Blondelle Thoopsamoot stood at the register of Karl's Convenience Store, twisting a lock of hair around her fingers. Her glossy-brown eyes flickered back and forth across the panels on the ceiling. Everything was silent for a while and she continued to twirl her hair and smack her gum. After a moment, she took a breath and turned to the director.
"John," she said. "I forgot my line."
The director cleared his throat impatiently and said, "You don't have a line yet, Blondelle."
"Let's try this again," he said. "Scene one, take six."
She began to randomly push buttons on the register, blowing bubbles with her gum. As the money drawer slid open, she let out a huge belch and scratched her belly. The director sighed.
"Blondelle, may I remind you that you are on camera?"
She clicked her tongue. "Mmm-hmm."
"Okay, Sven, enter in three, two…"
Suddenly, the front door bursts open and in came this man, decked out in a black tux, rolling around on the floor conspicuously, as not to be seen by anyone. Music to the theme "Secret Agent Man" began blaring out of nowhere and Blondelle found herself so taken aback that she began glancing around frantically, trying to figure out what was going on.
"Where is that music coming from?" she shouted at the man. "This wasn't in rehearsal!" The director waved an impatient hand at her and she turned back to her co-star. Sven continued rolling across the floor towards her. She watched him amusedly, pressing her hands to her ears to drown out the noise.
"Can I help you sir?" she yelled.
He made one final roll and alas, landed by her feet. The music stopped and she looked around in utter horror. The man looked up at her, continuing to kneel behind the counter. His eyes darted from side to side as if they were in some sort of grave danger.
"Psst," he said carefully. "The chef has shaven his beard."
Blondelle blinked frantically. "What?"
He grabbed her hand and yanked her down out of view. "Shh, we must not be seen together. Listen carefully. The chef has shaven his beard."
She was silent, trying to comprehend all of this. "Razors are in isle four…" she said slowly.
"No, I do not want you razors. I have come to warn you. They're coming for you Miss Thoopsamoot."
"What?" she sputtered. "Who are you?"
"The name is McFluffaluff. Sven McFluffaluff. Now you must trust me. We must get out of here before they come."
"The Chop-Sewi Clan."
"You the keeper of the Periwinkle Monkey Loofah."
She giggled. "That sounds funny. Why would anyone want my loofah?"
"This is not a laughing matter, young one. The Loofah is the sacred symbol of cleanliness, handed down from generation to generation and one day it was stolen and brought here to America, where you purchased it at a flea marker. And now they want it back and will go to any extreme to get it. Now come before—"
Suddenly there came a loud crash from isle five. He grabbed her hand and told her to keep low. He looked around the corner slowly and a flash of black shot across the room. He jerked his head back.
"Cranberry sauce! We're surrounded. Me must fight out way to the door. Are you prepared for battle?"
She gasped. "Battle?"
"Yes, we must make a break for it or we'll—"
An ear piercing "Hi-ya" filled the air and the two looked up to see three ninjas, clad in black, come crashing down on the counter above them. Blondelle screamed, completely frozen in fear. Sven turned quickly to the shelf, grabbing half a dozen packs of cigarettes. With lighting speed, he flung them at the Clan and watched the scatter quickly to avoid danger. At last, his super cool spy moves had come in handy.
"Come, Miss Thoopsamoot. We must make a break for it!"
Hand in hand, they got to their feet and tried to escape to the front door. So close, yet so far away. Halfway to the door, their path was cut off by the largest of the three ninjas. They both gasped and turned to run for their lives. With the ninja in hot pursuit, they ran frantically across the front of the store to aisle one, where Blondelle grabbed a bag of M&Ms and scattered them across the floor to divert his path. He stood at the edge of the candy landmine, scratching his head in confusion.
Sven and Blondelle ducked into the candy isle, panting nervously. They were both very tense, their eyes darting around alertly.
"Oh, Sven," she breathed. "We're going to die!"
Sven shook his head. "No we're not! We will fight and prevail."
He rolled quietly across the isle, grabbing random bags of candy. Rolling back to her, he asked, "What shall your weapon be?"
She glances at the contents in his hands and chose a box of jawbreakers with a trembling hand. Hot tears stung her eyes and she turned away to keep Sven from seeing them. He took her shoulder softly.
"You will do well, young Blondelle. Just give it all you got, all right?"
She sniffed. "Yes, sir."
They crawled stealthily across the floor, Sven humming his theme song. The store was dangerously silent, and they could hear their own hearts pulsing. They reached the end of the shelves and peeked around the side. The path was clear. Sven gave her a silent one two three count and in unison, the stumbled to their feet and began to dart across the floor in hopes of finding safety.
The Chop-Sewi Clan appeared out of aisle four, carrying breakfast breads of mass destruction, their arms back and ready to launch the ammo. As the muffins came flying, Blondelle and Sven dropped to their knees and covered their heads. Nothing. All was silent as the Clan reloaded. Blondelle dumped a handful of jawbreakers into her trembling hand and chucked them in hopes of creating some sort of diversion. They only laughed at her.
Sven helped her to her feet and they tried to run the last few feet to the door. She almost made it. She was so close, her hand touched the handle and she smiled to herself in relief. But a bloodcurdling cry caught her attention. It was Sven! He had been struck by a pastry! She screamed!
He now knelt on the floor, clutching his chest. Frosting oozed from between his fingers and his face had grown pale. He screamed in pain, his arm outstretched to the ceiling. He began grasping at the air, slightly delusional.
"They Cinna-Bunned me!" he gasped. "Those poopy-heads!"
And slowly, ever so slowly, he collapsed to the floor. Blondelle stood frozen. She didn't know what to do. She was so close to saving her own life, but here was her companion, lying on the floor, dying an overly dramatic death. She looked back and forth between him and the door, her lips quivering in confusion.
"Save yourself, Blondelle," he squeaked. "Don't worry about me!"
She shook her head and ran to him, falling to her knees beside him. slowly, he rolled over onto his side to look at her.
"Sven…" she whispered.
"I will be okay, my dear. But I must confess something though," he said. Blondelle nodded, muffins whizzing past her head. "I have loved you from the first moment I saw you…"
"But that was like five minutes ago."
"Shh," he said, pressing a shaky singer to her lips. "Don't speak. You'll ruin the mood."
He pressed his frosting-covered hand to her face. "Juts promise me…promise me…"
Suddenly, he gasped loudly, clutching his throat and then, his body went completely limp. Blondelle's vision blurred and she began to sob.
"Sven!" she screamed. "No! Sven! Don't die! I love you, Sven!"
"Ow!" Sven snapped back to life. "I'm trying to be dramatic here, woman! That hurts my ears!"
"Oh," she breathed. "Sorry, I was just going for the whole theatrical effect." She turned to the attackers, who now stood a few feet away, watching and gobbling powdered donuts. She asked, "Too much?"
They all nodded, "A little."
"Oh, okay." Sven's body fell limp again and Blondelle returned to sobbing hysterically. She whimpered, "No, Sven! No!"
The enemies approached her. "Where is the Sacred Periwinkle Monkey Loofah?"
"What is wrong with you people?" she snapped.
They looked at one another in confusion. She began to sob again.
"You killed the love of my life," she wept. "Over a stupid bath sponge."
"Gee," the smallest one said apologetically, shoving his hands into his pocket and kicking at a muffin gently. "We're really sorry about that."
"Get out!" she yelled, pointing a demanding finger at the door. "I don't ever want to see your ugly faces again."
They glanced at each other again and shrugged. "Awright, let's go get some coffee, guys."
They filed out, their heads hung in shame. Blondelle watched them go, waiting to turn back to Sven until the door was closed. She touched her fingertips to his face gently and wiped a smear of frosting from his cheek.
"Sven," she breathed. He did not respond. She cleared her throat and repeated. "Sven! It's your line!"
His body jerked and his eyes opened. When he looked at her he grinned. "Blondelle, my love!"
"Sven!" she gasped. "You're okay!"
"Of course I am! The hero never dies in a cheesy Hollywood flick!"
"Marry me, Blondelle," he said.
She paused for a moment, looking up to the director.
The director sighed impatiently. "You say, 'Marry you Of course I will'…"
"Ew! I don't like have to kiss him, do I?"
"No," he replied. "Just finish the scene, okay?"
"Oh, right." She turned back to Sven and began dramatically. "Marry you? Of course I will!"
They both smiled and the lights faded on set. The director stood anxiously and shouted, "Cut and print! That's a wrap everyone. Thank God." And then he let out a strained breath, turning to walk out of the door. "I need a beer."