[Short Story #40] - Immortal Store Clerk
"You have lived since the dawn of time, but instead of being or knowing someone famous, you have always existed as a store clerk or its analog."
Provided by some reddit user I can't recall the name of.
Sorry to whoever you are for not giving you proper credit.
Image courtesy of @rocking-dave
“I’m out of Marlboro, is Camel okay?”
“Yeah, sure, whatever. Give me 2 packs.”
“That’ll be $69.45, please.”
“Here, it’s fine, keep it,” the man slid $70 worth of banknotes on the counter.
“Thank you very much and have a nice day! Good day, sir! What can I get you?”
“Gas on 3,” a young man, around 20, most likely 21, stepped up wearing very loose clothing, playing with a toothpick in his mouth. Having worked the cash register for a long time, I could easily tell how and when he stole a chocolate bar, trying his best so I wouldn’t see.
“Nope, that’s all.”
“You sure you don’t want to pay for that chocolate bar in your pocket?”
“Oh come on, man! How did you see that?”
I didn’t reply, just shrugged.
“Fine, I’ll pay.”
“You know what?” He reached behind his back and pulled a pistol from under his jacket. “Fuck that! Empty the register, go! Paying $2 for a chocolate bar? Fuck no!”
“Sir, I will have to ask you to put the gun down.” I had foreseen he would do that, and also knew he wouldn’t have what it takes to fire.
“Are you deaf? Give me the cash!” He flailed his gun through the air.
“Listen, there’s a camera up here, see?” I pointed above me, “And over there also. You sure you want to risk jail over 45 dollars and 22 cents?” I made sure to emphasize the 22 cents.
“Fuck you! Are you giving me the money or what?”
I shook my head no and stayed completely calm.
“Oh, fuck this! I’m out!”
He grabbed some 3 or 4 chocolate bars on his way out, while some more ended on the floor.
Soon after he drove off a lady who I immediately recognized walked in through the door.
“Hello, Becca. What can I do for you on this fine day?” She came around every week, sometimes every 10 days.
“The usual report will be fine.”
I crouched and moved the hand sanitizer, toilet paper and the air freshener out of the way to pick up the report I had done for the last week.
Since the dawn of time, which coincides with the time of my own existence, I have been studying various species and since the evolution of humans, I was so fascinated by them I dropped my studies on alligators to study them instead. I found it most effective to work as a store clerk, a waiter, or any other job that lets me get very close to my subjects and interact with them without them ever feeling any kind of pressure or the need to pretend.
“Anything special this week?” She asked when I handed the report over. She was lazy and didn’t want to look at it herself.
“Not really, no.”
“So your research is stalling?”
“It’s actually doing very well. And if they continue to act this way, I’ll have the final article on humans ready in 37 years.”
“Final? You never mentioned you’re giving up studying humans,” Her forehead wrinkled.
“If my predictions are correct there won’t be a single human left to study 37 years from now.”
“Oh. Well. We’ll see.” She packed the report I gave her into her leather bag and walked toward the door. “I’ll see you next week.”
“No chocolate bar for you?” She left without answering.
I fired up the cameras again and waited patiently for the next subject to walk in through the door.
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