By Captain McItchy

Lester exited the shower and blow dried what was left of his hair. Then, using a fine toothed comb and some Aquanet, he expertly combs a few strands of hair from his left temple to his right. Disguising his baldness like the Viet Cong covered those pit traps so many years ago.

He then limps over to his bed, where his implements of war were laid neatly for their morning inspection.

High waisted, pleated, poly-blend khakis…check.

Wrinkle resistant, short sleeved button down with included clip on tie…check.

Loafers with orthopedic inserts…check.

Serta branded pocket protector, swag from the 2007 ISPA conference, equipped with one blue and one red BicClic Stic pen…check.

He quickly got dressed and grabbed his 64oz Speedway insulated coffee mug loaded with the finest Folger’s brew. He carried it from the bottom, like someone testing the firmness of a tomato. His hands were not big enough to fit around the vessel. The handle had snapped off after many years of use.

Lester locks the front door and pauses for a second as his eyes meet those of his one true love, an immaculately maintained 1979 AMC Spirit GT. Although, he’d never be so crass as to identify her with a model name, she is Jane. He delicately tickles her hood with his fingertips before taking his seat behind the wheel.

Minutes later, Lester is in the store. He has clocked in and is seated at the sales kiosk in the mattress department. His vat of coffee is nearly empty when we spots his target, newlyweds. They are holding hands and appear carefree, not the look of a couple who exist solely on inertia. She has a Coach bag and his wing tips are nicer than any pair Lester would find at the Payless on Market St.

The couple pokes and prods each of the Tempur-Pedics on display. Lester smells a big commission. He slowly advances on his prey, though he is wounded, Lester stalks them effortlessly. They do not expect an assault on their right flank.

As the couple examines the last mattress in the aisle, Lester pounces. “You know, people will spend $30,000 on a car that they only spend an hour a day in; but they think spending more than a few hundred on a mattress they spend a third of their life in is preposterous.”

The couple is slightly startled by Lester’s presence. They appear uneasy. “Why don’t you two lay down on the Luxe model. If you give it 10 minutes, it’ll change your life. Don’t worry about the cost, we have a special promotion, we can get that price down to a number you are more comfortable with,” Lester says while pulling his red pen from his pocket protector.

The smell of blood wafts through the air.

word count: 459


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