|Allison's All-Night Laundry
Author: Abracadabra41 PM
The washers spun and the driers tumbled 24/7 under a grungy neon sign that flashed in green letters "Allison's All-Night Laundry". Only this night, they would stop. The tale of a desperate robber and his innocent victims... Please R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Crime - Chapters: 2 - Words: 1,653 - Published: 12-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3086770
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Allison's All-Night Laundry
The washers spun and the driers tumbled 24/7 under a grungy neon sign that flashed in green letters "Allison's All-Night Laundry". Allison was a young woman in her early twenties with lily-white skin, green eyes, and long red hair. She owned the Laundromat in the outskirts of New York City that specialized in never being closed, except on Christmas and Easter.
It was a dingy, rundown, lonely sort of place, yet there were always customers. Allison worked a twelve hour shift watching over her ten machines, five that washed and five that dried. She worked the nightshift while Errol, an elderly black man, worked during the day. He was a retired hotel clerk that lived in the apartment above and had been working for Allison more as a hobby than for money, since the retired life isn't all that it's made out to be. He was satisfied with his life: interacting with the customers each and being able to go home simply by walking up one flight of stairs. At night, the sound of the machines didn't bother him; he had lived next to the subway tracks for the 7-Train in Queens for forty years. Errol figured he wouldn't even know how to sleep if it were quiet.
Allison slept by day and took online college courses at night while she ran the Laundromat. She hoped to sell her business and buy a better place to live once she was done with her classes, but she couldn't bear the thought of old Errol possibly being replaced at the Laundromat if someone else were to own it. So Allison had decided that she would remain there until he was either unable to work or passed away before selling the place. She continued to type away at her laptop each night between refilling the soap machines and emptying out the coins.
One night, however, a man in a black ski mask watched through the window as Allison helped old Miss Clover load up washer number three with her bed sheets.
"My grandson, Tony, wet the bed again." the woman exasperated, "I just don't know what to do with him. Every time he comes over…" She shook her head.
"If you want, Miss Clover, I can bring your sheets over to you when they are dry." Allison offered, "It's never too busy on a Tuesday night and you're just in the next building."
"Oh Allison, you're such a darling!" Miss Clover replied, "I wouldn't ask you to do that. Why don't you just call me when they're done? That way I don't have to leave Tony for too long. I didn't want to bring him; you know how grumpy he gets."
"Of course." Allison smiled, remembering the last time the toddler had thrown a fit when his grandmother had brought him with to the Laundromat in the middle of the night.
The man outside retreated to the corner as the old lady exited below the flashing sign and returned to her apartment. Now it was just Allison inside, alone. He checked the silencer on his shotgun and approached the door.
Allison, meanwhile, was back at her laptop, rereading her essay. She absently swept her red hair behind one ear as she searched for mistakes. Several washers and driers ran although the owners of their contents were out and about rather than waiting around. She was unaware of the man with the ski mask and his gun until she heard the tinkling of the bells on the door.
"Can I help you?" she asked, before looking up. "Yes. I believe you can." the man said with more confidence than he felt, "Give me all the money and don't say a word."
The sawed-off barrel of the shotgun with its silencer in her face, Allison couldn't do much but comply. As Allison opened the coin box for the soap dispenser, since it was the closest, she heard the bells ring merrily again. The robber shot this new intruder before he could flee and kept his gun pointed at Allison as he backed towards the dead man and proceeded to drag him away from the door. He left the body behind the row of driers, out of sight. But the gunman began to get nervous. This was his first robbery and also the first time he had killed anyone. He was scared, and Allison was taking too long. He decided to back out; it wasn't worth it.
Allison was scared as well, but scared in a different way: for her life. She tried to get him the money as fast as possible, but her fingers were trembling. She tried desperately to hurry, but suddenly she heard a muffled pop; it was all over.
Allison's body slumped lifelessly to the floor. She had finally gotten the lock off the money access door. Quarters rained down on her body and splashed in the growing pool of blood on the floor. The gunman watched the quarters falling, falling… falling on an innocent girl he had needlessly killed. Not far away lay another body, that of a man who had also died for no reason. Sickened by the sight of the money now, he turned to leave. He opened the door but paused as the bells jingled again. Washer number three buzzed. "Time to swap the laundry, Miss Clover." the masked man said, in shock at what he had done, before stepping out the door below the neon sign where the words flashed repeatedly, "Allison's All-Night Laundry" unaware that it's namesake was dead. The washers continued to spin and the driers continued to tumble.
When the last one stopped, the silence awoke old Errol upstairs.