The Everything But The Kitchen Sink Incident
By Jeff Baker
The prompts for the monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge (thanks Jeffrey Ricker!) were an action/adventure, set in a restaurant kitchen involving a stray sock.
Earl crouched in the corner, behind the mobile bread rack, watching the dark-haired kid with the zits grab the bottle of vinegar from the shelf and rush back out. Good. Earl didn’t need company in the back kitchen right now. He’d been lucky he was able to pry the unused metal door and get into the building without anybody noticing. He glanced around: shelves full of bottles, a stove that wasn’t turned on, a walk-in freezer and a row of metal sinks against one wall. Damn! Where the hell was Kappelmeyer? No time to wait. Damn!
He got up and started looking on the shelves, under the stove, fingers brushing the box of ratkill pellets. What was it someone had told him? “Espionage is largely done in offices with paperwork?” Not here on a filthy back-kitchen floor. If he was with the health department he would be running out paper taking down notes. He stood up and brushed himself off. He sighed and pulled the lid off one of the empty pots on the stove.
Bingo! There on the bottom. One sock. But it was what was in the sock that was important. He grabbed the sock.
“Mister Margolis,” came the voice. He spun around. The man in the doorway looked a lot like the actor James Coco. He wasn’t smiling. Neither were the three bruisers lined up beside him. “You will be good enough to hand over that item. It does not belong to you.”
“In a pig’s eye!” Margolis spat out. In a flash he tossed the pot lid like a discus. The bruisers ducked and Margolis rushed for the back exit. That was when something struck the back of his head. He staggered, realizing that there was a fourth bruiser as he grabbed another pot and threw it as he fell, aiming it at the quickly-glimpsed bruiser.
As Margolis fell to the floor he simultaneously heard gunfire and an instant later the thud of the man behind him falling. He glanced up and saw the man in the doorway swearing, a literal smoking gun in one hand.
“Discretion’s the better part of valor,” Margolis muttered as he half-crawled, half-jumped towards the back door. He broke into a run as another bullet pinged behind him.
Margolis slammed the back door open and rushed through the parking lot toward his beat-up ‘74 Chevy Nova.
“If I’m lucky they’ll be looking for an Aston-Martin,” Margolis thought as he gunned the engine and roared out of the lot. Once on the highway, he pulled the sock out of his jacket pocket. He felt it. It felt like a sock.
An empty sock.
“Damn!” Margolis said. “I have to go back!”
He angrily shoved the sock back in his pocket and felt something small, square, metal and cold that had fallen out of the sock into his pocket.
“Or maybe not!”