The electric shock that I felt shot up my arm and my heart rate must have triple in the matter of a few seconds. My index finger kept moving in-and-out of my mouth in disbelief, as if it had a mind of its own. When I finally caught a glimpse of myself in the storefront, I threw up again. In the falling snow outside, I saw the reflection of my face and there was no mistake. This was no dream.
A smell drifted past my nostrils as I tried to scream again and I turned slowly.
Pop was looking at me down aisle two. It stood on its two hind legs and twittered its whiskers at me.
“Wha-ha-uck!” I tried to scream. The hair on my arms stood up.
I fumbled for the keys in pocket.
Pop pulled at something below the cat food aisle with his front paw. The unmistakable sound of keys jingled over the humming of the fish tanks.
I wiped blood and vomit from my chin (there was nothing there to hold the drool in), and tried not to pass out. No way was this happening!
I suddenly grew incensed, and made a threatening gesture forwards. Pop turned, pulling the keys with him and darted down the aisle with a soft, runny fart. I gave chase, not believing that a guinea pig so large could move so fast. Pop shot swiftly down aisle two, which I knew by heart--a male and female gecko, (2) border collies, (4) cockatoos and (1) ball python, all making a ruckus. I dove face first after Pop, right into a large fifty gallon fish tank and shattered it with my outstretched hand. Shards of glass slid into my palm with ease and the salt water stung almost instantly. Several rare and exotic fish flooded through the void and poured onto the vinyl floor, flopping and gasping for air.
Despite the deep gash to my hand, I searched for Pop. But the black greasy tufts of its hair had vanished under one of the counters with only the soft jingle of the keys being dragged along the floor.
I was locked inside my own store with an obese guinea pig named Pop Evil. I felt embarrassed. Should I call for help? And how would I explain? I felt at the mutilated remains of my lips and tongue and pulled my fingers back. They were caked with blood and mucus.
I pushed away from the shattered fish tank, skating and sliding across the glass and water. I slammed up against the counter in my solitary confinement office and ripped the receiver from the base, praying that the storm hadn’t knocked out the phone lines. There was a dial tone. I quickly dialed 9-1-1.
“Hello, 9-1-1,” a woman answered from beyond. She didn’t sound happy.
“…eed, ell,” I slobbered all over myself. So that’s what a lower lip was for? I mused, realizing that I couldn’t properly pronounce several letters of the alphabet, including P or F. What a bitch.
There was a moment of silence from the other end. “Son, are your parents around?”
“’hat?” I asked.
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