Short Story: Inventory

The moment the back of his head connected with the floor, Mikul’s world went red. Blindingly red, as the pain┬áhad instantly forced his eyes shut and sent his hands around to the point of impact in no time. For a moment, he rolled around helplessly before his agony eventually subsided enough to let him open his eyes once more.

He wished he hadn’t, after finding himself in a warehouse that seemed to disappear into every horizon. North and South, East, West, it mattered not. He couldn’t see a wall in any direction. Mikul decided not to pay it any mind and instead looked around at what he could see, and found himself no less bewildered at the equally endless number of glass display cases with immaculate marble bases surrounding him, all arranged in a grid-like fashion. Each one played host to a different weapon: Shotguns, pistols, even swords of various shapes and sizes. Some of them seemed impossible to lift without mechanical aid.

“Mikul!” a voice called out from above. He looked up to a zippered hole above him, hanging unaided in the air. On the other side was the mid-afternoon sky hanging above the suburban road he remembered standing on just minutes ago. “Is everything alright down there?”

Mikul rubbed the back of his head where some of the pain persisted. “Aside from a bit of a headache, I’m fine. Speaking of headaches, Jo, you want to explain this?”

“Long story.” the unseen Jo answered back. “I’ll tell you later. Erm, there should be a combat shotgun nearby. Silver stock and pump, can’t miss it. Toss it up, will you?”

He glanced around, and just as promised, found the shotgun in no time. Silver stock. Silver pump. Without delay, he opened the front of the case, extracted the gun and tossed it up to the gap in space. “Dare I ask why?” A hand reached out to snatch the gun from the air.

“It works best against VAMPIRES!” Jo squealed before a single blast drowned her screams out. Silence followed, and Mikul’s heart shot throatward. Eventually, the smoking shotgun fell back through the hole. Just as Mikul rushed to catch it, Jo called back “Thanks!”

Mikul exhaled in relief that both his partner in crime was fine and that he would not be the next to use the weapon in his hand. He placed it back in its case and awaited the rope that descended from the hole to offer him escape. He couldn’t wait to hear the story of how Jo managed to cram an infinite armoury into a handbag the size of the average hardback novel, though he suspected she would only tell him that a wizard did it, same as all the other long stories.

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