Stevie burst through the door into the Top Notch Hardware store. “Mr. Grunderson! Mr. Grunderson! I need your help!”
Mr. Gunderson smiled. “Well, what can I do for you, Stevie?”
“My brother is in big trouble! He’s stuck in a house full of ninjas!”
“Ninjas! My, oh my. That is a problem. What are you going to do about it?”
“I’m going to light ’em up, that way they can’t hide any more. Then we can fight them no matter where they go! Can you help me, Mr. Grunderson?”
“Well, Stevie, I have to watch the store, but… Say, what are you going to use to light them up?”
Stevie nodded. “I’m gonna splash them with glow stick fluid. Do you have glow sticks?”
Mr. Gunderson nodded. “I do at that. Good for camping, you know. Here, let’s see.” He turned around grabbed a package of glow sticks from the shelf behind him.
“Sweet, thanks, Mr. Grunderson!”
“Wait, now, Stevie, you have to pay for those.”
“Oh, yeah, sorry,” said Stevie. He reached into his pockets and pulled out a wadded up dollar bill and three quarters. “Is that enough?”
Mr. Gunderson just smiled. “That should work just fine.”
“Cool!” Stevie grabbed the package and was heading for the door.
“Now, Stevie, just a moment,” said Mr. Gunderson. “How are you going to get the glow stick fluid on them? I mean, you can’t just open it and dump it on them.”
Stevie stopped, and his eyes went wide. “Gee, Mr. Grunderson, I hadn’t thought of that.”
“Well, what about one of these,” said Mr. Gunderson, walking over to the lawn care supplies. He held up a hose attachment that had a handle for spraying and a small plastic tank attached below. “See, you could put the glow stick fluid in here. You connect this to a hose and the water fills in, mixes with the fluid, and then you pull this lever and it sprays in a fine mist. That’ll really cover those ninjas of yours.”
“Wow, Mr. Grunderson! How do you know so much about fighting ninjas?!”
“Well, you think I got to be the owner of a hardware store by sitting on my laurels?”
Stevie blinked. “I never thought of it that way. Thanks, Mr. Grunderson! But… I don’t have any more money.”
“Ah, that one’s on the house. But hey, no using that in your house! Your parents wouldn’t like that.”
Stevie didn’t really seem to catch that last part. He was so eager to get out the door. Mr. Gunderson scowled after him. He really hoped Stevie was just pretending.