Trying to lure myself to the forums and posting a short story for the heck of it. Note: Inspired from time working in clothes retail. Bloodbeast in Linens
"Excuse me, sir, there seems to be a creature of some sort in your store."
"Of course there is."
"No, I'm serious, I saw it shuffle past the board games aisle."
"Usually doesn't go thataways," the retail store greeter rubbed his chin, still flashing the professionally trained reassuring smile, while retaining complete attention, with a dash of serious disposition. This expression took much practice in front of mirrors in the frame aisle.
"You don't seem surprised."
"Let us walk and I'll explain."
"Don't tell me that there actually is
a creature wandering the aisles of this store."
"My explanation will be fairly short if I don't."
The customer glanced at his cheap, rip-off Timex digital, pressed a few buttons to check the humidity in the store, and shrugged. "Tell me then."
"There is indeed a creature dwelling the sneaker scuffed linoleum of this store of retail, of power and fierceness far beyond human comprehension."
"Indeed, we have bowed to its wills the past many seasons, unable to throw off the yoke of its presence."
"So, you accept that there is a dangerous creature here. Would think you would fear the thing harming customers."
"Oh, he's a shy beast, holes himself up in a den most of the time, only coming out when required, or when hungry."
The customer's eyebrows rose, "What does a creature like that tend to eat? It looked...bloodthirsty with those jaws."
The employee straightened his nametag, seeming a little wary to continue, "Oh, beef jerky usually satisfies him, or a few dozen packs of the toxic Peeps. Only occasionally, when ill-tempered, does he turn the brunt of his vicious temper upon one of our staff or even an unwary shoplifter."
The customer noticed a blue vested employee, using a tag gun to sticker a jar of body butter over and over again. He didn't inquire. "Have there been any attempts to be rid of this...beast?"
"Yes. We sent for an expert, a person from the district HQ came, with confidence, a Scooby Doo tie, and an intricately worded memo. He was found four days later in Pet Food singing the Meow Mix theme amidst a torrent of spilled Alpo. He didnít say what happened, he just kept singing the song." The employee sighed, "All of us realized, that maybe if we just left him alone, and let him keep to his daily routine, the store would be better off." The retail store employee nodded, a reflective acceptance in his matter.
"That explains...there it is!" the customer pointed off down a nearby aisle, in linens and towels. Between disheveled shelves and beneath flickering, buzzing florescent lights, a creature dozed in a nest of plush towels, fluffy pillows, and flowery sheets. The beast, of black iridescent scales, snaggly toothed jaw, massive gray claws, and sharp edges everywhere, opened one blood red eye, seeming to take in the customer and employee. Disinterested with the view, it closed the eye, shifted around on its back to show its ivory colored stomach, the tail flicked, a leg twitched.
The employee stepped forward, "Oh is this who you were talking about?"
"Ur...yes," the customer tentatively followed, confused.
The employee picked a clothes hanger off the floor, came up to the beast, and scratched it on the belly with the metal hook part. The beast purred.
"This is Gooby, our resident bloodbeast. He's a great night guard, but gentle as a kitty during the day."
A forked tongue flopped out of Gooby's maw in relaxed pleasure.
A roar sounded. At the end of the aisle a blue vested, middle aged, balding man stood, clipboard in hand. The customer could read the name tag, that read in large ominous letters: "Manager.Ē
The employee nodded, "Right away Rick, those t-shirts shal be color coordinated for sure."
The man roared again, then stalked away.
The employee gave the customer the well-practiced helpful individual look, "Anything else you need today?"