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a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish

In

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a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish

Automatically
Word Count: 1395
https://thunderdome.cc/?story=7676&title=Automatically

a friendly penguin fucked around with this message at 02:29 on Jan 1, 2020

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish

In

a friendly penguin
Feb 1, 2007

trolling for fish

Judgment Day Savings!
Guns, Ammo and Liquor
Word Count: 1087

Sarah finished her pilgrimage of aisle 692 (historical small caliber rifles and ammo) and rounded the corner into the next aisle just in time to see Isaac’s Voidmart vest disappear at the other end. She smiled to herself. Isaac would never ascend to the holy realms with such slovenliness. If one walked at the speed decreed as correct in the Voidmart Holy Book, then coworkers never saw each other.

Unless… Had Isaac been sent a customer? He must be truly favored then and would surely be elevated above all others to Employee of the Month. The doubt began to creep into Sarah’s thoughts. Was she worthy of her position? Perhaps she belonged in a lesser department, like Appliances.

She shook her head to clear those thoughts. Sarah reminded herself that only the most devoted followers of the Voidmart Standard Religion were assigned to Guns, Ammo and Liquor. It was too much temptation for those who were not true believers. She had been chosen. In time, she would be sent her own customers. She just had to keep the faith.

As she continued down the aisle, she calmed her mind by reciting the 10 Holy Policies:
1) You shall have no other stores before Voidmart.
2) You shall not unionize.
3) Honor your supervisor and your supervisor’s supervisor.
4) Take Voidmart’s name in vain as this is called advertising.
5) Do not steal.
6) You shall not kill customers--

“Hgnh.”

Sarah’s meditations were interrupted by muffled sounds.

clink
clink
clink


Her ears tried to make sense of the high-pitched, irregular tapping with periodic low growls in the next aisle over. Her steps faltered and her heartbeat increased. Then there came a long moan as she reached the last shelves of the aisle. She halted before making the turn and peeked around the end cap display. She saw a creature slithering across the floor. Its movements were slow and aimless. The sound it emitted was otherworldly.

Sarah began to wonder if this was some demon come to trick her. They wandered out of the pets department sometimes and could cause the downfall of an unsuspecting employee if not retrieved immediately. She crept closer and began to wonder if she should call the Voidmart exorcist when she spied a glass bottle in a clearly human hand. A customer! And one who had already helped himself. No matter, Sarah could shepherd all of the products to a check out line in good time.

She now ran to the wretched soul and pulled him into her lap. “Welcome to the Guns, Ammo and Liquor department where you can find the answers to life’s big questions. My name is Sarah. How can I help you?”

The man continued to moan and tried to crawl over her. “You are clearly a customer with something on his mind. If you give me your burden I can help bring you peace.”

Sarah leaned in close to the man’s mouth as he continued to rumble in a bass voice. She caught the words “can’t go” and “it’s over” and she immediately knew that this was a lost soul.

Some customers came to her department out of necessity and were given the gifts of the almighty for a low, low price. Others ended up here after they had given up hope, thinking that they could find quick answers to their pain. But all were searching and Sarah would lead them to the land of milk and honey cream liquers.

Just then, her colleague, Daniel, came around the end of the aisle on the pilgrimage and he rapidly approached the two on the floor.

“Can I be of any assistance in bringing our friend into the fold?”

Sarah looked up at him and scowled. Was he trying to take the glory of this task from her? There was no way to share in the salvation of customers. Only one could save this man money.

“No, thank you, Daniel. I was just about to hear his confession and proceed. You can continue your walk.”

“Are you sure?” he replied. “I can show you a most blessed shotgun.” With that he pulled a Remington 11-87 off of the rack to demonstrate and grabbed some ammo.

“I think he would be much more interested in this.” Sarah stood up, dumping the customer back onto the floor. She grabbed a 28 gauge Browning Citori and similarly began presenting its many features.

They faced each other and started to circle around the customer. Simultaneously they began their sales pitches:

“stacked double-barrel”
“gas operated semi-automatic”
“skeet shooting and waterfowl hunting”
“reduced recoil”
“walnut wood and rubber pad”
“no adjustments necessary”
“gold plated trigger”

Back and forth they went; Sarah’s sermon becoming more fervent as her passion compelled her. She was on fire with the words of the sales catalog. Finally she proclaimed, “And today you can purchase this shotgun for 42% below the market retail price!”

Daniel took a breath but his next point faltered and Sarah knew she had the better deal. She shoved him with the butt of the Browning. He staggered backward and tripped over the customer who, during the duel, had crawled away and been drinking from another bottle.

When Daniel hit the floor, the Remington fired. It was Sarah’s turn to stumble backward. And then she was slowly ascending. Daniel became smaller as she rose higher and higher toward the ceiling. The customer was still on the floor, flattened beneath her coworker.

Sarah had just enough time to think that she was finally getting her divine reward, her doubt had been misplaced after all, and she would now be seated at the holy table, when the escalator that she had accidentally stepped onto came to an end. She was unceremoniously dumped in front of a door that was labeled “Management.” There was a note nailed to the door.

Sarah inched towards it and read:
“To Voidmart Employees Sarah Jones and Daniel Adams,
You have deprived Voidmart of a customer in direct violation of Holy Policy number 6. Because you have done so by violent means you are hereby reassigned to to the seventh circle of Voidmart, so that you can bathe in the boiling blood you so crave: the Cutlery department.
Signed,
Management”

Sarah felt wounded. The familiar doubt found her again. Her fall from grace felt a lot like an escalator ride down, down, down. Now she was no longer one of the ordained. Now, like a coupon, if she wanted to save she must be redeemed.

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