Aisle 4A

A/N: A little idea that spawned in my head one July evening. Yes, James was a clerk before Mary's death, according to the Book of Lost Memories.

Between restocking the shelves and filling tubes with quarters and dimes, the days seemed to go on endlessly at the Handy Dandy Camping & Supplies store. James hated the name of the store with a passion, and if he didn't have such an affinity for repairing fishing poles he would never be caught dead working at such a place.

Every day, the same routine. Open up shop, report to his manager, Andy, open the register, put on a smile and make it through one more morning in Aisle 4A; Fishing Supplies and Tent repair. It was a desolate area only occasionally filled by a family man trying to bypass his expired warranty to get his tent repaired for free, or an amateur fisherman who'd tried to use yarn as a replacement for fishing line. Other than that, it was eerily empty, giving James plenty of free time on his hands.

One hot and humid afternoon, after setting up numerous fans around his desk at the end of the aisle, James heard the delicate jingle of the bells that hung by the front door. The ringing settled down and then the store was quite; all but for the sound of careful, heavy footsteps and James's own breathing.

Who in their right mind, James thought to himself skeptically, would go camping in September? The last wave of customers had been in August, and nothing since then.

Someone rounded the corner towards James's aisle and stopped, staring straight down the rows and rows of fishing poles and tent brushes that led to his desk. James could feel his heart stopping, then starting again, albeit quieter and quicker. He averted his gaze to the cash register as the customer walked calmly down the aisle, pausing to look at something in a bin. James glanced upwards, keeping his head low.
The customer was staring at the contents of said bin with much interest. He plucked a large yellow '50 off' sticker from a piece of merchandise and stared at that, too. Then he rolled the sticker between his gloved hands and flicked it off with the other hand. James wasn't sure exactly sure why he felt so intimidated by the man, but he could feel his breath quicken as the customer pulled a gigantic hunting knife from the bin. He gripped the knife tightly in his hand, letting it drop to his side. The customer then walked towards James, dragging the knife along with him, the scraping metal creating a noise not unlike that of someone chopping a cucumber with a rusty fork.

It seemed to take an eternity for the man of mystery to reach James's desk, but when he finally did, he heaved the knife onto the counter with great difficulty, and waited for James to say something.

James tried to swallow his fear, took a deep breath, and spoke.

"Did you find everything you were looking for today?"

The customer was silent.

James forced a smile and punched the keys on the register.

"That will be 18.95," he said slowly. "Do you need a bag?"


"Thank you for shopping at Handy Dandy."

Silence Still.
Calmly, the customer heaved the giant knife off of the counter and let it fall to the floor, making a sharp cracking noise that James was pretty sure had been the rusty knife putting a dent into the floor. Swinging - nay, slamming - the front door open, Pyramid Head made his way out into the street, vanishing into the sunset.

James heaved a heavy sigh of relief and sank into the plastic lawn chair behind him.

I sure hope I don't run into that guy ever again.