Kermit Green is a sensible man. He drives a Subaru, which is a sensible car. He wears cargo pants with at least six pockets because it is sensible to have the available storage capacity (the Subaru also has very reasonable storage capacity).
At the moment, Mr. Green is having a particularly difficult conversation with Mrs. Pinsley, who is not being sensible at all.
“I just want to know which you would recommend personally, Mr. Green.” Mrs. Pinsley’s voice has a tonal quality not unlike a metal object scraping across a metal surface, or possibly a hoarse seagull, “the Fuji or the Gala.”
“My opinon, Mrs. Pinsley, is that I find there is very little difference between the Fuji and the Gala,” Mr. Green explains, “to me they are similar in taste, texture, and appearance. If I were you (and thank heaven I am not), I would choose based on price.”
“But that is precisely the point, Mr. Green!” Mrs. Pinsley’s chubby hands were waving like a rhythmically-challenged orchestra conductor. “You are charging 10 cents more per pound for the Fujis and I am at a complete loss to understand why.”
“The price is set by corporate, Mrs. Pinsley. I have nothing to do with that.”
“Aren’t you the produce manager here, Mr. Green?”
A frustrated moan escapes Mrs. Pinsley and Mr. Green takes this opportunity to excuse himself to attend other pressing produce-related matters.
Normally Mr. Green is quite pleased in his job as produce manager at Fresh Mart, the second largest grocery store in town. He takes a great deal of pride in the neatness and tidiness of his displays. The precision watering system is his own design. It is the perfect job for a sensible person.
But today is different, and it’s not just Mrs. Pinsley’s caterwauling. Something else is not quite right today and Mr. Green cannot for the life of him pinpoint what it is. Sensible people do not believe in premonitions.
Right away she knew this nobody Mr. Green would be another sheep, and not be able to process the obvious point she was trying with all her capability to point out. Trying to bring him to the same realization she herself had discovered moments before, that two apples with the same taste, texture, and appearance should be priced the same to no avail. And despite her efforts, he had shuffled away as quickly as he had appeared leaving her to decide her next step of action. But as soon as she had stepped towards the Fujis with admitted defeat and decided she would pick her battle elsewhere for the day, the store erupted with an ear splitting sound and stopped her mid motion to instead duck and cover her ears with those chubby fingers doing some good for once.
And suddenly there was no sound, not even time. She slowly opened her eyes and realized she was floating, weightless in the air, surrounded by apples. Was she being abducted by aliens? No, that’s ridiculous… But, unfortunately, reality wasn’t restored to Mrs. Pinsley once she was abruptly sent crashing down onto the ugly, but efficient linoleum grocery store floor with three Gala apples consecutively bouncing off her head immediately after, making the impact that much more painful. She winced in pain as she looked up in her doll-like posture from the floor to see the Fuji and Gala apples, no ALL the apples, now had faces with beady little eyes staring aggressively as if they could deliver a lethal blow at any second. She could not for the life of her make any sense why the lifeless apples just seconds before were now pointing laser guns that looked like they had been stolen off a sci-fi movie set at her demanding she stay on the ground and not move. Why were they jumping on her torso so violently she thought as she felt her cheeks expand with a forceful burst of air. “What in God’s name are these alien apples doing?” she wondered as she drifted off into unconsciousness.
“Boss, I think she saw us.” The Fuji apple said, poking the unconscious body of Mrs. Pinsley.
“That is of little consequence! Our main priority is to stop Dr. Green from releasing his detection technology. If word of that device gets out, our entire invasion could very well end before it even begins.” The Granny Smith apple paced back and forth.
“This world. It will belong to us.”
Mrs. Pinsley regained consciousness somewhere between alien invasion and talking apples. She laid there, motionless on the cold floor, and began contemplating the very real possibility that she had a superpower to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her head throbbed and felt like a daytime talk show featuring only cicadas. The fluorescent lights of the grocery store flickered, inconveniencing her with their existence. “Ugh…” She grimaced. She just wanted to have a nice long nap here on the floor and avoid all the trouble. She began to relax and settle in, when she felt something digging uncomfortably into her spine. “Oh, of course.” she thought.
She sat up after a few minutes to make sure the apples were gone and dug out the offending object. A piece of metal, no larger than a hockey puck with an address etched into the side of it. She recalled the weightlessness and the ear splitting sound. “This must be the device they were talking about. Did that idiot really put his address on it?”
Mrs. Pinsley gathered her belongings and quickly snuck out of the store as the police and paramedics began arriving. She may have said “Good day sir!” to too many people to be inconspicuous, but no one seemed to care enough to notice. “Good day sir!” she said to a squirrel before she got onto the bus and made her way to the address.
When she arrived at the tall building, she noticed that it all felt familiar somehow. She thought back as far as she could, but nothing came to mind. “Oh well, nevermind that. More important things.” She thought as she continued through the entrance and made her way to Dr. Green’s office.
“Mrs. Pinsley! What a pleasure it is to see you again.” Dr. Green said smiling handsomely.
“Dr. Green? You already know who I am?”
“Yes, of course! We are very close, you and I,” pulling out a chair for her, handsomely. She couldn’t quite put a finger on it, but something about him was very…handsome.
“I found something of yours and I think you’ll be wanting it back. Your detection device! It worked and it’s got the apples all riled up! We need to email the schematics to the right people before they find out where you are. Do you have any contacts at the Pentagon?”
“Mrs. Pinsley, that metal device is actually for you. Please, open it up.”
Her hands were shaking so much from all the excitement of the last few hours that she barely opened it without spilling the contents. Inside she noticed that there were a few pills sitting in a cotton blanket.
“These will help you understand the truth.” he said with a smile and a glass of water.
“Well, alright – but only if you promise that it’ll cure my sciatica.” She laughed to herself and took the pills with a sip of water. Her mind buzzed one more time, resisting for a moment, and fell silent. Dr. Green picked up an apple from the bowl on his desk and offered it to her.
“No thanks,” she shook her head, “They keep the doctors away and I’d like very much to stay close to you.”