Our story begins with our heroine bravely stocking the shelves at the local Valu-Mart, on the midnight till 8am shift. Her neon purple and black dreadlocks pulled back into a bun that somewhat resembles a moldy blueberry bagel, her septum piercing wiggles as she sighs dramatically hoisting package after package of Valu-brand toilet paper over her shoulders, trying desperately not to catch her 00 gauge neon orange silicone plugs as she goes along. The distant patter of a cold March rain echoes through the mostly empty store.
"Becca," Kurt, the night shift supervisor calls from aisle two, "I can hear your frowny face from here, remember, turn that frown upside down and keep a hap-hap-happy face on in front of our loyal Valu-Mart customers."
"Got it," she replies, plastering crimson lips into a distorted grin, intentionally pale skin contrasting her jet-black eyeliner and long fake lashes obscuring eyes that glimmer an excellent tone of aquamarine.
"I mean it Becca, there's no "I" in team, and we need to make sure we're all on the same page!" Kurt carries on his usual stream of cliches, hurrying over to her aisle. "Presentation is important here Becca, we don't just stack the packages, we display
Our heroine rolls her eyes, sighing deeply, "I know Kurt, you can scurry along back to the office now, I can handle stocking the TP."
"Bathroom tissue, sweetie, and don't forget I'm assigning you a brand new buddy today, Ms. Lilly will be here shortly, make sure you get her in the spirit of the Valu-Mart team and remember--"
"I know, make sure she doesn't get lost on the north stairs up to the break room," Becca finishes for him.
"Right, because we all know how that works, such high turn over in this place!" Kurt says, pushing his square framed black plastic glasses back up to where they should have been sitting on his face, his hair immaculately spiked with it's frosted tips glistening under the glow of the fluorescent lights. He flutters away, returning moments later with a small blonde girl in ratty sneakers, "now you two play nice, Becca, why don't you take her to the break room and find her a nice little uniform ok? Ok then."
"Hi, I'm Lilly!" Squeaks the blonde.
"Great," Becca replies replicating her best fake smile, "this is going to be peachy keen. Come on lets get you up to the second floor."
The pair walk silently towards the forbidden north stairs, "you'll have to watch your step back here, one of the stairs isn't safe to step on, in fact it's kind of, not there, well not exactly missing so much as, well there's a kraken, it's the third one from the top, so just step over it ok? I'm not supposed to take newbies up here but the only other staircase is out the front door on the side of the building and there's no way I'm going out there in this rain," Becca states rather flatly as she climbs the stairs.
"A crack? In the stairs? Like one's missing? Or like there's a crack in one of the steps or what?" Lilly asks confused.
Becca turns around, "no, like a kraken, a giant cephalopod, that lives in another dimension who's only access point to our reality is under this missing step in this staircase and if you stand on it the sea monster will raise one terrifying tentacle drag you down into the depths of its watery dimension and sell your soul to Cthulhu, God do I have to explain everything?"
Lilly, blinks a few times, then starts laughing, "look I get it, I'm new, I'm blond what-ever, but I'm not stupid ok," she pushes past Becca in one brisk movement, jogging straight up the creaking old staircase, "so where's this crack? Cause I don't see anyth--" and like something out of a bad science fiction story, an enormous glowing tentacle wraps itself around her leg dragging her down in a shower of spurting green water. The poor girl hasn't even a chance to utter one last horrified scream.
Becca sighs, "Kurt," she yells, "we've lost another one. I swear to god I warned her but she just wouldn't listen. Do you want me to claim she didn't show up? God we've gotta do something about that thing, this one didn't even get into uniform. I'm getting sick of all this paper work."
Kurt pokes his head around the corner "Becca, I've told you, there's no "I" in team, now I'll get to the paper work if you handle mopping up the floors, darn thing brought half his ocean with him this time! Gosh golly, what a mess!"
Becca rolls her eyes again heading for the broom closet for the standard mop and pail, "whatever, Kurt, I'm taking tomorrow off, I have like, stuff I wanna do, like reading or something, you still need to hire someone else, like I can't be here all the time just cause you have trouble finding decent staff."
"Oh alrighty then," Kurt replies sounding somewhat defeated, "it's just good help is hard to find."This was my feverdream of an entry for week 2 of The Real LJ Idol, topic: The Missing Stair. Voting this way. Thanks for reading.