FTW – Week 2. Proceed at your own risk. Stories due today for FTW!
Week 2 – 10 Keywords:
This week’s SETTING must be Post-Industrial and the CONDITION is that your human character has cat ears and tail that betrays their emotions. Story below.
Baby, It’s a Wild World
The intermittent squawk of internal announcements grates on your last nerve. How’s a girl supposed to get any sleep with all this noise? You stretch your arms above your head and flex your neatly sharpened nails. It’s not like you can even tell what that shit says; it’s mostly static that sounds like a voice and it’s probably saying something you wouldn’t listen to even if you could hear it. You roll your eyes and practice your best put-upon look.
So you’re sitting there in Loss Prevention’s closet-sized office, with the cash vault to your back and the wide bank of surveillance screens in front of you and the lights are off and your captain’s chair is big and soft, and fuck-all is happening and you really don’t give a shit as you watch some teeny-bopper hippie type in a tie-dyed tube top slip a cheap beaded bracelet off the plastic rack near the makeup counter and move it onto her wrist, because why bother? It probably only costs the establishment a couple cents, and on principle, it pisses you off that their markup is so high and you don’t really care about the establishment anyway.
You tilt your chair back further and close your eyes, and hope another burst of static won’t wake you this time and maybe you can get some shut-eye before Felix’s party tonight, because as much as you don’t give two shits about this shitty job is exactly opposite how much you care about kicking it with your friends, having some beers and probably smoking a joint or two. Because that’s what matters. That’s the only reason you even bother to wake up for this gig, this dumbass job that makes you wear this ugly blue LP polo shirt with an embroidered eyeball right on your fucking left boob; because it pays for party time and, eventually, more cute body mods.
Your douche of a boss, Salam, slams open the door and you start upright, pretending to study the screens enthusiastically. He doesn’t even seem to notice you’re there, but says in his stupid bougie English accent, “Fetch me a coffee and some biscuits, eh darling?” before plopping down in the chair next to you and scanning the screen. Your ears lay flat against your head and your long tail thwacks against the floor, and despite the deep desire you have to tell Salam to go fuck himself, it is rare moments like these that make you very slightly regret getting the cat mod instead of something more practical, like Salam’s back-facing second set of eyes. You’re not able to stop the thumping of your tail, so you quickly exit to the break room to get Salam his stupid coffee before he notices how pissed you are.
You have no idea why they gave you this job. You thought your lack of caring was painfully obvious, but they’ve groomed you for this, they said, and plus it was a two-dollar-an-hour pay raise and you don’t have to be on the floor anymore and sometimes, just sometimes, you can sneak in a nap when it’s quiet and Salam is off doing his mysterious business about which you couldn’t possibly care less.
You come back with the coffee and Salam’s already gone; you see him on one of the little screens scurrying with purpose across the men’s apparel section. He obviously has some sort of agenda, or he wouldn’t be moving so quickly. You idly wonder if he’s fucking the sales girl who works the register in that department, but you don’t have the energy to care. You eat the cookies you brought back, and begin to drink the coffee. You grimace because it’s bitter and cold, and you don’t really think about how you could have maybe not been a bitch and made a fresh pot instead of bringing Salam the dregs of the carafe that’s been sitting there all day. You blame Salam for how bad your coffee is.
Now that you’re fully awake, you consult the video screens again, and just in time to witness another theft.
Hippie girl picks up another bracelet, this one made of crystal beads that sparkle so brilliantly you can even see them through the grainy images of the old legacy cameras. And you sit up a little in your chair and watch her more closely because it’s beginning to look like she might be a little more trouble, a little more professional than your average shoplifter. And when she stops and adds a hat to her contraband ensemble, you finally get kind of pissed off that she’s fucking up your naptime, so you deploy a little security ball to trail her ass, and figure if you’re going to have to lose sleep over this chick, you might as well let her get in real deep before you call a security officer to cart her off to the holding rooms.
The tiny floating surveillance unit zooms over Hippie girl from ceiling level, recording her movements as she puts on a jacket, waiting for you to push that little button that will send the signal to security. Your tail twitches in anticipation.
But here’s where it gets weird, see, because you’re watching her pick up all this shit and then suddenly she stops in front of a mannequin and starts decorating the plastic woman with the crap she’s been collecting. What the fuck, you think irately. You’re tired of dealing with all these freaks and weirdos day in and day out. What a waste of time. You scratch absently behind one sleek, furry ear and your tail falls lazily across the back of your chair. You yawn. You’re too good for this place.
You’re too good for some anonymous dark closet in some stupid department store that doesn’t even sell the kind of shit you like to wear. You pull your compact from your purse and admire the straight lines and perfect curves of your face. You wink at yourself and think that, even though you’re pretty hot the way you are, it’s gonna be bomb when you get those violet cat eyes you’ve been waiting on.
You know you’re the shit, but you can’t wait for the rest of the world to know it, too. You can’t wait to walk into this place with both birds triumphantly saluting your former employers and tell them all to go to hell.
How you’ll become famous is minor detail you’ve yet to attend: you only know you deserve adoration — the finer points are, technically, not quite in place. With little natural talent and even less motivation, perhaps it will be easier just to find yourself a sugar poppa in the television industry, but you peevishly think that you’re too good for that, too. You should be able to be famous just for being hot. That’s the American dream, right? You deserve that.
You yawn and flex your claws, and your tail makes a small motion, and you fall asleep again, exhausted by the difficulty of your life.
*This week’s words drawn by BH. Conditions based on d20 roll against story matrix.