"WHERE IS SHE YOU SCABBISH KNAVE?" I cried, nearly throttling the man caught within my machine-like grasp. He was short and frightened looking, a perturbed brow fitting neatly between dark, shell-like hair and gold-rimmed spectacles. The spectacles decorated a round, boyish face with freckles and a short rubbery nose compacted even further by my menacing pointer digit. The rest of his body disappeared beneath a red apron, embroidered with white lettering mostly blotted out by the harsh imposition of my left elbow.
"I. . . I don't know," he stuttered, causing me to widen my gaze and flare my nostrils, like a bull sizing up its next charge.
"You do know! You know everything! It says so right here!"
I menaced him with a button I had previously ripped from his lapel. It was bright and yellow and said "Ask me! I can help!"
I tightened my grip on his collar and lifted his gaze to meet mine. His eyes rolled up and he passed out. Inconsiderate.
I gently stowed the unconscious clerk beneath a shelf of rainbow colored cereals of dubious nutritional merit, and brushing aside some drool on my shirt, resumed a towering stance above him.
"This is not going to work if I strangle the informants," I murmured to myself thoughtfully, "I need to tie them up and torture them. But that means. . . the adhesive aisle."
Laying hold of the shelving I propelled myself up, up, up until I stood on top with a view that encompassed the entire store. I scoured the shelves for duct tape, cattle prods, anything to aid me in my cause. Then I saw something that rattled my knees and froze my skin. A woman was putting all the fudge bars in her cart. "HEY!" I shouted. I shoved off from my perch atop the cereals. "HEY, MY WIFE WAS GOING TO GET THOSE!"
Landing deftly I sank into the linoleum and sprang into a charge down the aisles toward the imperiled fudge bars. I imagined a terrible alien maw gnashing them to bits, capturing the remnants with a dripping red tongue and forcing them back into an unwholesome esophagus. Meanwhile, the rack where I might have purchased them for myself lay desolate. Not on my watch.
While en route I snatched several mops to employ as weaponry. I helmed myself with a bucket, but lacking eyeholes it was less than I envisioned, and in consequence I barreled through a number of display racks and browsing patrons and their children. Their calls of distress reminded me that war is a grim undertaking. Yet my banner did not waver, for my cause was just.
As I careered into the avenue which housed the fudge bars I was shook to see their shelf was as empty as I feared. But before despair overcame me I caught glimpse of a cart brimming with the errant boxes. I extended my gaze to a woman, the thief, the warmonger, and wait, no, she was merely my wife. She must have fended off the interloper and recaptured the prize. This reminded me that I had been looking for her.
My wife forced me to remove my adopted raiments of war and accompany her to the checkout aisle. I demurred. As we were leaving a group of police constables burst into the store, shouting something about a madman on the loose. I almost corrected them that it was madwoman poaching fudge bars, but my wife gave me a look which said the matter was well-in-hand.