"While the water's heating, let's talk mutual friends. Small world, isn't it?" The stranger sat on the edge of the motel room's other bed. He took a sip of Mick's scotch and looked at the pint. "Wish you'd gotten a bigger bottle. This is good stuff. Where was I? Ah, yes. The Abrams. An employee of yours, wasn't he? Neighbor of mine. Cute little house over on Trim Street."
Mick's eyes bulged. If duct tape hadn't covered his mouth his jaw might have dropped.
"Nice couple, the Abrams. Sorry to hear about Joe's cancer, right after retiring, and all. And then that burst pipe! On top of everything. Marge said she lost all her family photos."
Mick shook his head, which was an accomplishment as it was tethered to his ankles from behind.
"And then, his pension. You can't foresee these things, though, can you? Not in an unstable economy. Fees just eat things right up." The stranger stood and walked to the hot plate. He stuck a finger in, testing the temperature, and wiped it on his pants. "Not quite hot enough," he said, and went on, "Good thing they had you in their time of need. Yessiree. The flowers were lovely."
A knock sounded at the door. The stranger went to it and squinted through the hole. He turned to Mick. "Oops, we forgot you were meeting someone, didn't we? Not a peep, now," he warned. He cracked the door, and said something Mick couldn't understand. Someone giggled, and the stranger closed the door, smiling.
"She thinks you've switched teams. Offered to join us but I explained you don't like to share." He gave Mick a ribald wink. "Bet the Epi-lady's charged. Let's talk about Joe Abram's chemotherapy and hair loss while we fire that baby up." The Epi-lady hummed to life. He gave Mick a once-over, and chose a particularly thick patch of chest hair.
"This is the Legend IV. The latest technology in epilators. Two speeds and forty individual tweezing discs. Only the best for you, Mick. You can't find these babies just anywhere - they're flying off the shelves!" When Epi-lady bit in, it whined in high gear, muffling Mick's duct-tape sobs.
Chairman of the AbhorredChairman of the Abhorred II
Chairman of the Abhorred III
Chairman of the Abhorred IV