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Bad Apples

by NonAnalogue

NonAnalogue I'm sure it's just a coincidence that those fruit have your name on them...
Ellison surveyed the office with an increasing degree of franticness. Behind the filing cabinet? No, he'd have to pull it away from the wall. Under the desk? His tall frame would make it a challenge to even fit down there. The office was sparse, and while normally Ellison would have praised its owner for the relatively minimalistic qualities, now he was mentally cursing the owner out for not unwittingly providing him with a place to hide. He scanned the room again, and noted with dismay that his ideas were becoming distressingly more unrealistic – there was no way he could cling to the ceiling fan, for example, and the air vent was too high off of the ground to reach, even by standing on the desk. In lieu of a hiding place, he figured, he might have to resort to defending himself. Why didn't he bring anything useful with him? A golf club, a baseball bat, anything; he was in a grocery store, even! If nothing else, he could have grabbed a banana or a baguette or something. The sheer shock value might have bought him precious moments to escape. The sheet of paper he was clutching in his hand certainly wouldn't suffice. But no, he had obviously not planned quite enough, and now he was paying the price.


That morning, Ellison had walked to work, just like any other day. His route to CC's, the only mom-and-pop copy shop in downtown Antonstone, took him past his favorite places in the city, not the least among them being Deiter's. Deiter's, based on appearances alone, seemed to be an average, slightly run-down grocery store, but anyone who had lived in Antonstone for any amount of time knew that Deiter's was the only place that true connoisseurs went for their fresh fruit fix. The door to Deiter's was open as Ellison walked past it, giving a brief glimpse of the claustrophobic interior; the produce section took up a full two-thirds of the store, with more normal grocery store fare taking up the remainder. A peculiar aroma, one that was practically Deiter's signature, wafted from the doorway: Ellison could make out the distinctive smells of bananas, strawberries, onions, lettuce, and several others, but there were always a few odors that threw him for a loop. Ellison made a mental note to stop in, not that he needed to remind himself. He had, after all, been going to the store religiously, rain or shine, for the past seven years, ever since he had first stumbled in, looking for a particular type of orange.

The visit to Deiter's would have to wait, though, Ellison reminded himself as he steeled himself for the typical grueling eight-hour shift he put in at CC's. The ill-fitting shirt that was the store's uniform served as a constant reminder. The owner of the store had, upon hiring Ellison, apologized for the size of the shirt, and had glibly remarked that Ellison himself must have had a hard time buying shirts, due to his height and build. Well, those hadn't been the exact words; Ellison recalled the phrase "looking like a praying mantis" being thrown around a bit, but it all amounted to the same thing – he was stuck wearing a shirt that was itchy, too tight, and inexplicably colored red and white, in stripes. A few months after being hired, Ellison had had the misfortune of meeting a tourist on the street – he could immediately tell the guy was a tourist from the way he looked from building to building with ever-increasing awe, man, he hated tourists. The man had walked up to him, taken one look at the shirt, visible through the unzipped hoodie he liked to wear, and asked with a grin on his face, "So where's Waldo?" Without waiting for an answer, the man had walked off, braying. Honestly. Tourists.

The coloring was bad, the size was bad, but none of those were Ellison's real sticking points with the shirt. No, the real problem was the fact that his name was emblazoned on the front, on the upper left of his chest. That was why he wore a hoodie most of the time – unzipped, it still showed the shirt (inexplicably required by his boss), but it concealed his name. Ellison had been forced to give his real name when he was hired, but he made it a point to never give out his real name anywhere else. No other store in the city knew him by his real name, and no two stores knew him as the same person. At the electronics store, he went by Victor de la Cruz. He passed as Edward Fellows at the bookstore. The local barbershop knew him as Christopher McLean – or at least they did until he caught the skinny young hairdresser trying to clip his ear off, after which he decided to try his hand at cutting his hair himself. The results weren't pretty, but Ellison rather liked having both his ears, so he put up with it. Not that he had much of a choice; just like with the shirt, he was stuck with it.

Ellison arrived at CC's promptly at 8 AM, the beginning of his shift, and quickly took his place at the counter. Mere minutes after he had arrived, a woman walked in, holding a stack of papers. "Good morning," he said, using a tone of voice that he had practiced specifically to convey exactly how bored he was with his job, "welcome to CC's. How can I help you?"

The woman stared up at him, the height difference between the two easily exceeding a head. Ellison, behind his wide circular sunglasses, betrayed no emotion. "I need 40 copies of this," she said, handing over the stack of papers. "Single-sided and black and white, please."

Ellison wordlessly took the papers and fed them into the copier behind him. A low humming confirmed that the copier was indeed working that day, and soon it began to spit out sheet upon sheet. Ellison closed his eyes, knowing what was coming next, and began counting down. 3, 2, 1, and…!

"Actually, sorry, I needed that double-sided." There it was. Nobody could ever tell him what they actually wanted to begin with. That would make things too easy.


The eight hours that followed were scarcely better, and Ellison found himself grinding his teeth and clenching his fists as he left the store. The thought of finding a new job passed through his head, but he quickly dismissed it as always – finding a new job would mean that he'd have to give his name to someone else, so that option was right out. Leaving the store in a foul mood happened more often than Ellison liked, but he had a surefire way to quell his anger and irritation: whenever he was that frustrated, Ellison had found that food was a good way to calm down. It was no small wonder that Ellison had somehow managed to maintain his stick-like physique.

Leaving the empty streets behind him, Ellison went into Deiter's, bracing himself against the overpowering aroma that assaulted him upon doing so. The small bell over the door rang gently as he entered, and while Ellison was completely aware of the bell's inanimate status, he would swear up and down that it was ringing in a specifically smug manner. A "ha ha, Ellison," ring. A "Look who's back here, drowning his anger in food" ring. He narrowed his eyes, turned his attention away from the bell, and moved out of the doorway. An elderly man (who, every time Ellison entered the store, was both hunched over and sweeping the floor near the entrance) was sweeping the floor near the entrance, hunched over. He nodded amicably in Ellison's direction and said, in that frail voice that Ellison noted seemed to be possessed by all elderly men, "Good afternoon, Mr. Pierce." Ellison acknowledged the greeting – Michael Pierce being the pseudonym for this particular store – with a slight inclination of his head and kept walking.

Ellison knew every inch, every nook and cranny of the store intimately – certainly, more intimately than he ever cared to know any person. He knew, for example, that the best milk in the dairy section was always the half-gallon of skim that sat on the third shelf from the top, the first row on the left, and two bottles back. It somehow tasted more satisfying, and Ellison was acutely aware of this fact, no matter what the hapless shelf-stocker said to dissuade him. The story was always the same. "No, sir, I promise the milk there is no different from any of the other milk in that fridge." Or even on one occasion, "No, sir, I won't put a bottle of milk there just so you can take it." Ellison also knew that the best prosciutto was served at 4 PM, when the deli worker with the fake nails was working the counter. He also knew that she almost always saved the best prosciutto for her boyfriend, one of those beefy, motorcycle-riding skinhead types who always seemed about ready to burst out of his leather jacket. When confronted about this, the woman, clacking her nails against the desk, feigned ignorance, going so far as to deny even having a boyfriend, but Ellison saw right through it. He had even approached the management about it, but the manager, Harrison Deiter, after whom the store was named, had laughed it off, clapped Ellison on the back, given him a coupon for 50 percent off paper towels, and sent him on his way. Ellison had bristled at this obvious mistreatment of a customer, but then again, it certainly wasn't enough to drive off his patronage.

Ellison glanced around the store, wondering where to head first, as if the answer ever changed: he always went for the refrigerated aisle first, followed by the snacks aisle, and ending in the produce section. The first two sections yielded their normal prizes: from the refrigerated section, a single-serving bottle of orange juice so thick Ellison almost had to eat it with a spoon, and from the snack aisle, a bag filled with an assortment of festively-colored gummy fish. Ellison, as always, saved the produce section for last; he loved to linger there whenever he could.

The produce section of Deiter's was certainly, for lack of a better word, an experience. It sprawled out in front of Ellison like a hedge maze that was, admittedly, composed mostly of fruit. Harrison Deiter prided himself on his produce section – he knew a guy who knew a guy who knew someone who could import fruits and vegetables from all over the world at a price that could reasonably be called 'somewhat less than exorbitant.' All of these rare finds were currently crammed together in a series of displays so close together that customers could barely edge between them on a good day. Water pooled on the ground, dripping in a steady stream from the freshly-washed merchandise, which only served to compound the threat of slipping and accidentally knocking the displays over. Even without that threat, the produce section was certainly packed tightly enough to send claustrophobics running from the building in tears.

Deiter's produce section was by far the most popular in the city.

Ellison quietly made his way into the tightly-packed space. He sidestepped a young redheaded couple thoughtfully examining the display of kiwis, snaked past the crowd surrounding the banana stand (arcing his arm in and snagging a bunch of bright yellow, bruiseless baby bananas in the process), and squeezed through a group of children looking at the pumpkin stand and excitedly discussing in hushed tones what their jack-o-lanterns would look like. Eventually he found himself at the apple stand.

Deiter's produce section was unique, not just for the incredible selection and the innumerable safety hazards it provided, but also for its owner's eclectic tastes, and nowhere did this show quite as much as in his choice of apples. Deiter adamantly refused to stock the bog-standard apples: he claimed that the well-known types, the Granny Smiths, the Red Deliciouses, the McIntoshes, were 'boring,' 'unimaginative,' and that they only served to 'deaden the palette.' The upshot of this was that Deiter had apples for sale that were unlikely to be found anywhere else in the state.

Ellison had apparently picked a good time to check out the apples: for a brief moment, the stand was customer-free, giving Ellison a chance to peruse the apples carefully. Ellison didn't know much about apples; he knew that they tasted good and that the ones Deiter tended to stock tasted better. The two types of apples on display that day were certainly interesting varieties – one was yellow, with red blotches on it, and the other was a pale green that gradually faded to a deep red. Ellison picked up one of the yellow ones, noting with some satisfaction that it was clean enough that he could see his reflection in it. After a moment of careful deliberation, he looked up at the blackboard above the stand. There, in big block letters of red and blue chalk, Deiter had written the daily specials: "Keep an eye on these! ELLISON'S ORANGE and CARLOS QUEEN apples! Today only!"

The apple Ellison had been holding dropped to the floor, rolling through a puddle of water before eventually coming to a rest at the foot of a display of Russian Blue potatoes. The basket in his other hand, containing his orange juice and gummy fish, fell too, landing on its side and throwing its cargo to the ground. Ellison, however, kept his eyes affixed to the sign, mumbling two words repeatedly under his breath: "Ellison… Queen."


The harsh October wind stung Ellison's face and brought shades of red to his cheeks, prompting him to zip his hoodie up right to his nose as he left the store, stunned. Sure, it made him look weird, and sure, his sunglasses being the only visible part of his face made him look even more like a large praying mantis, but Ellison had found some time ago that he didn't really care what people on the street said about him. Nobody was making comments about him today, though. It was too cold for most people to be out and about; the only other people walking down the streets were as bundled up as he was. Everyone else was driving or taking the subway, it looked like, but Ellison never really cared for either. Driving required a license, which he didn't have – it'd require more people knowing his name. The subway, on the other hand, posed too much of a threat – Ellison found the idea of being in such close contact with so many people for so long a very unattractive prospect. Ellison consulted a thermometer in a store window as he passed by and noted that the mercury was barely pushing an unseasonable 20 degrees. Not that he cared if nobody else was out. Fewer people meant fewer distractions, and fewer distractions meant that he could think that much easier.

Okay, so his name had been on the blackboard. What did that mean, exactly? It meant that someone at that store had figured out his real name, despite all the precautions he had taken to hide it. He had never even used so much as a credit card there – he always paid in cash specifically so nobody could figure it out. Maybe they saw the name on his shirt? No, he always made sure to keep his hoodie covering that part of his chest. They had to have figured out his name somehow, then… there were only three places he ever used his real name, though: CC's (where his name was perpetually covered up anyway), his sister's apartment, and his own apartment. The answer was obvious: someone at the store was watching him. His name in the apples must have been them taunting him, dropping hints that he wasn't as secure as he thought. And since the blackboard's message had been written in Deiter's handwriting…

That's it, Ellison thought. I must be on to something here. That settles it. I've gotta find out what he knows. He adjusted his glasses unconsciously. But it'd be too obvious if I tried when the store's still open… I'll need to do it later at night.


"How was your day, Ells?"

"Huh?" Ellison looked up from his seat on the couch. He had wandered to his sister's apartment after leaving the store. Virginia insisted on cooking dinner for him every day. She claimed it was because she enjoyed the company and that his presence livened up the otherwise-empty apartment, but Ellison had the sneaking suspicion that she did so because she didn't want him trying to cook dinner on his own. Never mind that he managed to cook breakfast and lunch okay, except for that one occasion where he had accidentally lit, in order, the omelet he was cooking, his oven mitts, and his shirt on fire. And really, that could happen to anyone. Ellison had continued planning as he entered the apartment without knocking, kicked his shoes off in the hall closet, and plunked himself down on the elderly couch near the kitchen, scarcely noticing the bare light bulb flickering overhead. He wasn't expecting his sister to interrupt his planning, but he probably should have, given her propensity towards trying to get him to interact "like normal people." Virginia wasn't fazed at all by Ellison's sudden entrance and subsequent lack of greeting; it was every bit as much a routine as Ellison stopping at Deiter's every day.

Virginia turned, looking away from the pot of fragrant chicken gumbo she was stirring and focusing her piercing blue eyes, a trait that she and Ellison shared, on the back of Ellison's head. "Your day. Was it all right?"

"Oh." Ellison crossed his arms and slouched a little more. "Same old, same old, you know? Made copies for eight hours for people who suck."

Virginia let out a chuckle inadvertently and turned back to the gumbo just in time to keep it from boiling over. "Did you go to Deiter's today?"

Ellison made a show of inspecting his fingernails as casually as he possibly could. "Yeah. I stopped in. Not a lot worth mentioning today."

Virginia sprinkled some salt out of a dented shaker into the pot. "Any good apples today? My lesson for tomorrow calls for apples and you know how the kids like those weird apples Deiter always has."

Ellison narrowed his eyes. How much did she know? Surely Virginia, his sister, the only person he routinely ever talked to, wasn't in on this as well? Or maybe she was in on it, and she was dropping hints again, just like Deiter, writing his name on the blackboard.

There was no way she could be in on it. Virginia had a horrible poker face; if she knew something, he'd be able to tell. Or would he? Maybe she had just been playing him for a fool all this time. But it was his sister! She had always been there for him, even if she was a little condescending when she did so, and for her to be spying on him too… it just seemed too much. If she did play a role in this, then she would be revealed tonight, then, once he had established exactly how Deiter had been spying on him and what he knew.
"Ells!" Virginia turned to him again, raising an eyebrow. "You okay?"

"Huh? Oh. Yeah. Fine. I'm fine."


Dinner passed uneventfully, and Ellison departed afterward, heading upstairs to his apartment. His sister had, when she was apartment hunting, insisted on moving into Ellison's building. She had said that it was so that they could be near each other, but again, Ellison had suspected ulterior motives. His studio apartment was spartan in its decorations: Ellison saw no point in spending money on anything frivolous, and so he only had the bare necessities. His bed sat in one corner, and underneath it, next to where Ellison placed his shoes, was a box of floppy discs. Ellison preferred storing everything on floppies, simply because barely anyone had the capacity to read them anymore, and their small capacity meant that anyone who wanted to steal any data would be forced to take multiple discs to get anything good. Near the bed was a state-of-the-art computer – a desktop, again so that it would be harder to steal.

After shedding the horrible shirt, throwing it on his futon, and replacing it with an altogether less annoying one (a gray shirt with a large blue six on the front), Ellison sat at the computer desk and pulled a sheet of paper from the printer, grabbing a pen with his other hand. He quickly began scrawling a rough blueprint of the grocery store by memory, and before long he had a map that, he figured, was not completely inaccurate. At the very least, he could plot out a path that would get him to the backrooms quickly while maximizing cover. Once at the backrooms, though, he would be on his own, having never had a chance to get back there before. Ellison hoped that there would be some obvious clue there, but there was nothing for it but to find out firsthand.

His map drawn, Ellison stood up, stretched his arms and began circling the room. Where could there be a camera, or a microphone? Would they even be in his apartment? Maybe they were in Virginia's, but he couldn't exactly tear up her apartment looking for bugs; she had invested too much into decorating it just right. And besides, if they were going to put the effort into bugging his apartment, wouldn't they also put effort into making sure he couldn't find him? Surely they had to know how thorough he could be. Ellison stopped searching underneath the dishwasher, a thoughtful expression crossing his face. That was a very good point, he figured; they almost certainly would take precautions to prevent him from finding them. If they were good at prediction, they could almost certainly figure out where he would look, too, so that meant that anywhere he looked was likely to be fruitless. Ellison stood up. At this rate, the only way to find out the truth would be to go back to Deiter's, like he had planned.


The moon, nothing more than a sliver that night, hung in the sky, though Ellison noticed that, like every night, the stars were being drowned out by the rest of the ambient light. He stood in front of Deiter's, the neon sign proclaiming the location shut down, and all the lights in the window turned off. He stared at the door for a moment, then briefly glanced around him: the street was completely empty, most likely due to a combination of the cold temperature (that had driven Ellison to add a scarf to his current ensemble) and the late hour. He unlocked the door with a key he had found in the store some months ago – one of the shelf stockers had unwittingly dropped it, and Ellison figured it couldn't hurt to hold on to it, just in case. The door squeaked open and Ellison quickly stepped inside, closing it behind him.

The store presented a much different image after closing time. The normally bright, vivid colors of the produce aisle seemed muted, and shadows lurked around every corner, the exotic fruits stacked in such a way that their shadows seemed especially daunting. Ellison wasn't normally one to get frightened by something as inconsequential as a shadow, but somehow, the situation he found himself in made everything seem much more severe. He carefully tiptoed towards the produce, cursing his decision to not bring a flashlight; the complete and total absence of light in the store itself meant that not only was his map useless, but that he was going into the store essentially blind.

Ellison grabbed the corner of a display and inched his way towards it. The round, rough surface of the items in the stand confirmed that he was standing next to the cantaloupes, which meant that he needed to take a sharp left to avoid running into the grapes, then head straight past the peppers and the oranges, before hanging a right by the watermelons and going straight back to the wall. It was the perfect plan – Ellison had certainly wandered that path often enough when the lights were on, what difference did it make if he couldn't see? He could walk it in his sleep. He carefully started walking to his left until he found the watermelons – their size and texture would be unmistakable, he thought. Nothing would go wrong.

Moments later, he found himself on the ground, surrounded by the fallen stands of fruit that he had lunged at as he had toppled over. Underneath his feet lay, as much as he couldn't believe it, a discarded banana peel of all things. Who actually leaves banana peels lying around? And, more to the point, who actually slips on banana peels? He wasn't some half-witted cartoon character. But even so, the peel had been there, he had stepped straight on it, and in some perverted corollary to the domino effect, he had brought down about a third of the produce section with him. He shook his head, clearing his mind, and propped himself up on his elbows. Walking the rest of the way would be nearly impossible; he'd almost certainly fall on everything else he'd just knocked to the ground. And with the forms of the fruits only visible as vague, inky-black shapes in the darkness, he wouldn't even be able to see where he was stepping. Going back out of the produce section presented the same problem. He had effectively blocked himself off. That leaves only one solution, Ellison thought as he looked around one more time.
He reached his arms out and began to slowly crawl along the floor, neatly pushing aside the cornucopia of fruit that had collapsed around him. A detached voice in the back of Ellison's head muttered idly that it would only be fitting if some dramatic music were playing in the background, but Ellison ignored it and kept going. Before long, and without any other incidents, Ellison found himself at the door at the very back of the produce section. He pulled himself up to his feet and, using the same key from earlier, unlocked it, slipping inside.

Ellison fumbled around on the wall for a lightswitch. When he found one and turned on the lights, his face lit up just as quickly. My luck seems to be turning around, he thought. If there is any evidence, it'll be here, in Deiter's office, definitely. He looked around, taking in every detail carefully. A fine mahogany desk sat in the middle of the room, covered in sheets of paper that seemed to have little rhyme or reason to their order. A plush swivel chair sat behind it; currently, it was facing a shelf on the back wall that had a small TV on it. Pictures of various people that Ellison had never met before (and quite frankly had no interest in ever meeting) hung on the walls. There was a filing cabinet in the corner with a drawer half-open; if the entire thing was as full, relatively, as that one drawer was, it would almost certainly be too heavy to move at all. A vase of flowers was, oddly enough, on top of the filing cabinet, their modest, calming aroma being slowly spread through the room by a quietly-turning ceiling fan.

His first target was the desk. Ellison collected all the papers into a stack and began leafing through them. Job application, job application, heartfelt letter from his wife overseas, bill, junk mail… Ah. There it was. A receipt for a set of security cameras, and their subsequent installation. There was no address listed, but Ellison immediately figured it out: Deiter must have paid to have his apartment wired with cameras. They must have installed them while he was at work, or better yet, while he was in the store – Deiter would have known that he was definitely out of the apartment then. There must be another room somewhere in the store where security footage could be viewed. Ellison put down the rest of the papers and read over the receipt one more time to confirm his suspicions.

A lock clicked open from the front of the store. This sound was followed by some choice cursing and the phrase "What happened to my fruit?!" yelled by a deep voice. Ellison froze. He'd recognize that voice anywhere. It came on the intercom at least once every time he visited, advertising whatever the sale of the day was. The voice always followed that by reassuring every visitor that they were guests in its house, but somehow, Ellison figured that Harrison Deiter wouldn't take too kindly to seeing him here, especially after the number he did on Deiter's fruit.

Ellison looked around the room in a panic, and upon finding no hiding spot and nothing to defend himself with, he flew at the door, opening it just in time to see Deiter's round, beet-red, seething face staring at him. Ellison was tall, but Deiter matched his height easily; Deiter also looked like he could fit two or three Ellisons inside him.
"Mr. Pierce," Deiter said, his booming voice resonating through the room. "I must admit that I'm… surprised to see you here." The pulsing vein in his forehead suggested that this was an understatement.

Ellison gulped and stood up straight. "You shouldn't be," he said, trying to cover the wavering in his voice as best he could. "After all, you wanted me to come here, didn't you? You left my name in the apples so you could draw me here!"

Deiter raised an eyebrow. "I left your name in the apples? The hell does that mean?"
"Oh, come on! Don't play ignorant! The Ellison's Orange and Carlos Queen apples! You knew I would see them!" Ellison pointed an accusatory finger. "And now I have proof that you bugged my apartment!" He waved the receipt in Deiter's face, which very quickly proved to be a poor decision as Deiter snatched it from his hands in a display of speed that would have shamed a cheetah.

Deiter's eyes passed over it just quickly enough for him to figure out what it was. He looked at Ellison over the edge of paper. "You think that a receipt for security cameras is proof that I bugged your house? Pierce, seriously?"

Ellison smirked. "I'm convinced. And I just need to find the cameras."

Rubbing his temples, Deiter set the paper down on the desk. "Pierce, those are the cameras in this store."

"Of course you'd say that! But if that's true, how'd you know my name?"

"What, Michael Pierce? You introduced yourself to me the first time we met."

Ellison shook his head. "Stop playing dumb! I mean my real name! Ellison Queen!"

Deiter's eyes widened. "Ellison… Oh, so that's what you meant by 'in the apples'… Look, Pier- er, Queen, ever consider it was a coincidence? That's what those apples are actually called. They had to come up in that combination eventually. Maybe your parents named you after apples, huh?" He grabbed Ellison's shoulders and steered him out of the office. "Now look here, Queen. I can tell you might be a little confused."

Ellison tried to plant his feet, but Deiter overpowered him easily and the duo kept heading for the front door. "But-"

"So, I'll let you leave here without me calling the cops on you today. But this doesn't happen again, you hear? Next time it does, the cops will be on you like that." Deiter pushed him out of the door.

Ellison turned around. "Wait-"

"Good night, Mr. Queen." Ellison was met with a door closing in his face, a large 'CLOSED' sign immediately at eye level.


The next morning, Ellison stood outside Virginia's door, anxiously shifting from foot to foot. After twenty minutes of idling, the door opened and Virginia stepped out, though she immediately jumped back from the unexpected looming form of her brother at the door.

"G-good morning, Ells!" she said. "I didn't expect to see you this early in the morning."

He averted his eyes, staring directly at the door knocker to the side of Virginia's head. "Gin, did Mom and Dad name me after an apple?"

Virginia looked up at him, tilting her head. "Of course. Didn't they tell you? They named me after one too."

Ellison slumped. "I see." He turned around and started slouching away. "Thanks. I'll see you for dinner, I guess."


At about the same time, Deiter wandered into the security room at the grocery store. "It's good that I stopped in last night to pick up those bills…" he said to himself. Longtime employees had long since familiarized themselves with their boss's habit of talking to himself, but it was still somewhat unnerving to the new seafood counter worker, who happened to be walking past at the time. "If I hadn't, Mr. Queen would have gone unchecked. Who knows what he would've taken?"

Deiter eventually reached the wall of TVs in the back of the room, each one displaying the feed of a different camera. He rewound one to play back the events of the night prior and watched as Ellison tripped over a banana peel. His eyes passed over each of the screens in turn, eventually coming to rest on one screen in particular, currently showing the inside of what looked like an empty room.

"I mean, he might have found the camera in his apartment."
baratron likes this.
  1. Green Dragon
    Green Dragon
    Hehe. I can't believe I actually read that. Longest story in the internet I've ever read save Valin's Reinterpretation of Pokemon White.
    Mar 12, 2015
    The Blue Avenger likes this.
  2. baratron
    Oh, this is brilliant. Twist after twist... ;)
    Sep 27, 2013
    The Blue Avenger likes this.