- You wake up to sound of silence, and the cold. Your phone’s alarm was set to ring now, but was silent. It did not matter; you’ve woken up at this same time so often that it’s routine. You twist over to turn on your chrome lamp for light. With an audible grunt you find the will to slide out of your silken, tan sheets.
- You stride past your weights, your tablet and your pc to prop up your ironing board, the one with pink flowers. You iron out the wrinkles of your uniform. Nothing much, just a blouse, trousers, an impact vest and a gauntlet of pellets. Even after many washes the smell of salt clings onto your clothes like a flea to a dog. As one who appreciates sounds, the pleasant sprays roused you awake. It only takes a few minutes before your clothes looked good as new.
- Next on the list of maintenance came your vest and gauntlet. You must try to avoid needing either but safety comes first. Your vest was capable of taking a blow from customers who are overeager to receive their package. Your gauntlet was when things get hairy, and you don’t want to face charges for harassment. The irony is not lost upon you. Your other item, the gauntlet holds flash pellets. These help distract for a few precious moments for escape.
- You ate your breakfast omelet on your way to work. The traffic isn’t too bad, it’s still dark and hardly anyone was on the freeway with you. The radio channels are bursting with lyrics that you can’t make out buried under a heavy drum bass.
- As you arrive to your workplace, the rumble of armored mailing trucks drowns out the radio. The security detail asks for your id before letting you inside the gray walls. With a single card swipe you start out your day. Fellow workers help each other fill up their trucks with the goods before they head out. You do your share before it’s your turn to get going.
- The day turns brighter as the sun illuminates the morning fog and dew. You stop your vehicle inside suburbs, take a deep breath to calm down, and begin. With a sack full of letters and packages you walk to their respective owners. In many ways the start is quite calm, too calm. Almost like someone’s waiting for you at this moment. The pattern continues as the mist clears into morning. Early birds who haven’t already left started to go outside. A Sahuagin, short and stout greets you by the door. Her teeny body wrapped in a Japanese swimsuit. You say your lines. She says hers.
- Don’t look away. Don’t look away from them when you give them the package. It’s like a game of Chicken, look away and you lose. You give her the silver limp bag. She signs, closes the door, and you walk. One down, more to go.
- The sun rises, and so to the heat. Your sweat drops roll down your brow and neck with a sticky shine. The women get more aggressive too. One wants you to stay for sweets, one gets close to you and acts grateful and another was a lot more direct. She ate a pellet but wasn’t harmed.
- You can’t blame them, it’s in their nature to do so, you’re the bigot for not accepting them for who they are. Yeah yeah you say, tell me that when you’re on the receiving end of a Cait Sith gang. You’re not some slut that’ll put out to anyone. That line of thought made you feel disgruntled. The sun shine is hot and your hair sizzles under your hat. Before you can finish your run and go home in the early afternoon, SHE appeared.
- Those stupid looking, three red feathers flop like a tacky ball mask. Her amber eyes pierce through the haze of the sun like yolks and her cloud white wings flap in anticipation. A dorky bandanna with a Mexican skull print adorns her non ample chest. This woman’s legs were that of chicken leggings. And it all ends on a reptile tail that almost looks like it slapped on there. If dogs were the problem of mailmen in the past, She was one of the new.
- "Hi Martina", you say.
- "Hello there again Anon, I didn’t you’d come here", she says.
- You knew it was a lie but you played along.
- "Leave me alone, I’m almost off and I’d like to go home and enjoy my day."
- "Great, so am I." She lowers herself in a running position, her tail waves like a banner.
- In what seems like an eternity, you run. You run like there was no tomorrow. She runs right after you. Yes, you exercise often to stay in shape, but you were the buggy compared to her sports car. Martina’s footfalls and posture make it seem as if she was floating over the baked concrete. She was closing in on you fast. You can make it. Just ten more feet and you can go away.
- "Anon, it isn’t right for me to chase you, you should be chasing me!"
- It would be infuriating to hear, but you are too focused on being safe to care. The string of your sun hat presses against your throat as your lungs burned.
- "I got you now." She pounces. You throw all the pellets you have. She dodges but in doing so, fails to grab onto you. You made it to your van, and drove off into the sunset. You wouldn't want to admit it, but part of the reason why you got this job was the thrill. It would be perfect if she wasn't there.
- You felt awful. Not for what you thought, but for your splitting headache. Your nap wasn't helping you, and you like your nap time. Even with your meals, meds and shows it doesn't help.
- The next morning, you are sick. You have no way to talk yourself outside of this, you cannot move. You call your boss and she agrees that you should stay home until you get better. It's awful. When you were a kid being sick was great, one doctor's note and you could stay home and play games all day.
- Being a man sick was knowing that you have fun things, but can't even bother to try. Your entertainment was staring at your room. The electronics and any music felt like spikes in your head.
- As time was flowing like lumpy soup you felt like someone dropped your finest china. You can hear your main door open with a dreadful creak. Your heart beats fill your ears, punctuating the steps towards your room. Who was it? A neighbor, a friend? No, they wouldn't know, you didn't bother to tell them. Maybe it was a burglar, curious for a bounty that was nearby. Maybe it's a predator, and she found an easy prey.
- You didn't want to go like this. You enjoyed your freedom. Why do they have the right to take what's yours? Your door swings open, and the sound of feet on carpet overtake you.
- And the one who was there, was Martina. She had a bowl of soup in Tupperware. Why was she there, you thought. Why was she doing this.
- "I thought you were ill, you didn't run as fast as you usually did." She explains. "I have some Southwestern soup. Here's a spoon. Wait, you're sick, silly me. I'll feed you it instead. I, I never tried this before, so, uh, say 'ah'."
- In the face of altruism, and a bit of guilt, you oblige. You'd ask how she was able to hold the spoon with her wingtips, but you didn't want to be rude. The soft, warm carrots and celery soothed your sore throat.
- "Now to wipe your face, and there."
- "You're not used to pampering, but no reason to complain. You murmur a thank you."
- "What's that Anon?"
- "Thank you."
- "Oh, sorry. I thought I didn't hear that clearly."
- "Why are you doing this?"
- "I find it fun to run with you. It's exhilarating. No one else bothers, they just lie down. But you, you give me a challenge, and brightens my day a little. I got to get going, but if you want me to stay, I can do so."
- You nod. You could try to be nice.
- You spend a few hours with her sitting next to you, seeing soap operas. When she left, her scarf was still there, with a sticky note on it. Get well soon it reads with her number on the bottom. You still want to get back to work, and you wouldn’t say you’re head over heels. But after this, she isn’t that bad.
WeaveWine Sep 1st, 2015 (edited) 2,192 Never
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