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Uncertain Spinach – Part 3

“Stu, what’s going on? Those things are illegal for moving food. This spinach could be coming from anywhere!”
“Oh, come on mate, don’t be like that.” Stu looked desperate. “Look, I promise; it really is from Chernobyl. It is just that the inter-dimensional generator’s broken. This stuff needs to get here while it’s fresh or it’s worthless. I promise: there is nothing funny going on but, Lee, this is my livelihood. I didn’t have any choice.”
“Stu, even if it is from Chernobyl you know that teleportation destroys the resonance on whatever’s moved.” He looked around, scrubbing his hair with his fist. “That must be why the vibrations are so high. The stuff’s in meltdown! Give it a couple of hours and this’ll be just so much ordinary spinach. You can’t pass it off as med grade. It’s worthless.”
“Exactly.” Stu moved towards him, pleading. “Lee I will loose my job if they find out I couldn’t shift the stuff properly and I don’t have the cash for repairs. Please mate, all the customers would know is that it came over here in a van from Chernobyl. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Not just one little van load?”
“No. I’m… I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I’ve got a job to do too, Stu. People rely on this stuff and it’s up to me to make sure that what comes through here is exactly what it claims to be. You might as well sell this stuff to the vitamins and iron brigade for the good it will do anyone now.” He tried to put a consoling hand on Stu’s shoulder but the taller man shrugged him off, angrily moving aside as he did so to make room for a third man to join the group from the back of the van. Stu glanced between the two men, his expression horrified.
“I have to say, Stuart, that I am disappointed in you. I thought you said you would be able to handle the receiving clerk.”
“Boss, I can, just give me a moment with him. He won’t tell anyone, I promise!”
“No, you’re right. He’s not going to tell a soul.” Lunging forward as he spoke the man grabbed Lee’s life crystal and pushed him hard. Lee grasped at his assailant but his flailing fingers were easily swatted aside. He fell backwards into a vat of spinach that was having no trouble with its inter-dimensional generator. Unable to reach the bottom or sides Lee began to sink, thrashing wildly in panic.
“Help me!” he cried, reaching out towards Stu. Stu stood, staring, his mouth flapping in dumb shock. The third man came back into view and pushed Stu away, telling him to get on with unloading the van. Dark eyes peered down at Lee before the man twisted his face into a grin. Raising his arm he dangled the life crystal from its broken chain. Lee gasped for air and struggled against the clinging leaves. Radioactive spinach clogged his mouth and nose as he doubled his attempt to swim. It was a long, futile fight until, eventually, he gave up sobbing as he relaxed into the poisonous embrace of the long stemmed spinach.


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