The plan was to wait for her to leave and get another taxi to follow her. Now he had to go inside; adjusting his eyepatch and clothing, Chuck sauntered like an important person into Mills Market hoping he did not have to do import-export, whatever that was, anywhere around Lorika. Once inside he walked around the market hoping he looked like someone investigating potential import-export opportunities, mostly by walking up and down aisles picking up stuff keeping an eye open for Lorika.
“I see,” intoned a human man wearing what Chuck only assumed was a costume who grabbed the largest container of mustard on the shelf, “much travel and trouble ahead,” his voice reaching an epic volume and pitch as he smashed the mustard on the ground at Chuck’s feet, “for YOU!”
Mustard splashed and sprayed over Chuck’s boots, pants, and tail. Facing Chuck, the man grabbed a jar of something off the shelf and held it aloft, “You will face,” smashing the jar to the ground; pickle juice covering Chuck head to toe, “three obstacles.”
Chuck jumped back, as a bottle of ketchup splashed where he had stood.
“A woman with blonde hair!” the man shouted reaching for something else, “much blood and a fall. The signs do not lie.”
“What is your problem!” Beyond angry, Chuck stepped towards the costumed man.
Mayonnaise splattered Chuck in thick globs, stopping him in his tracks. Behind the man, store security raced down the aisle. At the end of the aisle, Lorika stood watching the scene, a bemused and shocked look on her face. The security officer tackled the man from behind, the floor covered in ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, and mustard providing no stoppage, they slid into Chuck knocking him on top of them.
From the bottom of the pile, “The signs do not lie.”
“Shut up,” Chuck said standing up covered head to toe in condiments.
“You look like a work of modern art,” Lorika laughed. “Is import-export always this exciting?”
“Are you okay sir,” store security asked while restraining the now silent man.
Chuck looked himself over, a modern art mess for sure, “Other than the mess, I’m fine. Will you need me for anything?”
“No, sir. Everything is on vid. Would you like to use our facilities to clean up?”
“Is your cab still available?” Chuck asked Lorika.
“As soon as I check out,” she replied.
Looking at the security officer, “Thank you for the offer. I’ll catch a ride home and change.”
Store security escorted the man away; “No, import-export is not this exciting,” Chuck answered her question, hoping he was right.
Sharing a laugh, they walked back to the cab, after Lorika finished her purchase; “Back to your place?” she asked getting into the driver’s seat.
Thinking fast, making a show of looking at his watch and looking alarmed, “Oh dancor! I have a meeting I cannot miss, if I get there early enough I can wash up and change there.”
Lorika, showed no signs of interest, “Where at?”
“Aranoth Building, 59th floor, east side,” he replied.
Without another word, she launched the taxi into traffic.