November 29, 2017

What was it that made this small convenience store so vulnerable? Was it the location, miles from any true form of civilization? Was it the miniscule and “dumpy” outward appearance of the “JK Kwik Convenience”? Whatever it was, Joe Kregg had no idea. He did, however, know that it had been robbed dozens of times, mostly by teenagers looking to escape their former lives and venture into reality, which was far worse than their “pitiful” lives in the comforts of a home.
That night, Joe Kregg found himself working late, his night shift employee quitting for community college. His exact words were, “I want to pursue my dreams, rather than continue this pointless side job.” Joe Kregg found that he had put this very delicately. The only dream that brat possessed was to get on my last nerve. Ah, it doesn’t matter, I almost fired him, anyway.
So here he sat, reading the daily newspaper, informing him that another robbery had occurred, several miles off from the J.K. Kwik Convenience. Peculiar, however, not unusual. The perpetrators had been caught, two teenage boys, 14 and 17.
It was when he began to take out the small prepackaged sandwiches, La Deli, to restock empty shelves, that he heard the strange sound, which would plague his mind for years to come. The sound was a faint beeping, in a constant rhythmic pattern: beep beep; beeeep; beep beep; beeep; beep beep; beeeep…
The sound continued for a number of minutes, and Joe Kregg, unable to find a sensible source, scoured the entire area of the convenience store, but nothing viable appeared to him. Unnerved and feeling very tense, the stout man moved back into his roadside store, unable to find the source of this unnatural noise.
It wasn’t until the beeping became extraordinarily loud that Joe Kregg pondered the thought of abandoning his store entirely, leaving it for the thieves that he suspected were behind this unnerving occurrence.
The noise continued to grow louder, becoming deafening and almost unbearable, until Joe found himself straining to stand from the floor upon which he had just fallen. He was unable to move his feet and his head filled with the laughters and shouts of what sounded like an amused crowd of spectators.
He had a feeling he was being watched.
The noise continued to grow louder, piercing the innocent man’s ears until he finally surrendered all ability to hear to the frightful sound of what was once beeping, and what was now laughter and jeering.
Joe opened his eyes slightly to find an old man standing above his shaking body. It seemed probable that this man’s skin would peel away that very moment. His light blue hair and pink fingernails gave the impression of complete and utter lunacy. However, he seemed completely sane.
The gangly figure which stood before him, overlord of all things galactic, would plague his nightmares from this day forward.
Years later, Joe would look back on this fateful day, wondering what could have been if only he had been prepared for this inevitable invasion.

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