Earl walked across the cement floor of the Wombat World main receiving warehouse. Boxes of cheap, tacky toys and merchandise shipped in from third world labor camps lined the shelves.
His walkie-talked squawked.
“Hey Earl,” came the garbled voice of Doug. “Got a little boy here wearing a Kippy Kangaroo shirt. That’s the mascot of the theme park down the road. I’m going to bring him in for questioning.”
Earl pulled out his walkie-talkie and pressed the call button. “Doug, just stand there and do nothing until I get back.”
Too late. Doug’s voice came through once more. “Hey kid! Hold up! We don’t take kindly to kangaroo lovers around here…”
“Asshole,” Earl said as he holstered his radio.
The back end of a tractor trailer truck was lined up with the loading dock. Brother Klaus, still wearing Jim Bob’s clothing and sunglasses, stood inside the warehouse, waiting.
“Hello,” Earl said. “What have you got?”
“Oh just a whole mess of soda pop syrup, I reckon,” Brother Klaus said in a southern accent. “Hoo dowgie, traffic was a bear but I wrassled it all the way here, sure enough.”
“Got your ID?” Earl asked.
“Yessir,” Brother Klaus said as he handed over the driver’s license he pilfered from Jim Bob. “Can’t be too careful nowadays, especially with all them terrorists running around willy nilly.”
Earl inspected the license. It was issued in Florida. It listed the driver’s name as one James Robert Tucker. But something was off.
The security guard squinted at the photo, then looked up and squinted at Brother Klaus’s face.
“You lose a little weight there, fella?” Earl asked.
Brother Klaus was quiet for a moment, then patted his skinny, nearly non-existent belly. “Why I sure did, pardnah and thank you for asking. My wife done got me on that program where you stand on your head three times a day and you gotta slap yourself in the face with a wet noodle anytime you eat anything bigger than your fist. Works wonders.”
“Huh,” Earl said as he turned around and took out his walkie-talkie. “Hold on. I’m going to call this in.”
Brother Klaus reached into his pocket and pulled out a garrote wire.
“Chief?” Earl said into his walkie talkie.
“What is it, Earl?” the chief’s voice replied. “You know I hate it when people interrupt me during the View. Joy Behar is a national treasure.”
The cultist separated the two handles and gripped one into each of his hands.
“Sorry, Chief,” Earl said. “Look, I got a…”
The wire was around Earl’s throat. Brother Klaus yanked back with all his might, crushing his victim’s windpipe.
Earl dropped his radio on the ground. He threw his hands up and lunged at his attacker, but it was of no use. His eyes bugged out and his face turned purple.
“Earl, I don’t have all day here,” the Chief said. “Aww shit, Whoopi’s on fire today.”
“Gack.” Earl struggled a bit more.
“Earl, you there?” the Chief asked over the radio. “Eh, probably something to do with old shit for brains. Tell Doug to stop harassing the customers over piddly shit. I’ve gotten ten complaints already and I haven’t even had my breakfast burrito.”
The long, difficult life of Earl Hutchins had come to an end.
Brother Klaus looked around and seeing no one, he pocketed his wire, then dragged Earl’s body through the warehouse until he found a dumpster. He lifted the lid, hoisted his victim in as if he were so much trash, then let the lid drop.
“Earl!” came the Chief’s voice. “Everything ok there?”
The cultist returned to the scene of the crime and picked up the radio.
“Shit,” the Chief said. “If you’re hurt or something let me know. I’d check it out but the ladies are about to tell me why my penis makes me inferior.”
Brother Klaus adopted his best, default American accent and pushed the call button. “Everything A-OK here, Chief.”
A moment passed.
“Earl, you sound funny,” the Chief said.
“Me?” Brother Klaus said. “No. Maybe your inferior penis has affected your brain.”
“Probably,” the Chief said. “Take it easy, Earl.”
“OK,” Brother Klaus said. He then returned to the dumpster, opened up the lid, chucked the radio in, then closed it.
It wasn’t a moment too soon, for as Brother Klaus returned to the trailer, a team of burly looking workers wearing yellow coveralls with Willy Wombat’s face on the back walked in.
“You got a delivery?” one of the workmen asked.
“Sure do,” Brother Klaus said. “Whole heap of soda pop gunk.”
“Where’s security?” the workman asked.
“Ahh there was a feller what come in here a few minutes ago,” Brother Klaus said, returning to a southern accent. “He gave it all a once over and said it looked good.”
“Weird,” the workman said. “They usually wait until we get here.”
The workman and Brother Klaus stared at each other for a bit.
“Oh well,” the workman said as he shrugged his shoulders. “Come on guys, lets get this all unloaded and off to the concession stands.”