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Previously: “Episode One“, Episode Two“, “Episode Three“, “Episode Four“, “Episode Five

  

“Manny to the Rescue”

Upon realizing that Kelly might be in danger, Manny rushed to the hardware store, on the same street as the shop, without a moment’s hesitation. The tools followed obediently as he raced just a few doors down.

When he reached the front door to Kelly’s Hardware Store, he realized something was wrong. Yes, Kelly had said she wanted to make sure the shop was closed up, and the lights were off. But once glance in the window showed that all was not closed up tight.

Just from the window he could tell that things were left in disarray. This was unlike the Kelly he knew. She’d never leave anything out of place. Manny tied the door handle and found it to be unlocked. “Esto es muy malo,” Manny whispered, and out of habit, translated. “This is very bad.” He looked down at the tools, who all looked apprehensive about the next step. Manny, however, did not hesitate.

Opening the door, he stepped inside the darkened hardware store. The disarray  of the shop was even worse than he’d realized. Things had been knocked off shelves and into the floor, a box of nails had spilled onto a counter, energy efficient bulbs had fallen to the floor and shattered. A box of PVC pipe had been overturned.

“Manny,” Stretch whispered. “What happened here? Where’s Kelly?”

“There appears to have been a struggle.” Manny said, looking around the room, careful not to touch anything, though he knew Kelly would be upset at the mess. He walked over to what once was a shelf of heavy duty drop cloths, and looked at the pile that now lay on the floor.

Had he not stepped closer, he might not have seen the tiny droplets of blood on the white drop cloths. Closer inspection revealed something else. Hard to make out against the while fabric, but noticeable once you saw them, were white hairs, clinging to the thick fabric.

Manny stood slowly and walked around the room, though he already knew what his next step would be. “I know where Kelly is.” He said to the tools, who’d scattered around the room, inspecting for themselves the damage done.

“Where—where is she, Manny?” Pat asked, his voice shaking.

“She’s with Mr. Lopart. And we have to rescue her.” Manny told the tools.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea, Manny!” Turner said

“Si,” Felipe agreed. “Maybe we should call Detective Carlson.

“Yeah, Manny. It could be dangerous.” Squeeze said.

Manny looked away from the tools and glanced out of the window in the direction of the setting sun. “Si. It will be dangerous. But I cannot let him hurt Kelly. He’s hurt enough people.”

Manny lead the tools out of the store. “Shouldn’t we call the police, though?” Dusty asked.

“No, Dusty,” Manny said. “Not yet. I’m afraid that he will hear the sirens, and he’ll get nervous. He could hurt Kelly before I can stop him.”

“I think we should at least tell Detective Carlson. Maybe he could come quietly!” Stretch suggested.

*

Before leaving the store, Manny took Stretch’s advice. He called the detective and told him about the mysterous circumstances at the hardware store. “I think you should run over, check it out.” He said. Detective Carlson agreed, “Just as a precaution,” and he told Manny he’d let him know if he found anything.

Concluded In: Episode Seven: “Toys in a Candy Store”

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