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X-Files: Secret Agendas is out tomorrow, and I’m very excited to be a part of it. The anthology is edited by Jonathan Maberry and also contains stories by Andy Mangels, George Ivanoff, Jade Shames, Jeff Mariotte & Marsheila Mariotte, Jim Beard, Joe Harris, JT Gilstrap, Lauren A. Forry, Lois Gesh, Nancy Holder, Ryan Cady, Weston Ochse and Yvonne Navarro.

I’ve been a fan of The X-Files since the series premiered 23 years ago, and back then I would have been over the moon to know that someday I’d be writing tie-in fiction featuring Mulder and Scully. In fact, my story “Along the Scenic Route” is an expansion of a script pitch I wrote in college. I did my best to make sure that the story captures the feel of some of the standalone episodes of the early seasons of the show.

“Along the Scenic Route” fits into the third season between the episodes “The List”, which takes place in a Florida penitentiary, and “2Shy”, which is set in Cleveland. Since the end of “The List” shows Mulder and Scully driving to their next assignment, I figured that they were bound to encounter something strange during their road trip north.

In my story, Mulder and Scully stop for lunch at a diner in the fictional town of Tilton, North Carolina, where they witness the aftermath of a fatal traffic incident: a panicked driver ran over a pedestrian he swears was turning into snakes. The agents quickly realize that he and the horrified bystanders were suffering from a disturbing mass hallucination. Scully suspects the townspeople might have been drugged or poisoned … but is something supernatural afoot? Fans of the X-Files know that nothing is ever quite what it seems.

Today my manager let me and my friend go through and price the gifts instead of working the sales floor. More than anything else going to Vegas helped remind me that I am good at sales. I went in to work excited to be back. This morning I sold two facial care kits to two different women and sold makeup to a couple of women. It helps when people have skin that's similar to mine. I know how to work with skin that is very fair, easily irritated, and red. The second woman was surprised at how much coverage the sheer minerals provided. I think she was skeptical when I told her that she was wearing the same thing I had on, I rarely wear makeup to work, but I try to on Tuesdays when our products are on sale. It's a good testimonial and I have good skin which really helps showcase the product. Skin is genetic, but there's a huge care factor involved in how you age. 

I need to figure out a way to deal with the former assistant manager who is a lazy bully. She's abusive and I feel like I'm contributing to something evil by staying there since nobody apart from my boss really does anything about her. It would be one thing if she was just impacting me or our department, but she's costing the entire store money on a daily basis and I'm not okay with that. After work I went shopping, I picked up some things I've wanted for a while and talked to a fellow employee about her digestive issues which are severe. Not many people enjoy talking about constipation, we hear it all the time at work, some phrase it more delicately than others, but if you want good health, you have to be eliminating on a regular basis. Regularity can be mean different things to different people, but fecal matter shouldn't be stuck or backing up inside of you. I feel bad for this girl who is young and very pretty when she doesn't have acne that she thinks is related to the blockages even though every dermologist she's seen swears there is no connection.

There's so much I want to be doing at work. Our department could be really amazing if we were able to have more control over what products we order, but our general manager doesn't give my boss the freedom she needs to make those decisions. It's frustrating beyond belief to see her working so hard for so little recognition and without much support. My friend and I both told her repeatedly how happy we were to have her back. She realizes we lost money this past week due to several circumstances, some controllable and some not, I want things to be better for her so she gets more paycheck and her stress levels are reduced. I figure the best way to help her is to increase my capacity and continue to offer her as much support as I can while reiterating my appreciation for her and her efforts. She gives so much to others, it's time some of that comes back to her.

Praying this finds you well,

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