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    Ken stood beside the wall across from the counter at work. He’d been working at the little shop for a few days now, and so far he was unsure of what he thought. It was the local comic store, which wasn’t so bad. He’d noticed most that most of the customers were either his age or a bit younger or older. They left him alone, until they wanted to check out. Their conversations were mostly about the adventures of whatever comic hero, or heroine, they happened too be reading. A majority read the super hero comics, the other half read the manga type and a small amount read some horror type one, it was about zombie leprechauns or zombie vampires or something.
Ken was stocking the popular comics that had arrived earlier in the day. He stood on a small ladder, a clipboard on the top of the ladder and the box under his scrawny arm, and on his leg. “Kickman issue 221...all 6 copies. Check” he said softly to himself. “Swiftgal issue 315...all 6 copies. Check.” he continued this way of checking what they had, and checking their names on the list for a few minutes longer, when he heard the bell chimed as another customer entered.
    “Yea, I think it’s supposed to be in today, but, ya know this place…” a familiar voice said. Ken winced and shivered, knowing who it was. Damian.  “I actually licked that one you should me. It’s not to bad, Dame.“ another said. “See Addi? I tooold you.” Damian teased, stopping beside the ladder that Ken stood on. He didn’t make a peep, just watching nervously.
    ”Hey, is ‘Hell-dweller’ new?” he asked, looking the wall over, he looked from title to title. “Ken looked at the clipboard and took a deep breath. “Y-yea…It’s in the other box behind the c-counter. I’ll get it for you.” he stammered, beginning to descend.  Damian’s face light up with an eerie grin of delight. “Oh good! I have a friend here finally!” he said enthusiastically, wrapping an arm around Ken once he was close.
    Ken stayed silent and chuckled nervously, still weary of him, especially now that he knew who Damian’s father was. Satan. Still was nerve racking. Wiggling from the light grasp, he hurried behind the counter and set a box on the counter top and opened it. “u-uh…let’s see…” he said, not daring a glance at the demon. “You don’t mind setting it aside for me, do you? I wanted to look around.” Damian called out, looking through the comics that lined the wall. Ken shook his head and waved him on.
    “No offense but, why are you always so scared?” Addison asked, having approached quietly. Ken shrugged slightly, a nervous grin spread across his lips. “J-just always have. It’s noting against Damian…h-he just makes me a bit uncomfortable.” ken said, finally finding the comic Damian had wanted. He set it beside the register and moved the box down to the floor. “Oh? Damian’s not that bad…yea he likes to tease people and get on others nerves, but he’s honestly a nice guy. Don’t let the whole thing of his dad being the devil mess with you. Dame does honestly enjoy odd things, but he is a good guy.” Addison explained as the pair watched Damian and Sahara skim comics. Sahara surprised Ken a bit as she looked through the multiple paper books of men, women, animals and demons in figure hugging suits. He’d at first seen her as someone that wouldn’t ever go near this kind of store, but she was probably in with the other two.
    Ken looked at Addison nervously, a bit unsure of why he’d be striking up a conversation. Addison raised an eyebrow, staying silent now. “W-well…he has been friendly. I’m sorry…I just am unsure of how to take him, ya know? Not because he’s a demon, I-I’ve meet plenty of demons…but it’s a bit too much, too soon? So many friendly, and a-actually peculiar students. It’s nice to know they are all decent but…it’s…huh…” Ken tried, then stopped himself, hesitating in worry of upsetting himself. Addison watched him, frowning a bit. “We’re not bad. There’s a few douche bags at the Academy. Speaking of which…good job tripping Rusty. He’s had it coming for years.” He said, offering a high five, but when Ken didn’t take notice, he slowly lowered his hand.
Soon Damian and Sahara approached, only Damian had a few comics with him. “Find Hell-Dweller?” he asked, setting his new findings down. Ken nodded and presented the comic, then scanned it and the others. “Y-your total is…$4.15.” he said, keeping focus on the register, then he peeked up at Addison how gave him a small smile. It seemed to be understanding but reassuring, again noting to not fear Damian. Ken nodded and looked over too Damian, who seemed giddy over the new comic.
    Maybe he was nice, he had always been friendly towards him. He didn’t even mind the ‘Kitty-cat’ he was given. A tad bit girly…and oddly it seemed flirty. It sure beat that nickname. Damian dug for some money in his shirt, of all places and set seven dollars on the counter. “While I’m thinking…why does ‘Chic-Ken’ up set you?” Damian asked.
    His friends, having seen what happened, looked at Damian, bewildered, then to Ken. Ken took a deep breath. “Because…I-I don’t like being this afraid. It’s an annoying play on words with my name.” Ken answered, sensing sincerity in Damian’s voice. “J-just please don’t call me that name…please?” Ken asked soflty, bagging Damian’s books and handing him the bag and change. The short demon nodded, acknowledging the felines plea. “You got it, kitty. See you at school tomorrow. Thanks for finding the comic!” he added, as he left with his little group of friends.
Here ya go, my fellow zoophobians!
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January 6
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