Summer Jobs Around the Hellmouth (or "It Could Always Be Worse")

by Dawn Steele
Copyright 1997

Weird things happen near the Hellmouth. Human, shape-shifting insects walk the earth, Vampires scurry hither and yon, Demons make annoying pests of themselves and people can even start acting decidedly *not* nice.

Still... the weather is nice, housing's cheap and unemployment is remarkably low.

Except when you're the Slayer.

It's Summer Time.

And your mom got this weird idea you couldn't be out past 9 pm!

So Buffy's having a busy summer, 1) hitting the Beach training with Giles (figuratively in a PG sort of way and literally to keep up her tan) in the early morning, 2) spending the afternoon napping (she told her Mom it was the Epstein-Barr virus and that she expected it to disappear in late August), 3) early evening making faces at her mom and phoning friends who are too busy or exhausted from their *jobs* and 4) then sneaking out to mop up all the vampires that were still hanging around.

It was busy, it was her life, but somehow... she wanted more!

She wanted to be on the streets in the early afternoon. Hitting the unemployment line or checking out the latest Burgerworld (where the food was greasy and the uniform's short). Rollerblading french fries between parked cars.

An American teenage tradition denied her because of a serious twist of fate (she'd been trying to pin Giles down on who or *what* picked the next Slayer but he wasn't telling) and an overprotective mother.

Buffy wanted a job.

She wanted anything! The computer geeks (sparing a thought in Willow's direction) got paid over $25 an hour to help little old ladies get on the internet, those with a slightly greater height priviledge (sparing a thought to Xander) walk into the local Meijer's, talk to an Uncle and get a job bagging groceries.

Even Giles was being paid extra to help redo the cataloging in the old library downtown! He kept on being so *cheerful* about each new moth-eaten, moldy book found in the basement!

It was a Slayer's life in the summer.

Destined to be unemployed so that everyone around her, everyone she met, everyone who she'd-never-met-but-they-knew-her-inexplicably. . . got jobs.

She couldn't understand it.

But that was okay. She was into July already. August was coming up and then life would be back to normal. Strange perhaps, she couldn't get away from that, but normal.


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