Still Good

10:45 AM, smoke break/coffee break

I like it when I can trade Marvin for a morning shift before my days off, because we both get what we want. I’ll be off for two days! With Ann here, I won’t even feel a little bit guilty not working. I’ll be sleeping well tonight, I think. The giant dark cloud and enroaching number of trees are bigger than ever but don’t really seem that menacing to me any longer. It seems like, even if it’s out there for months that it’ll just be a transient background. It’s only a matter of time before some raging bull monster or human-hybrid lumberjack will cut them down (I watched most of that old Paul Bunyan cartoon on youtube not too long ago, maybe my hopes are being influenced by it here.)

A peculiar customer came in today, you know how a Man O’ War isn’t really a jellyfish, but actually a group of organisms that are physically adapted to living with each other to the point that they can’t live outside the colony? Well, this customer is like that, but it’s like, uh, ghosts inside of a bunch of floating clear shopping bags, some of those bags are definitely even from here. They were unable to communicate verbally, but seemed to understand when I spoke to them, so I guess either not the speaking types of ghosts, or if they were able to speak, had agreed that no one ghost should be the voice. Each plastic bag seemed to contain only a single ghost, with the handles of those bags sort of tied around the handles of other bags in the group, they were all sort of haphazardly chained together into the sort of shape of a human? Not a 1-1 human shape, more like, if a human head and torso were formed together into a single sort of lump, with the appendages hanging off, they definitely didn’t “walk,” more of a float. They were still wearing a coat, so I guess they can get cold? They pointed at the Marlbogoth Menthols, in a soft-pack. I rung them up, they used a debit card. I don’t think I’d get in trouble for not ID’ing spirits, even though I do think it’s technically possible those spirits could have been underage.

The “hand” bags do not take shape until necessary to imitate a hand. Probably takes a lot of concentration.

Today’s morning rush was exactly the same as any other morning rush, but things just seemed to go more smoothly despite it being arguably the same events as any other day. This is great weather to sit on the sidewalk in a coat and have a smoke and a coffee. It’s cool but not wet, and the occasional passing cars on the highway today are offering a good reminder to me that things are not so far off from civilization and safety as I seem to feel sometimes. It’s a good feeling.

7:30 PM

When Ann came in to take over her shift, wanted wanted to thank us for showing her how to survive her potentially lethal new job here, she gave me a nice cornbread loaf, saying she heard that’s what people in Texas like – she’s correct. It was honey-sweetened and very good. For Oliver, the cornbread loaf was very dark, almost a brownish-red, she said it was the same recipe, but “with blood mixed in, I heard you love blood.” He devoured it immediately. It was a very nice exchange, and I’m touched by her gratefulness, even though it’s definitely in our best interests to keep her on staff. It was very sweet.

Ann and Oliver, with sweet blood cornbread loaf.

The plastic-bags-ghost, who I’m now calling “GhostOWar,” (EDIT 9:10PM: “BAGMAN” is way better, but, perhaps too gendered and insensitive for a colony person, maybe “BAGTHEM?” “GHOSTBAGS?”) came by again right before my shift ended, this time gesturing the number two to indicate they wanted two packs of Marlbogoth Menthols. As I was leaving, I observed them shielding themselves from the wind on the other side of the store, having unwrapped all of the cigarettes and arranged them into a sort of bonfire structure. Using what I can only assume was some kind of magic or ghostly ability, they sort of… vaporized the cigarettes, leaving the filters on the ground, and sucked the smoke into their bags. I waited to see if they would release the smoke, but gave up after about 10 long seconds. I think it’s rude to stare, and I let myself go for too long, I hope they weren’t offended. I’ll try to remember to sweep those up when I get back to work, if they didn’t bother to clean up their filters, or if someone else doesn’t. Going to actually make a reminder on my phone to do that.

9:10 PM

Being in a good mood and not seeing anything decent to watch on YouViews (formerly Y**T*be, I have to be more careful to censor these old trademarked names, I got an email regarding how I had spoken the names several times and written them here in this locked blog), I actually put in a half-decent magic workout. I set up some bottles in the backyard, and shot them down with little firebolts from my index finger. I kept doing this until I ended up smashing a few, and didn’t want to clean up more than that out of the grass. I walk around barefoot out here! Next time, I’ll try to put down something that’ll make them easy to clean up, or maybe get something that won’t shatter into dangerous shards. Maybe like, buy some firewood for this. I was sweating and breathing hard from it, but, it felt like a good exhaustion.

Diane had a good day today, no deaths, no call-ins, no delays, it was just like clockwork. Things continue to look good. I should mention that the flare is bigger than ever, it’s now beginning to seem unsafe. I hope there’s not an explosion.