This story is by Kayla Bouy and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
“My god this room is a pig sty.” Mary muttered opening the door to her husband’s office. “He never cleans this place.” Mary cautiously crept into the darkened room, being careful not to bump into the many bookshelves housing about a hundred statues and busts. Tony was an avid Star Wars and Star Trek fan and his office was decorated in over $10,000 worth of merchandise. Mary was determined to get the room cleaned while he was out of town at a conference, . Tony warned her on numerous occasions in the past to leave that to him, he was terrified she would destroy one of his prized statues. He acted like she was an overactive child that paid no attention to where she was going. On the walls hung framed copies of the promo posters, some of them even signed by the actors. Small lights hung over the signed posters illuminating them. They gave off enough light that Mary was able to see the junk that was piled randomly on the floor. She moved slowly through the room, picking up trash as she went. It wasn’t long before the bag she brought was full. Tony may love his room, but that only pertained to the walls, and the items on the shelves. He had no qualms about leaving wrappers, paper plates, empty bottles, and opened memorabilia containers all over the floor. Mary sneaked into the room as often as she was able to clear up the trash. Having a messy room in her house nagged at her inner clean freak.
Mary glanced around, satisfied that she picked up all the trash from the floor. The next order of business was to dust those shelves. Tony never let a speck of dust accumulate on his statues themselves, but the shelves that housed them was another story. Layers of dust surrounded the figures. Now that the garbage was picked up, Mary moved with a bit more ease. No longer concerned about tripping over something unexpected and hitting a shelf. Grabbing her Swiffer duster, she started on the frames first. True to form the glass was spotless but the tops and the sides of the frames were caked in dust and cobwebs. Mary moved the Swiffer across the top of the first frame, making sure to move slow and steady. The last thing she needed was to knock one of these down and incur the wrath of Tony. His temper was something to behold. Not that he was violent, but boy could he yell. After the second picture, Mary got a bit more courageous. The third picture had a small speaker next to it that started playing the Imperial March whenever anyone was close to it. Laughing, Mary gave that picture a once over and danced around the room, finishing up the posters.
He’s going to be so happy to see the room cleaned, Mary thought switching the duster out for a new one, It’s been over a year since I was allowed in here to clean up. She moved to the closest bookshelf. It housed most of the Star Trek: Next Generation busts. The top of Captain Picard’s head shown in the light. Mary idly wondered if Tony did any sort of greasing to get it so shiny. Shaking her head, she moved to the next shelf. Tony idolized Darth Vader so Lord Vader had a 5 shelf bookcase all to himself. Quickly changing the duster out for a fresh one she started on the top shelf. It was the tallest bookcase in the room, and Mary could barely reach up to the highest shelf. Stretching up onto her tiptoes she gave a quick dusting to the edge. The sound of the doorbell took her by surprise causing her to wobble before catching herself on the wall. After successfully avoiding ending up on the floor she took a step back, forgetting the near fall had turned her around. Mary crashed into the bookcase causing the figures, busts, and toys to wobble in their stands. One lone statue on the 3rd shelf tipped over the side of the case and hit the carpet. Vader’s red lightsaber went flying through the air, his armored hand still attached. The cape had a massive tear down the back, and Lord Vader’s head was 2 feet from the rest of the body.
“No no no no NO.” Mary moaned sinking to the floor on shaky legs. “He is going to kill me for this.” She scooped up the pieces crawling across the carpet to grab the lightsaber. She bolted from the room in search of superglue. “Please let this work. Please PLEASE let this work.” she fervently prayed. After searching fruitlessly through the kitchen drawers all she found was Elmer’s school glue. Better than nothing Mary thought grabbing the glue and attempting to reattach Vader’s hand. After 20 minutes of holding the hand in place, Mary let it go. The lightsaber wobbled a bit and hit the table.
“No!” Mary yelled. Panicked, she ran to the tool shed and grabbed some duct tape. Cutting small squares, she placed them over the broken parts and pressed them firmly in place. She stepped back to survey the finished product. Small bits of duct tape poked out from under Vader’s neck and wrist.
“Damn it.” She growled yanking off the hand to remove the tape. In the process causing the head to crash into the table. Mary picked up the pieces, put them in a Walmart bag, and ran out the door. She tripped on the package UPS had dropped off and hit the concrete. The Vader statue hit the ground with a loud crack. The base of the statue rolling free from the bag. Mary winced, grabbed the base, and put it in the bag without looking to see the rest of the damage. She jumped in her ancient Beetle and gunned the engine. Tony frequently shopped at Comic Paradise, a comic store an hour away.
Cutting the engine, Mary grabbed the bag and made her way inside. She gaped in amazement when she saw that floor to ceiling cases filled with comics. There was a middle partition that held more filled bins . A middle aged, balding man sat behind a glass case filled with rows and rows of cards. Magic the Gathering boxes were stacked along the case, along with Dungeons and Dragons books. Behind the man there were multiple shelves of busts, statues, and figurines. Toys lined the room and were stuck in odd nooks.
“Please tell me you have one of these for sale. I broke it and my husband will freak if he sees it missing.” Mary begged the balding man. He took the bag from Mary and grimaced at the mess inside. A puff of plaster dust leaked out when he set the bag on the counter.
“You’re in luck. I just so happen to have one of the suckers right back here. They aren’t cheap though.” He warned. He reached down and grabbed a box from the corner shelf. A $500 price tag was stuck to the top of it.
“I don’t care, just put it on here!” Mary said shoving her credit card at the man. She has planned on using it for a spa day with some friends in a few months, guess that is down the drain now. She thought. Carefully she grabbed the box and bought it back to her car. She buckled it up with a seat belt for extra safety and made her way home.
Mary paced in the living room while Tony was shut up in his office. It was time for his once a week memorabilia cleaning. Don’t notice it. Don’t notice it. Mary chanted as she walked endlessly back and forth. Her stomach clenched as Tony suddenly came out of the room holding the new Vader statue.
“Look at this honey! The glue held.” Tony exclaimed.
“What?!” Mary asked incredulously.
“I bought this from a friend a few weeks back. The head and hand were broken, but a bit of epoxy glue seems to be keeping it in place. You can’t even tell it was ever broken. I could have sworn the cloak had a tear in it, but it must have been another figure he was talking about. Dan will be kicking himself for selling it now.”
Mary found the sofa just as her legs gave out.