A.N - Another Moondancing Millie/Moonlight Silhouette tag-team guys. This is just to give you a feel for the story. The actual plot starts next chapter, which should be posted tomorrow.
Let us know what you think.
Occupation - (noun) 1. A job or profession. 2. The action, state, or period of occupying or being occupied. 3. A way of spending time.
From the outside, the Pepperoni Palace is detectable through the thick fall of smog caused from the thousands of automobiles that drive past it everyday. It goes with the rest of the buildings on Grey Wall Street – the interior smells of petrol, the curtains that sweep the grimy windows are dirty and moth-bitten, and the carpets are worn. A click signifies a key sliding into the lock, and the whiny door slides open.
Susannah Simon coughs – once, twice. She's new to the dirty air; her lungs are virgin to the soiled environment. She flicks the light on – and the poor electric light takes a few seconds to fill the room. She dumps her bag on the nearest booth, and reaches for a pink and tea-stained apron. A red ribbon scoops her bleached-blonde hair into a ponytail.
"Hey, goldilocks," her boss greets her, pushing the grimy door open again and letting in a cool breeze that ruffles their hair. Susannah shuts the cash register after making sure nothing is missing, and then wanders into the back kitchen. She doesn't answer him.
She found the freezer the best place to think. Wrapping her arms around her ribcage, she pushes the door open and takes her daily place right at the back of the icy depths. Sliding down to the floor, she rests her head against the shelf behind her – holding Pepperoni Palace's best pizza bases – and thinks. Now would be a good time to enjoy a cigarette – if she smoked. She sighed. Life used to be so much simpler.
"Hey goldilocks!" Mr Harrison Evans calls out to his employee again. "We're opening. You wanna keep your job or what?" Susannah's eyes snapped open again and she stood up abruptly. Her slender body slides past Mr Evans' round belly, and she begins stacking paper cups, refusing to make eye contact with her boss. He was the type of man whose personality was as bad as his odour.
"Goldilocks." Susannah hated this nickname. In the three weeks she had worked at Pepperoni Palace, Mr Evans had invoked this term only a hundred times during each of her ten-hour shifts. Yet she managed to hold her tongue. "Am I ever gonna get a word out of you?" Susannah smiles, her eyes fixed on the paper cups. Heavy, limping footsteps tell her he had disappeared into the kitchen. She releases a slow exhalation, and then follows him stealthily.
Her narrow eyes watch his sluggish movements, from the freezer to the vast fryer, where he tips the circles of frozen raw meat onto the greasy surface and watches them bubble. He begins to hum, and Susannah recognises the tune: Mission Impossible. She stifles a laugh. How appropriate.
"Hey, Blondie, you gonna serve us any time today?" She ignores the catcall, and instead moves to the other side of the double-doors were her vision is better.
Susannah's whole body tenses as she sees Mr Evans crumble white powder into the meat as it cooks. Drugs. Everything makes sense now. This is why she has been sent here.
She exhales shortly, adrenaline pumping fiercely into her bloodstream. This was where it got interesting – this was the part she loved best. Making sure her beloved pointy-heeled boots were zipped up firmly, she pushes the double-doors to the kitchen open and marches straight up to her employer.
"Goldilocks-" He begins, but he is interrupted. Susannah kicks the tray of drugged meat product from his hands and pushes him against the wall, a boot to his throat.
"An illegal substances ring via a fast food industry," she says, watching him turning slowly pinker and pinker, and his whole body squirm as oxygen becomes an issue. "Very clever. Almost too clever."
"What the-" Mr Evans chokes, but Susannah presses her boot harder to his jugular.
"Hush now," she whispers, and she whips her cell-phone from her trouser pockets. "Beaumont, I got him," she reports, and the buzz of the recipient is all Mr Evans can hear. She snaps her cell phone shut, and grins at him.
"The cops are on their way," she says. "I'd begin thinking of excuses now, if I were you."
But Mr Evans isn't going to be caught that easily. He reaches for Susannah's skinny leg and forces her foot from his neck. Susannah spins around to replace it, but he has disappeared. The next thing she knows is an apron around her neck, and a nauseous feeling in her throat. She looks around urgently for something to save herself. The sizzling black saucepan is the first thing she sees.
A quick hand grabs it and whirls out of the apron grip to deal Mr Evans a sharp blow to the head with the scalding hot saucepan. Her employer falls to the floor like he's made from gelatine, and Susannah throws the weapon to the side, satisfied. The pager in her pocket beeps, and she sighs, disappointed. She always has to leave before she can see the guy in handcuffs.
"In case you haven't guessed," she says, untying her own pink apron and hanging it on the hook on her way out. "I quit."
She passes the now long queue of hungry customers, waggling her long fingers at them and smiling. They're going to be waiting a long, long time until they get served. She drapes her coat over her arm, and leaves the premises. Her long brown hair falls over her shoulder, and the blonde polyester wig lies forgotten in the cigarette ash outside the door.