Short Stories from Carlos Salinas
The Oven Light
“I need a 25-watt light bulb, please,” Emily asked
“Sure, I think we have some in the back.” Mark
came back empty-handed, “We are out, but they
should be coming in any day now.”
“Ok, great, I’ll be back tomorrow, thanks, Mark.”
Emily knew Mark from school; they had several
classes together but had not really had a
conversation together that went past the normal
topics: school, the football games, and teachers. Still,
Emily knew there was something special about Mark.
The next day, Emily was back at the hardware
store promptly at four in the afternoon. Mark saw
her walking in and shook his head. She smiled and
nodded and waved goodbye as she walked out.
The same happened the next day. On the third,
she came in and waited for Mark to help her. He was
running back and forth between the aisles carrying
large boxes of screws, wrenches, and other tools that
were unknown to Emily in their use and names.
“Are they here?” Emily asked, her eyes shining
“Wait-a-minute,” Mark replied curtly. He was
clearly under a lot of pressure. He was solely
responsible for the inventory of the entire store.
“Look, I’ll call you when they come in, OK?” he called
from the last aisle where the sound of shuffling boxes
“OK, thanks again, Mark,” Emily called to him
and went home.