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This is fiction based loosely on reality. The fact that I would have to disclaimer this worries me.

The company I work for is not too far from being a cult. The only real thing lacking is doctrine. That’s ok because if you work for them they will change your life too. See they not only plan for inevitable change, they look forward to the possibilities. They are known for gasoline, but they know it won’t last forever so they started selling food like they’re a restaurant. Yeah, it’s a convenient store open 24/7, 365. I am an NA.

When hired on I didn’t know what to expect other than working my ass off cleaning a store all night long. What came after the ability to successfully maintain and detail a store was the classes they would send me to. When you walk into one of these stores everything looks normal, right? It all looks perfectly harmless in its uni-functionary way but what I’ve since learned is that everything is a weapon. From the type of mechanical pencils and generic pens to the hardware that rolls and warms taquitos, everything is a weapon. They teach us how to use them in special “skill school” sessions held at the division office dojo. It really is the only way to let off steam sometimes from dealing with the general newport-smoking populace and their need for original swisher’s and whether their random choice has a wood or plastic tip. They like to come in brandishing weapons sometimes and their attitudes are as unpredictable as the Texas weather. A daily allotment worksheet makes it to where we are in proximity to different “weapons” at all intervals of the shift.

I know what you’re thinking as you’re reading this and I want to put your mind at ease. Those of us they have chosen as NA’s have already been trained in various forms of martial arts and many of us even have military training. We are disciplined and will only resort to violence if any problem escalates violently out of control before the police arrive. It hasn’t been necessary yet. Even as I write this I wonder if it will lead some random punk to try something. Well, if it comes to that just know most of us aren’t afraid to die. You won’t get any money and you won’t get far. You will only succeed in shortening your own life as a free moral agent.

-VR

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A few years ago a boy and a girl met each other through average circumstances, happening time and again, that found them getting closer and closer to each other until the day came when they were holding hands. They married. It was a mixed reception – the news of their marriage, not the reception – because there wasn’t one: they had eloped.

Years later, trial filled years later, they brought into the world a baby boy. This baby, the culmination of the light and love his parents had for each other made manifest into the form of a human being they named Avery. The parents, though loving their son, suddenly found their once endearing differences being too difficult to live with and chose to split up. Not wanting the family to be completely separated the dad suggested selling their current house and moving into a duplex. The mother initially protested saying it would be too weird potentially seeing her once husband bringing guests home and she didn’t want it to be weird for him either, in retrospect. The dad, considering her thoughts, still pressed the practicality of the idea, how it will help their situation while giving their son a modern sense of family (though grumbling under his breath at the idea of dating again). Mom reluctantly agreed.Duplex

Many weekends wasted productively and one exhausted Realtor later the mom and dad found a place they could agree upon. It was two-story, had three bedrooms that mirrored one another, a sizable kitchen space and a joint laundry facility. They moved in, each parent to their chosen place of residence with the rearmost bedroom for their son. One day when the dad tried to install a wall-mounted shelf in his sons room on his side of the duplex he knocked a hole through the wall revealing a large square frame in the support structure that could be used to make a door or passageway between the two sides of the duplex. The mom wasn’t so happy about the mess of the discovery and though they fixed the hole into a passageway they covered it up with a bookshelf and some curtains. It remained so for many years until one day…..

-VR

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