- Job Info:
Art loved a selection of things, and money was one of them. Money, money, money, the key for all doors. he could buys him a selection of things, and it was a means of moving up in his household. His family was obsessed with money, and had an abundance of it. But he didn't want to rely on that money. He would much rather use his own. The less he had the rely on his family the better. Money and power were the greatest means of doing that.
So when he had seen the figure for this job, he had just accepted it, barely reading the description. What was it again? Squish some toys and make them fluffy. It was lame, it was the epitomy of lame. Trivial and lame. So much more lame than that modelling job had been, although he had enjoyed that in the end. Plus he had managed to get some extra fun out of it with the lovely Jeannette, Fiore's Next Top Model in the lady division.
However he knew there was no way he would get any extras out of this job, it just didn't have that kind of nature. He had made sure very few people knew about him taking this job, because if they did it would be nothing but humiliating. He had a reputation to uphold and that reputation did not involve squishing childrens toys. His family would never let him live this down, his grandfather would be especially furious. He would probably take the money off of him, saying some crap about he didn't deserve it. The old fool would just use it as an excuse to keep him for himself, like hell was he going to allow that to happen.
Art arrived at the store at 4:25pm, the store was closed for the day as the healthy remaining staff went him. It was left to hi to take it from there, he needed to wait for the delivery of special toys which would be arriving at 4:30pm. He had barely managed to drag himself here, the only thing that had kept him coming was imagining the payment at the end. Maybe it was those high figures that explained why he, of all people was on time for once. He hadn't been sure what time he had even left, and yet he was on time, funny that. The rebellious Artemis Dagger could be punctual for money, he really was a Dagger through and through.
It was an old building, he remembered seeing it as a child. But it had been renovated over and over again since then to keep lasting. Changing in looks but remaining a toy store. It was quite grand now, white brick and marble steps. Niche gold windows, hosting a sweet selection of toys neatly layered in rows. Toys ascending upwards so that it was nearly impossible to see past them. If you wanted a good look, you needed to go inside. It was a means of luring people in. He positioned himself on the front stepped, elbow resting on his knee, hand on chin as he waited.
After a few minutes a truck pulled up, wheels squeaking to a half. The driver door and passenger side opposite, as two delivery men stepped out. One reached into the holder of the car door and pulled out a clipboard, flicking through the pages as he approached Art. "You a staff member?" He asked, Art stood up, simply nodding, the guy handed over the clipboard and indicated for him to sign. He didn't actually read any of it, just picked up the pen and scribbled his name on the dotted line next to the word signature. Then handed the clipboard back to the guy, who turned and with his co-worker heading to the back of the truck. Pulling the doors open, to reveal a collection of boxes. Art raised his brow at the site of them, they were large, unnecessarily large. Bigger than him. No wonder they needed two people. The owner had given him a key so it was easy enough to sort out, Art moved after to the doors, and unlocked them both, pulled them back so the men would have room to carry the boxes in. Art normally wasn't one for doing extra work, but the sooner he unloaded these boxes the sooner he could get started. He began to help the drivers, shift the boxes off of the truck and into the store.
The boxes were surprisingly light, which made him wonder why they were so oversized. How many toys would he actually have to fluff. It seemed unrealistic that he would need to do this many, but then again it was a great deal of money. He knew the store was successful too, it was a renowned brand. Heck even when he was a kid he used to come and peek through the window. Although none of his siblings or cousin were actually able to go in and buy anything. Toys were for weak children in the eyes of his family. Teddies and cute objects were especially disapproved of. It was all swords, knives and shields for the Dagger kids.
After they finished unloading the last of the boxes, the men shut the doors, and climbed back into their seats. Art watched as the truck drove off, leaving him alone with the shop and sealed boxes full of unknown toys. That had taken longer than he expected, which made him wonder how long this entire job would take. For some reason he had assumed it would only be a few hours, but just getting the toys into the store had been long enough of a task.Art turned, stepping inside the store, he pushed the double doors closed, and locked it behind him. The store had been a quaint and tidy little store when he'd arrived. Now it was filled from top to bottom with large brown boxes. Already ready to be opened and worked on. It was a daunting task, but at least no one could see him doing it.
He made his way over to the front desk, the first task was opening these boxes. There had to be a boxcutter somewhere, shuffling through the drawers he spotted a pen knife. This'll do. He thought, taking it out and shutting the drawer. He made his way to the closest and smallest box. Small wasn't the right word really, it was still taller than him. Stepping up, he pulled the box closer to him, raising the blade. He found the sealed seam and began to gently run the knife over it. Careful not to go too deep, wouldn't do to damage the goods inside.
As he dragged the blade downwards, he pushed it all the way to the bottom, satisfied this would be enough to open it. He pocketed the pen knife, standing straight, he reach forward. Pushing his fingers through the now open seam of the box, he pulled them outwards. The contents of the box flew forward, a giant soft object, taking him by surprise causing Art to fall backwards. Landing on his backside, the toy toppled him, causing him to let out a surprised yelp. What the hell. He thought, grabbing the thing to take a look at what landed on him.
As he took in the sight of it, he scowled. This was embarrassing, his attacker was none other than a six and a half foot tall teddy bear. Bright pink fur that coated it's entire body, except for round circles of white fur for it's stomach and face. It face cutely designed in a happy expression designed to please children. It was harmless and somehow managed to knock him on his arse. He sighed, chuckling at himself, as if he had been taken down by a human sized teddy bear. That was a joke he would keep to himself for a very long tie.
So what was it he needed to do, squish them until they were fluffy enough. It seemed simple enough. He rolled the bear off of him and shifted from his backside to his knees. It proportion were unrealistic, did a child really need a teddy this big. Art would barely be able to get his arms round it, let alone a small child. Reaching out he poked the bear, testing it's softness. He kind of got it, they were soft, but they fluff wasn't moulded very well. He guessed this must of been his task, to make them look acceptable.
He began to push the bear, squeezing it in various parts. It was weird and awkward. Like groping a sleeping animal. He looked around, no one was here, so he didn't need to feel this awkward. Yet he couldn't help himself, it was an odd thing to be doing, especially for a fully grown man. Screw it, May as well get on with it. he thought, as he got to work. Pushing and fluffing the teddy in front of him. Allowing himself to zone out, he got through it, the room filled with nothing but the sound of him working. He could really use some music right now, he decided after this teddy, he would look for a radio to play. He was sure the owner wouldn't mind if he listened to some tunes while he got the job done.
He hadn't realized how long fluffing one teddy would take, he had been kneading ad fluffing for at least forty five minutes on one bear alone. He was satisfied that it looked fluffy enough, at least all the body parts were equal, much better than how it originally looked. He had to give the store's employees credit, it was a difficult task but it was a tiring one. He slowly shifted to his knees, stretching as he did so, his body already felt stiff. From the look of all the boxes, he had a lot more work to do. Moving away from the finished bear, he began to make his way around the store. Searching the walls and shelves, until he finally spotted it on a corner table. A source of music, a vinyl player.
He made his way over to it, checking the machine over, it was a little outdated but it would have to do. It probably wouldn't have anything recent, he noticed a drawer under the table and pulled it open. Inside there were a selection of records. He pulled them out and began to shuffle threw them. There were a lot of covers he didn't recognise. They had been a vinyl player at his childhood home, but he had never dared to touch it, not to listen to music at least. He was pretty sure, he had thrown it across the room in a fit of rage once. He must have been around seventeen then, and he had a lot on his plate to say the least. Things had been getting to him.
He decided on the most familiar looking record, a woman staring off into moonlight, a silky white nightie blowing in the wind. He pulled the cover of the record off and placed it to the side. Then raising the needle, he placed the disc down. Adjusting the dial into it spun, he gently lowered the needle. There was a little static before a soft voice began to fill the air. A gentle melody, accompanied by a smooth sultry voice. It was relaxing, and it took away from the eerie silence.
There was another reason Art didn't like silence, he was anxious because silence wasn't distracting enough. Something about sitting in silence made him wonder what Morte was doing, buried away inside him, thinking, planning. It unnerved him, he didn't trust Morte one bit, and when Morte was quiet it shook him. It was almost suffocating and the longer he endured it, the worse it got. At least with background noise, he could forget, forget about Morte, about that evil power within.
Art shook his head in an attempt to push away any thoughts of Morte, stepping away from the vinyl player. He pulled out the penknife, deciding to open all of the boxes first. He figured it would be easier to handle his workload if he could see how many toys he actually need to fluff. He got to work cutting and opening the boxes, revealing toy after toy. There were a few more teddies, some cats, dogs, a unicorn and a cute owl teddy. It was an unbelievable workload, bound to take him late into the night. He let out a little sigh of frustration, then rolling up his sleeves. He began to get to work, starting on a cat teddy.
He fluffing and fluffed, not stopping. He continued to work on all of the teddies, getting through them one by one. Feeling minutes turn into hours as he completed his job. The glimmers of light fading from the window, telling him that he was already working long into the night. His eyes become tired and itchy, the muscles in his arms and fingers beginning to ache. After several hours he found he kept needed to flex his arms and click his knuckles. At some points, he had return to the vinyl player to restart the disc, after a few hours he had switched the disc for another and again a few hours later. Each time playing the music until he eventually got sick of the melody.
One thing was sure, he couldn't do this for a living. He remembered his earlier thought about it not being difficult and scolding himself for judging it too soon. It may have not been tough at first, but now his joints were sore and aching from the ongoing efforts. Perhaps the work was divided more evenly, the store owner had written in the notice that quite a few of them were ill with flu. Just how many people had got sick in the first place.
This life was not for him, and no doubt he didn't want to take on another task like this for the rest of his life. Living fast and fun, that was for him. That damn reward money, seemed pointless now, was it worth it. He didn't want to take big money jobs if they meant enduring this boredom. Well there was no sense in quitting now, he had managed to get through the bulk of it. At this point quitting was a bigger waste than finishing the job.
The player was currently performing an upbeat tune, when the beat was interrupted with the sound of ringing. It took Art a moment before he realised it wasn’t part of the song. Jumping out of the chair he had positioned himself in. He let go of the owls head and moved towards the sound. He spotted a landline buzzing on the counter and swooped down to pick it up. Raising the receiver to his right ear. He waited until a croaky voice called out to him.
“Hello... hello, Mr Dagger?” It was the store owner.
”I’m here, “ Art replied,
“Ahh excellent I was hoping I would catch yo-“ His voice was suddenly replaced by an onslaught of coughing and spluttering. Art pulled a face of disgust, holding the receiver slightly away from his face as though worried he might catch the illness though the phone. He waited for the old man to catch his breath. “Sorry about that, rotten bug is knocking me for six. Anyway is everything going well with the animal fluffing?” Art gritted his teeth, was this guy for real?
“ As well as it could be.” He told the shop owner making no effort to hide the annoyance in his voice. The guy must have picked up on it because a soft chuckle could be heard down the phone.
“Well one of my staff members will be over in two hours to collect the keys,” The shipowner proceeded to thank him for his hard work before saying goodbye and ending the call. Art Tom what was meant to be a long calming breath. But really it had little effect on relaxing him. The phone call had done nothing but irritated him further. Irritation plus fatigue was not the best combination. But Art was done in around two hours it would be over . Then he would never have to look at this stupid store again.
Art returned to squishing the teddies, pushing a moulded, only two more, then only one more. Then finally the last one was fluffed into shape. Art checked over the unicorn making sure it looked okay. He dropped the thing, letting out a loud breath. It was over. He ha fluffed all ten giant teddies, and now all he had to do was wait for the employee to come and collect the key. He glanced over at the clock, they should be arriving in another ten minutes. Pushing himself up off of the chair, and began to clear away the boxes. Breaking them down so they fit in the rubbish bags with ease. He unlocked the front door so it was ready for the colleague to arrive. Just like clockwork, he was taking out the trash when she walked through the door.
"Oh wow, you've done such a great job Mr Dagger," She said as she inspected the toys. "Would you be interested in a full time position, I'm sure once the boss sees your handiwork, he'll want to snatch you up straightaway." If Art was in his normal mood he would've all over this chick, putting the moves on her but Art was tired. He had just spent the better half of eight hours fluffing giant friggin' bears. He was in no mood, he just wanted to go home and go to sleep.
"Thanks, but no thanks." He replied, the girl looked slightly disappointed, but shrugging it off, she took the key from his open palm and replaced it with his payment.
"Thank you so much for your hard work, " She said with a nod, nodding back he turned and made his way out of the store. Determined that for the rest of his life, he would never look at a teddy again.
WC: 3048 / 3000