"Hi there, may I take your... order?"
The young woman at the counter glances me up and down. Of course she does. It'd be hard to miss a tall vixen like me coming up to order a coffee. I've got a pair of distressed denim shorts on to show off my legs, and a shirt emblazoned with a logo obscured by holes artfully slashed in it. Chunky sunglasses. A smile like magnesium burning. Fur the colour of rust and white mould. Eyes green like sickness.
"Venti two-pump hazelnut latte, please. Extra hot." I don't put any especial sex-kitten tone into the last two words. I don't have to. Part of the nudge is knowing that you only need the nudge. That way they never realize it's intentional.
She gets flustered. Poor thing. Drops my change. Forgets to ask my name. Her manager's right behind her, who dutifully picks up the slack.
"Oxidda," I reply. "O-X-I-double-D-A."
I see the girl hand off the order, and then go into the back with her manager in tow. Mm. Pity. She was nice. A senior in high school, helps support a family that doesn't deserve her kindness, even has a girlfriend. Doing well in school.
When she gets fired, here's what will happen.
One, of course, she loses her source of income, with all that entails. Her family will probably implode and her parents might divorce over it. I wouldn't be broken up over that. The dad's been a constant source of anguish for everyone in proximity for years. Too bad about the siblings, though. Given their incomes they'll have to live separately at each parent's. Her brother's gonna grow up learning the ways of his father.
Two, well, imagine what a high school student would do if they found out their girlfriend eyefucked a woman at work badly enough that she got fired for it. Mm, I don't see that relationship lasting too long, do you?
Might be awkward if the girlfriends are in the same class. I'd expect the girl's grades to slip. And grades are everything around here. Maybe she gets beaten out to that college she wants to get into. Maybe she doesn't go to college at all.
And what about the store? This is a regular haunt of mine, and people just seem to be doing poorly here. Maybe that manager isn't what he's cracked up to be. Maybe the store's got a reputation of being terrible, and hey, there's one every two blocks, so everyone just goes to the other one. Pretty soon the store starts losing money, and the mothership closes it down.
Entropy is inevitable. Empires rise and fall, they do it all the time. People break up. Businesses close. People do poorly at school. These are all natural phenomena that would happen with my intervention or without it.
I've always existed, saw the rise and fall of Mesopotamia and the Roman Empire, saw the world burn more times than anyone on earth would like to admit even happened. The Grim Reaper is there for death. I'm there for the fall and the fecund after.
People fear death because it's the end, the final curtain. They fear the end so much they don't notice the signs of decay in the middle, the things that make the end more likely to come sooner rather than later. And when all it takes is a nudge to induce two breakups, the loss of seven jobs, and an increase in financial instability, however slight, for one of the largest companies on earth? Well, those systems weren't very robust, were they?
But that's not why I do what I do. I have no special need to shore up the world's crumbling systems by poking at the bad ones until they fall. I don't have a moral high ground to stake out. I don't do it for any greater purpose at all.
The barista hands me my coffee. Even through the thin cardboard sleeve my fingertips sting with the heat. Perfect. "Thank you, darling," I tell the rather dejected-looking barista with a saccharine smile, take my coffee, and walk out the door, marble-tipped stilettos clicking like gunshots on the pavement.
I do it because it's /fun/.