I Don't get Paid Enough for This (Dr. Strangebox)

be me
Anon that works at a chain hardware store
start to notice some strange trends customers and items sold
sales on nails, hammers, nailguns, propane, and even heavier equipment like acetylene welding torches and drills have at least tripled
hell, there was a guy last weel who bought five replacement saws for a grinder
your usual clientele of fifty-something year old men has now been joined by an increasingly large group of young men in their twenties to thirties
I didn’t make the connection until one day I’m manning the cash register up front and I hear somthing from the back


run as fast as my shitty worn-out tennis shoes can take me
I see (a bad moon rising. The music from my earbuds hasnt stopped) a man hunched over in front of the display jigsaw cutter
strangely, thats also where the screeching is coming from
after approaching him, I notice a weeping fluffy mother mourning two foals…
…that were sawed in half
one is a pink unicorn with a maroon mane, a percect copy of the mare, and a green foal with a sky blue mane.
the man looks at me, gripping another foal in both hands (brown pegasus with a black mane), gingerly holding it by the front and back hooves
similar to the way someone holds rods of uncooked spaghetti before breaking it in half
before he can bisect the last tiny creature, my manager pulls him away from the display jigsaw cutter
after turning it off, of course
safety first
while I’m standing there in shock, my manager comes over and starts shouting at the guy
Barry, stealthy bastard that he is, startles the man so much he drops the brown foal
under the overtones of Barry shouting that saw guy out of the store, I heard a tiny call of


as the little brown creature hit the floor.

clearly, Barry was shouting that guy off, so I didnt have to do much
although I didnt know much about these tiny beings, at that point I knew they could speak english and comprehend, at least a little bit
I kneel down to her level and attempt to console her
how do you comfort someone after the gruesome loss of their children?

“hey. Uhh… sorry about your kids… do you want a granola bar or something?”

shakespearian, I know
as the colorful creature turns to meet me, I watch her face go from a cute visage of mourning to a chubby, pink-hued mask of pure rage

"Babbehs take foweba sweepies… Nu mowe huggies fo babbeh… Nu mowe wub… Yu… Why yu nu sabe babbehs? Why yuu wet bad daddeh gib’ babbehs foweba sweepies… yuu… YUU NU HEWP! YUU KIWW BABBEHS!!! MAWIGOWD HATECHU! HATECHUHATECHUHATECHU!!! TAKE SOWWIES’ POOPIES EBA!!!

before I could ask what ‘sorry poopies’ were, the mare spins around and lifts her tail
while I was staring in awe of how fast this obese little creature maneuvered her body, a torrent of mostly liquid excrement finds a new home on my beloved tennis shoes
come to think of it, why didnt she do that to the guy who was actively cutting her kids in half?

and thats when I understood
up until that point, every time I caught a news story or radio broadcast about some abuser doing some abominable action or another, I had always passively wondered about why
what could drive a man to such a point of insanity to cause such pain to a creature literally designed to be as cute and heart-wrenching as possible
and I think this was the point I got it
I know she was in the throes of grief, but something about the way that fecal matter fountained on my fucking shoes, combined with that way her cheeks puffed out on her stupid fucking face…
I roughly scooped her up, taking mind not to go near the shit-covered rear, and tossed her out of the sixteen wheeler bay towards the back
she bitched at me the whole way over


Lord, she just wouldnt shut up, no matter what
she did this sort of caterpillar wiggle in my outstretched hands, but my grip was like iron (to her, at least)
due to the mare’s sheer mass, in addition to my scrawny build, I had to underhand throw her out of the open bay
she didnt get that much height, but between my throw and the extra vertical distance of the drop-off, she easily made it eleven-ish feet in the air at the apex of her flight
I hate to admit it, but watching her obese body plop onto the concrete below, followed by several individual crunching noises was one of the most satisfying things in my life
I was no doctor, but even I knew that legs weren’t supposed to point the way three of hers did after landing


she tried to move, but only her back left leg was responsive, so she sort of scraped herself on the ground for a bit

“WAI WEGGIES NU GO? WEGGIES, WE NEE FIN NYU HOMESIE! PWEASE Huu huuu… nu weggies… onwee poopy babbeh… huu huu… am hab bigges’ heawt huwties tuu… huu huu… wai weggies an heawties nuu feeww gud? Huuuuhuuu…”

It turns out that, in addition to three legs, she had broken four ribs, and one had punctured a lung, but in the moment I was just watching her broken body laying at the bottom of the truck bay.
oddly enough, I still felt no goodwill in my heart for this creature. I recognized that this… thing… has made me feel something that no other creature has
primal bloodlust
better leave before my boss sees

turns out he did see
damn security cameras
oddly enough, he didnt seem mad about it. The only punishment I got was cleaning out the display cutter and taking the remaining foal to the adoption center.
gonna have to ask him about that sometime
he didnt make me deal with the mare, for some reason
the foal
I completely forgot about it
I scanned around the scene of the crime and heard the little chocolate-colored thing hiding under a table with his hooves covering his eyes as he sobbed his 'huu-huu’s
"huuhuu… mummah nu wub babbeh. Nu gib huggies, an onwee widdwe miwkies huu huu huu… babbeh nee wub an huggies tu gwow big an stwong… huu…
and suddently I found my empathy
it was as if the mare had turned a switch off in me, and this little thing had turned it back on
as I got on my hands and knees to meet the young thing I called out to it

“hey buddy… over here”

“wha…nuu…pwease nu gib babbeh huwties… huuu… jus wan huggies an wub… am onwee widdwe babbeh… huu huu huu…”

“I’m not here to hurt you, buddy. That guy is gone. I’m Anon, and I want to take you somewhere you’ll never be hurt again”

sniff “yuu… yuu be nyu daddeh?”

well, not that empathetic
“No. No, I’m not going to be your dad, but I want to take you somewhere where you can find a new owner. A… ‘good daddeh’”

“an… am nyu gonna gib babbeh huwties?”

“Of course not! Why would they? Youre adorable.”

*Dat babbeh’s namesie? Ah-do… Adoo… Adowama… Awawa…"

Thats when I gently extended my hand under the table
“just come with me, and we’ll get you all set up. You’ll have friends, I think.”

that’s when the foal crawled from underneath the shelf onto my hand
sniff otay mistah. Fank yuu fow takin babbeh tuu make nyu fwuffy fwiends. Bwuddas nu am nice tuu babbeh.”

they wouldn’t be mean from that point on. That, at least, was for sure.
“Well, don’t worry. You won’t have to deal with anything like that ever again”
I lie to the foal. I’ll be honest, I got a little bit too excited. Maybe he would be okay, maybe he wouldnt.
either way, my manager Barry let me go home as soon as I finished washing the blood and viscera off of the cutter that guy was using to cut up the little fluffies.
as I wiped it off, I heard it call to me
nothing actually audible, but with the rag in one hand and the brown foal snoozing away in my shirt pocket for warmth… it would be so easy… that schmuck from earlier used the highest speed and made a ruckus
admittedly, so would the lowest speed. It was a sawing machine after all, but it would be more than enough for him…
it would be so easy to run the little brown foal through the machine…
this job sucks but I’m not looking to get fired
Barry lets me take off early since I cleaned the Jigsaw cutter, on the grounds that I dropped the pegasus off at the nearest adoption center
the way the little fluffy hugged my fingers when I dropped him off left made me smile a bit

that display saw…
it was just that. For display. We made sure to remove the cord to plug it in. How did that guy get it to work?
later, I’d learn that the guy was actually part of the night shift here. He brought his own backwards-compatible power cable to make the damn thing run.
I still don’t know wny he didn’t do it while he was on the clock, but I suppose it’s not that important why

from that point on, every time I passed the power tools I would think about picking one up to sate my newfound need
I dont know if it was a need to kill, or an actual desire to make another creature suffer as much as possible, but any corded tool reinvigorated it.
or the hand tools
or the gardening section
even the plumbing section made me feel the abusive itch
after all, that 40% employee discount wasn’t going to redeem itself…


First story I’ve written