Obviously, I don't own anything. To be clear, I don't own Bonus Poetry or any of its characters. The rest is just sort of pointless, though. I'm truly sorry. (It misses the point, I know. *sad face*)
Eve and Snowwhite are cashiers in a supermarket. Supermarkets, supermarkets, supermarkets! They have done a lot, they have, Eve and Snow both agree. Like when they say fresh and they mean Well, are you going to talk to the manager then? What do you expect to hear in return? Silly, silly, silly! Sausage, sausage, sausage!
And, oh, the clothing! The clothing that never quite fits. Too short here, or too long there, or baggy in one spot, and too tight in another. Eve can't stand clothes like that!
Then there's the cleaning aisle. You'll never get Snow in there; she'll fight tooth and nail and she'll win, alright! If she doesn't, she's out like a light.
Eve says she likes the frozen aisle. It makes her think of sunny beaches and yachts. ("Good-looking men, too," Snow would tell you quietly, if you asked. That's not backstabbing on a friend; no, ma'am, it's good, old-fashioned honesty at play. How proud Snow's mother must be – an honest child!
"Tst! Snow, please. Not in public. Just not in front of other people," says her mother, with a pained expression, pain on pain.)
Eve and Snow aren't old enough to drink, but then again, they're not rich enough to buy caviar or truffles, either. They can always have apples, of course. They're French, they joke to themselves, so that makes them something special. French is the language of love, isn't that right.
One day, Snow dared Eve to give an apple to a boy from their school (secretly, it was a love potion, she said), but Eve was chicken, and it never happened. ("Oh, come one, Eve," Snow was heard later to moan, "like it would have worked anyway, with that shiny coating. But the kids won't buy it without, right – and what about the adults? Probably just the same, Eve. If you want it to really work, give it a rub and make a wish. It's magic! Like the lamp with the genie in it."
Jack, of the strange nightmares – Jack, we don't need to hear about your dreams over coffee break, thank you, they scare us – we're girls! - gives them the look. The look means: I can see that you're chatting and not working. Get back to work.
Yes, Captain Jack! they mouth to each other, with matching grins, and it's back to work (because Jack with that look is scary, too).
When Jack's attention is elsewhere, they joke that if Jack ever dreamt about them, they would be ninjas. Ninjas in leotards (though they haven't taken ballet classes since they were eight).)
"Are you going to pay for that!" Jack nearly roars – Eve nearly leaps onto Snow – and Eve throws him a glare. Come to think of it, both girls do.
"You shouldn't be so uptight, Jack. Try to be nicer, for once," Snow advises. "You might actually get a girlfriend. Everyone knows it'd do you a world of good."
"If you're not," Jack goes on, eyes narrowed in a glare, "guess what, genius sisters, that's stealing!"
"We're not sisters!" they chime in unison, just a little bit Oh please!
"It's not," Eve replies back. "It's no good anymore. I'm stocktaking, dummy head. Taking away the old stock! You should be thankful I'm not throwing it away! There are people in the world dying of poverty, Jack! Dying! They haven't any food, and they haven't any money to buy any food, even if there isn't any food, in the first place. Jack! And what would you do with this apple! See that! Spot! Spot, spot, spot! Ew! Bruise! Nobody is going to buy a bruised apple! But me, I'll just cut it out and eat it, anyway. That way, it doesn't go to waste, and I don't have to buy a crappy, perfect, little unbruised apple and take away all of the good apples the customers could be buying!" Whatever that all meant: she got confused a bit, in the end, it's something about the humming: lights, humming, fridges, humming, air-conditioning, humming.
She pokes her tongue out at him. It's her apple now!
"Ooo," Snow enthuses, "break!"
Jack laughs. "I'll give you girls break! Watch your backs from now on, ladies, or you might just find yourselves fired!"
"Fired where? Off to the moon!" Eve jokes, and Snow cracks up into loud, uncoordinated laughter. (Eve likes Snow's laughter, even if it wards off other people and frightens (uh-hum, moves) little kids to tears; that's exactly why she does, really – it makes her laugh, too. Scared of laughter! What do they think, her best friend is a maniac! Or a zombie!)
They walk away, arm in arm, with Jack following a few paces behind, eyes still narrowed. "He's going to get a headache if he keeps it up," Eve whispers to Snow, and they pause as they pass through the frozen aisle, spying the frozen vegetables that Snow always says her mother keeps in the freezer for too long so that when she cooks them they don't taste like vegetable at all, but freezer. Yuck, freezer!
They turn to Jack, all of a sudden, and point their fingers. "Beans!" they cry, in fright, and Jack's narrowed eyes go darker, but they don't miss the tinge of pink that's creeping up his neck, into his cheeks, clawing its way to the surface from underneath his skin.
That is enough to set them off, again, and they're both caught in fits of laughter, arms still linked, laughing really loudly.
"They're peas!" Jack snaps, but they don't care; they don't even look. Eve has slipped her bruised (stolen) apple into her pocket, and they turn, once more, on their way. The coffee room is waiting. Like a dungeon, they can't ignore it's call. Eerie, yet, at once, mysterious, alluring. Until you're locked in there. With the bad coffee and tea, the too-dry biscuits – They call that flavoured! It's fake, and it's not even nice! Why do they bother, honestly! – and Jack's creepy stare. Well, they can always reminisce about the time he spilled the beans – Spilled the beans! Ha-ha! – about this one totally scary dream he had to the guy from security. (The famous nightmare.)
The guy from security (with a bad case of pimples) passes them by, stopping to chat with Jack. His name might be Erik, they're not sure, and Eve and Snow sigh in relief. Today might be the day they get two seconds to themselves without Ogre Jack breathing down their necks; maybe (hopefully) the coffee will taste better then. They're not supposed to have coffee, either – Jack lives under the impression that if you're not old enough to have alcohol, then you're not old enough to have caffeine, either. "What about Coca-Cola?" Snow had asked. "What about headache tablets?" (Nose-wrinklingly yuck, but a valid point, Eve had thought.)
"We're old enough to get pregnant, aren't we?" Eve had come back. "We should be old enough to have coffee! If we're not alert we might fall for some frog's charms! And everyone knows the only good thing about a frog is its legs! You should know that, Jack! It's French 101!"
"I like frogs," Snow had whispered, looking slightly disparate, slightly confused. (Her best friend wanted to eat... like... her favourite animal! Her Patronus was so a frog! No way could Eve eat them! They were, like, destined to save the world, or something!)
"You what?" Eve had asked, trying not to stammer. (In front of Boy Strange, thanks but no thanks. "Never show weakness in front of the enemy," Eve's brother had said once. "Like, it gives them false hope. Which... is that a bad thing?" Eve's brother was cosmic cousins with Jack. Which, by the way, not a comforting thought!)
When they get to the coffee room, though, the manager is there, chatting up... Snow refrains from screaming out loud. That's not her mum! That's not her mum! That's not her... It is.
She deflates. Her arm slips from Eve's. Eve quickly scoops it up again, but it only falls back to her side.
Wait! She thinks. Tell me mum's not getting all mushy-eyed with the manager because even she thinks Eve and I must be close to getting fired! Tell me! We're good, hard-working workers, damn it! Good, hard-working slaves! Slaves don't get fired! She suppresses a groan. No, they invariably get dead, and thrown overboard into the sea, to their watery graves.
Snow can't swim. She hasn't be able to bring herself to learn ever since she developed that mortal fear of swimming pools when she was five. Which was why her mum thought maybe ballet would be best. Ballet wasn't best! But at least she met Eve there.
She turns to her best friend and whispers in an ultra quiet voice, "Save me, Eve."
And Eve does.
"I'll share my apple," she says. "You can have the good half. Let's go look at the women's sanitary products. We can point and laugh when Jack follows us there, thinking we're going to steal something!"
Snow sniffs, and they walk off, arm in arm again. They have a mission. For a while, they can think about something else, about the mission. They'd smile for the camera (for Erik?), but Erik's probably not even in the security room – No running in the store, thank you. I said thank you! – so they smile because they have each other: best friends, to the end (even to their watery graves, where they'd be mermaids). They smile because life's not all unhappy. You've got to make the best of what you've got, don't you.
And they smile because sometimes Jack's suspicious mind really does take second place to rational thought. It should have been love that clouded up his judgment, really, but he didn't have anyone. Who would want him, besides?
Maybe, for Christmas, they'd pretend to like him. It would be too funny if he really liked one of them, and too creepy! And, of course, ever the mystery. So, the mystery had to be solved.
And the two friends would solve it together.
Just like friends should.