not Nancy (Jimmy)

Published on 21 February 2023 at 10:18

There it was, looming before me once again. The stench of evil still clung heavily on the air around me, the stink of it trying to grab onto me, my clothing, my sweet sweet body. I expertly shook it all off. Nice try, but you’re not going to get me to break, to quit. I don’t even know the meaning of the word quit. Seriously, what the hell does that word even mean? Never heard it before, must be some kind of foreign word, maybe French or something? Nice try, but it won’t work. This is America, and I am a man on a mission. 

 

The shelter was imposing and cruel looking. It was big, decrepit and devoid of human decency, the Rosanne Barr of buildings. A lesser man would have gulped in apprehension and then walked away on wobbly knees. Not me. Not this hero. I set my jaw, made up my mind, and smoothed the fake thick mustache against my upper lip. I reached up and adjusted my fedora, the closest thing that the Spencer’s Gifts at the mall had to a Sherlock Holmes hat. I was ready.

 

*****

 

I walked the empty front corridor, my nimble footsteps echoing hollowly through the halls. I knew my way around now and I wasted no time in approaching the room with the front desk, the first piece of resistance that I would meet on my mission.

 

Since some time had passed since we last visited, there was a shift change and a new enemy now sat at the desk. The nameplate still said Nancy, but the person sitting behind the desk was a man. Large and square faced, eyes of a maniac, he looked out of place behind the desk. His hands looked like hardened hooves, hairy patches all over the knuckles. His nose was small and upturned, looked misshapen like it had been broken too many times. I thought he would have looked more natural in a wrestling ring than at a pet shelter. He wore a tight-fitting salmon colored shirt that was struggling to contain his fat gut. I noted the color of his shirt carefully. A fish colored shirt on someone fishy. I couldn’t help but smirk. The stooges that they hire as henchmen at this shelter could use a couple of lessons in Disguises 101.

 

I stepped forward, making sure to put a lot of authority into my stride. I stuck out my hand, offering a businesslike, manly handshake to my new opponent. “Hey there, I’m Mr. Garrison from corporate.” I squinted, pretending to read the nameplate. “Is there someone I can talk to who’s in charge, Mr….Nancy?” I smiled my biggest reassuring smile.

 

Instead of accepting my handshake, the man rudely ignored it and then quickly pulled everything on the desk closer to himself, just out of my reach. “Couple things," his gruff voice barked out. His voice was scratchy, like he had gargled a mixture of tree bark and rocks for breakfast. "First off, my name’s not Nancy.” The man opened a drawer and swiftly swept everything into it, taking away anything I could use for another round of Oh is this Yours. He must have heard of my earlier exploits. “My name is Sid. Sid Spitler. And I’m in charge here. Something you would know, if you actually worked for corporate.” He fixed me with a hard stare. “So here’s what I think is going on. I don’t think you are a Mr. Garrison, and I don’t think you work for corporate either. I think that you’re an idiotic, annoying kid who got a quarter machine mustache and a hat from Goodwill, then came over here to continue the trouble he caused earlier. Am I right so far?”

 

I sputtered, flustered, and tried putting up a hand to protest. “My good sir, I think you’re confused - ” but before I could finish my rebuttal, he rudely cut me off by stretching out a frying pan sized hand and ripping my fake mustache from my face. I let out a small, involuntary whimper of pain, but tried to suppress it.

 

“So here is where we’re at,” he continued, apparently unaware or uncaring about my intended words. Or my pain. He ripped my mustache in half, and then those halves into quarters as he spoke. “You are going to tell me what you want. And then you are going to leave. And if you don’t want to leave, I will toss you out myself. Because you see, I like animals, that’s why I work here. But I HATE kids, and I’m willing to lose this job for a chance to toss one out the door like a piece of wet trash. And when I do, you won’t come back until you’re old enough to grow a real mustache. Do we have an understanding, punk?” He smiled a big, evil smile, exposing all of his crooked, yellowing teeth.

 

I have to admit, I was almost scared. Almost. If there was one thing that I had learned in life, it’s that the truth is all that matters. And the truth will always protect you. And I knew, I KNEW, that I was right. Whether or not anyone believed me, I know what I saw. I know what I know.

 

I reached into my back pocket and pulled out a folded copy of the missing cat poster. I fixed a manic, intimidating smile of my own onto my face. I cooly pushed the paper across the desk to him. “This cat,” I said, very slowly and deliberately. “The one you’re keeping hidden in the back room. It belongs to an associate of mine. It’s time to give it back.”

 

The man reached out and took the poster. Without giving it a look of any kind, he told me that he had never seen Velcro before. He never took his eyes off of me. “Why don’t you try actually looking at the poster?” I asked him. 

 

“What poster?” 

 

As he spoke,  he opened his nasty mouth once again and, after crumpling the poster up into a ball, he stuffed it in and began chewing. His eyes never left mine as he chewed and chewed and then swallowed with a large, cartoonish gulp. I half expected him to burp, with bits of wet paper flying out, but he didn’t.

 

“Now,” he continued, “unless there’s anything else you need. It’s time for you to go.” He stared daggers into me. “Immediately,” he added, forcefully.

 

I shrugged and cast my eyes downward. “I’m sorry you hate kids so much,” I began. “Which is probably okay, since you’re so ugly that I imagine there’s no kids in your future anyway. We do agree on one thing though.” I saw his eyes light up with rage and surprise, he began to rise up from the chair. “It IS go time.” After giving him the double birds, I ran quick as lightning and powerful as thunder down the hallway towards the locked door. 

 

I rounded the corner, then the second and third. Quickly the steel door was in sight. This time, however, I zoomed past it and waited around the next bend. After a short beat, just as I suspected, Don came stumbling around the corner, swinging his arms like the big stupid gorilla that he was.

 

Before he knew what was happening, I charged him, yelling out “Attica!” and sliding between his legs, snatching the security pass that was hanging on his belt. I reached out before he could turn around and I swiped it at the door, hoping that the card would surpass the need for a digital code. I heard a beep and I pulled on the door with all of my might, right as two big gorilla arms closed in around me.

 

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Comments

Nancy
10 months ago

I was really hoping that gorilla of a man would get a taste of "oh is this yours", but I'm still hoping Jimmy can rescue Velcro the cat. GET 'IM JIMMY!!!