Previously “Episode One“
“Lost and Found”
The sun rose cheerily on a new day in Sheetrock Hills. The lovely warm weather brought out the singing of the birds, and the suns rays woke the blooming flowers.
With the rising of the sun, so too rose the citizens of Sheetrock Hills, ready to start a new day in their beautiful home.
Manuel Esteves Garcia III opens the door to “Handy Manny’s Repair Shop” whistling a tune and ready for the day to begin. “Buenos días, good morning tools!” He said cheerfully as he walked into the room. The tools greeted him with a chorus of “buenos días” and “good morning” in return.
Almost as soon as Manny walked into the shop, the phone rang. “Hola! Handy Manny’s Repair Shop! You break it,” Manny began.
“We fix it!” The tools finished in unison.
“Hello, Manny, it’s Elliot!” Elliot Krenshaw, was Sheetrock Hills’ “jack-of-all-trades”, and younger brother to Kelly Krenshaw, owner of the hardware store. He was an all around friendly, helpful guy.
“Hello, Elliot! What can I do for you today?” Manny asked.
“Well, I am here at the beach, about to start lifeguard duty, and I saw that the lifeguard chair is kind of wobbly. I’d try and fix it myself, but I have no tools! I need to be able to use the chair safely, so I can see further into the water!”
“I understand your situation, Elliot!” Manny said. “The chair is important to the safety of the beach goers! The tools and I will be right over!” Manny said his goodbyes and turned to the tools.
“Ready tools?” He asked them.
“Ready!” they shouted, once more in unison.
As many called out numbers in Spanish, the tools jumped in one by one. “Uno, Dos Tres, Cuatro, Cinco, Seis, Siete, Ocho,” Manny stopped counting suddenly. “Wait.” He was quiet a moment. “Someone is missing.”
Manny looked hard at the tools. “Felipe, Pat, Stretch, Squeeze, Dusty, Turner, Flicker… Where is Rusty?” He asked the tools. They all looked at each other, as if just noticing that one of their number hadn’t been there.
Rusty, the monkey wrench, was nervous and scared frequently, and Manny was worried that perhaps he’d fallen and was somewhere afraid. “Rusty?” Manny called as he wondered through the shop, the other tools following him as he went. Once he’d searched the entire shop, top to bottom, the last place to look was out the back door.
Behind the shop, where the back door led, opened onto an alleyway accessible to other shops and stores that lined the street that Manny’s Repair Shop occupied. With the tools still following him step-by-step, Manny opened the door and walked through.
Little of the morning sunlight made it into the alley, leaving it eerily chilly on such a warm morning. Flicker the flashlight stepped up to Manny, and he picked him up, shining his light in the dimly lit alley.
Still calling Rusty’s name, Manny moved around the alley, still accompanied by the other tools. Some of the stores and shops that shared the alley were still dark and closed, so the alley was empty and quiet. Manny looked around a dumpster a few yards away from his door, and shined the light around it. The beam of light landed on a bundle lying against the dumpster and the alley wall. Stepping up to the bundle, he motioned for the tools to stand back, and no one said a word.
Manny unwrapped the bundle, which was covered in stains. Gasping in shock, he stumbled backward, nearly tripping over the tools who’d gathered behind him. There Rusty laid, battered and dented, in the bundle of cloth.
Despite Manny’s attempts to keep the tools from seeing Rusty in such a state, they all saw him, sounds of shock and disbelief and fear swept the small group in the alleyway. Manny regained his composure and stepped back toward Rusty’s unmoving form.
“Is… Is he okay?” Stretch whispered.
“I don’t know.” Manny said. He hesitated just above the motionless monkey wrench, unsure whether it would be a good idea to move him or not. Instead of moving him, Manny shined Flicker’s light on Rusty once more. It was then that he saw what the stains were.
They were blood.
Continued in “Episode Three: Rusty in a Problem“