Robertson's

Robertson's

A Story by GenXer
"

This was inspired by the radio show "Imagination Theater" and also "The Twilight Zone."

"

Flo adjusted her pearly cat-eye glasses and clasped her hands together as she stood back to admire her handiwork. She frowned, stepped forward, and smoothed a wrinkle out of the mannequin's floral-print dress.

 

"There. You look lovely," Flo said to the mannequin.

 

Flo was pleased at how nice the mannequin looked. All the mannequins in the ladies' section looked beautiful. She had done a good day's work.

 

The younger girls at Robertson's department store had no pride in their work. On Flo's days off, they dressed the mannequins in awful clothing, like short skirts, platform shoes, and the newest atrocity, hot pants. Flo sniffed to herself and got her handbag out of the cabinet under the cash register.

 

She paused at the mannequin again, and put her fingers to her lips, stifling a small giggle worthy of a schoolgirl. Early that morning she and Mr. Robertson had shared a heated embrace behind it. Her elbow had jarred the mannequin in the behind and nearly tipped it over.

 

She put on her green wool coat and left the store, locking the door behind her. Mr. Robertson trusted her to leave the store secure.

 

Streetlamps just barely illuminated the road that ran in front of the store. The damp air made Flo shiver as she walked to her car, a big turquoise 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Seville. She looked forward to settling down on the davenport with a hot cup of tea.

 

"Oh drat!" she said, remembering that she was out of tea. She would have to stop at the market on the way home.

 

Half an hour later, Flo arrived at her tidy yellow Craftsman bungalow. She maneuvered the Cadillac into the driveway and cut off the engine.

 

Humming to herself, Flo carried her grocery bag to the front door and put the key in the lock. The key turned too easily--the door was already unlocked.

 

"Oh, dear," she said. She mentally chastised herself for being so silly as to leave her door unlocked. It was a good thing it had been her door and not the store's. She certainly didn't want to risk upsetting Mr. Robertson.

 

She turned on the lamp next to the door. The small living room looked neat and clean. Flo resumed her humming as she hung up her coat and headed to the kitchen.

 

A little while later, Flo stood at the counter making sandwiches, waiting for the water for her tea to boil, when she heard a faint thump. It sounded like it came from the living room.

 

"Now, what was that?" Flo asked herself, poking her head into the living room. Nothing looked disturbed. The old television set stood dark and silent in the corner.

 

Flo turned back to the kitchen and then felt a light tap on her shoulder. She spun around and nearly lost her footing, groping for one of the chairs that flanked her small kitchen table. Her other hand clutched at her chest.

 

"Why... what...?" Flo gasped, trying to catch her breath. The kettle on the stove started to hiss.

 

"No!" Flo cried out, backing away from the doorway. "No! Stay back, do you hear me?"

 

A deafening crash shook the kitchen and the kettle's shrill scream pierced the air.

 

The next day, the girls stood around the cash register and stared with round eyes as the police escorted a red-faced, wet-eyed Mr. Robertson out of the store.

 

One girl had just arrived for work and she approached the others.

 

"What happened?" she asked, breathless.

 

"Flo was found dead in her kitchen this morning," another girl replied. She gestured toward the nearest unoccupied mannequin platform. "The mannequins were all over her."

© 2010 GenXer


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Added on November 8, 2010
Last Updated on November 8, 2010

Author

GenXer
GenXer

Denver, CO



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I'm a proofreader by trade, but I don't harass people about their grammar, spelling, or typos. It *really* doesn't matter unless it's something official or something that is about to be printed or pub.. more..

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