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The Bags

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  • The Bags

    James sat in the reading room, perusing Tuesday’s paper. “Bags,” he spoke to himself. “Why on Earth are they selling plastic bags?!”

    Doris, his wife, opened the door in her dress and apron. “Doris!” James exclaimed, “They’re selling plastic bags! Can you believe that?”

    “That’s odd,” said Doris.

    "Maybe it’ll help cut down on pollution,” James said, more to assuage himself than anything else; the advertisement seemed menacing somehow.

    He couldn’t fathom the value of bags.

    He got dressed and walked into the kitchen where Doris was fixing his lunch. “Where are all the bags?” Doris wondered aloud.

    "Are you calling me a douchebag?” asked James.

    “What?" quizzed Doris, "Are you all right? You don’t look well.”

    “There they are,” said Doris, reaching down for a bag full of bags. “Bags, bags galore!”

    James gave her a sheepish look. She laughed to herself and packed James’ lunch into the bag.

    "Well, I’m off!" James exclaimed.

    "Enjoy your lunch," said Doris.

    James stepped outside the door. A white plastic bag blew onto the lawn. “Litter bugs!” James extolled.

    He used his phone to snap a picture of the plastic bag. Something grazed his cheek. He looked and there on the ground was another white plastic bag. He picked the bags from his lawn.

    He was walking down the street and passed a gentleman who was also carrying a plastic bag. He tipped his hat.

    “Bag brothers,” laughed the gentleman, showing off his bag.

    “Yeah,” said James, "Riiight..."

    At the office James sat down to work at his computer. The Ultralite Kite Drone is the newest way to amaze… he typed.

    "Anybody know where I can get a plastic bag?" James overheard someone say. It was Belinda.

    “Now what could she need a bag for?” wondered James. James was taken aback, but began to type again.

    "A bag?!” George shouted. James stopped typing.

    “Are they saying I’m a douchebag?” he wondered aloud to himself.

    It somehow seemed to be the case. Yet Belinda rounded the corner holding a plastic bag, which she was peering into. James looked at her, mollified. “Oh, hey James,” said Belinda.

    “I see you found a bag?” James inquired.

    “Sure did,” said Belinda. She secured the bag with a knot.

    "What did you need a bag for, if you don’t mind my asking?” asked James.

    Belinda seemed somewhat offended and taken aback. “I just have some things to carry,” she said.

    “What?” asked James.

    "LOOSE TAMPONS,” scolded Belinda.

    "Oh.” James went back to typing. He typed for hours. Joyously. The words flowed from his barely audible lips to his fingertips.

    At noontime George approached him. “I gave Belinda a bag earlier,” said George. “I’m not sure, but I felt like there was something between us.”

    "Between you and the bag?”

    "No, between you and me.”

    "Is that a threat???"

    "What is your problem, James?! Between me and Belinda. I like her.”

    A plastic bag flew into the third story window. The bag paused for a moment and took off straight up into the air. James and George stared in shock. “That wasn’t right,” said James.

    "No, it wasn’t,” said George. James rose from his seat and he and George went to the window. What they saw in the streets three floors down amazed them.

    People were fleeing in terror. Bags, like so many birds, were flying through the air. Attaching themselves to faces.

    James saw a man fall to the ground and fight with a bag, then lie still.

    "Bags?!” George riddled.

    “What kind of question is that?!” asked James.

    “You were right!” said George.

    "Right about what?! I never said anything about bags..."

    “Well, not about bags...but you were sort of right… It’s aliens or something.”

    A woman’s high-pitched cackle was suddenly heard from somewhere in the building, fleeting yet oh so near. It plucked the strings in the men’s hearts.

    An alarm went off, but other than that it was eerily silent. James rounded the corner of his cubicle to investigate, as had others. “Woman!” accused James of Gertrude as she peered around the corner.

    “I have nothing to do with this!" Gertrude protested.

    “Exonerated,” said George, "We agree?”

    "What are we, Starsky and Hutch?” asked James. He looked around at the ceiling, perplexed. “And what is this? A bag drill?”

    A woman ran down the alleyway between the cubicles laughing shrilly. “It should be!” she cheered. “Bags! You're all bags!”

    "Oh no!” shouted James after her, clutching at his hair.

    "Oh yes!” she screamed back, leaving the premises through the exit towards the stairs. “Yes, yes, YES!” she proclaimed before slamming the door behind herself.

    “This is MADNESS!” said George.

    "We’re all gonna turn into bags!” screamed James.

    “You already ARE bags!” said Dolores, another female coworker, who suddenly was leaning over the top of the cubicle, dumping plastic bags out of a garbage bag onto James and George’s heads.

    "RUN!” screamed Gertrude.

    It was anarchy. Cubicles were falling over. Printers were being thrown out of windows.

    Boss Hines stood at his office door. “Everyone back to your seats! It’s a hoax! This is not an emergency. There’s no such thing as bags!”

    “How can you say there’s NO SUCH THING AS BAGS?!” questioned Gertrude.

    “You question my authorit…” Boss Hines was saying, but was never able to finish his sentence for his head was now wrapped in a plastic bag.

    James was frozen in fear. His eyes darted this way and that. His greatest secret fear, a hostile invasion of plastic bags, had come to fruition. George tried to shake him out of it, but eventually gave up, running in terror.

    James, upon seeing his friend fleeing, snapped out of it, began weeping, and ran like a girl after him. It was somewhat uncomfortable, for he had soiled his pants.

    They stepped into the elevator. “Hold the door!” begged Gertrude, but James and George were too frightened to move. The last they saw of Gertrude was a disappointed expression on her face and a bag sneakily crawling up her thigh.

    The lights flickered. The power went out. The elevator stalled.

    “This is the safest place to be,” spoke a voice.

    It was Jerry, the African lift operator.

    "How did you get this job, Jerry?” asked George.

    "Back in the day this building was going to be hot as hot cakes,” Jerry informed him. “I got on from the ground up, so to speak. My friend Thomas was manager of the Sears-Robuck that used to occupy level one.”

    "I wonder what’s going on out there,” said James.

    Jerry turned on his phone. “Let me check…” he began, but the other two remembered that they carried phones as well and were already hustling to communicate with the outside world.

    "Doris,” texted James. “Are you all right?”

    "I’m fine,” she responded. “Why? Are you at lunch?”

    “The bags, Doris! They’re everywhere! Stay inside!”

    “Not this again. Bags, bags, bags… Ugh.”

    “Doris, I…”

    "Bags, bags, bags, bags, bags."

    "Doris, I..."

    "BAGS, BAGS, BAGS, BAGS, BAGS! Mwah ha ha ha ha!"

    A whimper escaped James’ lips.

    "James, are you all right?” asked Jerry.

    "It’s over,” George declared. “The news is reporting that it was just a freak whirlwind coinciding with people mentioning the word bags."

    “Back to work!” said Jerry.

    “To heck with that,” said James. “I’ve got to get home. That was no coincidence. What we saw...that was no coincidence. You agree, right George? George?”

    George didn’t respond. James turned on his flashlight and heard a crinkling. He shined it at his feet. No George, but a flimsy, white plastic bag.

    The power came back on.


    "First floor, James,” said Jerry.

    "Let me…” James began. He picked up the peculiar plastic bag that lay at his feet. The elevator doors opened. It was as James had predicted. Bags everywhere, but no people to be seen. The bags crinkled, seemingly of their own volition. Angrily they crinkled.

    James could see that they were frightened of him.

    He began picking them up.

    A terrified face rose from behind a counter. “’re picking them up?” asked the man.

    "Yeah, I guess!” said James. He continued to pick up the litter as the bags crinkled their dismay. “Grab a bag!”

    The man winced.

    "Bags!” jeered a woman who had opened a door a crack as James and the stranger began collecting the bags.

    Slowly but surely others came out of the woodwork and began collecting the vociferous plastic carry-alls.

    The city had been saved. Everywhere James went the bags froze in terror, dropping from trees, from the clouds...and others picked up where he left off.

    When he finally made it home he found Doris suffocated by a particularly venomous bag, which he, in tears, threw into the fire place.

    Word got around of the mysterious man who had saved the day, and a ceremony was held. James was awarded a medal of honor and asked to give a short speech. He declined the medal, though, and began his version of events.

    He told of George and how George had given his life to become a plastic bag, a bag to rule all others. He held George aloft (for he was correct, actually) but the audience booed their dismay.

    "ALL BAGS ARE BAD!” the crowd began chanting in unison.

    "Not all bags are bad!” cried James. “George is a good bag!”

    "That’s enough of this,” said the mayor, extending his hand. "Your gun, chaplain."

    He pointed a pistol at James’ head. “Thumbs up or thumbs down?” he asked the audience. The overwhelming majority flashed their thumbs downward. A shot rang out.

    A flock of birds scattered outside city hall.

    The mayor lay on the ground, suffocated by a plastic bag.

    The End?
    Last edited by neonspectraltoast; 07-23-2021, 01:13 AM.

  • #2
    This made me lol