When I got home, I noticed the answering machine had a new message. A pleasant female voice asked me to call their call center at an 800 number. When I called I was a little nervous to discover that the credit security people were at the number given. When I stammered out my particulars, they informed me that I had left my credit card at the last place I visited. Cool! Another chance to go back to see Marisa!
I strolled back into the store just as the lights were being turned off; Marisa turned to me and said, "Oh, there you are. I tried to get your address, I know that you live close, and I was going to drop it off to you, but the credit people wouldn’t give it to me. Look, I have to lock up, and my daughter’s late, would you mind if I close up the front?"
"Sure, no problem. Do you need some help?" "If you don’t mind, yes I could use it." I helped Marisa slide the folding doors closed and I was tasked with locking the floor pins down. I took my time at the last pin so I could get a good look at her shoes while she stood beside me to lock the door. "Good, that’s done" she said, "They are such tyrants in this mall about having the doors open at exactly opening time, and closed at exactly closing time." She looked at me after I stood up. "You’re tall, could you help me out in the back for a few minutes?" "OK" She led the way to the back, stopping to pick up her coat and a flashlight from the front counter. "I’ve got a ladder, could you change the light bulb? It’s been burnt for a week, and I’m tired of stepping on things that I can’t see back there." In the back, it was dark. Marisa turned the flashlight towards the rear where the ladder was standing against the wall. I walked towards it, and lifted it with both hands. I was surprised by its top-heavy weight, and a cat’s squall informed me why; with a scrabble, the store feline managed to stay perched on top. "RUFUS, GET DOWN!" Marisa yelled. The cat pitched the ladder in my hands as it launched itself sideways towards a shelf. Being a large cat, the landing was less than graceful and took out some of the shelf’s contents. I couldn’t help but laugh. I asked "How big is that cat?" "Oh, he’s about 15 pounds." Rufus then jumped down and created another racket close to the floor. I unfolded the ladder legs and kicked aside some of the boxes and wrapping material scattered across the floor next to me and I asked, "Where’s the light?" Marisa pointed the flashlight’s narrow beam at the ceiling and found a bulb about 11 feet high. I shuffled the ladder under the light and asked, "Where’s a good bulb?" She pointed the light at the floor next to her, about a foot behind her. Before she could move, I reached down beside her and grabbed the box of bulbs that I saw as she moved the light around. In the process, my shoulder bumped her thigh and I brushed her calf with my arm. I stood up and climbed up the ladder. Marisa pointed the flashlight back up to the ceiling saying, "Gosh, you move fast." I thought she was talking about my climbing. I retorted: "It helps to be tall!" as I replaced the bulb. Marisa had a merry look on her face as the new bulb lit up the room. I also noticed that Rufus upset a shoe shelf next to a chair. I jumped down off the ladder, and folded it back against the wall. Marisa had turned away with the old bulb I handed to her and she walked towards the storefront. I gathered up the shipping refuse scattered across the floor and tossed it into the garbage can. I picked up the goods Rufus knocked down and replaced them on the shelf and then picked up a few leather shoes that were knocked onto the floor. I noticed that another pair were similar to those Marisa was wearing but darker. There was a shelf with several pairs lined up, and being a little OCD, I found a home for all the footwear I retrieved. When I stood up after rearranging the shoe shelf, Marisa was watching me from the doorway. "You are good help!" "Thank you," I said. Marisa stepped towards me, shook off her left flat onto the top of the shelf, and stuck her foot into the darker pair of the same style with one fluid move. As Marisa repeated the move with her right foot, Rufus jumped up and started to paw at the left insole. "Rufus must have left a prize in there for himself." "Hmmm? What?" I asked. "Oh, he usually finds extras on the floor, and I’ve caught him a few times leaving mouse corpses back here." She shooed Rufus off the shelf and I picked up the still warm left shoe. I held it up to the light so she could also see the insole. Marisa’s face coloured as she recognized the pinkie remains inside the flat. "Does he usually leave them in your shoes?" I asked. "Funny, I didn’t feel that when I put it on this morning. Maybe my daughter wore that around in here, she’s the same size shoe as me. Oh well. She can clean it out." Marisa took the shoe from me and tossed it back on top of the shelf. "Rufus doesn’t discriminate, one time I came in here and found a lively little something trying to jump out of this pump," she pointed at a pink high-heel with her toe. "I put on another pair, and went to the front to grab something to trap it in, when I came back, Chloe had already put these on. I asked her if she noticed anything about the shoes and she said that they fit just fine thankyouverymuch!" Just then the rear door opened, and a younger woman walked in, who looked a lot like Marisa. "Oh, hi Chloe, we were just talking about you. Chloe and I fit the same shoe size." Chloe looked a little miffed and rolled her eyes for added measure. Chloe whined, "Mom, why are you telling this
guy that!" "Mike helped me out with the light bulb I asked you to change, and also because you were late! I was also showing him what we discovered Rufus doing back here." Marisa picked up her freshly worn left flat and showed it to Chloe. "Ewww!" Chloe wrinkled her nose at the sight, but didn’t seem grossed out by the view. "What is, I mean, what was that?" "A Rufus victim, I think!" Marisa picked up the shoes and presented them side-by-side to Chloe. "You were supposed to change the bulb, this is what happened because you didn’t." She then picked up the pink heels, "I see you took the trouble to clean these out!" It was Chloe’s turn to colour with embarrassment. "I didn’t know there was something in there until it was too late, besides I was in a hurry." "Yeah, well I was in a hurry too. How many has Rufus left you?" "Well, I think 3 or four…" Chloe started saying. "But you couldn’t tell because there was no light back here." Marisa finished with a smirk, and handed Chloe the pink pumps. "I think I’ll have to move this shelf up front." Marisa looked at the low-heeled pumps on Chloe’s feet. "Anything in there?" she asked with what looked like a leer to me. Chloe blushed again, "Well I didn’t check them out before I put them on, besides, I’m here for these pink heels." Chloe inspected the insoles using the overhead light. "Thanks, these will do just great for tonight." Marisa turned and grabbed the shoe shelf off the floor and carried it to the front, dropping a few shoes along the way. "I guess I’m here to help," I muttered to no one in particular, and I gathered up the few pairs left under the shelf. I left Chloe, and as I picked up the first loose shoe, I heard the rear door open and close. I brought the loose shoes to Marisa, who was wrestling some space under the front counter. "Here ya go" I tried to be as cheerful as possible. "Where’s Chloe?" Marisa looked up at me. I shrugged my shoulders "Dunno. I think I heard the door close when I was picking these up." I gestured with my collection of shoes. "Can you make sure these are OK? I have to find that idiot!" She stalked away. I checked out the other shoes and discovered that there was one more insole addition in a pair of tan coloured leather flats. I was holding the right shoe looking at the insole as Marisa returned. "Another one?" she asked. "Yeah, I guess Rufus has been grabbing these mice from somewhere. This one wound up under someone’s toes, see it’s not quite flat next to the toe prints." I held the shoe so Maria could see into it. Now it was Maria’s turn to blush. "Yeah, I had to grab that one off the floor a couple of days ago and hide it from some customers with children. Chloe was in here and stepped on the head and didn’t notice. I had to grab it before any other customers saw it, but my hands were full." I just looked at her and said nothing while I still held the shoe pointed at her. She gulped out a smile and continued "I just grabbed it with my toes and slid it into that shoe, I was busy and I guess I forgot about it." She observed, "You don’t seem to be too freaked out about it." with a smile. I asked with a grin "Do you want some help cleaning your shoes?" "Sure, let’s go." and Marisa turned and marched to the back.
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<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/fetish/trip-to-the-store-part-2.aspx">Trip To The Store - Part 2</a>