The Road Trip
Xander had decided that if he made it through high school intact that he would go
on a road trip to see all fifty states. He didn't think about how he was gonna get to Hawaii. He was just thrilled to get
the hell away from the Hellmouth for a while. Unfortunately his road trip was cut short when his engine fell out in Oxnard.
So his trip was officially ended because he had to stick around and get a job to pay for his car to be fixed. He got a job
at the Fabulous Ladies Club as a dishwasher. It was pretty easy work and every time the door open he was forced to avert his
eyes because of what he might see. The only place that was willing to hire him was a strip club for the ladies. One night
one of the dancers got sick and the manager came into the back and looked him up and down and asked him to remove his shirt.
Xander took off his shirt and the manager eyed her approval. "Yes you'll do nicely. The ladies will love you." "Uh I'm just
the guy that does the dishes." "Well honey tonight you'll be out there on the stage strutting your stuff. Besides don't you
want a raise not to mention all the tips?" Xander liked that idea although he was a bit skittish about the whole stripping
thing decided to go for it since no one here knew him and he'd just keep his lips sealed about this little adventure. Anyway
this would be a lot quicker than earning the money doing the dishes and without the dishpan hands. "Ok I'll do it. What do
I do?" She handed him a costume and he asked her, "Uh where's the rest of it?" "Sweetie that's the whole thing. Come on I
know you want to do this and that outfit will look really good coming off you." Xander went to the back room where the dancers
changed and put on his costume. It consisted of a black mask that he was kinda grateful for so he could avoid direct eye contact
and some serious blushing issues. There was a leotard that was skintight that sorta reminded him of that cat costume that
Cordy wore for Halloween a few years back. It had a big S on the chest and a long flowing cape. It was like he'd become
one of the characters in one of the comics he avidly reads. He looked in the mirror and shuddered and stepped out onto the
stage and the whole crowd went wild. The music started playing and he started gyrating and swinging to the music. The tights
were rather itchy and he discovered that all he had to do was tug and his costume came right off so that all he was left in
was his cape and a g-string light on the g and string. He bounced around and continued to dance and noticed a pole but he
decided to not go for it since he didn't want to injure little Xander if he should slip. Instead he slid around the pole and
scrunched up and down facing his audience like he was dry humping the pole or maybe it was dry humping him but the ladies
apparently loved it judging from their squeals. He got bolder and removed the cape and the money started flying. Ladies started
calling for him and whenever he got near they put dollars down his g-string. By the end of his set he was not only sweaty
but racking in some serious cash. From that point on Xander did a set each night and in between for some extra cash he did
some dishes although he didn't really need to for his tips were amazing but the bill for the car was gonna be pricey. He never
thought he'd ever in a million years be stripping but he was glad that the money was coming in so he wasn't stuck there for
months on end. In a few short weeks he was able to pay for his car but he decided to hang around for a bit longer because
he was supposed to be on a road trip after all but eventually he got really bored and just went home where he found that everything
had changed. His room was no longer his room for his parents put all his stuff in the basement and told him that he was going
to be paying them rent from now on.
By Barbara Desmond
Once again Xander was on the lookout for a job and saw a sign in Bowl-A-Rama so
he decided to go in and apply for the job. Xander just had to leave the house because Uncle Rory was staying there and
had the bad habit of not only getting drunk and wandering around in his smelly, holey underwear but even worse sometimes he
was sporting the full monty which was traumatizing. Xander shuddered at that thought and fought to repress that scary image
along with the other things he wanted to repress like that time when Buffy scared away Larry leaving Xander feel like a sissy
man. "Oh memories in my mind that I so don't want to find please flee and hide far, far away. Ok here goes nothing. I can
do this. This is bowling and I'm mad for the throwing and the striking." So he opened the door and went inside. He went up
to the counter to ask about the job and found himself face to face with Brad from elementary school. He was just one of the
many kids who picked on him and made his life sheer hell but Will made it bearable since she was there every step of the way
with him. He mentally started telling himself not to stutter and that Brad and had probably bullied so many through the years
that most likely he wouldn't remember him. Besides he'd come a long way from those days when it was suspected that Xander
migth be mildly retarded. "Can I help you?" Xander looked at the name tag and said, "Yes Brad I'm interested in the job that's
open." "Wait a sec and I'll get you an application. Do I know you? You seem very familiar but I can't place you." "Uh I don't
think so uh Brad. I guess I just have one of those faces. They do say whoever they are that everyone has a double walking
around somewhere." "Yeah I've heard that too." He turned and walked to a file cabinet in the corner and opened it up and pulled
out an application. "Here you go. Hey the manager is due shortly so why don't you hang around and talk to him. I'll let you
in one a little secret people haven't exactly been running in here to apply so the job is pretty much a done deal if you want
it." "That would be great since I'm having some serious landlord issues. I don't get why lord is in the title anyway.
Well I better fill this out. Thanks for the heads up and let me know when the manager gets back. I'll be at the snackbar."
"No problem I'll send him over when he gets back." "Thanks for your help." Xander walked over to the snackbar and ordered
a coke and a bag of chips. There was only a five left so he was desperate for this job. He was not going to stoop so low
as to scrub toilets with Sally Maid although he'd get the use of a company car which was a perk except for the whole humiliation
factor if he was seen by actual people. He shuddered and erased that thought from his head. "Ok this looks pretty much like
any other application." He filled it out and provided references which were bogus of course but Will and Buffy agreed to play
the part of a former employer since he didn't want to include any real ones. He'd also risked putting his folks number down
so he could pretend to be an employer although it was risky with Rory around. Xander knew that it was unlikely that the references
would be checked and usually it was only the first one. He finished filling out the application and started looking around.
The thought of working here wasn't the worst thing in the world and he'd get a discount so he could splurge and have his palls
out for a night of bowling fun not to mention the fact that Will got turned on by rented shoes which is something he just
had to see because the last time they tried bowling well it just didn't happen and it ended badly and that was just another
one of those thoughts he needed to erase from his brain. Freddie Iverson of all people came in the door and went up to the
counter where he talked to Brad and then came his way. "So you want to work here Harris isn't it?" "Yes that's me Xander Harris."
"I have one question for you can you start tonight? I need someone to close for me." "What oh yeah sure but isn't there a
training period or something?" "If you want you can stick around for a while and observe Brad. It's pretty simple. I wouldn't
be asking if it wasn't really important." "Sure no problem. What do you have a deadline on some story?" "As a matter of fact
I'm doing a review of some band at the Bronze." "Well good luck with that. So are your reviews as brutal as in high school
and one that comes to mind where the Dingoes sounded like they had sausages strapped to their fingers or something." "Well
it depends on the band but it can be brutal. I'm doing some freelancing for the Sunnydale Press and for pay too." "Well that's
great but I'll go to Brad to get Bowling 101 so I'll be all ready for my big closing night." "Sure later Harris." Xander walked
over to Brad and said, "Well you were right I got the job so now I need a crash course in the ways of bowldom." "Well you
know how to use the register right?" "After all once you've seen a register you've seen them all. I just need to be shown
where the stuff is and all the procedures and whatnot." So Brad took him on the tour and showed him where the shoes
were kept for those who rented a pair and what to do with the street shoes. "You fill this slip out and give a copy to the
customer. Since this is your first day on the job you won't need to stop by the bank." He took him to a back room where there
was an opened safe. "Just clear the register and put all the money in the safe. The safe locks itself. Tomorror you'll have
someone to go through the whole procedure including a trip to the bank. Take the receipts and put them in this box. So do
you have any questions?" "No I think I've got it covered. I should be ok." "It shouldn't be too bad since Mondays are usually
a slow night." "Ok well I'll be back later. See ya." Xander left in a somewhat good mood. "Hopefully this job will last a
little longer than the last one. At least I don't have to wear a stupid uniform." He got into his car and stopped for some
takeout before heading home. He was so glad that he had a way in without going through the living room. He ate his food and
took a shower. When he came out he found Anya lying naked on his bed. "An I really have to get to work." "Xander it's
been over twenty-four hours since we've had sex. We have to remedy that right now before I go back to the shop." "Always with
the romance. Ah what the hell I could always take another shower." "Well you can give me pleasure and we can save water by
showering together." About an hour later they were getting dressed. "Well I've got to get back to all my money. Sometimes
I wonder if GIles stashes away money when I'm not around." "An don't be silly. Remember what I told you." "Yes I do but I
just love money so much." "Speaking of money I've gotta go I have a new job and I'm closing so I'll swing by your place later
if you want." "Yes and if you're up for it which I hope you are by the way we'll have a repeat performance." They kissed and
went their seperate ways. Xander drove over to the bowling alley and went up to the counter. Brad was just getting ready to
leave. "Well good luck. It's been pretty slow but you'll have a few stragglers here and there and I think it's Bowling League
night but they have their own shoes and routine so it'll be no problem." "Sounds like this will be funapalooza." Brad walked
out the door. Xander took his place behind the coutner and waited for someone wanting shoes to come his way. He found a chair
and decided to sit down. Finally after he'd been on the job for an hour and a half someone came his way. "Hi what size can
I get ya?" The guy replied, "I need a 7 and a 12." "Ok I'll get those for you." The girl that was with the guy looked a little
like Ampata which brought up yet more bitter sweet memories what with the kissing and the life sucking. He grabbed the shoes
and filled out the slips and gave them to the guy when he paid. "Have fun bowling you two." "Yeah thanks," he said as he grabbed
the shoes, the receipt and his change. "Well so far so good." The rest of the evening went without any bumps in the road so
Xander was hopeful that this latest job would last longer. He was hoping to talk his parents into letting him put a lock on
the door since it was his place even if it was a dark and gloomy basement but he thought that the disco ball hanging from
the ceiling brightened the place up. When it was time to close he put the closed sign up and made sure there were no last
minute people hanging around. At the snackbar the girl there gave him a wave and left. Xander locked the door behind her.
He checked to make sure all the shoes were accounted for and in the right place which they were sicne it had been pretty dead
which Xander was just fine with since it was just his first day or rather night on the job. He opened the register and placed
the money in the bag. He grabbed the slips and put them in the box and then closed the register. He took the money and
put it in the safe and shut the door which locked itself once the door was closed. Xander went out the back door locking it
behind him and went to his car. He drove over to Anya's even though he was utterly beat after a long night and not having
slept much the night before. Anya came to the door in a sexy red negligee. "Wow!" "Let's get to it I had a good night tonight."
An honey I'm really tired and I'm thinking little Xand isn't up for anything right now. Let's just cuddle tonight and when
we get up I'll be all recharged." "OK since I'm in such a good mood." The second Xander got in bed he fell asleep while Anya
was once again talking about money. When Xander woke up he found a note on the pillow that said Anya had gone out to get some
coffee and donuts. Xander got up and took a shower. He had brought some clothes over so he didn't have to put the old ones
on. He grabbed a pair of jeans and a shirt and got dressed. Once again he ended up with socks that weren't all matchy. Anya
came in with coffee and donuts. "Perfect timing did I ever tell you about this theory I have about socks?" "No but go ahead
I need to practice listening and you'd be the best person to practice it on." "I just feel so special right now." "Well you
are do go on tell me your theory." "Well it's about socks. You know how they go in the dryer all in pairs but they come out
with socks missing. I think there is a gremlin or something that steals socks so we end up having to buy new socks or wearing
ones that aren't all matchy." "Well gremlins do exist but I don't think they're after socks but that's a nice theory. There
could very well be something that collects socks but it's probably not gremlins. Maybe fairies since they can be strange creatures."
"It was just a thought not like I plan to research it so I can solve the mystery of the missing socks. Well I gotta go check
out the work sitch." Xander kissed Anya and walked to the door. "Wait aren't we going to have sex now? After all you promised
me." Xander walked back to her and said, "Later I promise I have a little surprise in store for you along with sweaty sex
afterwards." He grabbed a couple donuts along with a coffee. "Well ok then so I'll see you later. Xander left and went into
panic mode. "Oh great now I've got to think of something to avoid getting into a silly argument. She just doesn't get
the whole having other things on the mind. Ok enought talking I need Will. She'll know what to do her being a girl and all."
Xander drove over to the college found a parking space and walked over to Stevenson Hall where Buffy and Willow shared a room.
He walked to their room and knocked on the door. "Who is it?" "It's Xander." "Just a second." Buffy opened the door. "Am I
interrupting something?" When Xander stepped in Riley was just putting on his shirt." "Hi Xander I was just leaving duty calls."
He kissed Buffy and left." "So Xander what's up?" "I need some girlie advice. I want a surprise for Anya actually I stuck
my foot in my mouth and promised her a surprise. She doesn't quite understand when we don't well you know every single time
we see each other." "How about a picnic on Kingman's Bluff. That's a nice spot just get a blanket and a basket full of goodies
and voila instant romance." Thanks Buf you wouldn't happen to have a picnic basket would ya?" "As a matter of fact I have
that basket I used for Halloween." She went to her closet and found the basket in the back of the closet and handed it to
Xander. "Thanks you're a life saver." "I know after all I am the Chosen One." "Well I gotta go check in at home and see if
Rory's gone." "Well good luck with the picnic. Oh are you gonna be at the Bronze tonight?" "It depends on whether I work tonight."
"So a new jo huh?" "Yeah you're looking at the gainfully employed man of Bowl-A-Roma." "Oh the excitement of balls and pins
flying should be right up your alley." "Hey no mocking." "Well I guess it beats dollars in the g-string." "Hey!" "Sorry but
it was there and I just had to say it." "Well if all goes well I'll be Bronzing it tonight." "Later Xand." "Yeah bye." Xander
walked to the car with basket in hand and thought about what food to get. He decided to head over to the bowling alley
to find out his hours. He went inside and found Brad at the counter. "Hey Brad." "So you're back ready for more." "It
wasn't too bad but I'm hoping that I'm not always closing." "Don't worry about that since Freddie is usually the one that
closes up. I have your schedule right here." Xander looked at it and was relieved to see that he was working mostly
days so he was free to spend time with his girl. "I take it that you have a girlfriend judging by that look of relief on your
face." "Yes I do. It's hard to fit her in if we're always missing each other. So the day thing is your regular hours." "it
certainaly is but I'll be transferring to UCLA next semester because my scholarship came through." "Well congratulations."
"Thanks. It'll be nice to get away from Sunnydale. So you'll be taking my hours which have been great since I'm able to study
while things are slow." "Well I've gotta go I'm planning a surprise for my girl. So I'll see you tomorrow." Xander stopped
for some donuts and next went to get some sandwiches. He put the food into the basket and swung by a drugstore to pick up
some stuff. "OK now all I got to do it get my girl." He looked in his trunk and found a blanket from the last time they'd
all been at the beach. He pulled up outside the magic shop and went inside. Anya was helping a customer so he went over to
the table and sat down until she was done. Anya loved the picnic and sicne it was a secluded area she was able to get many
orgasms since Xander was a viking in the sack or in this case on the sand. As they were laying under the stars Xander's phone
rang. "Damn the inventor of those things. Don't answer it." "An it could be important." He pulled it out and flipped it open."
"Hello." "Hey Xander sorry about bothering you but I really need you to come in like now." "But my schedule is for days."
"I know but the night guy Eddie is in the hospital and since you're the new guy well you know how it is." "Yeah sure Freddie
I'll be there in about twenty minutes." He hung up and put his phone back in his jacket pocket and started getting dressed.
"Well what's in twenty minutes?" "Sorry An but i've got to fill in for the night guy." "Why?" "Well I'm the new guy and he's
in the hospital." "How rude of him to do this to me. He is totally ruining my night." "An the guy's in the hospital." "Well
is he dying at least?" "I don't know. Look An you know I need this job especially if I want to get out of the basement.
Xander make money. Xander able to move out. Get new place make Anya happy." "Ok go make money. You can drop me off at my place."
They packed up their stuff and left. After dropping Anya off he drove to the bowling alley where an ambulance was just taking
off with sirens flashing obviously on the way to the hospital. Xander got out of the car and saw Freddie looking at the ambulance
that was screaming into the night. "Freddie what's going on?" "You know the snackbar girl Tina well she was attacked tonight.
She was found badly beaten in the bathroom." "Hey what about Eddie?" "Same thing two days ago." Xander just felt a shiver
go through him and not in a good way. "So are there any more people that got beaten?" "Well yes but no one knows why or who
is doing this? Oh we decided to close for the night well the police did to see if they could find any clues." "Yeah and we
all know what a fine job our police do," Xander said sarcastically. "Well I guess I'll go then." "Yeah sorry about dragging
you out here." No problem." Xander got into the car and wondered why no one mentioned Eddie before since he had started working
there after Eddie was beaten. He decided that this was probably a Slayer thing so he decided to go see Buffy. He knocked on
the door and heard a just a minute. Willow answered the door licking chocolate off her fingers. "Want some Smores?" "Ooh!
No later do you know where Buffy is?" "I'm in here." The door of Buffy's closet was open so he hadn't noticed she was in there.
"Good you're here. I think something strange is going on at the bowling alley." Buffy pulled out two skirts and showed them
to Willow first raising one then the other. Willow pointed to theo ne on the left since it was a perfect match to her new
peasant top. "Ok bowling alley big trouble need Slayer now." "Ok don't get your panties in a twist." "Hey I don't wear panties.
I wear manly boxers. Anyway I think is a little more important than picking out an outfit." "I have a date with Riley so spill
already. Well..." At this point there was a knock on the door. Willow who was standing closest to the door went over to it
and opened it and let Riley in. "Excuse me but potential sitch of the dire here." "Oh are you talkign about the beatings at
the bowling alley." "Oh great I come over to tell you and Captain Commando steals my thunder." "Xander isnt' that your new
job?" "It certainly is and at this rate it may be the winner for shortest time worked there." Buffy looked at Xander and asked,
"So what do you know?" "Well since I've started working there well the day before I started there have been two people beaten
into a bloody pulp and oh yeah Freddie is the manager." "Freddie as in the brutal reviews guy from high school?" asked Willow.
"The one and the same so anyway there was another attack tonight so get all stealthy since this might not be your run of the
mill beatings. I think something is up since I'm all tingley and not in a good way." "Well guys go outside and I'll put on
something stealthy so much for our date." The two went outside and Buffy grabbed a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. "So Will
wanna come?" Willow who was eating a Smores said yes and changed too. "Ok boys let's go." Since Xander had parked right outside
they decided to take his car. Riley had been a little twitchy about Buffy's friends finding out about his secret but finally
realized that he had nothing to worry about because they kept Buffy's secret. While they were in the car Riley filled them
in on what he knew. They pulled up to the back of the building. Buffy got out and looked around front and saw a police car
pulling away. "Ok the cops are gone so let's take a looksie inside." "Sure no problem I've got the key," said Xander jingling
them in the air. Riley had been reaching for his master key but stopped when he saw Xander's key. He opened the door and walked
inside. "She was found in the bathroom. It's this way." Buffy turned to Willow and said, "Feel like doing some hackiing?"
"You know I'm so the net girl so need you really ask. Xand where is a computer?" "There's one in that room behind the counter."
Xander led Buffy and Riley to the women's bathroom which had the light on that someone had forgot to turn off. Blood splattered
the floor like it was a design. Buffy was grossed out by all the blood but that's one thing you get used to when you're the
Slayer so it didn't affect her the way it would her friends. Xander was puking in a trashcan. "Yikes I hope she's alive. So
Riley why hasn't there been a stop to this? Haven't surivors been able to help in any way?" "No they all claim not to remember
a thing. The first victim was a Freddie Iverson." "Really and it was here?" "What do you know him?" Xander had finished puking
and had gotten himself a bottle of water and caught what Riley was saying. "Yeah he's the manager. Ok I get beaten up and
I stay at the place and yet more get beaten and I get promoted to manager so why do I stay?" Riley was thinking about that
and said, "It could be demonic. There is this clan of demons that attack every five years. They don't always kill but it's
early yet since it's only been the three so far." Willow had found some interesting stuff on the computer so she went over
to the others were sitting at the snackbar talking. "Hey guys. This whole thing of people getting beaten has been going on
for the past two weeks. There was something else but I haven't been able to hack into it but I'll keep trying so it's just
a mater of time." Turning Xander she said, "Do you think anyone would notice if I had a drink?" "Ooh Willow you're quite the
outlaw. I doubt anyone will notice as far as I know there isn't anyone going around keeping track of how much soda there is
to the last drop." "Ok then. Do so does anyone else care to join me in some petty larceny?" Everyone else said no she he went
with Will and they both helped themselves to Cokes. Willow walked back to the computer and started tapping on the keys. Finally
after what seemed an eternity she found what she was looking for and after bursting into geeker joy she pulled herself together
and went to join the others. "I take it from that squeal you found somethng." "Darn tootin' Xander. It turns out that the
owner is in some serious trouble since he stole a transdimensional device. So the beatings will continue and will get worse
unless it's returned." "Got any idea where he hid it Will?" asked Buffy. "Well I remember reading about this spell that will
reveal things that have been hidden by magicks. So I guess we'll need to get Giles." "Will do you have any idea where it could
be hidden like here at the bowling alley maybe." "Well I looked up his address since he'd probably hide it there and the ones
after him are targeting his business to get it back." They left and went to see Giles. Buffy knocked on the door because the
last time she'd just walked in she found something that she wanted to repress even though she didn't really see anything the
mere thought of it just gave her the wig. "Oh Buffy is everything all right?" They all came in and he went to boil some water
for tea. Buffy told him what was going on and Willow found the book with the spell. She took the book and started going through
it. By the time Buffy filled Giles in Willow had found the spell. "Here it is. Revealing what is unseen and hidden by magicks.
It's in a weird language but..." Giles took the book from her. "Yes I'm familiar with this spell." It was similar to a spell
he'd used before just before he became Buffy's Watcher. "So do we need to go over to this chap's house to do the spell or
should we try the bowling alley first?" Giles went to pour himself a cup of tea. "We think the house is probably where it
is." "Yes I agree but the bowling alley would be worth checking out since anyone would presume it was the last place to look.
I suggest we go there first and go from there." "What does this dimensional thingie do? asked Xander. "Well it's an object
of great power that allows the user to travel through dimensions. You can even alter realities but this chap hasn't figured
that out yet. It's quite dangerous so we must retrieve it." As usual while Giles was talking he started cleaning his glasses.
Giles took the book and drove over in his car with Willow while the others went with Xander and drove over to the bowling
alley. They parked in the back and went in the same way as before. Giles decided to try the area where the lanes were. He
stood before one and chanted the incantation and threw some herbs while saying "Vongai tretor vinetor polluso revealum ostus!"
Nothing happend so he moved over to the next and tried again. When he reached the second to last lane there was crackling
and sparks in the air after he said the spell and there was this silvery pole suspended above the lane. Giles reached for
it and took hold of it. "Yes this is it all right." "Wow that is so cool. I could totally hide my dirty laundry away. Ok I'm
shutting up now." Xander pulled up a chair and sat down. "So Giles what do we do with this thing now?" asked Buffy. "Well
I suppose we give it back to the owners." "Are they the good guys?" At that point there was a burst of light and crackles
shot through the air and a portal opened. Two hooded figures came out and one of them pointed to Giles who was holding the
device. "Oh right this would be your's right. If I'm not mistake you would be the Guardians right?" "Yes you are correct.
We thank you for finding our device now hand it over please. We have no wish to hurt you people. We only want back what is
ours." Giles walked over to the two and gave it to them. "Now I suggest you all leave while we finish what we came here to
do." Come on let's go." Giles walked out along with the others. When they were outside there was a bright flash of light and
the building disappeared. "Well there goes another job down the drain or should I say down the ground. Think I'll get paid
for the hours that I did work?" Willow patted him on the sholder and they all headed back to the cars and went home. Xander
was thinking how he'd have to look for yet another job in the morning. He went to his basement and the second his head hit
the pillow he fell asleep even though his parents were arguing about something yet again.
By Barbara Desmond
Toys R Us
Xander went to the toy store to check out the new video games and saw that they
were hiring. He figured it oculdn't be any worse than his last job where the building got blown up by some other dimensional
whatevers. On the plus side it was likely that he'd get a discount and of course he'd get to play the games first in the store.
"Yes this is the ticket. I'll wow them and soon I'll have a fun job where a kid can be a kid." He walked inside and went up
to the customer service counter to get an application. "Hi I see you're hiring." "Yeah did you want an application."
"Absolutely. So this must be a fun place to work huh?" "It has its moments sure but it can be hellish at times when there
are a bunch of screaming kids around." The guy at the counter had on a name tag that said, "Hello my name is Tom" gave Xander
the application. "Thanks. Do you happen to have a pen I could borrow?" Tom looked around and found a pen and gave it to Xander.
He filled it out at the counter and asked if the manager was around. "That would be me." "Ok Tom so what kind of position
is this?" "It'll be stocking the shelves mostly but when it gets crowded you might be called to the front to wait on customers.
You know how to operate a cash register right?" "Of course I do. So what kind of hours are we talking about here?" "You'll
get at least twenty hours a week. Also a flexible person is needed to fill in when a person calls in sick. So would that work
out for you?" "It sounds good to me. I was wondering if employees get some kind of discount." "Yes you get a 20% discount.
Now are you pretty familiar with the store." "Oh yea I am." "Well could you start this afternoon?" "Just give me a time and
I'll be here." "Well I was thinking pretty much now because Harry called in sick so I need someone until six." "Uh sure I
could do that." "Great. Follow me we'll take care of the paper work rightn ow since it's pretty dead in here." Xander followed
Tom into the back where he was shown the break room which had vending machines and in one corner there was a fridge. "I sense
a hint of relief. Yeah I know you had no idea you'd be working here so quickly. You can grab some lunch here or you can go
to the hot dog vendor. You'll get thirty minutes for lunch so you can bring your own if you'd like. Also we send
someone to pick up food if you're interested in that." "I think I'll have a hot dog today." "I'll get the paperwork and you
just get your lunch and while you're there could you pick me up one too with relish, mustard, and ketchup." He pulled out
a five and gave it to Xander. "Ok I'll be back in a few." Outside the vender was already cooking hot dogs. He ordered the
hotdogs paid for them and went back inside. "Thanks, said Tom when Xander handed him his food. Xander had some change so he
bought a soda. They ate and talked about video games. "OK it's now the fun part the filling out of the forms." "Yes it is
and such a thrill too. You'd think that in this time of computers they'd lose these forms but no such luck." Xander filled
out the forms. "Ok what next?" "Well you're in luck because you'll be unpacking the new video games." "Cool this is turning
out to be a great job." "Just follow me." He led Xander into the storeroom which was wall to wall stuff. "Whoa now that's
a lot of toys." He led him over to the boxes. "You'll be unpacking these. John will take them out with the forklift. So if
we're running low on certain items just come back here." "Sure no prob. So I should go to the video games section which is
right next to the action figures. I have a nephew so I know this," said Xander in an attempt to hide the fact that he
was actually the one that the video games were always for and the action figures but he didn't want that to get around because
what he did in the privacy of his own basement was for his eyes alone. "Sure just start stocking them on the shelves." Xander
walked over and John brought the box over and drove off. On top of the box was a box cutter to open the box. Inside Xander
found tons of video games and a thrill coursed through him. It was one of his little secrets the fact that Xander had a passion
for video games. His deepest darkest secrets were kept by Anya who knew him so well. This was turning out to be the best job
ever. Xander searched through the box to find out about the newest games. It was sheer bliss because there were displays where
you could try out the games before you buy them which Xander had taken advantage of many times before especially when he didn't
have the money to pay for them. Xander went over and took the old video game out and put in a new one and started to play.
"It's my job to make sure this thing works." He started playing totally forgetting about the video games he was supposed to
stock. He became so engrossed in the game that he totally lost track of time. When he finally came up for breath he noticed
that three hours had passed. "Yikes! I better get to work fast." He ran to the box and started putting the video games on
the shelves. He got through the box rather fast and saw that the shelves weren't very full after he stocked them with the
games that he took out of the box. "That's weird I thought there were more than this. Oh well. I guess I'm done here." Tom
saw Xander standing there and said, "So how it's going Xander?" "It's gone since I seem to be done." "Hmm so where
did all the games go?" "Well I unpacked what was in the b ox." Noticing that the emergency exit door was opened he turned
to Xander and said, "Why is this door open?" "I don't know. It was open when I got here. It is kinda stuff so the breeze does
feel nice." "Ok then but keep this door closed from now on." "Sure no problem the door stays closed. So what do you want me
to do now?" "You said you're pretty familiar with the store right?" "Well it's not like I could give a tour or anything."
"Why don't you get yourself acquainted and let me know if you have any questions. I'll be in the back filling out some orders."
Xander walked up and down the aisles looked at the toys. "This shouldn't be too hard in fact this might be a fun job and so
far it's way better than my other crappy jobs and plus employee discount baby." Rows and rows of toys and going by the stuffed
animals reminded Xander of Anya. He didn't understand why Anya was so wigged about bunnies. Sometimes Xander would just stop
and think about how weird it was that he was dating an ex demon. "Well that's life on the Hellmouth." "Excuse me but do you
work here?" Xander turned around and found himself face with face with a little old lady that was the eptimoe of grannydom
complete with the bun on top of her head all she was missing was the plate of cookies fresh from the oven to complete the
picture. "Yes I do mam. How may I help you?" "My what a nice young man you are. I was looking for some video games for my
grandson." "Well it just so happens that you are talking to the right guy. Just follow me the games are this way. So how old
is he?" "He's thirteen and I have no idea what to get him." Xander picked out some games and handed them to her. "Thank you
young man you've been a great help." She went to the register to pay for the games. Tom came up to Xander and said, "You
really impressed that one. She often comes in here but she rarely buys anything." "I guess I've got the magic touch." "I suppose
you do. So did you get a chance to walk all the way through the store?" "Well I was with the stuffed animals when Granny asked
for help." "Go on and finish walking throught he store so you can know the store and answer question. For the first week or
so just walk around and help people." "What about the register?" "We'll get to that later just familiarize yourself with the
store so you can help people find that certain toy." Xander walked around and once againg found the door open by the video
games. "Hmm that's strange I know the door was shut before. He closed the door again and found that all the video games were
gone. "That's weird I think I'll mention this to Tom." He found Tom at the counter and walked up to him. "Tom there is something
strange going on." "What is it? "Well I happened to go by the video games and the door was open again and there weren't any
games left." "Damn it I hate when this happens." "Uh what exactly is happening here?" "We've had this problem before but I
thought it was over." "What problem?" Thieves sneaking in through that door. Now that I think about it this all started
up again today right when you started working here. I'm afriad that I'm gonna have to fire you." "Why?" "It's just the way
it has to be." "But Granny she bought stuff." "Yes she did but hundreds of dollars of video games are missing." "Man this
just sucks." Xander walked out of the store and went to his car. He stopped to get something to eat and when he was getting
back into his car he found a bunch of video games on the backseat. "Well I guess the day wasn't a total waste although I have
no clue where these came from. Like they say don't look a gifthorse in the mouth." "It's done just as you wished." A phone
rang and it was Tom calling from Toys R Us begging Doug to take his job back.
By Barbara Desmond