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Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #2259556
A strange encounter
499 WC October entry into "The Humorous Short Story Contest

“What’s wrong with it?” Harry wiped grease off his hands. He tossed the rag into a bunch of them and gave the customer his full attention. “You bought it here?”

Margo nodded, handing the sales slip over. “It worked great the first month and then this.” Her face was a puzzle of confusion. “It starts randomly. I can’t understand it.”

Harry jumped back a step when the washing machine kick-started without being plugged in. A strong smell of sulfur emanated from a puff of smoke out the back. “Well, the agitator works like a charm.”

He opened the lid to stare down inside. After a few jerks, the off-brand stopped jumping around. “What did you do to it?” This had to be some kind of joke. Harry looked around for a spy cam and announcer proclaiming he was live on somebody’s Youtube channel.

“See what I mean?” Margo pronounced with conviction. Her foot began tapping like it too had a mind of its own.

“Can you leave it? I’ll send you off with a replacement. No charge.” He offered. No camera, no joke. This thing needed further study.

“Can I go up one model for the inconvenience?”

A nod and Harry had another satisfied customer.

“It’s haunted.” Kay liked easy explanations. She left the front desk to see the washing machine in action. “That sulfur smell is a dead give-away.”

Harry put down his toolkit, put his hands on his hips, and stared at her. “So, why don’t you use your holy water, rosary, and pocket bible to evict the demon?” He got ready to tear the thing apart to see what was really going on.

Kay sniffed at her employer. “I don’t know how a mere washing machine trapped a devil but I’m telling you that’s what happened. Just give me a chance.”

The wrench in Harry’s hand clattered to the ground. “Be my guest. Do you do rain dances as well? It has been a real dry month out there.” He spun his baseball cap around backwards to get a better view of the action. “I need a good laugh.”

“Let me look inside.” The washing machine jumped away trying to pull itself apart. Clouds of sulfur choked Kay’s throat, made her eyes tear up, and made her pull the necklace with the cross on it out into view. “Demon. By the power of my true belief I command you to be gone.”

Harry thought his heart would give out when a caricature which could have been the devil itself squeezed up out of the bouncing washer. “For once I’m glad to oblige. Dern thing’s vibrations resonated with my passing and sucked me in. I got lost in there. Anything you wish in return before this devil rides out to gather in the next crop of souls?”

Kay exchanged an ‘I told you so’ look with Harry. “I could use a raise, Harry.”

Unable to help himself Harry felt himself momentarily possessed to say “How’s $50 an hour sound?”

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