A short story by ikwords
Should I or should I not?
It seems a little too sophisticated.
Then again, maybe that’s the impression I should start trying to make.
But is it too retro?
And look at the price!
I shake my head and hang the shirt back up. “Oh!” I exclaim as another one down the aisle catches my eye and lures me toward it. I pull it out and hold it, examining the intricate baby blue folds. It’s perfect. And at a remotely reasonable price, too! A true rarity these days.
I turn on my heel to leave the section and find myself face to face with a woman who looks about eighty years old. She has extremely long, blindingly-white hair woven into a tight braid that hangs over her shoulder and eyes the color of storm clouds. I shriek and jump a foot in the air. “Where did you come from? What do you want with me?”
Although the lady has her best stern, fearless face on, I see concern in her eyes. “I need you to listen to me very carefully, Addy,” she says. I start to ask how on Earth she knows my name, but she keeps talking. “You are exposed to powerful forces you cannot control. Please believe me, I know it sounds preposterous, but I’m begging you, just hear me out. You mustn’t leave this store. Please, I know I haven’t much more time here; I’m trying to save you. Please, Addy.”
I stand there for a moment, mouth hanging open. I look at the ground, blink slowly and raise my eyebrows. “Uhh… what?” I turn my head up, and she is gone. Inhaling sharply, I say, “Where did you go? Um… ma’am? Hello?”
I look at my new shirt. That was very strange. I feel bad for the woman. Probably just some confused lady who overheard my name. But… powerful forces? She must have been really wacky. I sigh. Anyway. She probably can’t help it. Like I said, I feel bad that she’s somehow convinced herself that nonsense.
I go and pay for the shirt. I give the cashier more bills than I care to admit, but it is worth every penny. As soon as it’s officially mine, I slip it over my old shirt and walk briskly toward the store exit.
Once I approach the door, I open my hand, about to push it open, but then I stop and remember what the lady said. You mustn’t leave this store.
I shake my head. Stop listening to her, I tell myself. Or you’ll become just as crazy.
I swing the door open, step outside, and disappear promptly.