Writing this outside on smoke break, at 7:35.
Today’s shift was morning, 6:00 AM, so I had to get up at 4:45, or at least set my alarm for 4:45, when I actually got out of bed was something like 5:25, the biggest delay getting to work was waiting for coffee pod to finish brewing. Did you know they sell those coffee cups with the lids at the store? I just re-use the ones I get from the store until they’re too disgusting to use or break apart when I wash them in the sink. When I got to the store, Marvin was arguing with Oliver about trading days off, since it’s such an imposition on Marvin to work during the day. Marvin is a vampire, and as it’s well-known that being outside in the daylight gives vampires horrible social anxiety.
OLIVER: Look, all I want is three days off in a row, it’d be real nice, I think.
MARVIN: Man, come on, you LIVE IN THE STORE, you’re going to be here most of the time whether you’re working or not!
OLIVER: I want to go to town in whenever I want! One thing you’ll learn as you grow older is that you need to value experiences more than possessions.
MARVIN: What experience will you be getting, exactly? Going to a different store to buy canned sardines and sodas? Having someone else make you a hamburger?
OLIVER: No! I’ll be getting the experience of having the privilege of leaving whenever I want for three days, it doesn’t really matter what I do, just as long as I ‘get out of the house’ whenever I feel like it.
MARVIN: If I recall correctly, you can enter books like Gumby, so why don’t you just write a book about having three days off from work and go inside of it?
OLIVER: I can’t do that, it has to be a magic book, anyone can go inside of a magic book, even on accident. Especially on accident, actually, since that’s how they feed.
MARVIN: OK, I do think you have the right to want to have three days off in a row, but, it comes at the expense of my two days off in a row, your days off are split by one day, and that sucks, but I really want my two days off. Look, Oliver, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to budge on this, it’s been too long since I had two nights off in a row, I am going to take them. Just get the cactus to cover for you.
OLIVER: I already asked cactus, and, while they didn’t really say it out loud, they didn’t really seem open to the idea.
note: cactus is a literal cactus
So, Oliver was in a slightly bad mood on account of his split days off. His big smile, instead of being quietly and earnestly menacing, seemed fake. We had some “tough” customers today, which is what I mean when people from the Territory come to the store with the intention of killing and/or eating us. This time: rock guys. We keep a couple sledgehammers for these types. They were incredibly hard to take down the first time they appeared, bullets were less than worthless and actually actively harmful to me, nearly got caught by a few ricochets although fear kept me shooting until I emptied the cylinder. Luckily Oliver was there and had no problem crushing them apart with his hands and teeth. Today was no different, he must have been working out some anger because he didn’t even bother with the hammer, just went straight for them unarmed. It’s hard for me to say I feel sorry for them, especially since we’re not sure if they’re sentient, but, I was sweeping gravel and dust off the floor and parking lot and dumping it in the grass by the road for a while.
During the fight with the rock creatures, Oliver was shouting/mumbling a lot of words in a language unknown to me, probably from one of an uncountable number of lost civilizations he’s lived in. I think they were all cuss words and not magic spells, since he doesn’t really have any trouble killing anything.
Around 11 or so, I had Muenstar energy drink and a pint of Homemade Vanilla Below Belt ice cream for lunch. I guess I should probably mention here that a few months ago our universe received a cease and desist from a coalition of inter-universal brands, and everyone was forced to change their company names and trademarks to things that are similar, but which have a goofy spin on them.
During the last few hours of my shift, ending at 3:30, dark clouds crawled out from the Territory, whether they were actual clouds or a swarm of something, impossible to tell with them so high up. There was a 2 for 5 on Muenstars, so I bought two, wrapped the receipt around one and stowed it in the cooler, and took the other home for the night. I said goodbye to Ollie, and he told me to have a good night. The wind was pushing hard from the Territory, surprisingly cold, maybe even a little icy. It could have been my imagination, but it seemed like there were more trees further out towards the Territory, it could be tree-people, or wandering trees, or just fast-growing trees. I’m not too worried about it. Drive home uneventful except for hairless pale deer feeding on roadkill, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen one during the daytime, so it must have been some A+ premium roadkill to draw them out early. Flare at refinery was going real strong, it’s interesting to look at. I might even be able to see it from my home at night.
I couldn’t see the top of the flame or anything, but there’s definitely a distinct glow in the sky in the direction of the flare.