It’s going to be another short blog post tonight, folks. My sister and her new beau came to visit today and take us to lunch, which somehow turned into lunch and two movies, which is one movie and half a burger too much for me, as it turned out. I had a great time, but man, I feel like I just hiked half a mile up a rocky hill and threw myself off the other side. Hell, I can remember hiking up rocky hills just to admire the view from the top…What have I turned into?
Chronic illness is a bitch.
And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Had a great time, that’s what I’m focused on now. That, and uploading the next chapter of my FNAF fanfiction, Everything Is All Right, Part 3: Children of Mammon over at fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org. And then I think beginning in July, I’m going to add another round of Writer’s Workshop Wednesday to the lineup. I know, I know, I’ve been talking about it for months now, but I mean it this time. I just hope y’all want to hear my thoughts on writing fanfiction, because that’s what I’m working on right now.
So Ana went to meet Shelly at Gallifrey’s. She did not shower first. She didn’t brush the work-dust out of her hair. She didn’t change her shirt. She didn’t have a clean one to change into anyway, but she wouldn’t have, even if she had. She did wear make-up, but only what was necessary to cover her bruises so she wouldn’t be forced to explain them. Short of wearing a sign around her neck, she wanted to make it very clear this was not a date.
Two could play at that game, apparently. He was forty-five minutes late, long enough that Ana had begun to wonder if she’d been stood up on her not-a-date, although when he finally walked in, it was obvious he had gone home at some point to shower, change, and run a comb through his eyebrows.
Shelly made the rounds, nodding to those diners he knew and stopping at the counter to chat with Lucy as she rang another customer up before finally wandering back to the booth where Ana waited. “Looks like you’ve been busy,” was his sole acknowledgement of her appearance.
“Still am. You?” she asked, in the hopes that once the pleasantries were out of the way, he’d get to the point.
“Can’t say busy, but it sure feels like I’m running to catch up while the rest of world stands still. This mall job has been a bitch and a pack of pups since it fell in my lap,” he said, sliding into the seat opposite her. “Had to bring a demolition expert down special. He rescheduled twice, never mind how that affected all the special equipment I had to rent, and then there was an issue with the permits and the city on my ass wanting me to prioritize their penny-ante odd-jobs over everything else I got going on. I only just got the last of it scraped up the other day, two weeks behind schedule.”
He paused there and seemed to be waiting, so Ana said, “That sucks.”
“Slater’s a shiftless screw-up,” he grumbled. “Wyborn’s a lazy dog and between the two of them, they are representing Shelton Contractors as a good place for bad workers to just skate on by. In the end, a man’s got nothing but his name and his reputation. I have invested more than thirty years in that company and I will not have it be remembered as a clubhouse for clowns.”
Boy, he better not be lumping her in the clown car with them as his reason for firing her. She’d rather have her morals called into question than her professionalism.
“Times have changed and not for the better,” he announced, signaling Lucy now that she was finished at the cashier’s station. “Used to be, folks had personal accountability. Now it’s all me-me-me. My generation raised a generation of loudmouth liberals, who raised a generation of materialistic twits, who raised a bunch of self-entitled brats, and where it’ll go from there, who knows? Everyone’s got their hand out, looking for a paycheck they don’t have to earn. Meatloaf sandwich,” he finished as Lucy approached the booth with a glass of ice water and napkin-wrapped silverware, but no menu. “And what’ll you have?”
“Betty Burger and fries. Separate checks,” Ana added pointedly.
“One check,” Shelly corrected. “This here’s a work-related expense. Never pass up a tax deduction, little miss. There’s some advice from a successful business owner. Where was I?”
“I believe you were complaining about the youth of today always expecting a free meal.”