Shopping

Posted: October 17, 2010 in Fiction

Still don’t have a title for this one.  I’m laid low by illness right now, but I’ll be back to my usual self in short order.

I’m soaked in seconds.  No surprise.  The wet attacks me the same way it would if I were trying to ease into a pool.  My feet make a squishing noise as I walk.  I was gonna leave my car where it was for a while, but this is a powerful argument for risking going back to it.  I make it into the store, and the soul-sucked old woman in a blue smock gives a no-hearted hello.  I nod an acknowledgement and head toward the pharmacy.

I don’t really remember how they were laid out before so called “designer prosthetics” became all the rage, but these days the personal healthcare section sort of creeps into the automotive supply.  I go through assorted joint braces and start seeing an assortment of modular joint replacements.  Eventually I find a wire harness that will work with my own setup.  My own setup isn’t exactly legal for civilians, but that’s not the story here.  I grab the wiring rig and keep going.  Gotta get a new toolkit too.  I grab one that looks like it’ll do the job without being too bulky and slosh off to the checkout.

I dump the stuff on the counter, and try to fish my wallet from my right pocket with my left hand.  The checker gives me a dull stare.  Like there’s any other kind in this place.  I finally wrestle the worn black leather scraps I call a wallet out of my pants.  I flop it open on the counter and slide out my card.  The cashier scans my new toys and then takes my card.  He swipes it and bags up my stuff while I go through the process of re-sleeving my card one handed.  I snatch my bag and head to the entry.  Still pouring.

I slump down next to the claw machine.  The greeter ignores me.  I think she is, anyway.  I know that this place is crawling with cameras, but I really miss having my right hand.  Fixing that will go a long damn way to repairing my calm.  I rip the packaging off of the wiring harness and then open my repair kit in my lap.  I wiggle out of my jacket and try to remember how far up my arm I have to go to get to the top plug.  It’s pretty far.  This might draw more attention than I really want.  I’ll deal with it with both hands though.

I squirm out of my coat, and it flops to the floor with a wet slap.  I roll up the sleeve of my worthless right arm.  I dig a small knife out of the toolkit, and make my guess about where the plug will be.  I hesitate.  Shouldn’t gotten some sort of painkiller.  I try to remember were the brachial artery is.  Don’t want to slip and kill myself.  Wish I had thought of that earlier.  My hand starts to shake.  I need someone else to do this.  I put the knife back into the toolkit, and coil the cabling into it.  A bit of comedy ensues when I try to get an arm I can’t move into a jacket that’s holding a gallon of water.

 

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