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Private Just Desserts

Discussion in 'Ark City' started by Carter J. Burke, Oct 2, 2019.

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  1. Carter J. Burke

    The Company Man

    Posts:
    184
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Elusion Clerk
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    30
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link

    September 23rd, Year 109
    Scoops Ahoy
    Participants: @Steve Harrington / @Justin L. McCay / @Abigail Hobbs


    Burke sat behind the front counter of the ice cream parlor, looking clearly distressed. What started off as a promising plan had turned into a disaster. Benny’s addictive substance was not to blame as it had worked just as intended for a good several weeks. Customers arrived in droves to buy their product - which unbeknownst to them had been laced with the drug - and the side effects that followed consumption had them practically frothing at the mouth for more. Everything had been going just swell up until a certain point.

    The first customer complaint surfaced in the form of a phone call after a particularly chaotic day at Scoops Ahoy. The distressed caller claimed that the ice cream had made them sick, and that it was spoiled or intentionally poisoned. After a lengthy and rather unpleasant conversation, Burke decided to write it off as some sort of fluke but unfortunately, the complaints didn’t stop at one call. And absurd as it was, every person who spoke with Burke moaned about the same exact issue.

    Burke had faith in Benny, who’d promised nothing of the like could be caused by the addictive substance, so this came as an unexpected and slightly disturbing surprise. Had the man been lying to him all along? He had mysteriously disappeared shortly after selling him the stuff, after all. He would have considered it as an option, but the drugs had caused no problems for over two weeks. No, Burke decided. This wasn’t the consequence of using Benny’s drugs. Somebody had sabotaged him.

    Scoops Ahoy’s CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE sign was now displayed in the window so a private meeting between the manager and employees could take place. Burke had referred to it as a meeting, but in truth it was an interrogation. Each of the players - Steve, Justin, and Abigail - were summoned to the parlor to discuss what had happened on the day previous to the first complaint. Burke rubbed his temples anxiously and waited. He hadn’t a doubt in his mind that somebody was going to lose their job today - the question was, who?

     
  2. Justin L. McCay

    Justin L. McCay Midnight Ride

    Posts:
    120
    Occupation:
    Escaped Mental Patient
    Race:
    Human
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    Justin crept into the ice cream parlor, frowning and chewing on a fingernail. He’d been as tightly wound as a spring ever since his walk to work, puzzling and obsessing over what Michael Dudikoff Mr Burkeman wished to say at this interrogation meeting.

    Had he finally found out about the time that Justin had gotten a papercut when he should’ve been wearing his gloves and had dripped blood on everything? (Though people had liked the strawberry syrup very much!) Or the time Justin had surreptitiously licked an ice cream, before giving it to a pretty girl who’d reminded him of Lara? (It had been as though they’d shared a CLOSE moment! A kiss!) Or the time he’d left a dead facehugger toad on Mr Burkeson’s desk?

    Justin couldn’t possibly guess why else his boss had called this meeting today!

    Seeing the parlor without customers went some way to easing his gnawing anxiety. It always made his head spin, having to endure work with even one or two people in the shop. Why did they let them inside? People only made noise and mess and ate all of their ice cream. They didn’t need customers.

    Justin was tempted to suggest they have more MAINTENANCE days like these to Mr Burkeman, but Mr Burkeman didn’t look like he was in the mood to hear any staff suggestions when his face was that tight and pasty. He would probably shout at Justin again. Justin didn’t like it when he shouted at him.

    He slipped a hand into the pocket of his jacket, touching the chill metal head of the hammer that he’d liberated from a building site on his walk to work. It would protect him from Mr Burkeson’s Loud Sounds and Steve’s Hair and the Customer with the Gold Tooth, who came in every other day to order dulce de leche ice cream, single scoop. Most importantly, it would protect his twin, Abigail.

    “Is everything all right, Mr Burkeman?” he asked, his tone simperingly INNOCENT. Justin drew his eyebrows up into a look of pure INNOCENCE and concern. He was just an INNOCENT college student after all, working at a humble ice cream parlor to fund his degree in Fine Arts. The Fine Arts of Smashing Skulls! Huh, hah, hah, hah, hah!
     
    #2 Justin L. McCay, Oct 3, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  3. Abigail Hobbs

    Abigail Hobbs Hannibal

    Posts:
    371
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Cashier/Scooper at Scoops Ahoy
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    18
    Abigail was convinced the meeting would be about her encounter with Jimmy. She'd been so careful to hide any trace of what had happened. How had Burke found out? Was there an actual truth to her fib about security cameras? She was expecting a lecture on proper procedure during a robbery, what had to be done to keep the store's insurance costs down, etc. Surely, it wasn't a fire-able offense. She could always act traumatized to elicit sympathy.

    Abigail spent the early morning baking to calm her nerves. She'd made a traditional pain au chocolat and then another batch with azuki cream on the inside, instead of chocolate. They were both perfect - flaky dough, crispy, buttery, sweet but not too sweet. Hannibal would be proud, even though it was a vegetarian treat. She only made a few of each - quality over quantity. The staff was small. She wanted to be the friendly girl who brought snacks and not overly eager. She suspected Justin was all the crazy that Burke could handle.

    Abigail hoped her boss and co-workers would like them. Maybe they'd even see that she understood food. The customers had been complaining lately. She was certain she could make some improvements to the ice cream if given the chance. There'd be more sales for the store and a chance for her to do more than scoop ice cream and work the cash. She focused on that positive as she walked into the meeting. "Hi. Mr Burke." Ugh. He looked stressed. Big lecture incoming. Or Justin had already managed to upset him today. That might be a new record. She glanced over at her roommate. "Hey Justin."

    Abigail placed the tin of pastries down on the nearest table. "I brought homemade pain au chocolat and pain au azuki. There's enough for everyone."
     
  4. Steve Harrington

    Steve Harrington Stranger Things

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    Male
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    [​IMG]
    "Closed for maintenance, my ass," he murmured just before he stepped into the place. He was technically off today, so he was more than a little bummed about having to be here even if it was out of his uniform. Although being out of his uniform did mean that his hair looked much taller and way better than it normally did when he had to stuff it under that damn hat.

    He had no clue what the hell this meeting was about. Customer complaints, maybe, because they'd been getting a lot of them. He was pretty sure everyone knew at that point, but even with that in mind, Steve Harrington was completely clueless about what was happening. While his co-workers internally worried about what this was about, what Burke may or may not have found out, Steve was just wondering how long this was gonna last so he could get the hell out of here. Getting stuck at work on a day off hadn't been part of the plan.

    Burke looked stressed. Justin looked concerned. And Abigail ... had pastries. "Yeah, like pastries'll make this meeting any less ominous," he murmured, but shot Abigail a smirk none-the-less because she was just being nice. Seriously. She was way too nice. "Still, don't mind if I do." Picking up one of the chocolate ones, he took a bite, a sound of satisfaction escaping him as he gave a nod of the head, leaning against the counter while he swallowed the rest of the bite down.

    "Hey, boss, any idea how long this meeting's gonna last?"
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Carter J. Burke

    The Company Man

    Posts:
    184
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Elusion Clerk
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    30
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link

    One by one the suspects arrived, some of them looking a little more guilty than others. First, there was Justin McCay who seemed oblivious as to what was going on, and then Abigail Hobbs who’d seemed concerned enough to bring in some treats, and finally Steve Harrington with his usual sarcastic attitude. Burke watched them enter the building with a weary expression on his face, focusing primarily on the female holding the tin of sweets. The pastries looked delicious and he wanted to trust her, but after what had happened with the ice cream he didn’t feel as if putting out snacks was an appropriate gesture.

    “You mind if we save the desserts for later?” Burke asked the girl, though his tone made it sound as if he meant it as more than a suggestion. His gaze then shifted to Steve, just in time to see that he was taking one of the pastries for himself. “Set it down, Harrington,” he warned, sliding the tin of pastries over to his side of the table all while ignoring his question. Popping the lid back on to cover up the tempting treats, Burke leaned forward in his chair and gave all three of his employees a judgmental stare. “We uh, we need to talk. ‘Cause no, Mr. McCay. Everything is not alright.”

    Resting his arms over the confiscated pastry tin as if he was guarding it, he began to explain. “Exactly a week ago,” he nodded in Abigail’s direction as if to remind the group of her first day at work, “customer complaint levels starting shooting through the roof. Now just about all of these phone calls, these letters, they expressed concern about the quality of our product - that the ice cream at Scoops Ahoy was giving ‘em the runs.”

    He paused to watch Steve, Abigail and Justin carefully - waiting for any sort of suspicious reaction out of one of them. “I’m led to believe that this was an act of sabotage, ‘cause this has never happened before, not once!” His voice raised a little at the last word. “All three of you were present on the day of the first phone call so if you’ve got alibis, better start using ‘em.”

     
  6. Justin L. McCay

    Justin L. McCay Midnight Ride

    Posts:
    120
    Occupation:
    Escaped Mental Patient
    Race:
    Human
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    “Hey!” his twisted little pixie face lit up at the sight of Abigail, relief flooding through him. It’d been TOO LONG since he’d last seen his sister and best friend… Two hours and forty-eight minutes.

    A shadow passed over his face when they were joined by Steve and his tall, obnoxious hair, which looked taller and more obnoxious than usual. Did his hair grow THAT fast? Just like Justin’s fingernails grew TOO fast. He hoped he wouldn’t have to start worrying about his own hair next.

    Steve voiced his appreciation of the treats, winning points with Justin, whereas Mr Burkeman lost some by confiscating the tin. He’d been DISRESPECTFUL towards Abigail AGAIN. She’d spent HOURS baking those pastries and he’d undermined all that hard work in SECONDS. First scarf-gate now pastry-gate. What was next? Sexual-molestation-gate?

    Justin glared at the tin, his hand still on the silver hammer in his pocket. He would’ve picked that moment to recreate the song had Mr Burkeson not brought up THE RUNS (giggle!), reminding Justin that he’d been the one to contaminate the ice cream. Mr Burkeson insinuated that it was Abigail, which caused a cold wave of fear to descend down his back. He might PUNISH her by grabbing a BUTCHER’S KNIFE and PUTTING IT IN HER HEAD like it was a HAIR BRUSH.

    Fortunately, Justin had anticipated this earlier and had come up with a plan to make himself - plus Abigail! - look INNOCENT. They WERE innocent, just like newborn kittens.

    “Mr Burkeman. Wanna see some of my SPECIAL photographs?” he asked cheerfully. Deaf to any protests, he sidled up to Mr Burkeman and began to go through a stack of Polaroids, showing each one to him. “Here’s one of my sister.” The first picture was of Abigail. “And here’s one of Mrs Edwards. She comes in every Tuesday to buy mint chocolate chip ice cream. And here’s the postman, Mr Matthews. And here’s Miss Roberts. And- Hey! Look! It’s STEVE!”

    Justin had three pictures of Steve spooning out ice cream. They were blurry and had been taken from a distance, the corner of a wall obscuring part of the shots. “This one makes him look kind of…” Justin chewed on a fingernail, tasting blood. “SECRETIVE. And in this picture he’s having SECOND THOUGHTS. But come ON! The third one’s the BEST! He's put his THUMB in the ice cream!”
     
    #6 Justin L. McCay, Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  7. Abigail Hobbs

    Abigail Hobbs Hannibal

    Posts:
    371
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Cashier/Scooper at Scoops Ahoy
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    18
    Abigail gave Steve a quick smile, glad to see that someone appreciated her efforts to make work a little more pleasant. She had little chance to respond as Burke pulled the tin away. The man could not keep his hands off her property. At least this time, he hadn't touched her.

    Confusion and then annoyance spread across Abigail's face when Burke spoke. The meeting wasn't about Jimmy after all. It was worse. Burke was accusing her of messing with people's food to hurt them. As if she was her father or Hannibal, when she'd tried so hard to establish her own identity and her own life. She wasn't them. She wasn't even Justin. And there was Justin, jumping right on the accusation train with photos to boot! She didn't give him the satisfaction of moving to look at the pictures that he was showing to Burke. And she wouldn't let Burke intimidate her again.

    Abigail waved her finger between Burke and Justin. "Do you two hear yourselves right now?" She asked, lumping them together. Why not? Burke was catching Justin's crazy and Justin was agreeing with the idea that the ice cream had been purposely contaminated. "Sabotage? Photos of Steve, really? You're both paranoid." She was made sure her tone carried just how utterly ridiculous she thought they were being.

    "The ice cream has to be thrown out and the entire shop needs to be cleaned thoroughly." Abigail stated matter of factly and looked directly at Burke. "You're the manager. You know the freezers and the ice cream truck need to be checked. Either could have broken down and no longer be keeping the ice cream at the correct temperature. All suppliers should be contacted, see if they've made any changes to the ingredients, see if there's been any complaints from other companies they've supplied and so on. Have you gone through all the steps for a proper food safety inspection? Or do you need an alibi for laziness and you've decided to blame us?" She folded her arms and glared as she waited for an answer.
     
  8. Steve Harrington

    Steve Harrington Stranger Things

    Posts:
    367
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Misty Hollow
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    [​IMG]
    And so, the meeting began. Burke, predictably, managed to single-handedly destroy any attempts Abigail was making to lighten the mood. He took the pastries and as he addressed Steve, he found himself staring blankly at him. Jackass. Asshole. There were a lot of things he could have said, but by some miracle, Steve held his tongue and both slowly and bitterly put the half eaten pastry back on the tray. There was a roll of the eyes as he leaned back against the counter again, folding his arms over his chest.

    Soon enough, the reason they were here became clearer. The complaints were coming to a head. Pulling a face at 'the runs', Steve looked understandably grossed out. Too much info. The longer Burke spoke, the more clear the purpose of this entire meeting became. This wasn't a meeting at all. It was a goddamn interrogation.

    Before he could say anything at all, Justin was pulling out that fucking camera of his, dropping Steve's name in the process. His face scrunched up, twisting around in confusion, but as what was happening became clearer to him, he could feel a fire-y anger bubbling up inside. "What the fuck?! You took pictures of me?! You piece of--" It was probably a good thing that Abigail jumped in from there because Steve looked like he was gonna pounce. He wanted to throw himself at Justin, grab him, throw a punch or two or three. Take that camera and smash it against the floor. Abigail's voice held him back, listening as she defended him, challenged the shit out of Burke.

    Fuck, that was badass.

    "You know, it sounds to me like Abigail should be running this place!"
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Carter J. Burke

    The Company Man

    Posts:
    184
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Elusion Clerk
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    30
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link

    It was only a matter of time, Burke suspected, before this meeting went straight to hell. However, while he’d known to brace himself for the inevitable chaos which would follow the summoning of his employees, it didn’t change the fact that he hadn’t expected it to start up so soon. As always, it started with Justin McCay who was a little more than eager to show him some photographs, and at the worst possible moment no less.

    “I can’t say that now is the appropriate time, Mr. McCay--” Burke protested calmly but to no avail, as Justin was already flipping through the stack of pictures and showing each one of them to him. Burke sighed as he was shown four photographs that were entirely unrelated to anything - but then his eyes lit up as the ones of Steve surfaced. Was McCay trying to prove something? A worried look crossed Burke’s features as he contemplated the possibility of McCay catching Steve in the act of sabotage, but his attention quickly drifted over to Abigail as she spoke up.

    “You can save these for later,” Burke muttered quietly, brushing Justin off so he could hear what his female employee had to say. It turned out there was quite a lot on her mind. “Abby--” he started, holding up his hands in a defensive manner, but she wouldn’t stop talking. On and on she went, acting like she thought she was the manager or a really ornery health inspector. Who knew such a meek girl could give a monologue as lengthy as that?

    Fed up with her lecturing, Burke stood up from his seat and made a stop gesture with his hand. “Abigail!” His voice was slightly raised again, though aside from that he managed to keep himself overall composed. “You can cool your jets, that’s enough. You think I haven’t checked the freezers on a daily basis? That I haven’t called the suppliers and explained to them what the hell’s going on?” Burke doubted she’d believe him, but at least half of what he said was actually true. He’d checked the temperature of the freezers somewhat often. The truck, too. However, he had held off from calling any suppliers due to fear that he’d slip up and they’d somehow find out about Benny’s drugs. It wasn’t like anybody in the room needed to know that, though.

    “Look, there‘s clearly something up with one of you guys, and none of you are leaving this room 'til I find out who.” His focus then shifted to Steve, who looked as if he wanted to go berserk at Justin for taking candid photos. “Now Mr. Harrington,” he addressed the teenage boy, remaining outwardly calm and collected though he felt like stress was eating at him from the inside. “Would you care to explain what you're doing in McCay's photograph or am I gonna have to start jumping to conclusions here?” He slid the last photograph Justin had shown him to Steve’s end of the table - the one where he’d apparently stuck his thumb in one of the containers of ice cream.

     
  10. Justin L. McCay

    Justin L. McCay Midnight Ride

    Posts:
    120
    Occupation:
    Escaped Mental Patient
    Race:
    Human
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    Steve was speaking and looking at him in a way that suggested he didn’t like him. That he wanted to HURT him. Justin went still, his eyes cold and stony. He was acutely aware of the modest, compact weight of the hammer in his pocket, ready to use on the younger man. Would that tall, obnoxious hair of his protect him from BLUNT FORCE HEAD TRAUMA?

    Justin would’ve found out the answer to that there and then, but Abigail had started to speak. It would’ve been disrespectful to his twin sister to launch himself at Steve with a hammer when she was in the middle of a rant, although he couldn’t comprehend what was wrong. PARANOID? He WASN’T paranoid. SHE was paranoid, throwing around her insults and accusations.

    He stared at her blankly, striving - and failing - to understand. It was like his trip to the cinema all over again. The main character’s grandmother had died of cancer or dementia or maybe it was after a hip operation. He couldn’t remember now. What he DID remember was half the cinema sobbing and snotting into their buckets of popcorn. Justin had peered around himself at the blotchy, swollen, gleaming faces lit up by the soft light of the screen, his own face pinched in confusion. Why had they been so upset? They hadn’t known the old lady.

    Why was Abigail getting so upset? She didn’t know Steve or his tall, obnoxious hair that well.

    After being rude to his sister - AGAIN - Mr Burkeson at least took the pictures of Steve seriously. Affecting an expression of INNOCENCE and concern, Justin peered over his boss’s shoulder at the blurry photo of Steve with his thumb, or perhaps his TINY peepee - HAH!!! - in the ice cream. He’d almost convinced himself that Steve had given everybody “The Runs”.

    “He’s BAD, Mr Burkeman,” Justin whispered to the back of his neck.
     
  11. Abigail Hobbs

    Abigail Hobbs Hannibal

    Posts:
    371
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Cashier/Scooper at Scoops Ahoy
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    18
    It wasn't enough to Abigail. Burke was clearly trying to intimidate her by standing while she sat and still clinging to the idea that they were criminals. "I think you need to exhaust all other possibilities before making vulgar, offensive accusations. If you did, I think you should have mentioned that instead of claiming that the only thing you could think of was sabotage. "

    Abigail hoped it would sink in to her boss' brain that he had insulted her deeply. He should know his employees. Other than occasionally joking with Steve, she worked hard when she was on shift. She took pride because it was her first real job and food, even ice cream, was an art form. Despite that, it had been easy for him to think of her first, nodding his head at her like he was Jack Crawford wanting to throw her in a prison cell.

    Abigail placed her hand on Steve's arm, when he offered words of support. She was disappointed that Justin hadn't done the same. It should be all three of them standing up together against the sabotage b.s. If Steve looked at her, she'd give him a smile and mouth the word 'thanks'. Not that she wanted to be manager of an ice cream shop if it meant acting like Crawford.

    Abigail nodded at Burke's words. "Cool. Guess we're never leaving. I could use the extra time, the extra pay." She'd been her father's prisoner, then spent time in institutions, followed by a year in Hannibal Lecter's basement. Hanging out in a shop was hardly a concern, especially since she knew Burke couldn't keep all three of them confined for any significant length of time.

    Abigail laughed after her boss spoke to Steve, then looked to Justin and Steve. "He made a joke. You see if it's funny because he's already jumping to conclusions." One more burst of sarcasm as they waited to hear about Steve and his apparently laxative leaking thumb. It was all she could do.
     
  12. Steve Harrington

    Steve Harrington Stranger Things

    Posts:
    367
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Misty Hollow
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    [​IMG]
    Where Laura was using her wits to bring some fucking reason to this conversation, Steve was using his head in a different way. Or maybe he was using his heart. Whatever the case, he was definitely going the more thick-headed and emotionally raw route as he resisted the urge to let swear after swear run past his lips. Burke had been so determined to toss out accusations without even bothering to start with the fact that he'd apparently gone through all the obvious (to somebody who managed a place, maybe not to Steve) protocols before jumping to conclusions. Because that was exactly what the fuck was happening here.

    Maybe it made sense in some ways that he'd been the one accused. Laura worked hard at her job whereas Steve was a slacker. He wasn't proud of his shitty ice cream job and he hated the place more now than he had when he'd started, though that had a shitload to do with the current management and select employees. Select employees, of course, being the resident freak, Justin McCay. Steve Harrington sounded like the shitty high school bully again when he thought of it that way, but he didn't give a shit about it, not in that moment. This was like Jonathan fucking Byers all over again but legitimately weird this time.

    Dropping his gaze to the photo that was slid closer to him, he gaped and scrunched up his nose as though he couldn't believe this was seriously happening. "I tried some of the fucking ice cream everyone's been so crazy about. So sue me. Fire me. I don't give a shit anymore, the same way you don't give a shit about this asshole's total invasion of privacy," Steve ground out, jabbing a finger in Justin's direction, though his glower never left Burke. It was safe to say by then that he'd lost his cool. "The same way you didn't give a shit when you touched an employee and removed an article of clothing from her," he added, this time gesturing toward Laura. "What kind of fucked up shit is that? What the fuck is wrong with you people?!"
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Carter J. Burke

    The Company Man

    Posts:
    184
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Elusion Clerk
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    30
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link

    Just like that, the meeting had become an irredeemable mess. Accusations were being flung in his direction right and left and it seemed as if nobody was willing to listen to his point of view. Burke gave a sigh and rubbed his forehead, trying to will himself not to break a sweat and probably not quite pulling it off. He’d expected more obedience from his employees, but instead of staying quiet and paying attention to what he had to say, they were acting like everything was automatically his fault. And perhaps it was - he was the manager after all and it was he who had hired the three of these fools. He’d put his trust in them and because of that, he was in this ridiculous situation involving laxative-laden ice cream and - even worse - a failing business.

    “Mr. McCay, you’ve made yourself clear,” Burke snapped tersely at Justin, pulling away from him and paying attention to Abigail and Steve instead. It was becoming increasingly difficult to stay calm talking to those two alone and with an additional madman acting as a devil on his shoulder it was amazing he hadn’t completely lost his temper and started outright yelling yet. “What’s vulgar and offensive is the fact that hundreds of our customers are suffering from bouts of diarrhea ’cause of somebody in this room.” This time he didn’t hold back on the description in order to show how serious he was. “You really don’t think I’ve looked at every other option? You think I want this joint to go under?” He shook his head at the very thought of losing his business - the customers would survive, he figured.

    “And Mr. Harrington,” Burke raised his voice a little more, “you know how you sample our ice cream? You use a spoon! Not your fingers!” If it wasn’t obvious before, now it was downright clear that he was furious. Everything Steve had said about him was wrong. He’d tried multiple times to stop Justin from bringing in his stupid camera, and a scarf wasn’t even a piece of clothing - it was an accessory, as far as he was concerned.

    Almost absentmindedly, Burke opened the tin of pastries he was guarding, removed one and took a small bite out of it. Somehow, the taste of creamy sweetness helped him feel a little less on edge. “Now, if nobody’s up for making their confession by 8 o’clock, you can all consider yourselves--”

    Burke’s threat was interrupted by the squeaking of the door to the back room. The bushy haired teen, Simon had emerged from behind it, looking just as nervous and clueless as ever. “Um, is everything okay?” he asked shyly. “This isn’t about the customer complaints, is it?” His beady eyes fell on Justin, and he squinted for a moment as if he was trying to remember something. “Hey, aren’t you that guy who was hanging out by the freezer after hours?” Simon asked him timidly. “Mr. Mc...Cade?"

     
  14. Justin L. McCay

    Justin L. McCay Midnight Ride

    Posts:
    120
    Occupation:
    Escaped Mental Patient
    Race:
    Human
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    Justin gave Laura Abigail another blank look, not sure he understood the joke. He wished he could take her aside and urge her to stop defending Steve and his obnoxious hair, so Mr Burkeson would fire him, thus saving their jobs! How did you fire somebody in an ice cream shop, anyway? It was too cold. NOW that was a joke! Hah, hah, hah!

    Steve’s ASSHOLE comment and jabbing finger provoked a dark look out of Justin, his blue eyes icy. It darkened when their boss snapped at him. Steve brought up how Michael Dudikoff Mr Burkeman had sexually harassed Laura Abigail, which turned Justin’s expression from dark to BLACK. He remembered now. That was why he’d mixed laxatives in with the ice cream.

    The explicit reference to DIARRHEA pierced Justin’s black mood like a concentrated ray of sunshine slicing through storm clouds. He wasn’t sure whether the word DIARRHEA was funnier than THE RUNS. Either way, he had to swallow forcefully to stop a bubble of laughter welling up from his throat. His humor was wiped out by Simon’s arrival.

    Justin was too upset about BEING EXPOSED to care about the name slip, his eyes going wide and wild with shock and rage and lunacy. He crossed the distance between himself and Simon before you could say “Oldsmobile”, wrenching the hammer out of his letterman jacket, its bulky silver head flashing in the light. The back of the hammer's head split into two sharp points, like dragon talons.

    “If I see your lips move, EVEN ONE INCH, you’ll hurt REAL BAD,” Justin threatened him, putting that slow, quiet emphasis on certain words. He pointed the iron claws of the hammer at Simon’s face, deciding to blind him first if he disobeyed him. He’d pop those eyes like balloons. BANG, BANG. The filthy snitch would never see ANYBODY by that freezer after hours again.
     
    #14 Justin L. McCay, Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  15. Abigail Hobbs

    Abigail Hobbs Hannibal

    Posts:
    371
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Cashier/Scooper at Scoops Ahoy
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    18
    "You're somebody in this room. Was it you?" Abigail asked Burke. She'd see how he liked being accused. "Keeping people from getting sick is more important than whether or not the place goes under. You could have shut down the shop earlier than today, called in inspectors, a lot of things." But he hadn't. He put money first. As much as she hated Crawford, his intentions had been better.

    Abigail was about to chime in on Steve and Burke's conversation when Burke sampled her baking. "Seriously?" She asked, gesturing to the tin. Steve had a point. Everyone there had boundary issues. "I brought those for everyone." She was becoming convinced that he intended to fire them no matter what. It wasn't the end of the world. She could find another job. Getting Justin employed again would be more of a challenge but they'd find a way.

    Abigail felt a twinge of sympathy for Simon. He had unintentionally walked into an utter mess. Then he mentioned Justin and the situation went directly to hell. She had to think very quickly, how to best end the conflict without seeing more death or Justin landing in prison. More importantly, she wanted to seem completely innocent, as if she had no idea that Justin was capable of violence.

    Burke and Simon didn't strike Abigail as the type to confront Justin while he had the hammer. Steve had stood up for her and himself; he might be more of the heroic type. Abigail's eyes went wide and she reached over, holding Steve's hand tightly, to give the appearance of fear and needing support, rather than wanting to keep him firmly in place. She then looked to her brother figure. "Please put the hammer down." Her voice quivered, part of the act - she didn't believe he'd hurt her. Hopefully, he'd listen.
     
  16. Steve Harrington

    Steve Harrington Stranger Things

    Posts:
    367
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Misty Hollow
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    19
    [​IMG]
    This was going in fucking circles and Steve's head was spinning with it all. He was pissed and, honestly, he was about ready to turn and march out the door. He couldn't tell if Burke believed him or not, but Justin over there was clearly intent on getting him fired. It had been all too convenient, he thought, the way he'd suddenly pulled out a camera, the way he'd specifically pulled up those photos of him. The fact that he'd taken the photos at all. It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize what the fuck was going on here, it didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Justin was trying to pin all of this on in like the all too helpful weirdo he was. But Steve wasn't gonna try to throw him under the bus anymore than he already had either. He just wanted out. He just wanted out of this fucking place.

    Simon's arrival was a surprise to all of them, but what didn't surprise him in the end was the suspicious behavior he'd apparently witnessed from Justin. Knew it, he wanted to grumble, but he kept his mouth shut if not because he'd stiffened as he watched his co-worker stomp over to the poor guy, pulling a hammer out like the lunatic he was, only it was more than that. It was a whole shitload more than that and Steve's eyes went wide. "Whoa, dude!" he shouted, and he was about to step forward, try to do something, hell if he knew what, when he felt Abigail's hand reach for his, fingers curling tightly into it. Steve hesitated, clenching his jaw tight as he looked back to her. She was afraid. Understandably, and while Steve looked torn, he eventually stayed put.

    It didn't stop his eyes from wandering in the direction of the phone he knew was stuck to the wall around the corner in old school ice cream parlor fashion. If he could get over there, if he could call the cops. Justin was crazy. He was fucking nuts.
     
  17. Carter J. Burke

    The Company Man

    Posts:
    184
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Elusion Clerk
    Location:
    Centria
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    30
    Alignment:
    Lawful Evil
    Directory:
    link

    “No!” Burke blurted out in response to Abigail’s accusation, perhaps too abruptly. “What you’re saying is - it’s beside the point! You think I wanted these customers poisoned? That putting in a little extra something to make them sick would work to my...” he began to stumble on his own words, remembering that he’d done pretty much exactly what he said he hadn’t, ”...to our...to anyone’s advantage?”

    He exhaled, taking another nibble of the pastry and then continuing in a slightly calmer tone. “The first call came in, I thought it was a coincidence. There’s all kinds of bugs floating around Pandora, she could have easily picked one up. And you should’ve heard the lady, her tone, she sounded paranoid. Verging on delusional. If you would’ve taken that call you’d have thought the same.” This was a lie, but Burke figured he'd be able to sell it as a true story. “I had no clue something was up until the fourth, the fifth complaint, okay?” He took one last bite out of the pastry before Abigail reprimanded him, setting the half-eaten treat back down in the tin afterwards.

    He turned to Simon as he entered the room, watching him attentively as he brought up McCay stopping by at the freezer late at night - and then he saw Justin snap. Burke had seen hints of the guy’s temper, maybe even inklings of his psychotic tendencies, but never like this. Burke stayed quiet as his crazed employee held the hammer-knife contraption up to the other but despite being threatened, Simon had a little more to say.

    “Mr. Burke...” he muttered quietly, sliding his phone over to his boss and giving a very subtle nod right after. Burke took the phone into his hands and squinted at the video shown on the screen. It showed footage of the freezer room, and there, right next to one of the open freezers, stood Justin McCay, looking more suspicious than ever. Nestled in his arms was a medium-sized bottle which Burke presumed was the container of laxatives, and he’d just started unscrewing the lid when the loud sound of an object dropping - undoubtedly an effect Simon knocking a broom over - could be heard. The video began to replay immediately, showing that the recording had come to an end.

    After watching the video twice, Burke was convinced that what he was seeing was real evidence before his very eyes. The color now drained from his face, Burke stood up and held out the phone for everyone to see. “Mr. McCay,” he started calmly and cautiously, though there was underlying tension in his voice. “P-put that thing down, we uh, we need to talk about this.” Upon noticing Steve’s interest in the telephone he gave a quick shake of his head. “Harrington, all of you, settle down. We’re gonna handle this like real men.” Tilting his head in Abigail’s direction, he added as a bit of an afterthought, “and women.”

    Finally, he turned to Justin, almost daring to reach out and take the weapon but failing to find the courage. ”Mr. McCay, give me a reason why I shouldn’t fire you. What the hell were you doing in the freezer room on September 17th at 10:30 PM?”

     
  18. Justin L. McCay

    Justin L. McCay Midnight Ride

    Posts:
    120
    Occupation:
    Escaped Mental Patient
    Race:
    Human
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link
    [​IMG]

    Justin stared at his twin sister, eyeing with jealousy and possessiveness the way she clutched hold of Steve’s hand. The quiver in her voice pinched at Justin’s chest, his forehead creasing in concern. Why was she scared of him? She should’ve been scared of Steve and Mr Burkeson.

    “Abigail,” Justin ignored her request. In fact, he tightened his grip on the hammer. He added more, his voice pleading and fearful: “You HAVE to tell Mr Burkeman it was STEVE or he’ll FIRE you! Tell him for me!” Justin swung the hammer in a downwards arc.

    It whooshed through empty air, the gesture relieving some of his tension. More of it was released when that filthy snitch, Simon, showed Mr Burkeson the incriminating video on his phone, which surprised Justin. He would’ve expected the proof to make him feel bad, but it actually made feel GOOD. Justin could breathe a little easier knowing that Mr Burkeson wouldn’t fire Abigail now.

    He even chuckled at his question, his voice light and cheerful. “BUSTED! Heh, heh, heh! I put that stuff in the ice cream, Mr Burkeman. I did it to hurt the customers, ‘cos I knew that would hurt YOU!” He paused to accuse him with a reedy, nervous trickle of a laugh: “You’re BAD, Mr Burkeman! You’re ALWAYS hurting Abigail! Ever since you touched her scarf on her first day!”

    His humor shrivelled and twisted and blackened back into a taut, gathering anger, the hammer trembling wildly in his hand. He pressed on through gritted teeth, his cold blue eyes wide with rage and lunacy. “My maw. She would have men over every time my paw was on a BUSINESS TRIP. I used to see the way they looked at my sister. Like a… A piece of meat... A SLUT. You think Abigail’s a SLUT, don’t you, Michael? That’s why you touched her that day! You want to FUCK her like those men FUCKED my maw!”