Tag Archives: Job

Retail

The Unknown presence descended upon the mortal world with what it could pass as a smile. A devilishly wicked smile. It knew exactly what it was going to do and where it was going to go. With a cackle, it went for the nearest source of greed and discontent. Passing over rows and rows of vehicles stuck in lanes of traffic, where the mortals yelled and cursed at each other. Instead, it went to the largest retail establishment. Soared into the air as its form grew to blanket the entire store. Settled into position and waited for the fun to begin.

The mortals reacted accordingly, giving in to hatred, anger, greed, envy. Every single one who walked through the store doors was affected. Their hearts turned to stone. The unsuspecting retail associates suddenly dealing with irate customers who could not be pleased, even if the world was offered to them.

“This box is scratched. I need a discount.”

“This product is missing its price tag. I want it for free.”

“I want to speak to a manager.”

“What do you mean it’s ‘online only?'”

“This was on clearance online; I want that price.”

“I demand to speak to a manager.”

“You’re insanely rude for being in customer service.”

“Are you even listening to what I’m saying?”

“Get me your manager, now!”

“How dare you say I’m wrong. I don’t care if you work here. You are obviously stupid.”

“Do you think I’m fine if I’m obviously searching for something in particular?”

“Uh, it’s your job, right? Do it.”

And so the day went. The associates couldn’t wait until their shifts ended or the store closed. Whichever came first. They went home exhausted, devastated, depressed. Many ended up in tears, wondering why people could be so cruel. What would cause them to be this way? What would make them take out their personal problems on retail workers?

But the Unknown presence knew. It knew very well, indeed. And it would be back the next day to feed on the ignorance and strife. And the next day. The next day. All the days until the mortals ceased to exist. It would make sure their materialistic nature was at least good for something.

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One Foggy Morning

It was a summer morning like any other; except the metropolitan area was covered in fog. But that was to be expected. It had rained the night before, and the temperature dropped nearly ten degrees. Nobody’s routines were deterred because of the natural phenomenon.

Alex woke up at five that morning. Just like every weekday morning. Went through her ritual of  being ready in ten minutes. It took twenty minutes for her to get to work, and she planned her morning so she could get as much sleep as possible. Traffic never bothered her. There weren’t many who traveled along the same road that early.

She pulled her double-knotted laces tight, grabbed her water bottle and morning snack, plucked her keys off the table, and pecked her husband on the cheek. Trotted down the stairs of her split level and into the garage. She was running two minutes late in a schedule accounting for every minute.

The Wrangler roared to life, the straight six engine awoken from slumber. Alex maneuvered out of her subdivision with ease. Despite the fog. Thanking Jeeps for fog lamps.

On the main stretch of road that took her straight to her job, she had to pay more attention. There were dips in the landscape where the fog gathered thickly. She looked up at the sky. No sun could be seen. Sure, it was early, but the sun should’ve been peeking over the horizon line by now. The fog and clouded over sky blended into one.

Alex shrugged it off and continued. Further ahead, the sky did decide to clear, revealing multiple cloud patterns against a pastel sky. She loved nature. Admiring the skyscape until a particular vapor trail snagged her attention. It went straight up into the atmosphere until she couldn’t see it anymore.

Again, she shrugged it off. Just her perception messing with her from the airport about forty miles east. The sky disappeared again. Her thumbs tapped the steering wheel as a random tune played in her mind. Vision going out of focus momentarily.

Red lights appeared in front of her, and she hit the brakes, slowing at a stoplight. She blinked and looked around. The fog had engulfed everything. She could barely make out the rival gas stations occupying opposite corners. Barely made out the stoplight itself. When the light turned green, she continued at the speed limit. Versus the ten miles an hour over she normally did.

After two minutes of silence, the ground lurched beneath her, and a loud bang followed. Causing her to mount the curb in a mad dash for safety. White fingers gripped the steering wheel. Her wide eyes checked the rear view mirrors. The road was still there.

A distant roar thundered toward her. She ducked and covered her head as a shock wave exploded the glass from her Jeep. Ears ringing, she slowly sat back up. Shards falling from her. She swallowed. Eyes examining the area. What on Earth?

She searched the Wrangler. Eased it back on the road. The fog had been replaced with equally dense smoke. Crawling at a snail’s pace, she moved further down the road. A few cars were deserted. Abandoned in precarious places. Some people stood in groups while others sat on the side of the road in despair.

A fire truck flew by her. Then another. Cop cars, ambulances. All from separate jurisdictions. Alex remained pulled over on the shoulder now. Studying the horizon. It glowed. Faintly. But enough.

Her wonder was startled by a man throwing himself against the front of her Jeep. His clothes were tattered, burned, dusty. His eyes almost popped out from his skull. He waved an arm. “Get out of here! Go! Don’t you know what this is? It’s the end times! A missile has struck! Leave or die!” He disappeared back into the curtain of smoke.

Alex watched him run off. A missile? She sat in disbelief for a few moments. Threw the shifter in drive and forced the Wrangler around. Flying down the forty miles per hour road at eighty. Work was out of the question. Her jaw set. She needed to get back to her husband.

It hadn’t even been twenty minutes, and everything changed. She glanced at the rear view mirror again. Who knew what would be revealed when the smoke and fog cleared.


May the Fourth Be With You

I’m going to take a step away from the fantasy worlds today and reflect. Today is International Star Wars Day! “May the Fourth Be With You.” We also can’t forget about “Revenge of the Fifth.” More importantly, it marks the two-year anniversary that I’ve been with my wonderful soulmate and life-long love. My husband is everything I could’ve asked for and more. Yes, we got married on May fourth because of Star Wars. Yes, we’re huge nerds. But we wouldn’t change a thing.

In all honesty, we haven’t had the easiest first two years of marriage. Life has been throwing more than just crap at us, but we’ve been trudging along. Together. While we may still be in the “honeymoon stage,” we’ve never taken an official honeymoon. Instead, we’ve been saving for our future. Which has been able to buy us a house and provide a new car when one broke down a few months ago. Let me tell you, we need a vacation!

We’ve already seen each other at our worst. There have been many hard days. We get stressed out from work, from the things we’ve been dealing with, and sometimes, we take it out at each other. It’s what happens to anyone who lives with another person. Thankfully, communication is one of the key things we remember, and we always end up talking things out and coming to an understanding. Said talking usually ends up leading to nerd theories and such, once we’ve made up. So many good movies! So many theories!

We’ve also seen each other at our best. We’ve gotten to celebrate many things together. He got a promotion only six months after being at his new job. I was finally able to get out of the customer service desk and work more “behind the scenes” at my job. We’ve adopted a kitten from the Humane Society. It would take more than our combined fingers and toes to count the blessings we’ve received. And it can only get better. Of that, I am certain. We work extremely well together, and we communicate about everything. I mean everything! Anything from fears to bathroom habits to money to our nightly dreams. But if we can’t be honest with each other, than who can we be honest with?

My husband has been an incredible addition to my life. He supports everything I do. Becoming a published author is very important to me, and he works his butt off at a full time job, even getting promoted, so I can remain part time. I put in my four hours a day, five days a week, then come home to work on my writing. Or drawing. Or cleaning. He made his own blog page to like the posts I put on my blog. If nobody else likes it, he always does. It’s all I need.

He also has a heart of gold. Whenever I get sick from my medicine or have such a bad migraine that I can’t get out of bed, he cooks and cleans and makes sure I’m as comfortable as I can be. He gives himself 110% and never complains about it. He does everything he can to make me happy, never asking for anything in return. Now, I know there are times when I can take that for granted, but you have no idea how thankful I am for him. He’s always there for me. Even when he’s had a bad day at work, he consistently puts my needs above his.   

There are times where he can come across as a perpetually sarcastic person, but our relationship with each other can be sarcastic. Ask the people I work with. They can tell you from the times he’s come to visit me. But we know each other better than anyone. And the best part of that? We’re still learning about each other. Every day, we’re learning more about subtle hints in expressions or tones. Every day, we’re learning to see through the mask we try to put on for the sake of the other. Every day, we have to remind ourselves that a relationship takes work from both sides of the party. We’re learning we work best as a team. And like a machine missing an important part, we’re learning just how badly we can fail without each other.

Don’t mistake me for giving relationship  or marital advice. I am very aware that two years is not a long time for a marriage. We are still young and naive about many things when it comes to “adulting.” But I also know more seasoned adults don’t have life figured out. Again, it’s a learning process. Constantly. However, I’m just glad I have someone I know I can depend on to help me through the fire. He’s right there with me, every step of the way. Even when I want to be stubborn and turn a blind eye to his presence. Pride can be a roadblock on many accounts.

I could keep going on and on, but I guess what all this is trying to say is that I am married to the most perfect man for my life. I know it’s only been two years, but we’re going for forever. We’ve been through some insanely hard times already, and we haven’t given up yet. We’ve grown closer together, and we’ve grown stronger as a team. We have stood life’s ugly head in the face and cried “Come get some!” with weapons drawn. I love my husband more than anything, and I couldn’t ask for more. Even if we were to be left with nothing, we would still have each other, whether physically or spiritually. It’s been two years, so far. Here’s to infinite more.


Don’t Shoot the Messenger

The damp air is disturbed. Boots slap wet pavement. A cigarette burns red. A man emerges from the dark alley. Newsboy cap tilts to one side. Hands in tweed pockets, easy strides carry him to his target.

A bus stop shelters one occupant from the cold. The onlooker nestles further in his coat. Checks his watch. The bus is late. Per usual. As long as it provides meager heat. He hears steps but thinks nothing of it.

Not until worn brown boots come into his down-cast vision. He lifts his head. Dim gas lamps and fog barely making the visitor visible. Though he knows his fate has been sealed, he scrambles behind the waiting bench for shelter. “What are you doing here?”

“I have a message for you.”

The waiter for the bus shakes. Not because of the cold this time. “From who?”

“Tommy Boy says you owe him for a job. He also says if you don’t give me the money, he’ll send me after that darling family of yours.”

“Do I look like I have the money on me?”

“I don’t know what you’re packing under that coat.”

“Indeed.” The debtor pulls a pistol and fires a couple rounds.

But the contract killer expects this course of action. He drops before bullets reach him. Cursing when he drops his smoke. Reveals his own weapon. “Looks like I’ll be paying your wife and daughter a visit.”

One shot kills the other. He corrects his newsboy hat and stashes his pistol in his satchel. His lips curl in disgust at the body he leaves where it fell. Lights another cigarette as he walks away from the lonely scene. Breath curls into the air.

“You don’t mess with the Message Man.”


A Confession of Gratitude

There are times when I don’t know what to write. Other times, I don’t have enough page for all my words. In both times, however, I have to use extra caution, for I have to choose what readers read. My points have to be quick, easy to find, yet somehow complicated. No one’s attention is as long as it used to be. Not even mine. I get bored quickly of my own writing. But it all makes the task of writing harder. Yet easier, depending on the day. Though my lust for words and story will never diminish. Not until my last breath of life escapes me. There are times when I want to say everything. Times when I want to say nothing at all. Even still, as long as there’s a glimmer of hope that just one person will view my words, I will not stop until I die. And for all this, I say thank you, for if there were no readers, my job and dream would be extinct.


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