The master was out
It's after midnight. BOOM! A man is yelling at the door, cussing up a silent storm, as if the door should have told him it was a pull door. He yanks it open -- surprised -- and staggers inside, less indignant now, more confused. He studies the store then calls out: "HELLO?" He jumps when he realizes somebody's behind the counter. He's sweaty, wall-eyed and likely more than half crazy. "You got a wrench?"
"You don't have a wrench? How could somebody not have a wrench? Of course you have a wrench! Will ya check for me? Is that too much to ask?"
The master sums five questions, deduces the following: this man's driving privileges have been suspended for DUI; he's still drunk which is his own business but now a wheel's fallen off a his bicycle and he's still got four more miles to go on a two lane through black corn on and off a muddy shoulder hoping to Christ at one a these drunks don't run him over -- and everything is as was foreseen. The master assures him a wrench will appear immediately, and it is so.
Headlights enter the parking lot and continue to the front doors. Hi beams trap the bicyclist like a spotlight. A car door slams. He takes another step backward.
Enter the Wrench, just the way the man in the apron said.
The bike is fixed, the Wrench comes inside for a pack of Bensen & Hedges Menthol Lights soft. He's a tall man who glows brightly but is surrounded by black fog. How the master knows that this is so is not known but remains so no matter how you slice it.
The Big Listen begins, interrupted every few minutes for 20 seconds, and then right back again, as the Wrench covers birth to death across three generations. It's a sprawling chronicle of tragedy and triumph, followed by tragedy and a little less triumph, then finally all the tragedy he could take, at which point came defeat, which brought him here. The master knows this, for now they come nightly, not by appointment, but by other means entire, and still the sandwiches get made, just as soon as the souls are cured.
The master waves off the now triumphant tragic man and turns to enter the store. On the door is a prominent sign in in his own hand: BACK IN A FLASH!