A super villain who runs a number of retail stores, not as a cover, but as a means of recruiting their staff as villainous side-kicks once they are inevitably filled with seething rage for customers and the general public.


The

Scowl never trusted your typical run-of-the-mill henchman, they often were easily swayed to betray one another given the right opportunity. He tried using temp services but ran into the same issues. The Scowl remembered his time before he donned his signature midnight black bodysuit with dark crimson gloves and boots, a time when his only frustrations were toward the idiotic consumers that made his first job a nightmare. There were many things in his life prior to his first job that warranted life of villainy. However, the relentless apathy the general public exudes is more than enough reassurance for him. Whether it be kidnapping horrid socialites for ransom, or poisoning the wealthy and then selling the antidote for however much taxes they avoided paying that year.


The Scowl learned that he could exploit the exploited and their rage against consumers of retail shops and make them harness that anger to be obedient loyal sidekicks. He first opened his first retail shop and was able to recruit 5 people within 6 months. They started off small, stealing credit card information, blackmailing customers who had secret credit card debt from their spouses, and replacing beauty products with cheap expired counterparts that would be sure to cause negative reactions.


Once they got a taste, the Scowl would test their determination by having them each kidnap an extremely rude customer and force them to fight each other to remain alive. The smiles his side-kick had as the Karen's were fist fighting was the moment he knew they were ready to officially join his team. Now for the true villainy to commence...


I often

walked around the store. The employees knew who I was. I wasn't there to pick at their faults. I just liked wandering about the store. They actually liked me. I was often greeted with a smile or a quick nod. I had one policy though. I asked them never to engage with me in front of the customers. I liked my privacy. Or that's what I told them. They respected that.


Today is no different. I walked about the store and reached the cash register


"For the last time ma'am, this product is free with the purchase of either the kitchenware or the tea set. I can't just give it to you" Mia said as politely as possible for the 100th time "Why not? I come here all the time. It's free anyway. Just gimme" the Karen said again stupidly


A subtle smile crept across my face. I couldn't help it. This is how it starts. The anger. The frustration. And then they would be ready to bomb half the city.


Young Mia was a perfect example.


When she first joined here, she was a bright-eyed high school student saving up for college. Now. Well. Now she was a disillusioned 19-year-old with enough rage to power a nuclear reactor.


In the last 3 years, she had to deal with the literal spawn of satan day in and day out.


One young couple had made her open every single carton in the storeroom looking for a toy they swore they had seen on the website. Turns out they had been checking amazon. An elderly man had straight-up exposed himself in front of her. A whole team of little league champions was let loose in the store leading to multiple aisles being covered in what she desperately hoped were soda and ice cream. Multiple guys assumed she was in love with them simply because she smiled at them and said "have a nice day". Two of them insisted that waiting for her in the parking lot after dark was "just chivalrous" and that they were "nice guys".


And the Karens

They were a never-ending barrage of Karens. Ready with the usual nonsense of "you just lost a loyal customer". "Let me see your manager". "You'll find yourself a bad review on yelp". And the very audacious "I can get you fired". No, they couldn't. But they could ruin her day. And they did. Every single day.

Very soon. She would be ready. That's when I would come into the picture. I needed a new lookout person. Someone agile and light on their feet. Mia would be perfect.

Oh and the victim?

The mayor.

As I walked past her I could hear the lady threatening Mia. "You don't know what you're dealing with missy. I could get you fired. Do you know who I am? My husband is the mayor".

My smile turned into a grin......


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