You’re one of the universe’s few immortals. You’ve witnessed stars forming, studied life on remote planets, and seen the evolution of numerous sentient life forms. Today you were laid off after working at McDonald’s for twelve years.
“What the hell happened?”
“No idea. Mark pulled me into his office and blabbered on for, like, twenty minutes, and then he’s just like, you’re fired.”
“Son of a bitch.”
“Right?” Kipp leaned back against the driver’s door of his Chevy Cobalt. He pulled a pack of cigarettes from the inside pocket of his jacket, “I just, I don’t know what to say.”
Pash crossed her arms and sneered, “You know, I bet it was Cynthia. She’s had it out for you forever.”
“Cynthia? Really? So twelve years is down the tubes because I wouldn’t make out with her at the Christmas party last year?” Kipp dug a lighter out of his front pants pocket and lit the cigarette.
“Christmas party? Isn’t she like eighty years old?”
“She’s only sixty three Pash,” Kipp half closed one eye and gazed off into the distance, “We connected on some really weird level.”
Pash’s lips were in a thin, tight line as she watched Kipp.
“Hey, she was hot when she was younger. You get a sense for these things after a while.”
“Wait, did you say twelve years?”
Kipp took a long drag from the cigarette, “I don’t even know why I’m upset. Shit, the things I’ve seen, the things I’ve done, and after twelve years I couldn’t do any better than a bloody fry cook?”
Pash looked Kipp up and down, “Seriously dude, how old are you?”
“I don’t know that I’ll ever understand this place. I didn’t know there was such a thing as being petty before I came here.”
“I was like, not even in kindergarten twelve years ago…”
“What’s the saying? Something about a train wreck, or a car accident maybe. You can’t look away. That’s me I guess, I didn’t look away, so here I am.”
“But you don’t look…”
“Even that shithole out on the edge of the Cygnus Arm, bag of dicks those guys, but at least they didn’t pursue extinction on a daily basis.”
“What the hell’s a signus arm?”
“I mean honestly,” Kipp exhaled a stream of smoke through pinched lips, “I’ve seen balls of slime that were more supportive of each other.”
Pash’s eyes were wide, focused on the pavement in front of Kipp.
“No really, slime balls. That was out past, what the hell was it called? I think it was in the Columba Supercluster anyway. Granted they had the collective acumen of paste, but they were good to each other,” Kipp looked toward the sky and smiled to himself, “Anyway, if I was waiting for a sign, I’m pretty sure this is it.”
He reached into his back pocket and took out his wallet. He pulled cards out one by one and let them spin to the pavement. He palmed the last, it was brightly coloured and covered in strange writing. He removed a small stack of bills and held them out, “Here, take it. You’re a good kid Pash, and I sure as hell won’t be needing it anymore.”
Pash stared at Kipp, her mouth slack. Slowly she reached out and grabbed the money.
“Alright, stay cool, or whatever the hell it is you kids say these days,” Kipp dropped his empty wallet to the pavement and then lifted the card in front of his face. He drew the tip of his index finger along a metallic strip on the edge. There was a faint pop, and then a distinct absence of Kipp.
Pash licked at her lips, looked to her left, and then to her right. She folded the bills and slipped them into her pocket, and then lifted the visor cap from her head and smoothed out her dark hair, “I think I need a day off.”
This is for my friend Sarah who said I should check out the Reddit Writing Prompts, and then for days hounded me nearly to death to see if I had written anything. Okay, so she actually only asked me once in passing. It’s nice to try something different once in awhile, even if it makes you realize that you’re getting old and have no idea how young people talk to each other. Anyway, here’s the Reddit link in case you want to see some of the other responses.