Cold, black talons clicked across the floor of the, now deathly silent, National Furniture Liquidators. Night was drawing near. The employees remained in hiding, waiting for it to disappear. But there was nothing worse than the silence that followed when the beast crept into the dark bowels of the store and lay still.
“I’ve worked in strange situations before,” said Dennis Goke, the store’s assistant manager during the event. “I’ve worked in floods. I’ve worked without any power in the building.” But nothing had prepared him for the reign of havoc caused by this creature, creeping low like a black flame between the sofas and the loveseats.
Man Vs. Wild… and Wild was Winning
This wasn’t a cheap horror flick or someone’s independent film. This wasn’t Alien or Gremlins. This was a skunk.
No one knows how it made its way into the store Monday afternoon. Someone caught sight of the thing, and word spread. Perhaps if the store had been quarantined earlier, the outbreak could’ve been kept quiet. Instead they tried to warn those who drove close to the shop with “Hey, we’ve got a loose skunk over here!”
Their first solution was to appeal to the beast’s ravenous hunger and instinct: with a trail of whole wheat bread crumbs. But, to the chagrin of Hitchcock fans everywhere, gulls let loose shrieks from the sky and decimated the crumbs like piranhas on a carcass.
But the tides of battle changed when store manager Bill Frolichman came back from vacation. Once the front of the store read “Sorry, we’re Closed,” he sprang his trap.
Under Cover of Night
“If it would have been a squirrel,” Goke tried to explain, “I would have chased it out with a broom.” But the skunk was a different beast, and it carried a weapon worse than poison or breaths of flame. In a store filled with thousands of dollars in couches and cushions, it could render a priceless pillow worthless in a single spray.
Frolichmann battled the beast with the powers of the store. He tried to flush it out with bright lights and rock music.
Rich Ulkus of Animal Allies had hit the scene, a man who had caught monsters far worse than this. He crawled on hands and knees around the silent store, shining a flashlight into its gaps and crevasses. The employees gasped and lauded him from a safe distance. Perhaps their health insurance didn’t cover odors like this.
If the beast was like any he’d ever work with, it’s achilles heel would be its tongue. Ulkus got some tuna fish. He called assistant manager Goke over, this time to literally set the trap. Then they wrapped the tuna in plastic , placed it inside, enveoped the whole bundle in a blanket and stuck it in a corner.
All they rest of them could do now was watch and wait.
(Cliff-hanger much? That was the point of each of the three sections. It was an assignment based on real events. Even I don’t know what happened next.)