52 Week Short Story Challenge #5.5 – Sacked (Again)

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A couple of weeks ago, the prompt was a little different. We were invited to go to Page to Pixel’s writing prompt generator and let it find us something to write about.

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Then we take that information to the Most Dangerous Writing App and write for three terrifying minutes then share the results. The result was a small snippet that I thought had some promise, so I wrote a little more on it to see what I could come up with. Sammy and Brandy got a little more interesting for sure.

 

Sacked

Brandy was tired. The kind of tired that went so deep it felt like she was walking through water. She’d taken the overnight shift when it had opened up because the pay was better but after three months she still wasn’t used to her new sleep schedule. People kept telling her it would calm down a little after the holidays but she wasn’t betting on it. The warehouse was one of thousands that belonged to the world’s largest online retailer and it wasn’t like people stopped ordering laptops and twenty pound bags of marshmallows just because it was suddenly January 2nd.

Tonight had been especially difficult because her friend Sammy hadn’t been there. Over the last few months they’d become almost inseparable in the warehouse, keeping an eye on each other and keeping each other awake when necessary. They’d clocked in together at 11 PM but he’d been called to the office less than an hour later and she hadn’t seen him since.

She was just thinking about calling him when she saw him coming up the sidewalk that wrapped around the parking lot. His head was down and he looked like he meant business. She hadn’t even known he’d left the warehouse.

“What are you doing?” Brandy looked at Sammy in surprise as she kept walking across the lot to her car. The sun was just coming up but she was able to see what looked like a duffel bag under his arm. “Let’s go to the Waffle House and I’ll buy us some hashbrowns.” Sammy stopped and looked at her, then jogged over to join her on her way to the car.

“I can’t,” Sammy said, shaking his head. “I’ve got to go blow up the warehouse.”

“Sure,” Brandy said with a laugh. “And then later we’ll tear down some voting booths too. Full-on anarchy will ensue, I’m sure.” She opened her car door. “Come on, I’ve got Dad’s car. Hashbrowns. And waffles, if you play your cards right.” Sammy didn’t answer her, only turned and started walking back toward the building in the midst of the crowd of people that were coming out of the open doors. Cursing, she relocked her door and ran after him. “Sammy,” Brandy called. He didn’t turn this time and she ran faster until she caught up with him. “Seriously, what are you doing?”

“They fired me,” he said. “I’ve got nothing to lose now so I’m gonna do what I always wanted and blow this place up.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“Of course I’m serious. Look around. What do you see?” Brandy looked at the faces passing on their way to the parking lot, then shrugged. “Last shift change. Five to seven AM is the only time there’s no one in this place. No one’s gonna get hurt. The only thing that’s gonna get hurt is this temple to gleefully unbridled capitalism.”

“Because you got fired?”

“No, because of why I got fired.” Sammy stopped walking and looked at Brandy seriously. “They fired me because I’m trans.” Brandy stared at him in shock.

“What? They can’t do that. Isn’t that against the law?”

“Not in this state. They can fire you for any reason they want and they actually don’t even have to tell you why.” He took a deep breath. “I asked them why they were firing me. I said I’ve been on time every day, only ever called in sick once. I even made employee of the month. They said it’s not working out anymore. When I asked if they’d give me a reference for somewhere else, they said they wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it for someone like me.”

“That’s ridiculous.” Sammy started walking again and Brandy followed him, knowing that she should turn around and leave before she got any further into this but unable to let her friend go without a fight. “Just forget about them. I’ll help you find another job. Hell, we can both get other jobs. Christmas is in a month, we can get hired as holiday help and come up with something better later.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Sammy said. “After I plant these bombs.”

“Sammy—“

“Look. This country doesn’t want people like me in it. They pass laws that basically make it so I can’t go to the bathroom in public, and find new and more creative ways to keep me from getting my hormones. Now they’ve taken away my job, and it’s going to be harder to find one now that I’ve started transitioning.” He shook his head. “This isn’t about making some kind of statement, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s revenge, plain and simple. And if you don’t want in on it, you should leave now. If everything goes as planned, they’ll never be able to connect it to me.”

“How? They’re going to know it was you, they just fired you.”

“Good thing I’m in Florida,” Sammy said.

“What?”

“According to Megabus and my debit card I’m currently on the way to Orlando. Once I get this stuff planted, I’m getting on an actual bus to Orlando that should get there about the same time as the Megabus. By the time these go off I’ll be headed down South and I won’t be coming back until after the New Year.” Sammy raised an eyebrow at her. “You’re welcome to come if you like.”

“What would I do in Florida?”

“I don’t know. Disney World?”

The flow of people around them had slowed to a trickle, and by the time they reached the warehouse they were the only ones on the sidewalk. The doors were still open, though, and Sammy walked through them as if he belonged there. Brandy looked around to see if anyone was watching, then went after him.

She’d never been to Disney World, after all.

 

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