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"This is the life..." Gertrude, the red-haired wife of a gruff, balding husband said gloomily. Papa Acachalla was his name. When she married him, she thought that they would be spending their days in a fancy surburban household, raising beautiful children, drinking cocktails on a leather couch.

And what was this dream-filled woman doing?

Spending her day in a slighty fancy household in the middle of nowhere, raising-or telling to sit quietly and eat their peas-two grown 'children', Billy and Sally Acachalla, drinking a sludge of some sort. While her husband was enjoying bottles and bottles on end of fancy bottled rootbeer...Somewhere. He had a secret living room somewhere in the house, though nobody could seem to find it. Gertrude, who was sitting quietly eating some day-old Little Ceasers pizza, was trying to calm down Sally, who had some how managed to get a waffle half way accross the breakfast room. Gertrude put down her slice of pizza. "I think I'm going to bed," she said. She heard Sally say goodnight, and Billy already chomping down her slice of pizza. As she walked through the syrup covered hallways of the Acachalla's house, she heard some cheering coming from somewhere near the walls. Gertrude looked around for the source of the noise, until she remembered that the secret living room was somewhere near the hallway. That man should come out and get into bed with me Gertrude thought. I'm pretty sure he sleeps in a fancy bed in that blasted room, a home not-so-far-away from OUR home. She kept on walking to the bedroom, looking at the family portraits as she sulked on.

As she threw off her lime green sweater, waxed her crowbar, and got into suitable attire for sleep, she pulled up the covers of the linen bed. How could tomorrow be better than today?

-

The beeping sound of her alarm awakening her, Gertrude rose out of the bed, sun shining through the windows of the bedroom. She stretched, put on some old jeans and her sweater, and opened the door of the bedroom. Instantly, she heard the laughing of Sally eating her beloved breakfast food, Billy running around the table, hyper on Froot Loops, and Papa Acachalla sitting at the counter of the kitchen, drinking a large cup of black coffee. Gertrude sat down at the breakfast table. "Morning, Acachallas! I see you didn't bother eating the french toast I made for breakfast" she said. Papa sat down his mug and looked up and Gertrude. "Oh, don't worry Gertrude, I put dem things to good work," he told her, patting his large midsection. Gertrude snorted "Guess I'll skip my french toast....Again". Papa walked over to the coffee pot, refilling the cup. He looked over his shoulder, "I suppose you want to walk Billy and Sally to the mall again?" he asked. Gertrude shook her head "For the last time, we live in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! We don't HAVE a mall! I told you that 300 times since we married..." she reminded him. He froze, "Oh yeah".

Sally put down her fork, burped, and looked at Gertrude. "Mama Gertrude, you and Papa are MARRIED?" she said, astonished. Billy giggled. "Of course, Sally! That's why they're here!" he said. Sally nodded her head. "Okay!" she looked over at Gertrude. "But how....How did you....Why are WE here?" She asked. Gertrude and Papa froze. They looked at eachother, having an eyeball conversation

Papa's eyes spoke up first. I think she means how they got here.

Gertrude's eyes shook their heads. Well, of course!

Should we make up the fireplace story again, from when they were 18?

No, Acachalla, we should tell them the truth.

The truth is, Gertrude...Well...Umm...There is no truth. We just found them!

We?

"They sure are looking at each other for a loooooooooooong time!" Sally whispered to Billy. Billy leaned in, "That means they're in love! And that means we know why WE'RE here...Ha!" he said. Gertrude and Papa snapped out of their eye-gase. "WHAT??" they both exclaimed at the same time. Billy giggled. "I know how we came here!" he said. Papa went over to Billy, grabbing his shoulders. "Where did you hear it, Billy? And are you SURE you know?" he asked. Sally, looking puzzled, nodded her head slightly. "Yeah, Billy Acachalla, don't keep secrets!" she said. Billy climbed up on top of a chair. "Fine! I'll tell you!"

"That's a really nice story, Billy, but I have to say something. Sally didn't come from the egg of a waffle bird. And Papa didn't eat a magical brussel sprout to find me!" Gertrude told Billy. He sulked down from the chair. Sally sat back down, having just reloaded her plate with fresh Eggo waffles. "Yeah, Billy, that's silly! Papa won't even go NEAR a brussel sprout!" Sally laughed. Papa gave sally a dirty look. Gertrude sat down, with a mug of warm tea in hand. She looked at Papa. "They can wait, honey" she smiled. Papa nodded. Sally, swallowing a large mouthful of waffle, spoke up. "But, if that's not the REAL story, and you won't TELL us yet, why don't you at least tell us how you met?" She said. Billy perked up, "Yeah, Papa and Mama, yeah!" he chimed. Gertrude snorted. "And what a story it is...." she said, glacing at Papa. He shook his head "Oh no. Your turn, woman!" he told her. She shrugged. "Fine." she said. She cleared her throat. "Back in the day....."


There was quite commotion when the residents of town found out that the old company, DollarDay, was going to be replaced with a brand new 7-11 gas station. Even if nobody knew what it was or if it would be better, they still were upset about the new change.

Many people thought of DollarDay as their childhood. Many other people enjoyed the coffee they served, or the slushee machines. Of course, at the turn of the 90's, many people didn't know what was going to come up. They got a convenience store.

But where does Papa Acachalla come in? It all starts one year after the 7-11 opened....

When the owner of the 7-11, Gram Jenson, retired, they needed an owner.

Oh, wait, that's too far! Let's go back. When the 7-11 opened, a good amount of people turned up for a job. The owner, Gram Jenson, was in his office, looking for new employees. The first one, and she made SURE she was going to get the job, was a spunky, red-haired woman. She had just turned 20, and she was full of energy. She walked into the office of the 7-11, which was in the basement, and sat down. "Hello!" she said. Gram smiled. "My name is Gertrude Maddison! A lot of people call me Gerty, but that really, really annoys me! So you can call me Gertrude." she said. Gram nodded. "Alright, miss Gertrude, what can I help you with today?" Gertrude sat up staright, clearing her throat. "Well, sir, I would to apply for the job of running the desk!" she said. Gram nodded again. "Ok, ok. Let me see your resume?" he asked. Gertrude handed him the paper. After reading it over, Gram handed it back, looking satisfied. "Alright, it looks like you got the job! Come back later tonight, there will be the other employees." Gertrude clapped her hands with joy, and zoomed out the door. Gram shook his head. "Whatta girl."


Driving up in her father's Ford Escort, Gertrude saw the interior light of the 7-11 against the dark of the night. As she pulled up to the driveway, she saw quite a few people inside. She parked, locked the car, and opened the door. The smell of cheesepuffs and rum filled the air, at least that's what she could identify. She quickly realized that she was standing next to a slighly chubby bald man, with stubble. He was chewing, with cheese powder stains at his lips, and had a bottle of beer at his side. He looked at Gertrude. "Hey, fine lady...He's over there!" he said, with a drunken sound in his voice. Gertrude looked to where he was pointing, and Gram was standing near the soda isle, along with two other people. One was a blonde man, one had a mohawk, and a smaller one had bright orange hair. "Oh no..." Gertrude whispered, storming over. She grabbed the shoulder of the red-haired girl, spinning her around. "Maddie, what are you doing here? Dad is gonna be pissed! This isn't the place for a twelve-year old! You have to be sixteen to work here!" she said. Maddie Friend shrugged. "I wanted free snacks," she said without shame. Gertrude noticed her pockets filled with something, so she pulled out what was in it. Finger foods, like sandwhiches, chips, and small chocolates. Maddie laughed. "Ok, sis, I'll go. I'm takin' the car back," she said with a smile, and she ran out the door. Gertrude smiled. She had the keys. The man with the mohawk noticed Gertrude. "Braces?" he said, eyeing her teeth. Gertrude closed her mouth quickly, and he walked away. "Ah, you're here!" said Gram, right beside her. "I've decided who will be the 3 employees!" he yelled. Everyone looked at Gram.

"Ok, I want to work at my 7-11....Joe Hemis!" Joe cheered, taking a swig of root-beer. "William Acachoolee!" Gram said again. The drunken man near the entrance looked over. "It's Papa Acachalla, wanker!" he shouted. Gram nodded. "Ok. And the last one is...Gertrude Maddison!" Gertrude screamed, and pounced on Gram. "Ok, dear, I appreciate the hug. Now get back home, and come back tomorrow at 6:30!" he said. She let go. "Sorry, I just love this place!" she said, as she ran out the door. Papa Acachalla and Joe Hemis both looked at each other, drained their bottles, and crashed them on the ground, walking out.

7 Years Later

By the time that Winter had hit for the 7th time, Gertrude was a pro at working. She had mastered all spots of the gas station, knew every nook and cranny of the basement, knew exactly where to put the Hershey's chocolate bars, (Isle 2), and didn't lose interest. But one day, she got a call from the phone. Joe Hemis and Papa Acachalla put down their brooms and crowded around the phone. Gertrude smiled. "This is 7-11, how may we help you today? Would you like to try our Tuesday deal for a-" But she was cut off. Her smile faded. "What? He's...dead?" she said. Papa looked sick. Joe fainted and hit the floor with a thud. Gertrude put the phone down, and looked at Papa. "Gram is dead! He needs a new owner!"

(Will continue)

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