It was a Saturday morning, it was nice and warm out, as it usually was in this part of the land, but Fallen was inside working the cash register. Her father, Harold, was outside attempting to sell some plants or trees, or whatever, to a customer. Her father would almost offer the world just to make a sale. What a silly man, she thought, would do anything to sell his soul but nothing to praise his own daughter. She scowled at the man she saw through the window.
The bell to the store door chimed and her disgust quickly turned to a joyful expression on her face. “Why hello, welcome to Harold’s Market. How can I help you today?” The sweetness sickened her.
The man that walked in was tall and cut very well, as if from the strongest stone. He wore a denim jacket with denim pants and very nice boots that had steel on the tips. He made her look like a pile of rags in her plain blue dress and white apron.
“Umm… yes. I was wondering when your shipment of western fish comes in the morning.”
“Ahh, looking for a specific fish?” she raised an eyebrow and tilted her head slightly.
He approached the desk slowly and spoke cautiously, “well, sort of. I’d like to have fresh fish rather than wait for later in the day or perhaps even have them from a previous day.”
“Well then. I would suggest getting over here at 7am. That’s when they are loaded off the truck and we put it on the shelves you see in here.” She leaned forward and put her elbows on the counter. “I’m here bright and early working, so you’re bound to get a good deal then.”
The man smirked, “Ah, I see. I will come back tomorrow to get my deal then.” He nodded his head to her and turned to leave.
“He was cute,” she said to herself, “definitely cute. I do hope he comes by tomorrow.”
“FALLEN!” a yell came from the back of the store. Her father emerged, raged, and carrying dead rats in his hands, yes- dead rats in his hands. “I told you to call the exterminator last week!”
“I did! Eeewww, get those away from me!” she ran away and stood by the door.
Harold followed her, shaking his full fists wildly, “you were in charge of getting them over here. I put the full responsibility on you to get this done. I put you responsible in cleaning the god-damn mess that is now in the supply room. Do you hear me, girl? Right this minute and I don’t want you to come out of there until every last filthy rat is picked up off the ground and the dropping mopped up!” he stormed out of the market door and raged outside for a little until he threw the rats into a dumpster outside.
Fallen’s heart was racing as she quietly stepped back from the door, still facing the window watching that her father was not coming back inside for another round, then quickly turned to run to the supply room.
When she got there, it stank from the many death of unfortunate little beast and the little presents they left behind.
She hated rats.
Absolutely hated the way they twitched their nose at her and then especially their own putrid hisses whenever she found them in the food, as if they were complaining that the food they were selling was not up to taste.
But she hated her father more- especially when he ordered her to do such work.
She put on some gloves and quickly weeding through the boxes on the shelves, finding a few dead rats here plus the occasional living rat that would hiss at her and try to protect his food. Fallen envisioned taking a riffle and shooting each and every last rat on the face of the planet, and then turning the gun on herself. She shook her head and sighed, looking up to the ceiling of the small supply room. A lonely light bulb hung from a thin string and waved back and forth.