< The Detective Store >



I think, <I die in the United States,> hold breath.

The tunnel lights flash red. Cyanide gas hisses.

<|No handle.> I press upon white door, push.

The white door is, <|Closed.>

I look at green button. I press the green button. I press and press and press the green button.

The white door is closed.

I slap palms on white door and push.

The white door is closed.

<|This.> I slam shoulder into white door one, two, three times. <|Bad.>

The white door is closed.

<|Key.> I hold lungs.

The tunnel glows.

<|A command.> I step back and look and feel around white door and push the white door with arms.

Red light flashes from floor to wall to ceiling to wall. Cyanide hisses.

A loud BANG echoes tube. <|Gee Forty-three.>

<|A command.> I close eyes. I think to see to the door, >|Open.<

The white door opens.

<|Disappeared.> Sweat beads upon forehead. <|Where?>

A cube space is. Psycho's core rests in cube corner.

Gas hisses.

I look behind. I hold lungs.

The tunnel glows red. Bang echoes. Sweat drips from nose. <|White cube.> I step into cube. <|Another box.>

I grab and roll Psycho to opening.

A door appears.

Darkness is.

I think command, >|Open.<

Psycho thumps door.

<|Fuck.> I step to door; hit a wall; step back from door wall and sit.

The lungs warm.


The floor and ceiling shine light.

<|White.> I hold lungs. <|Move. Cube a lift. Door tight against wall floor solid.> Walls are white and smooth. <|Handkerchief.> I exhale and pull wet handkerchief from pocket.

Long exhale flows from mouth. Chest relaxes, falls.

<|Work.> I place handkerchief's center over mouth, inhale, think, <|Cyanide.>

Pack slips from back.

I lay on back and slide pack over chest.

BANG! thumps against white door.

<|Gee Forty-three.>

Floor and ceiling shine white light.

<|No vents.>

BANG! is.


Walls are smooth.

<|No mask in pack?> I look at pack.


I lay supine. I lift head, grab pack strap. I open pack pockets, think, <|Pepper spray, P2310, panic emitter, shock rod, con badge, compressed injection, camera, sex cap, gun, hand cuffs, flashlight, medstick.>

BANG is.

Lungs warm.

BANG is.

I exhale. <|Is this real?>

Lungs cool.

I feel and think, <|Real to me.>

Bang, bang is. <|Above.>

<|Moving down?> I place handkerchief over mouth, inhale. <|Nano.>

I taste almonds. Chest convulses. Mouth opens and tongue sticks out, extends, strains. I cough and cough and cough.

I hold quivering lungs and wipe saliva from face with shoulder.


Body coughs and looks up, shakes head.

Bang is.

Handkerchief is over mouth. Eyelids press. <|Too long. Open eyes.>

Nothing is.

Eyelids open. >|Clean.< Tears blur vision. Body holds lungs. Head floats, lays on cube floor. Sight shifts left to right and up and down upon door wall. Body closes eyelids over eyes.

Lungs burn.

I think, crawl to wall with one hand and two knees, <|Command.>

Saliva drips from mouth.

I lay on ground. I cough, gag and raise head.

Head swims for balance on shifting planes and shaking borders.

I exhale, hold head still. I wipe mucus and saliva from mouth. <|Command.>

Sweat spreads, tears streak.

Lungs break hold with a quick convulsion. The lungs' force pushes mouth apart.

I place handkerchief over mouth. <|Filter cell.> Center is over mouth.

Body opens mouth and inhales and exhales through nose.

The lungs burn.


Foot kicks Psycho's core.

Eyes sting.

>|Clear air.< I hold lungs. I exhale. I lay head on floor.

Handkerchief's center is over mouth.

I inhale through filter, blink.

Water pools around eyelid. Tears fall.

Saliva drips.

>|Cleanse. Vent.<

Lungs convulse.

Body coughs, coughs and coughs, coughs.

I gag.

Nothing is.

Saliva sprays.

I stare upon blood stained handkerchief. I hold handkerchief over mouth.

Mouth closes. Jaw clenches.

Bang, bang, bang is.

<|Distant.> I look at wall. <|Down.>

Lungs spasm.

I hold lungs, exhale. >|Oxygenate.< I look at Psycho's core and exhale, lift handkerchief and hold it to nose and mouth. I inhale. >|Clear. Clean. Purify. Cleanse.<

The core rests in corner by pack.

The lungs spasm and burn.

I hold lungs. I exhale... ...And I exhale...

Bang is.

I constrict lungs and hold and hold. I constrict lungs.

I think to anything, >|Clear. Oxygenate. Free. Smokeless. Blow. Suck, fan, float, get the poison out of the cube. Filter.<

Saliva seeps between lips.

>|Empty. Filtrate. Something. More literal. Dark.<

Dark is.

I think, >|Light.<

Light is.

Saliva slides to corner of lip and cheek.

>|Hold. Clear. Clean. Grate. Fence.<

Throat tickles. Salt taste fills mind.


Lungs blow. Mouth flaps open lips. Mucus, blood spray.

I raise handkerchief to mouth.

Lungs suck in.

I move handkerchief center to mouth.

Lungs blow.

Mouth is open. Tongue is taut. Cough sprays saliva, blood.

Lungs suck in. Lungs blows out, expand. Chest convulses. <|Hold.> Head is still. <|Cover.> Chest pulses push neck and head forward.

I cover mouth with handkerchief and inhale. <|Exhale.>

Lungs explode. The ribs contain the blast. Lungs cough, cough, cough.

I hold lungs, press palm against chest.

I slowly exhale.

Body is supine.

Saliva drips from mouth and sticks on face.

>|Purge poison.< And I slowly exhale.

Lungs convulse.

I constrict lungs and hold. I think, >|Purify air. Filter air. Clear poison. Clean air.<

Lungs blow out. Wind blows from mouth. Saliva flies. Blood sprays over white light floor.

I hold blood soaked handkerchief over mouth.

Lungs cough, cough, cough.

I inhale and cough and cough.

The cube is spotted with blood.

I cough a deep cough. Face vessels pop.

Saliva drips.


Arms push from floor. I lean back upon cube.

Lungs cough, gag, cough and cough.

I breathe.

Clean air fills the lungs.

Lungs burn.

I throw tie in corner. <|Is this wanted?> I pull shirt from chest popping buttons and throw shirt at corner and unlatch belt and pull belt off and whip it to corner. Feet and toes push shoes from feet. <|Into the system.> I cough and gag. Then I cough. I unfasten pants, pull from legs, throw in corner. I pull socks and throw. I cough, hold lungs still, hold the cough and exhale. I look at jock. <|Support.> I stare at the cube. <|Want it or not. This is. ...What? Psycho has entered the system. Enter. Expendable citizen?> I cough and cough and hold lungs.

White light shines.

I inhale. <|Did I want this?>

Lungs spasm.

I cough. I inhale, constrict lungs and hold. I exhale.

The white door disappears.

White light flickers beyond door.

<|Now in.> I stand. <|Remove Psycho from system.> I inhale and exhale.

A shaft with steel-grate platform and stairs is.

<|Pack.> I kneel, cough, spit. <|Blood.> I grab Psycho's core with palm and push Psycho's core into pack. I close the pack, grab the pack, think, <|Why Continue?> stand. <|Life?> I set pack strap over shoulder. <|Hope?>

I hack and gag and cough.

Light flickers.

<|Remain in cube.>

The cube top lowers.

The heavy pack pulls shoulder down.

Cube top hits head.

I bend knees and lower.

<|Why remain?>

Lungs burn.

I feel and think. <|Mom and dad.> I step from cube to steel-grate floor.

Gray square shaft is above. Black and white steel stairs on the walls of the square shaft rise from floor to darkness above. A square column of space is center.

Flickering light shines from below.

<|Beam and fan.>

The cube top presses against the cube bottom.

A white wall is.

Fans create flicker. Fan below steel-grate floor blows cool air.

I look up. <|Stairs up.>

Black and white steps ascend. <|Stairs to Heaven Security.>

Lungs pump for air. Throat constricts, opens and forces gag out mouth.

I cough...

The pack hits stair. Sound echoes.

I sit on stair, unzip pack. Lift the end, hold Psycho.

Flashlight, con badge, pepper spray, canister of P2310, panic emitter, shock rod, hand cuffs, compressed injection instinct enhancer, camera, sex cap, a gun and a medstick fall from pack to stair. Pack and Psycho are set a stair below the pile.

I cough. I inhale and exhale slow. I zip pack.

Lungs burn then cool. Chest aches.

I lift and twirl beaker shaped object between fingers. <|Medstick.> I grip medstick. I slide medstick between jock strap and hip.

Sweat runs across cheek to chin and falls.

I cough. I take the gun and grip the handle, pop the clip and catch the clip. I toss the gun a step above and toss clip across the floor.

I push pack with Psycho against the wall.

<|Black white stairs lead up.> I grab canister of P2310 and toss canister of P2310 onto the pile. <|Above.>

I smile. <|No security.> I lift flashlight. I grab medstick from jock strap.

I cough.

I step on stair. <|One.>





The black and white steel-grate stairs echo with step.

I think, <|Unlock.> Hand slides over wall.

I cough.

Body sways.

I press gray, <|Cement,> wall.

The foot's steps echo. The stairs vibrate. The white noise radiates from below.

I soft cough. <|Seventy stairs?> I look down through steel-grates to the flickering light below.

Feet step upon cold steel-grate stairs.

I step. <|Hundred stairs?> I squint, visor. <|Need there.> I look up.

Black and white steel-grate stairs climb through darkness and to a light.

<|Not here.> I look down.

<|How will I land?>

Sweat drips from chin.

I step, think, <|Heavy,> wipe forehead, whisper, ,,Even smells sublevel.''

Feet step upon stairs.

I step upon platform.

Lungs spasm.

I cough and stop.

Blood and saliva drip. I wheeze. I inhale. I cough. I inhale, hold lungs, exhale.

I step upon stairs.

Body is coated with sweat.

I step and step and step... <|Elevator new part?> I smile. <|It's fool proof.>

Lungs spasm.

Lungs spasm. I cough, cough and cough, inhale, spit, exhale, inhale, cough.

Blood drips from mouth.

I inhale. I step stairs.

Saliva drips from chin.

I step upon stairs... <|I am the fool.> I wipe face against shoulder. <|This is not fool proof.>

Feet press against steel-grate stairs.

Sweat flows from ear to neck to shoulder.

I feel and think, <|I killed Mustang.>

Chest convulses. Saliva, blood, sweat spray flows from face. Chest heaves and lungs push.

I cough, bend over.

I cough and cough.

Medstick falls upon stairs.

<|Medstick,> I think.

Arm muscles tense. Sweat covers head.

I inhale.

Lungs quiver.

I exhale. I grab medstick.

Sweat drops drip from face to steel-grate stair.

I climb stairs.

Legs pulse.

I look up. <|Move.>

Stairs and point of light are.

Lungs quiver.

I inhale. <|Control the machine.>

Legs pull and push, pump.


Hand reaches for rail, pulls. <|Move.> I inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

I step, step, step...

Lungs burn.


Feet vibrate steel-grate stairs. The vibration flows up rail.

I stand. I cough, cough, breathe, cough, breathe.

Breath is uneven and shallow.

I wipe face with forearms.

Body sits.

I stand and step and step and step...

Legs drag feet and place feet on stairs.


Throat clears. Mouth spits.


Legs step.


Legs step.


Legs step.


I climb and stand. I lean.

Chest rises and falls. The lungs burn.

I look up.

Stairs and a point of light are.

I breathe. I place hands on hips and look up and laugh and cough. I think, <|Security.>

Lungs burn.

I step to rail and look down.

<|The wide and open.> Column of space descends to the flickering light below.

I look up.

Stairs, darkness and a point of light are.

I grip flashlight and medstick in one hand. I press flashlight's green button.

Flashlight beam shines through column of space to point of light.

I grab rail and straddle rail then sit on rail.

Feet dangle.

The floor light flickers.

I point flashlight light below.

Stairs and the flickering light are.

Sweat drops down shaft.

I grip flashlight with right hand and medstick with left hand.

Sweat drips from nose and falls.

Butt slides from rail. Legs push off.



The Detective Store
Written by Kalab J. Oster
Edited by United States of America
Copy-Edited by Valerie Jean Thompson
Copy-Edited with Word Prostitute®
Published with Word Prostitute®
Published in United States of America
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009920085
International Standard Book Number: 9780972846592
Word Prostitute® Revision Control Number: 30995

Electric Price: Free To Read
Paper Price: $5 USD and 1 tree for 1 print of The Detective Store. Only 1 print per person.

Copyright © 2009 Word Prostitute®. All Rights Reserved.

The Detective Store's paragraphs can be bookmarked (or added to Favorites).
One needs to click on the paragraph then bookmark (or add to Favorites)
the URL appearing in the U.S. Intranet web browser's address bar.


</ The Detective Store >