Bad Work Day - Dept Store Christmasbyvexcave©
Bad Work Day - Department Store Christmas
Bad Work Days are short stories that are unrelated to each other and characterize what could constitute a bad day at work. It is usually bad from one point of view, but good in other ways. All things in life have two sides to the same coin, and this story works that way too. This submission is for the Literotica Winter Holidays Erotic Story Contest, so if you like it, please vote for it! Thank you.
Michael yanked his sleeve up to glance at his watch. It was about fifteen minutes to eight Saturday morning and the department store was going to open soon. He was suited up and ready for an honest day's work. Most people in college worked in Starbucks or something to pad their pockets with spending money or help pay their tuition and Michael was no different. His choice of trade: part-time Santa at the local department store. It was an easy job for the most part. Most times of the day you would find Michael laughing gaily, talking to store-goers, playing with their children, and generally adding to the festivities. The most difficult part had to be the fat suit.
At six-foot-three, he made an impressive Santa. But he wasn't half the weight the real Santa was. Not to worry, he had been told, there would be padding in the suit so children will have the soft tubby Santa they all recognise. The padding, coupled with a full face beard and white curly shoulder length hair, guaranteed that he would feel ten degrees warmer than everyone else. Fortunately, the air-conditioning in the store was sufficient so no kid would need to ask their parent why Santa smelled strange. When Jerry the assistant manager saw his stature, he agreed to let Michael go without the padding in the legs (they had padding for Santa's legs too!) and half the padding around the belly so he wouldn't look like the Marshmallow Man. So here he was, all suited up in the back room, waiting for the morning roll call.
"Looking good, Santa!"
Jessica bounded up, all decked out in her Elf costume and raring to go. She loved her job and had been the elf the previous year too. Her pixie face with large pretty green eyes and lovely dark red curls made her the perfect elf. Her eyes made all the difference, Michael thought; you could lose yourself in those for hours. He quickly blinked and looked away before she caught him staring.
He had thought it was strange when she came up to him in the library one day and started their conversation with "Hi, I noticed that you're very tall. Would you like to be Santa this year?" He had passed her once or twice in the hallways before that, but they had never talked, nor had they classes in common. He had momentarily been taken aback by her abrupt question, but had recovered smoothly. Her partner from the year before had gone to university on the other side of the country, and rather than waiting for the department store to find a random 50-year-old Santa with bad breath, she had decided to find one herself. The previous Santa had been really tall, so they needed to find a decently tall guy to play the role. Think of all the happy children, she had told him. You would make an awesome Santa. Michael had been sold.
If he had known Jessica's outfit beforehand, he would have been sold at the first "Hi". It looked a little childish, with a bright green vest with large tacky buttons and a wavy skirt in a lighter green that had a dull gold trim. It had originally come with a red-and-white candy cane body suit under it, but Jessica had negotiated to leave it out. Jessica was arguably a little too tall for an elf at five-foot-seven, and the length of her skirt seemed to imply that they expected their elves to be closer to five feet. The body suit was originally meant to cover from neck to ankle, and while the arms were the right length, the legs only made it just past her knee. She chose to only bring up that point, not wanting to include that the crotch was digging into her and anyone who noticed would see a very prominent cameltoe. Fortunately, Jerry had agreed that the body suit looked ridiculous, and when she had shown him the rest of the outfit without it, he had wasted no time approving it. The button-up vest was more than modest; its simple V neckline wasn't too low that it would give heart attacks to parents. It was also just long enough to cover her midriff, though if she had to stretch to reach something on the top shelf, her belly button would just peek out from under it. The skirt would have been just above the knee on a shorter elf, but rested in the middle of her thighs, three inches above her knee.
Michael snuck another glance, glad that she was fiddling with something and looking the other way. He briefly wondered if she had a boyfriend, then answered his question himself. Of course someone like her would have a boyfriend. The beautiful ones always did. The jagged hem of the skirt swished beautifully against her pale thighs, drawing his attention. She had to be a runner or perhaps she enjoyed cycling, he mused, following her toned legs from the hemline down to her little booties. He didn't know another word for those boots that curled up at the toes. His mother had called them booties when he was growing up and the name stuck. He only stopped referring to them as such when he reached middle school once he found out that there were other things that were more commonly referred to as booties.
Jessica had a nice booty. He didn't care for the hyper-extended bubble butts that the media seemed to enjoy. They seemed too unrealistic to him. Jessica's hips flared out wonderfully from her tiny waist, and for the first time, he found himself staring at something other than her eyes. His jaw dropped open slowly as he watched her bend over to fiddle with her boot. He took in the way the green cotton skirt clung on to her butt like a second skin, just two feet away from his face, and licked his dry lips. His eyes followed the faint outline of her panties through the fabric of the skirt, subconsciously stroking along that beautiful curve.
It took some effort to tear his eyes away, and he did so just in time. Jessica straightened up and spun around on a heel to face him, coming closer to whisper conspiratorially, "What nonsense do you think Jerry's going to talk about this morning?"
"I don't know... Maybe he'll talk about the price of those plastic smiles from the dollar store."
The previous week, Jerry had started his pep talk with the need to smile at customers. He threatened lamely to buy some goofy post-Halloween props that you could paste over your mouth. They were shaped like mouths forever fixed in a crazy wide smile. He had then laughed as if it were the funniest thing he had heard in his 40 years of life. The rest of the staff had just looked on, exchanging knowing glances between themselves. Jerry was a bit of an odd-ball. He was generally nice and approachable and all, but he reminded Michael of a weasel. Well he wasn't paid to like the guy.
"Ha-ha, maybe he brought one in for himself today!"
Right on cue, Jerry's voice came crackling through the store intercom.
"All associates, Santa's on his sleigh at the information counter! Come get your prezzies..." Michael could only groan and roll his eyes as they headed out the door to the front.
"He's stealing your thunder! You need to march right up to him and tell him - I'm Santa Claus, son, you're getting coal this Christmas!" Jessica joked as she followed him out.
They assembled around the large Christmas tree, embellished with blue and gold trim, the colours of the season. "Come one, come all. It's going to be a marvellous day!" Jerry wasn't very tall, so he took every chance he could to stand on boxes or the sleigh display to talk down to his staff. Even on the sleigh like he was today, Michael was still slightly taller. Jerry deliberately didn't look in his direction. He didn't like to be upstaged.
"It's going to be a busy day today. All those parents who need gifts for their little ones, you know. Let's keep a smile on at all times!" Michael almost choked when he saw Jerry pull out his plastic prop and promptly pasted it on his upper lip. He had got to be kidding. Jessica winked at him; she had guessed it right.
"Don't worry; I didn't buy one for each of you. This is for comic effect!"
Murmurs of contrived laughter ensued. Jerry looked ridiculous with the fake smile. It was an inch wider than his face on both sides and had garish red lips and impossibly white teeth.
"Remember, no matter what the customer asks for, give them a smile and do whatever you can to make their experience a pleasant one. If they're happy, we're happy. Now, let's open the doors and let the people in!" The group scattered back to their posts, whispering between themselves about Jerry's social ineptitude.
Jessica turned at Michael and gave him the sweetest smile he had seen. "How does that look?"
"Very, er, very nice." His heart rate suddenly doubled.
"What, that's all? And here I was putting in my best!" She turned in a mock huff before giving him another smile over her shoulder.
"It was really very nice." He returned the smile, most of it lost under his immobile white beard. "Tsk, you need a better vocabulary. Women don't like just 'nice'." She called back over her shoulder.
The usual weekday crowds tripled for weekends, and most of them try to beat the rush by coming early - with the other 500,000 shoppers. Most of the 500,000 shoppers were children and every one of them wanted to sit on Santa's lap to tell him what they wanted for Christmas that year. After 100,000 requests for Hannah Montana stuff and other countless requests for bicycles and toy guns and 20 million games and consoles, Michael was getting tired. Fortunately, no one could tell if he was smiling or not under the beard, and all he had to do was keep his eyes open and nod as the kids demanded toys that their parents would undoubtedly give to them. Jessica had her hands full keeping the line from getting chaotic and clearing the area whenever parents wanted a picture of Santa and their children - which was practically everyone. They were both counting down the minutes to lunchtime and the line had dwindled down to the last child.
"Sit on his knee, Samuel," the mother shouted orders to her five-year-old.
Michael looked down at the little boy and received a toothless grin. "May I?" the boy asked. When was the last time someone asked before jumping on his knee, or better yet climbing up onto his knee by pulling at random parts of his costume? One boy had pulled his beard and snapped it back into his face. Ouch.
Michael picked Samuel up easily and placed him gently on his left knee. He sat there quietly as his father took his picture. Samuel moved to dismount, but his father told him to wait. "Could you join the picture, please?" the father asked Jessica. It was rare that anyone wanted an elf in the picture. Santa was usually the main event.
Jessica walked over to Michael's right side, and stood beside the big chair and leaned in to place her face next to his. Michael could smell her, and hear her breathing softly into his ear. The father took two more shots. "Could I get you to come to the front?"
She moved around the chair in front of Michael. She smoothed her skirt and fingered her hair as the father repositioned for his shot. "She's blocking Santa," his wife pointed out. "Miss, why don't you sit on his other knee? That way he can still be seen."
Michael simply shrugged when she turned to him, offering her a seat on his big red thigh and patting it jokingly. She smiled as she sat on his knee, wondering how many years it had been since she last sat on Santa's lap. They smiled gamely for the camera, and the father took another two shots before nodding his son off Michael's lap. The family expressed their gratitude and little Samuel waved to Santa one last time before they left.
"Finally, break time!" Michael sat back in his chair, Jessica still on his lap. He noticed that she hardly weighed a thing. She laughed and was about to say something when her smile disappeared and she leapt off his lap and left the Santa station. Michael followed her with his eyes and saw her trying to catch up to a tall scruffy guy with dark hair. Her boyfriend, he surmised as he cleaned the station up and put the 'Out to Lunch' sign out. As he was walking back to the backroom, he heard loud angry shouts from one of the storerooms. He thought nothing of it but slowed his pace when he recognized Jessica's voice.
"Darren, it was for a picture with a kid!" Jessica pleaded.
"You fucking slut, I know what I saw," Darren growled. Michael imagined him to be about his height and build and probably towering over a trembling Jessica. "I saw you snuggling up to your fucking Santa."
Michael stopped in the hallway and moved into a corner so as not to be seen. He had no idea why he was trying to hide, but perhaps something in him told him that he should. It looked rather funny, this big fat man in a red suit trying desperately to hide in the shadows.
"You're probably fucking him too. You won't put out for me, but you'd put out for him? Slut!"
Michael could hear what sounded like Jessica crying as he continued. "Nothing to say, bitch? Fucking whore!"
"Darren, you've got it all wrong! I've never... never..."
"Never what, cunt? You go around showing off your body like a slut, but you act like a virgin. I don't buy that fucking crap!"
"Darren... Darren..." She begged between sniffs.
"Don't touch me, you filthy whore!" His last remark was punctuated with a loud crack of flesh striking flesh. Jessica emerged from the storeroom, clutching her cheek as tears streamed down her face, Darren firing off curses and threats in her wake. Just a moment later, Darren poked his head out and scanned the corridor. Seeing no one, he exited the storeroom and left the back area. Michael cursed him as he watched him leave, righteous indignation burning in his chest. Jessica deserved much better than that asshole!
He waited a little longer before joining her in the lunch room. Jessica was alone, staring off into space. Apart from a warm flush across her face and the tinge of red in her eyes, she gave away no clue that she had been in a heated argument. Michael pulled off his hat and beard and sat noisily beside her, running a hand through his matted brown hair while struggling to find a suitable opening.
"Samuel has to be the most polite kid I have ever met." He started after a pause.
Jessica shook the imaginary cobwebs out of her head and turned to look at Michael. His heart ached to see her so haunted, but he continued to act like he didn't know what had happened.
"Remember Samuel? The last boy we had. He had the face of an angel and he was so polite."
"Yes he was a sweet kid." Jessica's smile was returning as she remembered. "I wonder when people stopping being polite and starting becoming so rude..." Her smile was slowly disappearing, and Michael scrambled to change the topic before she spiralled back into depression.
"Well not everyone is rude. Even if Samuel is one of the rare ones, he'll grow up well and treat the people around him right!"
"And one day become a Santa Claus in a department store?" She turned towards him, her sparkling green eyes robbing him of speech and cohesive thought.
"Ah... er... yeah of course. One day he'll become a Santa Claus."
"You're a good guy Michael. Please stay that way." Jessica gave him a half-smile, coupled with a wistful look as if she were imagining better times.
Michael smiled awkwardly back. They shared a quiet moment, enjoying each others' company and saying nothing at all. Jerry chose the perfect moment to come barrelling through the door.
"Wow, that was a real hectic morning wasn't it," he started, completely oblivious to the electricity in the air. "Another twenty to the next round, have you guys eaten?"
Their moment lost, Michael rolled his eyes furiously and Jessica let out a nervous laugh before they separated reluctantly to find their lunch.
Almost four hours and hordes of children and parents later came the period Michael dubbed the twilight zone. After all the mad rush in the morning and early afternoon, the store would see very few customers after 5. Michael thought it was because most of the other shops in the mall closed for the night at 5 pm, and though the department store closed at 6, there was hardly any human traffic. It was like they entered the twilight zone where nothing was the same. The store knew it and most of the associates only worked until 5. His contract stated that he was done at 6, but he wasn't going to complain about it though. He got paid by the hour, and an hour where there would be no screaming kids and demanding parents was simply music to his ears.
"Hey Michael, I'm going to the ladies. You'll be alright all by yourself won't you?" Jessica smiled coyly before walking off. Michael watched her leave, his eyes drawn to her swishing skirt and swaying buttocks. Why hadn't he noticed that before? He stared after her until she turned the corner.
Another pair of eyes followed Jessica as she left. The stranger's eyes were filled with anger and quiet curses on his lips.
Michael started tidying up the station. Cleaning up as the day progressed made it easier on them after the day was over.
"Hi Santa," came an unfamiliar female voice. Michael turned to see the owner of the voice to find two blondes in the line, one of them holding a camera. They were possibly in high school, but it was hard to tell. Both were in tight-fitting tops and really short skirts, oozing sex appeal and disguising their true age. "We'd like a picture with you, Santa," the first exclaimed.
"Sure!" Michael was more than happy to take a picture with them.
"Mmmm, but not here. We'd like to go somewhere private. Would you come with us for a while?" the other girl asked coquettishly.
Michael contemplated a while, wondering if Jerry would give him hell for leaving the station unmanned. Whatever, he decided that he could explain that he received a request from a customer. Jerry had expressly reminded them that morning to accede to any requests. He certainly wasn't going to say no to this one.
The girls led him away to the menswear department, and giggling, dragged him into the empty changing room area. Whatever they had planned for him, they obviously wanted it to be done in private. He didn't notice the two guys that followed them in. He never saw their faces, only felt their fists, knees and something very hard that knocked his lights out.
Jessica returned to their station about ten minutes later and was relieved to find nobody in the line. She smiled when she noticed that Michael had almost finished the cleanup. He was so sweet. She looked over to see him seated on his throne and imagined him smiling at her through his beard. She could never tell his facial expressions through the mess of white hair, but she was sure he was smiling.
"Everything going well here?" Jerry called out as he came by. Michael put his thumbs up, and Jessica nodded.
A group of three adolescents shuffled into the line, one guys and two girls. They were probably 18 or 19, but she couldn't tell from their get-up. The girls were both blondes, one had short hair to her chin and the other had it up in a ponytail. Their faces were heavily made up and they had cheap flashy accessories that went with their tight tops and short skirts. The guy was tall with sandy hair. He looked like he played football or some other beefy sport.
"Hi, we'd like some pictures with Santa and you," said the guy. Jessica figured that if he had more of a tan, he could easily pass off as a surfer dude.