The old decrepit house on Willows street was said to be possessed every Christmas eve. An eerie fog would gather around its gated premises and the normally dormant glass globes by the broken windows would glow a menacing red. Its previous inhabitants, a young family who settled in several decades ago, had been driven mad; the couple wound up in separate asylums and their children orphaned. Curiously, all the members had developed an aversion to pies of all things. The father’s insane ramblings oscillated between the gift of a divine custard and the devil’s hellfire that incinerated it. The mother reenacted the preparation of the same meal that would always end with an iron mold placed in the oven. The two children had night terrors about utensils and cutlery. The police couldn’t make heads or tails of the case until they hired an exorcist to treat the afflicted. When the priest finished his work, he asked the detectives, “have you found the friend?”
“Sell me this toothbrush and the job is yours” egged John with a smug expression. The position was for a high-paying sales role at a big firm.
Unphased, Tom the prospect quipped “When was the last time you brushed your teeth?”
“This morning after breakfast.”
“How long did that take before heading here?”
“About 5 minutes”
“What about after lunch?”
“The same, dentist’s recommendation”
“And at night?”
“Yes and floss”
“Have you ever missed a day?”
“Nope, not since several cavities developed years ago.”
Tom picked up the toothbrush, studied it carefully for a minute, and quickly snapped it in two by the neck. Holding the brush-head in one hand and pulling out a packet in the other he replied,
“I have pocket toothbrush, lightweight and portable for on-the-go use by the busiest of executives. Retail sales price is a dollar a head but for you, I’ll throw in a pack of mints.”
Tom won the job.
“It is but a flea in a haystack of manure” Tommy exclaimed. “Am I to rend all the speckles from your silverware too?”
“Yes” remarked Matilde with a slight haught and raised chin. “And despeckle the grainy bits from the photo collection afterwards. I expect the highest diligence from you without grievances. Do I make myself clear?”
“Grievances?!” yelped Tommy and turning red from the insult. “I’ll have you know you’ll be getting more grievances than diligence by the time I’m done!”
30 years later and ongoing
“Eeek! There’s a bug in my soup Tom. Get it out! Get out!”
“This one’s for the permanent collections :)”
Mobius woke up to the blaring horn of a runaway cab and the shriek of the dying. Dying so he thought as a women’s pleads for help would only reverberate through empty gallows in this 2 am ghetto. The night did not stir as innocence dare not intervene lest they wish to follow suite along the string of misfortune.
The woman had starting sobbing before a hard knock on reinforced doors interrupted the dirge. A metallic voice rasped through the cracks. “Mobius, I know you’re in there. Where my money? You owe me twice for that last hit”. Mobius knew very well that his proceeds had long dried up. A clandestine retreat down the fire escape was in order. Lifting up the broken windowsill and climbing onto the thin railings, he descended with cat-like precision as the distant wails would provide his cover. A lucky break he thought before landing on the ground when a heavy thud struck his lungs, expunging the air for either breath or thought. Stars and darkness overtook him as he lay face up starring into the night’s sky. Last he heard was the woman’s voice from above. “Is that our Ace?” to which the metallic rasp chuckled “Nearly turned him inside out”.