“Wow, sis, you really suck at this job,” Zoe said, leaning on the wall.
Persephone was in the middle of doing her new job, but it wasn’t going well for her. “It’s these damn gloves!”
“How hard can it be to put the right finger in the proper place inside a glove,” Zoe scoffed.
Persephone showed her teeth at her, while she was still trying to put the damn things on. “They’re sticky, dammit!”
“Perhaps you have clammy hands,” Zoe offered unhelpfully.
“Let’s see you do it better.”
“I didn’t ask for this job. You did.” Zoe turned around to watch at a group of kids her age in the cafeteria. It was a boy with dark skin, an Asian boy and an Asian girl who looked too similar, so they must have been brother and sister, and another girl, a short brunette.
Persephone instantly got it. She was still fussing around with the gloves, when she suddenly decided, “Who needs five fingers anyway?” And she left her index and middle finger in the same hole. She opened the lid and started scooping out Greek yogurt. “Let’s see, four-and-a-half kilos…”
Zoe kept on looking at the group.
Persephone scooped some and threw it on the big cup for further serving, and put it on an electronic scale. “Who has gotten your attention, you little menace?”
“Nobody!” Zoe said far too quickly and far too defensively. She looked away, fiddling with her fork.
Persephone snorted. “Yeah, right. Come on, tell me. It’s not like I have any friends on board to share it with.”
“You have Hara,” Zoe said, her palm up towards her sister.
“I barely know her. And we work together, it’s not like we tell each other anything. She’s the one doing the talking, she never shuts up.” Was this four kilos? No?
“Add more,” the smart scales said.
Zoe smirked. “Seriously, sis, when you told me you were getting the night shift at the cafeteria, all I could think about was how you would handle Hara’s peppiness.”
Persephone sighed. “She’s intolerable. Don’t tell her I said that.” She gathered up the yogurt that fell around the place, she had made a mess. “Huh. Perhaps you do need five fingers to do shit.”
Zoe cleaned her teeth with her fork. “I won’t.”
The smart scales spoke again. “Add a bit more.”
“You do it, then!” Persephone screamed at the poor machine.
“Yes…” Zoe drolled, “my sister, the paragon of a person who’s got her shit together.”
“Ah!” Persephone groaned and pulled the glove off. She scooped some more Greek yogurt and taunted the smart scales. “How do you like that?”
“It will suffice,” the scales said with a calm voice.
Persephone turned to her sister, eyes wide. “I can’t even argue with the damn thing.”
“Don’t call it a thing, you’re lucky it only has a 0.1 intelligence, or it would have filed a complaint against you by now,” Zoe said. She reached in over the counter and forked some veggies, then munched on them.
“They can do that?” Persephone asked. She turned back to the smart scale. “Good scales. Good scales. I’ll clean you up, I’m sorry.” She did just that.
“Thank you,” the scales said.
When she was done, she turned to her sister again. “Come on, tell me. Is it the Asian guy?” She put her elbows on the counter and smirked at her.
“No!” Zoe said defensively once again. She had her mouth full, her cheeks puffy. Bits of green stuff flew out of it.
“Ugh,” Persephone said and threw a napkin at her. “Just like at home.” She slapped the counter top. “Okay, if you don’t wanna tell me, I’ll just ask them when they come back for their food and drinks.” Persephone went to the slicer. She fiddled with it for a while and then put the roll of meat into the proper spot. She pushed the slider it to slice it neatly, but the meat wasn’t sitting well. She put her hand on it and slid it again.
The smart slicer complained. “You are in danger of hurting yourself. Please remove your hand and place it only on the designated areas.”
“You do it, then!” Persephone shouted at it.
“Okay, fine,” Zoe said, her head down. She looked back at the group. “It’s the Asian one.”
“I knew it!”
“No…” Zoe breathed out with a sigh. Her chest deflated and her shoulders sagged. “The other Asian one.”
Persephone froze and blinked at her. “Oh…” she said softly, her mouth staying in an ‘o.’ She turned around and bit her lips, checking her out. “She looks cute.”
“She is,” Zoe giggled and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear.
“I bet she’s smart, right?”
“Nope, dump as a cow.”
Persephone opened her eyes wide. “Okay…” she finally added after a long silence. She turned back to the smart slicer. “Where do I put my hands on you?” she asked it.
The smart slicer turned on some green LEDs and indicated the designated areas.
“Oh. If only everyone was that easy,” Persephone said, and sliced some meat for the day’s menu.