“Are you sure you don’t want to go in with me?” Sue asked Mark as they pulled in to the store’s parking lot.
“No, but I’m going to walk across the street and get a coffee. Do you want anything?”
Sue nodded her head ‘no’ as she shut the car’s door.
Mark was happy the line for coffee wasn’t very long, only one young woman waited. As Mark took his place, he smelled a strong odor of lilacs and coconut. He assumed it emanated from the woman. While Mark decided what to order, the woman reeled back, smiled, and pointed to the ring on Mark’s finger. She then produced her own hand, revealing a similar Tree of Life ring on her finger.
“Twinsies!” Mark said, uncomfortable of this interaction with a stranger.
The women signaled and whispered, “I have a Selectrux switch behind the stove in my house.”
“What the heck is a Selectrux switch?”
At that point, the young lad behind the counter brought the woman’s drink. She nervously fidgeted with her debit card, inserted it in the machine while the lad tried to make small talk in an obvious attempt to get the young woman’s romantic attention.
The transaction over, she went to the door, pushed it open with her back and said to Mark, “I’m Marissa, you haven’t seen the last of your twinsie.”
Marissa was gone, and so was the overpowering lilac odor.
“Just as well,” lamented the lad, “she looked like a bitch.”
A few weeks later, Mark was filling his car with gas when a commotion on the other side of the parking lot caught his eye. There was Marissa, dancing to the music playing on the store’s loudspeaker, her long black hair blowing around like a ball gown. She kicked off her sandals to really feel the song’s grove.
Mark turned his back on the scene, hoping she wouldn’t see him.
A few seconds later a huge white sedan pulled up next to him at the gas pump. A tanned, ruddy skinned man with silver hair called out:
“Hey Twinsie!” Don’t forget Marissa still wants to show you her Selectrux switch.”
Marissa nodded from the passenger’s seat, as the ruddy man lifted the car’s window and sped away.
Spring turned to Summer, then Fall, then Winter and to Spring again. Mark was driving home from his annual doctor’s visit when he encountered a detour, the road was closed due to falling tree limbs. He made his way along unfamiliar roads, trying to follow the detour signs, he was stopped by a man wearing coveralls, a hard hat and safety goggles. It took Mark a few seconds, but he recognized the man as the ruddy skinned man from the year before.
“I’m very sorry sir,” the man said, “but we have a tree across the road. The safest action would be for you to back your car in this driveway, it’s okay with the home’s owner. Thank you for your cooperation.”
An identical looking man waved at Mark from further down the road.
While Mark waited, he noticed the house had a Tree of Life flag flowing in the wind. Marissa appeared on the porch, waved and beckoned for Mark to join her on the porch.
“I want to show you my Selectrux switch”
Mark followed her into the house, reluctant, but curious. He felt uneasy, he didn’t like to be uncomfortable in this type of situation, but her lilac/coconut smell eased his worry.
In the kitchen, Marissa pointed at the stove.
“It’s down there.” she pointed. “Only you, Mr. Mark, can flip the switch.”
Mark got down on his belly, and squirmed behind the stove. There is was, glowing purplish and looked like an oversized light switch. He stretched his arm to reach it.
Mark looked back. Marissa had taken off all of her clothes, and was grinning at him. “Go ahead,” she coaxed. “We were waiting for you, Mr. Mark.”
Mark put his finger on the switch, it was ice cold. He moved his finger to close it, thinking that he never told Marissa his name.
Mark’s sharp snore woke him up. Sue was back in the car, groceries placed neatly on the car’s rear seat.
“Did you get a coffee?” Sue asked. “Did you finish it across the street?”
Mark wiped his drool off the car’s window.
“What’s that purple thing in your hand?” Sue said puzzled.
Marissa giggled from the rear seat, Sue pointed at the purple Selectrux switch, as the blue cloud enveloped the car.