Monday, August 7, 2017


Quota System

I always knew Mr. Stajewski was an alien. For one thing, he never seemed to leave his store.  When he closed up, he locked the door from the inside. He gave Jen the evil eye when he caught her shoplifting.  Two weeks later the cops arrested her and she ended up in juvie. He caught two robbers last year, disarmed them, and he wasn't even armed.

So we broke in. Dumb, right? All I can say is, Donny said I wouldn't go even if he jimmied the lock, and I said he wouldn't dare jimmy the lock even though I would totally go, so there we were, sneaking through the darkened store, both scared out of our freaking minds. Light was on upstairs. Before I knew it, I was at the top of the stairs. I was looking right at Mr. Stajewski and he was dancing. I don't mean he was practicing his moves, I mean all 12 of his arms were moving rhythmically as his body jiggled creepily. I don't know which of us made a noise, but he suddenly wheeled around.

"Oh shit!" he hissed, and bounded across the room. He grabbed us and lifted as both up in the air. "What am I going to do with you boys?"

"Let us go?" I asked weakly. "We won't tell."

"And no one would believe us anyway," Donny added. It smelled like one of us had wet his pants, and I had no idea who.

It was really hard to read Mr. S's facial expressions now; he hardly even had a face anymore, so I didn't know what our chances were.

"Sorry boys," he said. "No one knows you're here, and I can't let you go. Luckily, I still have two more slots this year before I meet my quota. I hope you both want to travel." With one hand he flicked a switch on some kind of weird machine mounted on the wall. A glowing ball of something appeared in the middle of the room. Mr. S shifted his grip on me, and the last thing I heard him say was "advice to travelers: never miss an opportunity to relieve yourself." He threw Donny into the glowing ball and then he threw me right after him.


I'm still having trouble getting used to the faces, but the extra arms don't bother me. In fact, I'm seeing this girl, and they come in real handy. No pun intended.

Publ. Daily Cabal 2008

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