The supermarket checkout, one of the most repetitive, drab and mind-numbingly dull places in the world. Every day the same monotonous process: pick up the purchase, scan the barcode, push them along, pick up the purchase, scan the barcode, push it along. In my first few days on the job I had come close to being driven mad with boredom, even trying to chat to the customers - all as grey and boring as each other - to ease the agonising dullness of the experience.
"Oi, you got more plastic bags?" called Cheryl, a fat woman who wore too much makeup and too little clothing and ran the aisle next to mine. I sighed and threw her a bundle of the offending articles from under my desk. She gave me a toothy grin.
"Don't mention it." I grumbled, looking down at my fingers and counting the minute chips in my nail polish.
I hated having the end aisle. I was the furthest away from the exit, crammed into a small musty corner of the grubby little Tesco's store, with faulty equipment that hardly ever worked, a chair that squeaked every time I so much as twitched and nothing but the spiders and loudmouthed Cheryl for company. Gods I hated this job.
"Hey! You! Aisle thirteen!" the manager's voice rang out from nearby. He pointed at the store room with one of his long bony fingers, the other hand tugging frantically at his whispy beard. "We've got another problem!"
I groaned and got out of my chair. Not again, this was the third time this week I'd been called into the storeroom to deal with yet another "problem." I knelt down and rummaged under my desk, pushing aside shopping baskets and discarded sweet rappers until I found what I was looking for.
"I'm on my way." I said, straightening up and slinging my great round shield over my back. In my other hand I held my sword, the blade gleaming in the stuttering light from the dying strobe lights overhead. I headed towards the stores, shield and sword at the ready, mumbling the beginnings of a protective charm under my breath.
When I got my hands on those pesky dragons...