Killing Time

God am I glad I just went to the liquor store, Stuart thought as the old lady put the stalled elevator emergency phone back in its cradle.  The three of them sized each other up.  Anyone got anything sweet?  The pretty teen with the Juicy sweats, directed her question to the old lady, but her eyes were on Stuart.  She was obviously only 14 or 15, but well developed for her age.  Stuart smiled.  I’ve got some beer and a bag of Cheetos.  The old lady had been observing them quietly, and was now sliding down to the floor using her back to maintain her balance.  She was too old for this shit, she thought, but didn’t say it out loud.

 The young girl, Amy, was silently trying to (a) figure out how old Stuart was and (b) if she would be able to talk him out of a beer, even with the old lady and her disapproving expression. Edith hit the floor hard, on her bad hip, and let out an involuntary yelp.  As they glanced down at her sprawled out on the floor of the elevator, she said loudly are they twist tops?  As she finished the sentence and paused for dramatic effect, they all burst into laughter.

 Geesh, young lady, you smell like a bloody orange soda, is that body lotion or your shampoo?  Amy glanced down nervously at the very personal question, and suddenly realized she was trapped in here with these two strangers who were, it now seemed, as old as, or older than her parents.    Maybe they know each other and are just here to rob someone?  Maybe they will hurt her, or kill her, because there is no doubt at all that she would be able to ID them in a police lineup, or from mug shots.  She could feel and smell the perspiration run down her back and her cheeks.  She tried hard not to touch her face. I don’t want to mess up my makeup so when the news guys take my picture, I will look beautiful, dead or alive.

Stuart began to fidget noticeably, and shifted his weight from side to side.  His legs were going to sleep, and he realized he hadn’t showered all day.  After working the late shift in the kitchen of Old Bombay, he knew he probably reeked of curry and exotic spices from every pore, and in this closed stuffy space with no air conditioning, even he was beginning to feel a little sick.

 Boy do I want a beer, he said aloud without thinking.  Edith looked up at him and said, Son, you don’t need our damned permission, but it would be a nice gesture to at least share a second one with the two of us.  Amy looked surprised but quickly recovered.  She smiled and looked at him solemnly.  Yes, that would be very kind.   She stumbled over the phrase that much too formal for the situation they found themselves in.

 Anyone got a watch he asked? 

To be continued



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