Seeing Red

Gail was completely flustered.  She had been writing crap, without an idea where her next novel was going to come from, so she decided to give up and go to the grocery store.  That ended up being an unmitigated disaster.  On the way over three appointments popped up that she had forgotten and consequently missed.    Also her agent had called wanting to know where his next pay check was coming from.  Okay, that wasn’t fair, but she really didn’t need to have him riding her so hard.  She did that just fine on her own.  Besides, didn’t three best sellers give her a little bit of wiggle room?

Of course just walking into the store reminded her of a couple of other things she needed to do.  “Death By Checklist is going to be the title of my next novel,” Gail muttered as she checked her phone.

A petite skinny man dressed in all black, but sporting a red beret, looked up from the amazing selection of canned beans.  “Did you say something to me?” he asked in a much deeper voice than should have been physically possible.

Gail felt a quiver in her stomach.  Okay, maybe it was a bit lower than her stomach.  “Just hate it when my checklist is longer than one page on my phone,” she replied.

“Your grocery list?” the man asked.

Gail smiled despite the topic.  That voice was magical.  “Oh no, my to do list.  I had to add a couple of things I remembered on the drive over here.  It’s the only way I can get all of it done.”

The man looked at her in thought.  Suddenly a smile bloomed on his face.  “May I see your list?” he asked.

Without even thinking Gail handed over her phone.  “See, so much to do and no time to get it done,” she quipped.

The man scrolled down a bit, smiled, and made a few more gestures before handing back the phone.  “You are right, so much to do, but now it’s all done,” he said.

Gail was confused.  Her list was now empty.  Voice or no voice, this man had just destroyed her only repository of what she needed to do.  “You deleted them all?”

“I completed them,” he replied.  “A gift to you.”

“But but,” she stammered.

“You’re welcome,” he said and began to walk down the aisle.

Gail was practically in tears.  She began to stab frantically what she could remember into the phone, but after only four entries her mind was blank.  “Maybe my next novel should be Death By Base.” She muttered.  She typed that into her checklist.  This trip was productive after all.

She was going to enjoy taking that red beret off that man, along with his head, voice be damned.