Friday, May 11, 2018

Special Delivery - Little Copy Shop of Horrors, Part 2




view through a keyhole of a bloody package


ImpEx Paulio's - 2006
Monday, May 15th

The house stood abandoned on an isolated road.  Rowan paced back and forth in the foyer, a pair of industrial strength scissors clutched in her hand, as she waited.  Sweat dripped down her forehead and burned her eyes.  She was certain she could go through with it, all doubt, all anxiety, all trepidations, purged.  She wasn't the same person she was just six weeks ago.  No one is who they used to be, no one, she thought.  My friends never were.  They have left me, lied to me, used me, or never even knew me.  That fucking bitch sat there, listened to my hopes, dreams, and then stole them.
Just six weeks ago, Rowan hadn't yet begun to unravel.  Just six weeks ago, she didn't understand the strange voice inside her head. 

Tuesday, April 4th

Rowan was distracted, thinking about Velvet, who had stopped in just moments ago to pick up an order.  She felt awash with jealousy.
She hated most young women.  Their innocence disgusted her, and she didn't find it the least bit cute.  Especially that ugly bitch Velvet, ever since Trevor had started dating her.  Her dirty cunt stank clear across the room.  Her skin was pale and thin, like an alien's; her hair was like Lucille Ball's.  When she dropped her pants, her pussy lips cried out, "Oh, Ricky!"
Rowan wished she was as pretty as Velvet, but she knew she never would be.  She knew that when she was fucking Trevor, he was thinking of Velvet, because that's whom Rowan was thinking of.  Who wouldn't?  Velvet was Hollywood beautiful.  Rowan saw herself as ugly, and she thought that was why no one liked her.  It didn't matter, nor did she.  She hated herself.
She went to church with Trevor so that he would love her.  He didn't.  He didn't hate her.  He didn't care.  Why did she think that would work?  How naïve she was.  While she was there, sitting in the drab, cold chapel, she called out to Jesus.  She prayed, Jesus, help me, I beg you!
He didn't answer. 
The truth was, she wanted Trevor back.  He loved her at one time, she was pretty sure, but nothing was for certain, and he may not have.  He didn't anymore.  She wished he would talk to her.  She wished someone would. 
Oh, Jesus, rid me of my pain that I might at least have pleasant dreams, no more nightmares.
Again, Jesus didn't answer.
She felt someone staring at her.  She looked up from the LCD control panel of the copy machine.  The Customer Service Supervisor, Vanessa, had yet again abandoned her post at the full-service counter.  Rowan spotted her out in self-serve, doing Ollie's job, helping one of the regulars, a little old lady name Rosemary, make copies of yet another missing cat flier.
Jesus, Rowan thought, how many cats has that old hag lost over the years?  Ten?  Twenty?   What's the deal?  Does she live next door to a Chinese restaurant?  And where the hell is Ollie?  I'm never gonna get this order done on time!
She looked behind her.  The machine operator, Purvis, had stepped out the back door for a cigarette break.  She couldn't just leave the line of customer's hanging, so she went up to the counter herself.  "Hi!" she said with a smile.  "How can I help you?"
The man was on his cell phone.  He said, "I have something here."  His nostrils flared out as he spoke.
"You need to pick it up?"  Rowan said.
"No.  I need you to make it," the man said, frustrated that Rowan couldn't read his mind.
"Oh, you have something in the archives, then?"
"Yes.  I've told you that twice already.  Why don't you listen to what I'm saying?"
"I'm sorry, sir.  I must've misunderstood you.  What name is that under?"
"Premier Trucking Company."
"And the file name?"
"I don't know."
"Is it the only one we've archived for you?"
"No."
"Excuse me for just a moment while I look up your files," she said, and stepped back to the nearest computer.
She opened the archives and started a search, but couldn't find his files.  "I don't see your files in here.  Did you fill out an Archival Agreement Form?"
He crossed his arms across his chest and snorted, "Yeah."
Rowan looked in the store's record book and found his paperwork.  It was incomplete, never signed by the customer, yet stamped "Already Archived."  Shit, she thought.  She looked in the archives again under both his company name and last name, but couldn't find his files anywhere.
Finally, Vanessa returned.  She remembered taking the order for typesetting the previous week and suggested that the graphic designers might still have a copy.
The graphic designers were in India, and the only established communication was through e-mail, so Rowan sent them a message and waited for the file.  She approached her customer, and explained what was going on.  "I'm so sorry," she said.
He said, "My cousin said he had a job archived here last week.  Maybe you should look and see if you lost it, too."
"Sure.  What name is that under?"
"Roscoe Jones."
The great disappearing Ollie returned and started talking to Purvis, who had finally come back from break.  He was trying to keep his voice down, but Rowan could hear everything he was saying.
"You're not gonna believe this shit."  Ollie said.  "This woman asked me to help her out on one of the computers.  She said the mouse wasn't working.  So, I go over there, and this dumb bitch is actually waving the mouse in front of the screen, like that's going to do something.  I'm thinking, Goddamn, lady, are you retarded?"
By the time Rowan located Roscoe's files, the designers had transmitted a copy of the missing file.  She approached her customer.  "Yes, sir.  Roscoe Jones's job is right where it belongs, and your file has just arrived from the designers.  Can I take your order now?"
"Yeah, Roscoe," the man said into his cell phone.  "They got your stuff.  Yeah, go ahead."
Rowan wasn't sure if he was talking to her when he said to go ahead or if he was talking to Roscoe, so she went ahead and keyed the information she knew into the computer and waited, praying the buggy program wouldn't crash on her this time, so she could just be through with this nightmare.
"I said go ahead!" the man said.
"How many do you need?"
"When will it be ready?"
"That depends on what you're ordering.  What do you need?"
"I need those three piece ones."
"We can have that for you in the morning."
"Why can't you do that for me right now?" he said in a loud and irate tone.
"Because they have to be glued and the glue has to dry.  We usually do those overnight so they have time to properly set."
"Why do you tell me something different than the last person who took my order?"
"Well, when do you need them, and I'll see what I can do?"
"No!  You tell me why you're telling me something different than everybody else?  Hey Roscoe, I gotta go," he said and put his cell phone away.
Rowan said, "I'm going to let someone else help you now, because I don't think I can."  She turned to Vanessa.  "Do you mind?"
"Sure," Vanessa said.
"I don't want to place my order with her.  I just want to talk to you!" he yelled at Rowan.  "Why can't you take my order?"
"I tried, but I can't seem to communicate with you, so I thought someone else could do a better job."
"Why can't you communicate with me?"
"Well, for one thing, you were on the phone."
"I wasn't on the phone, I hung up.  Why don't you want to take my order?  You took my order last week."
"I'm sorry, but you're mistaken.  Vanessa took your typesetting order."
"No it was you.  In five months from now, when you have a new job, you will be happy, but you're hurting ImpEx by running off all their business, and it's not fair to them."
Rowan shoved her hands into her purple apron.  Since she had to wear the most hideous uniform to work every day, she just didn't care what she looked like anymore.  Her once beautiful, groomed hair was now tangled and greasy.  Her big verdant-brown eyes used to sparkle with a love for life.  Now, they were dull, distant, and full of despair.  She turned her back to the man and walked out the back door.
She walked to her car and lit the half-smoked blunt from the ashtray.  Whatever it takes to get through the day without killing anyone, she thought.
She felt flustered.  When she started working at what was then called Paulio's to help pay for college, she had dreams of earning a Ph.D. in Greek and Roman Classics, but she couldn't make ends meet, so she worked longer and longer hours.  The hours ate into her good grades, destroying her chance for a scholarship, and the money still wasn't enough to cover tuition, so part-time turned into full-time.  She liked her job back then.  The pay was good, the stress low, and the respect high.  She convinced herself it would be for just a little while, that she could still read in her spare time, and that she could go back to college one day.
She didn't realize how tired she would be at the end of a long day, or how it would eat away at her soul and devour her dreams.  Then, one day, she woke up thirty years old, and Paulio's private owner sold the company to Imperial Express, or ImpEx, a mega-corporation, and the job went to shit.  No more profit shares, no more raises, no more respect.  What could she do but smoke weed, drink booze, and keep going?

Wednesday, April 12th

Ollie walked up to Rowan and said, "We have a very unpleasant customer in self-serve, using the photo kiosk.  She just called me a dick, and now, she wants a manager."
Vanessa was on a break, so even though Rowan was the Production Supervisor, she went to self-service to help the customer anyway.
The woman was easily six feet tall with football player shoulders and a deep voice.  "I need a copy of this picture, and that mother fucker won't do it for me," she huffed.
"This machine is for self-service use.  I can show you how to do it."  Rowan spoke in a calm, even tone.
"You don't raise your voice to me!  I'm the customer!  You don't tell me, I tell you!  Just hurry up, and do it for me!  I'm in a hurry!"
Another customer piped in and said, "Why don't you tell her what you told the other guy.  You're in a hurry 'cause you left your baby in the car!  Why don't you go get your baby?"
The woman screamed, "That's right!  My baby's in the car!  Hurry your scrawny ass up and make my fuckin' copy!"
"Ma'am," Rowan said, "You're being hostile and aggressive, and we don't tolerate that kind of behavior.  You need to leave now.  If you come back, it will be considered trespassing."
She swayed her head like a copperhead ready to strike.  "I ain't leavin'!"
"Look, I'm calling the police, and you can take it up with them."
"I'm coming back up here tonight, and I'm gonna cut you!"
Rowan walked back behind the counter to call the cops, but the woman ran out the door, so she didn't.
"What a nasty bitch!"  Ollie said.  "But look, I printed out the picture she had scanned.  At least we got that."
Rowan posted the photograph of the woman at the counter with instructions to call the police without hesitation should she return.
Afterwards, Rowan needed a break, so she went to her car to get high.
I can't live through many more days like this, she thought.  A tired fool I am!  Her back hurt, and she felt crazy in the head.  She felt so worthless.  If failure was a part of success, then boy oh boy was she successful.  She couldn't see a way out of the circle of hell called ImpEx Paulio's.  They took everything until there was nothing left of her, and she didn't know who she was anymore.  All her dreams were dead or dying.  She angered from ache and ached from anger, that sour fist that rises up the esophagus and eats away one's soul. 
She never got to have fun.  Her only friends worked with her.  They were never off when she was, so she never got to hang out with them.  If only she could go out and meet somebody new, she could forget about Trevor.  All she ever did was work, work, work, and after she paid the bills and boozed and smoked away her misery, there was never any money left for her travel fund, and oh, how she longed to see Rome!  She worked to drink and drank to work.  Was passing out all life had to offer her?  Hit me again, God.  I'm starting to like it, she thought.  The world was rotten like Jesus, like any zombie that died, crawled from his grave, and screamed, "Brains!"  She just had to accept the fact that God was either cruel, not all-powerful, or all together didn't exist.
Regardless, she prayed to any god who would listen.  I can't go on.  Please let me die.  I can't go on.  Please let me die.  I can't go on.  Please let me die.  Kill me.  Kill me.  Kill me.  I am already dead in this pained body.  I am dead.  I am dead.  I am dead.
"Nex immanens est."
The words startled Rowan.  They seemed to come from both within her and beyond her, not quite an internal voice, but not quite external either.  Its tone was masculine and calm, as if simply stating a fact.  It had been a while since Rowan had studied Latin, but she was pretty sure the voice had said 'Death is imminent.' 
Rowan wasn't frightened by the words, but rather comforted.  If death was imminent, so be it.  She welcomed death.  Perhaps her prayer would be answered after all.
Vanessa pecked on the passenger side window, then opened the door and climbed inside.  "Why are you crying?"
"I didn't realize I was.  That woman, she was just so mean.  She said she was gonna cut me."
"Really?  What a psycho."
"I think I need a change of pace.  I'm gonna apply for that open position as a delivery driver over at the ImpEx hub."
 "Oh really?"
 "Yeah.  When I was a kid, and the mail order stuff from the Sears catalog would arrive, I would get it off the front porch and pretend to deliver it to my mom.  I loved seeing the delight in her eyes, as I would hand her the package.  I read somewhere that people enjoy doing work that they pretended to do as a child.  Plus, the hours are better."
"How's the pay?"
"Pretty good, I think."
"That sounds like a great idea."
 
Thursday, April 20th

The store manager, Elmer, called Rowan into his office.  Rowan was dreading the inevitable bitch out for whatever imperfection he felt the need to denigrate this time.
When she first started working for Paulio's, she loved her boss.  He was laid back, and he took care of his Paulio's family.  Then he met Jade, a high riding bitch, and they got married.  Slowly, he changed.  He was never good enough for his wife, so nothing was ever good enough for him.  She walked all over him, crushing his backbone and stomping his balls, until all sense of strength and leadership left him.  When the previous supervisor, Grigori, fired Edgar, whose baby was terminally ill, Elmer knew it was too cruel.  He knew Edgar was rightfully distracted and deserved some slack, but someone had to be held accountable, so he didn't object.  Rowan lost any remaining respect for Elmer then.  
Regardless, after Grigori died and Elmer offered Rowan Grigori 's position, she took it.  She didn't want to work third shift anymore without Edgar to keep her company.  Elmer shut the door, and started talking.  Rowan was pleasantly surprised by what he had to say. 
She had spent a good deal of time reorganizing the production department to create a smooth workflow.  As a result, she won the Employee of the Year Award, three paid days off, five hundred dollars, and a framed certificate.

Monday, April 24th

Rowan couldn't relax on her days off because she dreaded returning to work so much.  She didn't want to face the mundane existence that awaited her.  When she arrived, she discovered that Vanessa, jealous over Rowan's award, pitched a hissy fit to the boss and made a real ass of herself.  Then, under the guise of cleaning and organizing, she wrecked the full-service production area, undoing all that Rowan had been rewarded for.
She rearranged machines, computers, and cabinets, destroying the workflow.  Entire cabinets' contents had been dumped into paper case boxes and abandoned.  Boxes of supplies were stacked up everywhere because no one knew where to put stuff.  The boxes and bags were no longer near the package and price area.  The toner for the production machines was missing, lost somewhere in the shuffle.  Vanessa even removed the spinner on the paper carousel so that it would no longer rotate.
Vanessa, who had the day off, sent Rowan an email explaining how she, too, applied for the delivery driver job at the hub, and signed off with the line 'May the best woman win.'
Rowan kept her chin up when Paulio's doubled the size of the store and stayed open throughout construction, with dust everywhere, half the machines without power, and the customer's screaming, "You shouldn't be open if you can't do what I want right now!"  She endured the ten thousand dollar a year pay cut when they took away her profit shares, but this, this was personal.  This was a slap in the face, and she felt furious and betrayed.
 
Friday, April 28th
 
The interview started out great.  Rowan thought she was sure to get the job, since she had just won the Employee of the Year Award.  She smiled, sat on the edge of her seat with perfect posture, and rested her hands in her lap, just like the book on interviewing had coached her to do.  She practiced all weekend, and had answers ready for anything they threw at her, until they dropped a bomb on her.  Vanessa had interviewed first, and she told them Rowan was a drunk and a pothead.  When they asked Rowan about it, she was so embarrassed and flustered that she didn't' know what to say, and the guilt was written all over her face.
 Rowan had prayed to any god that would listen for a better job, an interesting job, a job that couldn't be performed by a retarded monkey fetus.  When she was a child, she could be anything, limited only by her imagination.  Now that she was an adult, she could be nothing but a copy shop employee.  As a child, she controlled her world.  As an adult, she could not even control herself.  She gave up on getting a better job.  Now, she just prayed to be as dumb as a retarded monkey fetus so that she wouldn't realize how stupid her job was.
"Nex immanens est."  That voice again, calling out to Rowan, comforting her with its dismal promise.  She held on to that prophecy and let it envelope her like a fresh grave.

Thursday, May 11th
          
Rowan thought the woman she was helping could be Vanessa's twin.  She had a wrinkled face speckled with age spots.  Her black hair was streaked with gray, and she was overweight.
"I need one of each file, right now, in color," the woman said.
"Let me see what you've got here," Rowan said.  She took the disk back to the computer and looked at the files, nine huge Power Point presentations.  "Your files are really large.  It's gonna take a couple of hours," she said.
"Well, I really only need one of those files right now.  It's called ‘The Plan.’"
Rowan stepped back to the computer, printed out the one file, and then returned to the customer.
"I need ten copies of each," the woman said.
"Okay.  Do you want to see a proof first?"
"What's that?"
"We print out one of each for you to look at, and, then, if it all looks good, we print the remainder."
"No."
"Okay.  I just need you to sign a proof waiver and to let you know that you will be responsible for the bill regardless of whether or not the copies meet your standards.  The price is going to be sixty-nine cents per page, plus a one-time rip fee of ten dollars."
"Oh.  Well then, I do want to see a proof."
"Okay, you can come back in a couple of hours to see the proof.  Here's the file you needed now."
"I need one of each file now."
"It's physically impossible to make the machine process that much work so quickly.  Your files are huge.  It will take two hours for the machine to rip them.  I thought I explained that to you, and you said you only needed 'The Plan' right now."
"All the files are named The Plan, and then they have a number after them.  I need them all now."
"You can take the disk out to self-serve and print those out yourself, but I can't do it for you right now.  In self-serve, you can print them straight off your disk.  If I do it for you, it has to rip to the copy machine's computer, be converted to a PDF, and then rip from that computer to the actual copy machine.  It takes a long time."
"But I still need the additional ten copies of each."
The phone started ringing.
"Print what you need, and bring the disk back to me, and I will get you the rest later this evening."
The phone continued ringing.
"Can you help me?"
"I need to answer the phone.  Ollie's out there.  He can give you a hand."
The woman told Ollie she had a card for the self-serve machines with thirteen dollars on it, and asked if that would be enough.
"No," Ollie said.
"Can I use your employee card and pay when I'm done?"
"Yeah, sure," he said and handed her his card.
She printed out a few, and then decided it was taking too long.  She came back to the counter.  She handed Rowan Ollie's employee card.  "That's taking too long.  I need my card with thirteen dollars on it back."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Rowan said.
"My card with thirteen dollars on it.  That boy that was helping me, he must have it."
Rowan looked at Ollie.  "Do you have her card?"
"I never touched her card.  I just let her use mine."
"Can you go look around where she was working and see if maybe she dropped it?"  She addressed the woman.  "Let me go ahead and take your order while he looks for your card."
"You already took my order."
"No, I didn't.  We just talked about your order.  I never entered it into the computer."
"Well I know you took my order already, and I don't want to pay for this job twice."
"I promise you, you won't have to pay for the job twice.  Ollie and I are the only ones here, and I'm not going to run your job twice."
"I want to know how much it will cost."
"How many pages are in each file?"
"I want one of everything."
"Let me print off a screen shot to get a list of the files, and get a page count on each so I can get you a price."  Rowan took the disk back to the computer and printed out a screen shot.
Ollie returned.  "I didn't find any cards.  Maybe you put it in a different slot in your wallet than usual, or maybe it's in a pocket."
Rowan returned to the counter and showed the list to the woman.
"I don't need all these files," she said.  "I don't know what some of these are."
"Which ones do you need?"
"You said I could see a proof at six thirty.  I just want to go."
"I need to know which files you want me to print."
"I want my card with thirteen dollars on it back."
"Ollie doesn't have your card.  He never touched it."
"How much is this going to cost?"
"I'll just print out one of each file for the proof, and when you look at those and pick out which of the files you want ten each of, I'll give you a total price then, okay?  It's going to be sixty-nine cents per page and a one-time rip fee of ten dollars."
"Okay," she said and left.
The woman returned at six-thirty to see her proof.
"I'm very upset!" she said.
"What's wrong?"
"You printed out the files I didn't want."
"Well, just tell me which one's you don't want, and we'll take them off the order, and you won't have to pay for them."
"Where are my two cards?"
"What two cards?"
"The one with thirteen dollars on it and the one that boy sold me with twenty-six dollars on it.  I left them with you when I placed the order."
Ollie joined the conversation.  "Ma'am, I never sold you a card with twenty-six dollars on it.  And I never even touched your thirteen dollar card."  Ollie happened to be holding another empty card in his hand, and the woman reached across the counter and snatched it from him.
"That's my card!"  she said.
"Sure, you can have that card."  Ollie said.
"Where's my card with thirteen dollars on it?"
"How about if I just take thirteen dollars off your bill?"  Rowan said.
"That will be fine," the woman said.
"Okay," Rowan said.  "It's going to be seventy-nine dollars and forty-nine cents."
"That's too expensive.  I was just getting this done to see if it would be cheaper to go buy ink jet cartridges."
Rowan saw red.  She imagined herself opening the supply drawer, taking out a pair of industrial strength scissors, and shoving them into the bitch's stomach.  She pulled the scissors upwards, ripping flesh with the blunt side of the blade.  The woman's guts spilled out onto the counter.  Rowan scooped them up.  They hung over the edges of her hands and dripped blood as she walked back to the copier.  She dropped the guts onto the glass, set the copier to make one hundred copies, and then rang up the woman's corpse.
Nex immanens est, Rowan thought.  Why use the word ‘nex,’ not just ‘death,’ but rather ‘violent’ death?  Why not use the word ‘mors’ or ‘letum?’  There was no peaceful slumber awaiting her, only a painful, gory demise.
Rowan laughed.  "You know what, cunt, go fuck yourself.  I quit!"

Monday, May 15th

 The house stood abandoned on an isolated road.  Rowan paced back and forth in the foyer, a pair of industrial strength scissors clutched in her hand, as she waited.  Sweat dripped down her forehead and burned her eyes.  She was certain she could go through with it, all doubt, all anxiety, all trepidations, purged.  She wasn't the same person she was just six weeks ago.  No one is who they used to be, no one, she thought.  My friends never were.  They have left me, lied to me, used me, or never even knew me.  That fucking bitch sat there, listened to my hopes, dreams, and then stole them.
Just six weeks ago, Rowan hadn't yet begun to unravel.  Just six weeks ago, she didn't understand the strange voice inside her head, but she did now.
Rowan had prayed to any god who would listen, and one did, an ancient, neglected god, delighted to have a servant, a god whose rage was fueled by the anvil chorus of the working class, a symphony composed by corporate greed, misdeeds, and injustice, perpetuated ad infinitum by the need for more of the all mighty dollar, that green beast bore on the backs of broken men, leaving behind only pollution and void.
'Nex immanens est.' Rowan had misunderstood, confusing the word 'immanensimminens.'  The voice was not saying 'Death is imminent,' but rather 'Death is immanent.'
Rowan bowed her will to the god within, and she became his vengeful hand.
Finally, she heard the rumble of the ImpEx truck coming up the drive.  Shortly, there was a knock on the door as poor, damned Vanessa sought the required signature for the package Rowan had shipped to the abandoned house.
Rowan flung open the door.
A look of confusion crossed Vanessa's face.  "What are you doing here?" she asked.
Rowan lunged forward and stabbed Vanessa in the stomach, twisting and driving the blade with her rage.  Hot blood spilled out of the gash and soaked Rowan's hands.  There was so much more gore than Rowan imagined, and the adrenaline, the thrill, was so much greater than anything she had ever felt in her life.
Vanessa shrieked with terror and agony.  She gasped and then fell to her knees.  She thought about her children, and how she would never see them again.
"You'll never see your children again," Rowan said, as if reading her mind.  She pulled the scissors from the wound, dragging guts out with them, and then, she gouged out Vanessa's eyes.
She dragged the body further inside.  Then, she went out to the truck, and retrieved packages of various sizes.  She opened each carefully, as a grandmother on Christmas day, and emptied each box of its contents.
She enjoyed the grisly job of dismembering her felled nemesis, and took hours to do so, as a mischievous boy who'd just discovered the joy of mutilating his sister's Barbie dolls.  She removed the vital organs, with all the glee and curiosity of a young scientist dissecting her first frog.
When she had chopped Vanessa away into sizable chunks, she carefully wrapped each piece inside bubble wrap, as if wrapping a birthday present for a dear friend.  She liked the way Vanessa's nose squished up beneath the clear plastic, making her look like a pig.
 Rowan then put each piece of Vanessa into a different box, covered them with packing peanuts, and taped them shut.  She couldn't get the torso to fit inside the biggest box.  You always did have a big ass, Rowan thought as she unwrapped it, whacked it down to a smaller size, and repacked it.  
She cleaned herself up, and then put on her old ImpEx uniform.  She put the new packages on the truck and delivered them.  A woman, anticipating some nostalgic trinket from e-bay, instead received Vanessa's severed head.  A man, expecting a trunk full of memorabilia, received Vanessa's trunk.  An old man, expecting medication, received the new kidney he prayed for every night.  An old pervert, anxiously awaiting Carmen Luvana's latex pussy and ass, received instead Vanessa's mutilated cunt.
She pawned the confiscated junk and used the cash to fund her new career.  From that day forward, no ImpEx delivery driver was safe, as she slaughtered, dismembered, and delivered them all across the country.
Rowan had found her calling.  She was a stellar employee, a manager par excellence.  She saw to it that the other drivers were put into their work as never before.  She did them on time or did them free.
In this was salvation.
Rowan was no longer human, but terror incarnate, born of the dead and dying dreams of all those who lived within the borders of the United States of Americorpse.  She was a new horror, the likes of which had only before roamed on the screens and pages of the horror obsessed Americorpse public, now a regular part of the news.  She was more than a monster; she was a lesson.
Mercurius smiled upon her and her deeds, and she was not caught, for her god was a god of commerce, of giving all to the consumer, and at a low, low price.


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