Always On The Top Shelf

It was cold in the attic. Minerva stepped around the plastic-draped and possibly animatronic Santa and looked up on the top shelf. There was, in fact, a moose up there. Only in museum work could you lose one taxidermied moose, and when you went looking for it– find three, none the one you were looking for. She reached up and turned over the artifact tag on the moose antlers.

Make that four meese, and one still missing. Damn things were breeding somehow.

Minerva backed up against the opposite shelving unit and peered up at the top shelf. It looked like there might be another pair of antlers up there, maybe two? She looked around for the step stool, but remembered it was downstairs.

She set down her clipboard on an antique saltines tin, and placed her left foot on the opposite shelf. She pushed off and got a foot on the second shelf of the moose shelving unit, her fingers hooked over the top shelf, the plastic dust sheeting over the moose antlers brushed the back of her hands. Minerva pulled herself up and stepped up to the next shelf.

There were four more sets of elk antlers and one very small set of moose. She reached across the shelving unit and started dragging the second set of antlers closer. As the antlers got close enough for her to almost read the tag, the shelving unit started to tip toward her. Antlers tumbled toward her and things on the lower shelves started to slide.

Minerva tried to shift her weight toward the shelving unit to stabilize it, but it’d tipped too far. She felt a disorienting rush of blood in her head as she and the unit fell into the other shelving unit with a crash. There was pain, then the second unit started to fall in a chain reaction.

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