Chapter 18Mature

The flow of customers around 4:15 got things moving again, with Alex taking the reins of the cash register for a few orders while Marcus helped customers at the trading card counter. Having to stand in one area and tally up products made him yearn for his floor job back, his foot and leg beating against the ground as a sign of that.

“OK. That’s 43.94.” Alex said, accepting a customer’s credit card soon after. Sliding the card, the register came back with an error message. “Huh. That’s weird.” Alex looked over the card to be sure it was usable.

“What is?” his customer asked.

“Card’s not working.” Before he could call for a hand, the customer asked for the card back and handed him a fifty. Punching in the value of the bill, his fingers stopped before he pressed the cash tender key. He was supposed to check bills this large first. Reaching for the flashlight, he clicked it on and ran it under the bill, spotting the first watermark quickly.

“What’s that do?” his customer asked.

“It lets me see if a bill is real.” Alex replied.

“You get a lot of bad bills?”

“I haven’t found one yet, but I think my friend has.”

“And you do this with everyone?”

Hearing that sentence got his nerves to react, despite little emotion in the tone. “Only tens and higher.” Although expecting a verbal debate of some kind, to his relief, it didn’t come. The customer instead complimented the action.

Several customers and conversations later, Alex felt his stomach rumble and make a loud gurgle, prompting a response from the person he was checking out. “You must be busy today.”

“In a way, yeah.” Alex replied, getting Marcus’ attention soon after. “I’m taking my break in a bit. Is that OK?”

“Yeah, but you didn’t need to ask. I could hear that from here.” The response got another smile from Alex and his customer, who also laughed a bit.

Heading to a nearby burger joint and leaving with an order of two cheeseburgers and fries, he checked his injuries again. The edges of the scrapes were closing up and shrinking in size, along with many of the smaller lacerations. The areas in his flesh nearby were lacking any redness that had always came from similar injuries, and despite a few clearly open gashes, there was still no bleeding.

The urge to hide his injuries came once again but Marcus only nodded as he made his way to the rear of the store to eat. The first taste of medium rare meat in his mouth put Alex’s mind on that, and little else. He had almost forgotten how sore his body was after changing back earlier, and the meal pushed that out of his mind as well.

With his stomach full, he was ready to work through the last 90 minutes of his shift. Marcus was once again working the register, leaving him to help customers. However, around the same time that he finished eating, the front doors opened to reveal Daniel, dressed and ready for a shift.

They both greeted him, Alex feeling a bit worried as he did so. Customers aside, he now had three people keeping an eye on him at random times. “Gotta relax. Just 90 minutes left.

The End

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