Monday, October 22, 2007

Excerpt AutoPilot

This is a bit of background on the women from my last excerpt (Auto Pilot). Nothing explicit but there are some homo-erotic undertones.....forgive the length

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Ugh, how long was this day going to get. That couple asking about plates, something the store had never sold, took up some time but the conversation made her want to scream. In the space of a few moments, which felt like years, she had been told all about their daughter whose husband was cheating and their son who was in his late thirties and still living with them at home. She was almost certain that time had not only stopped but had actually begun to move retrograde on her. She felt like her life had begun to grind to a halt before re-treading the mediocre chain of events that had landed her in her mundane existence at thirty-three years old. “Is this it”, she wondered to herself. Maybe on break she would go check out the new arrivals at that art gallery across the street. The only problem with that was the chick that worked there was always eyeballing her like she was trying to make off with something. Maybe it was because she went there damn near every day and never bought anything more than bottled water, a bookmark or stationary. Still, that wasn’t a very good way to treat customers if you asked her. Of course nobody asked her anything, so there it was. It wasn’t like she didn’t want to buy something. Her wallet simply didn’t accommodate those types of prices. She did all right as co-manager of this particular Inspired Home Accents store but she still worked retail and had to buy her artwork off the rack so to speak. No custom, artist signed and numbered creations fit the budget right now. Of course with Rob sharing the bills now she might actually be able to spend a bit more freely. She might even go over and give that sididdy heifer a commission some day soon. Renee was brought out of her musing when the woman under attack in her daydream walked up to the counter holding a candlestick and paused, staring Renee in the nametag. She quickly recovered from her cogitations and began her spiel in an uninterested tone.

“Oh, hello and welcome to Inspired Home Accents. What can I help you find today?” Renee fidgeted

with the peeling paint on the side of the cash register, as she looked in the face of an attractive Hispanic female

who seemed a bit pleased with herself. Renee pressed on to finish the canned greeting so that she could quickly

dispense of the woman. “All of our clearance merchandise is an additional twenty-five percent off.” The woman

continued to stare at the nametag and then offered a genuine smile of recognition.

“Where are you from? That is some accent you’re sporting.” The woman spoke with a confidence that Renee found disarming to a large degree. The warm smile did wonders for Renee’s tainted disposition but she decided to keep up her less than congenial attitude for the moment.

“Mississippi”, she said flatly to the inquisitive customer. She was curious about the charming accent and couldn’t quite place it. “Southern Mississippi actually. Leicester, County. Ever heard of it?” She stood there waiting for the woman to tell that she had not. No one had ever heard of it unless they were actually from the Mississippi-Louisiana border. And even then they would have to be from the most remote woods and forgotten rural places of the swampland states to be familiar with her hometown.

“No, I never heard of it. But if the people there sound like you, I am glad it exists. Shoot, I might even have to visit,” she said with a smile and adjusted the strap on her hot pink lycra top. Caramel skin against the color of her top toyed with Renee’s awareness as she picked up the candleholder the woman had brought to the counter for purchase and attempted to scan a non-existent bar code.

Renee continued her thought aloud while fumbling with the scanner and candlestick. “Well, my family is from there and I spent every summer there with two dozen cousins but I went to school here in the Lone Star State. I’ve never really identified myself with Houston though. I guess it’s because all of my relatives identify with Mississippi, The Magnolia State.” Renee was rambling, her cheeks were warming up with the same quickness that her mouth was moving. What was that scent? Roses? She wondered to herself as she continued to manipulate the scanner with her right hand and the candlestick with her left. Renee tried to shake the too familiar vibe that seemed to be bouncing off the customer but for some reason she couldn’t. Her mind was trying to tell her body something that it couldn’t comprehend but welcomed all the same. The customer noticed the woman’s slight discomfort and felt more relaxed with the mission she had set out to accomplish. Yeah, the pretty, brown woman was a little unnerved but she wasn’t repulsed or even offended, just a little nervous. Nervous, she could work with…no problem. One comfort zone, coming right up.

Renee continued with the candlestick as the customer began to speak to her again, looking directly at Renee with complete interest and attention. “I have never been to the great state of Mississippi, I’ll bet it’s really nice. How often do you visit there now?”

“Not as much as I would like. Working here makes it hard to get there during holidays, when all the family is there.” Renee released a heavy sigh that told her there was a lot more to that statement that was left unsaid. The candlestick seemed to be getting the best of Renee at the moment and the brief mention of home and family had added the smallest measure of melancholy to their exchange. The woman understood about missing your family all the while trying to help people choose presents for their own. Holidays were the worse for those in their line of work; holidays bring out the worst in people, especially your religious Christmas crowd. The woman scanned the store and noticed all of the tiny figurines juxtaposed with pieces of furniture whose upkeep must be tedious at best. Not to mention a number of annoying and helpless soul-eaters posing as customers. Although there were countless signs placed throughout the shop, indicating sale from regular priced merchandise, a steady stream of people walked up to Renee ‘while she was already speaking to someone’ to ask if this or that was on sale. They barreled up to the counter like they were storming a castle and spoke over one another as if there would not be enough responses to go around.

When they weren’t asking inane questions about merchandise that was tagged they berated her with questions about how to put together tables whose four legs simple screwed on and required no hardware. Of course there were instructions included with every piece of furniture but still the questions continued, pathetic and pampered. Carmen thought the salespeople should get medals for answering the same questions over and over, usually to the same people in a single visit. Ever the diplomat, Carmen decided to lighten the mood and keep Renee talking about other things. Noticing that she was still toying with the scanner and the candlestick, Carmen decided to speak to the situation.

“Those things are so annoying aren’t they? I swear it would be simpler to just write everything down and just do the darn math, right?” Smokey brown eyes bore into Renee’s mind and she was suddenly embarrassed as she felt that every fantasy she had ever imagined could be seen and recounted by the pretty, athletically built woman.

“Uh, yeah. I guess that would be faster than this mess,” Renee weakly offered back. Oh good grief that was pathetic Nay-Nay. Renee finally noticed the handwritten item number and abandoned the scanner, all the while hoping that the woman didn’t notice the oversight. When Renee looked up from the candlestick she noticed the knowing smirk on the woman’s face. Oh yeah, she saw that shit. Cool points you can’t get back. “I, uh guess I shoulda been payin attention. You know how it is. Autopilot.” The woman continued to look at her, as if she was listening to a friend explain away an embarrassment rather than some bumbling sales clerk trying to save face. Renee glanced again at the pretty face and quickly turned her attention back to the monitor.

“Oh it’s on clearance. You want to get another one before they are all gone?” She wanted to die. Did she just try to add on to a sale? “I mean whenever we have candlesticks on clearance they sell out really fast, so you should probably go ahead and get another if you’re thinking you could use another one.” Good grief she was babbling like a complete idiot…again and about something she absolutely had no real interest in, freaking lame candlesticks. For some reason she wouldn’t admit, she just wanted to keep the exchange going for as long as she could in the hopes that the woman might offer something personal about herself or ask Renee more about herself. The pretty woman shifted on her feet and looked intently at the candlestick with a contemplative pout on her full glossy lips.

“Hmm, I don’t know, whaddaya think? I was trying not to spend too much money on this trip since it was just so that I could speak to the woman I see everyday buying the bottle waters in the gift shop of my building.” Her head came up to meet Renee’s surprised gaze with twinkling brown eyes and a brilliant mega-watt smile. Renee just stood open-mouthed for a moment, feeling her heat beat quicken and her skin tingle.

“Um, huh? I mean, what? I’m sorry I just um, what did you say just now?” Renee was confused but also excited about what was happening at the moment. She stood motionless, waiting for further explanation and also wondering what came next in a situation like this one. Careful what you wish for…the day just got a lot less mundane.

to be continued....

5 comments:

BloggersDelight said...

An interesting development of the characters, Femigog.

Man With Balls said...

too long, smaller bites please

Femigog said...

Sorry for the length man and thanks BD

Don said...

Femi, tomorrow I'm going to make it my business first thing in the morning to read this post.

Don said...

hmmm

Femi, whats up babygirl? lol.