A fan fiction story by Melpomene based on the characters and backstory of "The X Files" and composed without permission. No copyright infringement is intended and no monies have been earned.
“Scully, open up.”
She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and tried to push back an errant lock of hair as she craned her neck to see the clock. The change of scenery from the blurry fish-eyed Mulder who stood on the other side of her peep hole to the dim clear kitchen clock sent the early seeds of a headache shooting into her temples. “Mulder, it’s 2am. Go home and get some sleep. I’ll even let you stay here if you promise to let me go back to bed,” she added with a smirk, “I’m sure my couch is just as comfortable as your own.”
“No, Scully, this is important. Go get dressed.”
“So where is this latest conspiracy? Beckettsville, Texas, Bermuda, Area 51?”
Mulder turned the steering wheel, pulling onto the street. “Here,” he said handing her a stack of photos, “it’s hard to present a slide show in a moving vehicle.”
“This is a Wal-mart, Mulder,” she stated glancing at the top picture and shuffled through the rest. Flipping from one picture of a bright yellow whistling happy face to smiling employees to endless aisles of unnamed goods. “I’ve been to Wal-mart before,” she finished.
“The entire chain is a conspiracy to enslave Americans, and now other nations of people as well, to a belief that they must possess a growing number of superfluous goods in order to assure their happiness. Now that they have spread their message so thoroughly to Americans, they’re expanding transcontinentally to push the Wal-martian belief in cheap instant gratification. A store has opened up in London and another is already being built in Sydney.”
“Wal-martians?” Scully settled back in her seat and listened to Mulder’s tirade continue, watching the neon shop signs as they whizzed down the road.
“They lure the masses in with happy employees and even happier advertising gimmicks. Then they throw all these *things* in their faces, assuring low prices and guaranteeing satisfaction and when these same people buy those items they soon discover that they need *other* items to complete what they had innocently begun and they find themselves returning to the store. But as they search for the mysteriously placed parts to complete their fulfillment they find even more items that they desperately need in order to be happy and feel secure in their American-ness, in their bid to live the capitalist’s dream of complete ownership of worldly possessions.”
As his words ended, the brightly lit façade of the Wal-mart super-center loomed up out of the dark landscape of shops whose doors had been locked long hours before. At 2:30am the parking lot was relatively bare and they found an empty space near the entrance.
“See!” he exclaimed as they exited the car, gesturing broadly at the yellow-painted trampoline that hung on the exterior wall of the building, its lopsided smile and disproportionately shaped eyes in welcome expectation of the contents of the shoppers’ wallets and purses.
The greeter also accepted them cheerily, “Hi! Welcome to Wal-mart!”
Scully smiled at the woman in response and nudged Mulder past the row of waiting shopping carts.
The first display they came to offered pencils and rubber stamps resplendent with rainbow colors and glitter and labeled with a wide variety of names. Scully slowly turned the display.
“Who actually needs their name indelibly printed on a pencil? And what use is your own personal rubber stamp?”
“In Japan they use name stamps in exchange of their actual signature, it’s legal and binding.” Scully took one of the stamps from the rack and held it up for her partner’s inspection, a grin spread across her face. “You’re just irritated they never have a ‘Fox’ stamp.” She tossed the stamp into the shopping cart Mulder was using as an armrest.
They pushed on.
Poke’mon-shaped pencil sharpeners, fish-shaped cat food bowls, a rainbow variety of towels, specialty curtain rods, bird feeders shaped like lighthouses, squirrel feeders shaped like tables and chairs, dozens of hair accessories, toys of every kind, toddler-sized lawn chairs, turtle-shaped lawn sprinklers.
Mulder found fault with them all and the contents of their cart grew with each department they entered.
Standing in front of a Christmas display they watched as miniature Barbies maneuvered around a glittering carousel.
“It’s August. Why are there Christmas things out already?” Mulder’s exasperation was evident in his tone.
Scully shrugged and picked up a pretty glass ornament, adding it to the cart.
Finally they stood in the checkout line waiting their turn.
“Do you see what I was saying, Scully? Does anyone truly need any of these things? It’s all just a conspiracy to take people’s money.” He stared at a plastic mounted fish as it sang ‘Take Me to the River’.
“Yes, I see what you mean. But one thing’s certain, Mulder.”
“What would that be, Scully?”
“Wal-mart’s not getting my money tonight.”
Mulder looked at the items Scully was placing on the conveyor, confusion clear in his expression. “But…”
“They’re getting yours.” She finished placing her purchases on the belt, smiled at him, and walked away. Revenge could definitely be sweet.