Authors note: - Yet another very short flash fic, and yet again featuring our hapless hero Elwyn. The poor guy can never get a lucky break. But don't you just love a guy willing to brave the much feared feminine hygiene aisle for his girls? BTW I wrote this in under an hour :) I so proud of me.


            Fred was moping up a mess made by some brat who had thrown a glass bottle of juice onto the store floor. Such things were relatively common in his line of work as a grocery store bagger. He finished with the last few drops of what seemed to be cranberry juice, which shed some light on why the kid so venomously tossed it. Sticking the mop into the bucket on wheels he began to make his way back to the cleaning room when he saw an odd sight.

Standing in the middle of the feminine hygiene aisle was a very tall man. His hair was so long it nearly reached his butt and the blackest Fred had ever seen. The guy was wearing a full length black leather trench coat, black silk slacks, with a matching silk dress shirt and tie. His boots, though mostly hidden under his pants appeared to be the kind worn by Goths, thick black leather with shinny metal buckles. Dark sunglasses perched at the tip of his nose as he tilted his head forward regarding the boxes he held in each hand. His eyes slowly went from one package to the other as his brow furrowed in concentration. It almost looked as if he was making a life and death decision.

Unfortunately he stood between Fred and his destination and store policy demanded that he stop to give the man a smile and ask if he needed any help. The prospect didn't make him very happy. He slowly pushed the bucket in front of him by the mop handle and cautiously moved towards the person in his path.

As he approached the guy beat him to the chase, lifting his head and looking strait at Fred with pure black eyes. At first he started, but quickly shrugged it off as expensive contacts. They man appeared to be a Goth anyway.

"Little help here." He said in a soft slightly deep and oddly melodious voice.

"What do you need sir?" Fred asked keeping his voice light and pleasant.

The man brandished the boxes before Fred. "Which would you recommend?"

He looked at the two items and discovered that they were two different brands and types of tampons. At first Fred was unsure even how to react to the situation but his mind worked quickly to keep him from just standing there like an idiot.

"Well sir… my uh… girl friend seems to like O.B. better and um… I'm assuming your shopping for your girl friend?" He hesitantly looked past the pink and blue boxes at the much taller man.

"No, I'm shopping for my self because I don't feel spring fresh. The woman have all been downed by cramps and sent me out to retrieve these items for them. I am not sure what to get since I don't have a deep understanding of the female condition." The mans voice was deeply sarcastic and tinged with weariness.

"Well since you're shopping for multiple women why don't you just get several multi-packs and maybe some pamprin?" Fred offered helpfully.

"What's pamprin?" He asked with a slight frown.

"It's a pain killer that I guess is special formulated for that time of the month for women. It knocks out my girl real quick so apparently it's really good." Fred said with a shrug.

The man looked at the boxes with another thinking look at placed them back onto the shelf. He then selected four O.B. multi-packs and tucked them under one arm. "Lead me to the pain killers." He said sternly.

"Yes sir, right this way." Fred left the mop bucket where it was and walked around to the next aisle where all the medicine was located. He looked along the shelves until he arrived at the pills just for women.

"There are several different pain killers just for this occasion." Fred made a motion to the shelf before them. The man looked it over then grabbed the biggest bottle of pamprin. He read the label on the side and grunted softly.

"It promises to solve their cramps and apparently a great deal more." He shrugged and held it under the same arm as the tampons.

"Thanks." He turned towards the check outs and started to walk away.

"You know, most guys wouldn't venture out here for such things. She must be one special lady." Fred laughed hoping the guy would appreciate his humor.

"I have a wife and three daughters all experiencing cramps at once. You have no idea how much of a headache that is. Besides, I rather not stand by and let them suffer. It would be unkind of me." With out once cracking a smile the man made his way to the check out stands and quickly left the store, valiantly returning home to his downed family.

Fred chucked softly and shook his head, going back to get his trusty mop. As he moved into the back with his bucket the intercom announced that aisle four needed clean up.