In Today's Inventory by John Weagly
“There’s a finger in the pickle jar,” Maggie Anne said.
We were in the storeroom of the diner I own and operate, Buster’s Lunch Box, sorting through the day’s deliveries. It was cool and a little cramped with the two of us and I could faintly smell vinegar from the most recent wipe-down of the shelves.
She held up the economy size jar of dill pickle spears that had just come off the truck. Sure enough, there was a pinkish-white finger floating in the brine. It looked like the top half of a pinky.
“Yuck,” I said.
Maggie Anne stared at the appendage through the glass. “Think it’s from anyone we know?”
“I doubt it. Where’s the pickle plant?”
She inspected the label on the jar. “Some place in Michigan.”
“It’s probably from there. Must’ve happened at the factory.”
“A worker had an accident…”
“…and their finger ended up here.”
“Yuck,” Maggie Anne agreed. “What should we do with it?”
I tapped my pen against the clipboard I was holding and thought for a moment. “I’ll run it over to the police station after the lunch rush,” I said. “Let them figure it out.”
“Maybe they can reunite it with its owner.”
“Maybe,” I said.
“That would be nice.” She put the pickles on a shelf and softly touched the tip of her pinky to the tip of the imprisoned digit. She had a faraway look in her eye. “That would be nice,” she repeated.
“Yeah,” Maggie Anne said, coming back from wherever she’d gone.
“For now,” I said, “Let’s open a different jar.”
Locus Magazine once called JOHN WEAGLY “a new writer worth reading and following.”His stories have been nominated for and won various awards. As a playwright, over 100 of his scripts have received over 150 productions on four continents.Twitter: @JohnWeagly