Yes, there is a story behind this picture. Yes, you're going to get it. Eventually. Soon. Probably. But here's a teaser:
Robert Sterling stepped into the shipping store with a brisk step but a skeptical attitude as he looked up at the giant posters on the wall. Dozens of beautiful smiles looked down at him, glossy and posed, but none of the photos actually showed the shipping containers in use. A&E was well known for their processing facility, but wasn’t exactly known for livestock shipping, and the first and brand new branch office was so pristine it looked like it had been set up the day before. Several rows of white, plastic containers the size of a common trunk, sat on racks at either side of the room, while a massive counter stood in the middle of the floor, two computers with dark screens waiting. A larger, double door at the far end, labeled “Packaging,” beckoned and Sterling resisted the urge to march over to it and peek in.
Behind him marched his second oldest daughter, Bethany, a darling girl with blond hair curling around her face and falling to her shoulders. Together they were a matched set, father and daughter, his thinning brown hair but thoughtful eyes, along with khaki trousers and a blue button up oxford shirt were offset by her more relaxed attire. Blue denim shorts that showed off her coltish but long legs, and a tight halter top that displayed her young bosom, were what young girls were wearing these days, her delicate feet were slipped into a set of simple but attractive flip-flops that left her painted toenails bare.
“Is this where they do the packaging, Dad?” Beth asked brightly, her dark brown eyes looking around the store. She glanced up at the posters, giving the images a curious stare. “Those girls are just posing aren’t they?” She asked almost rhetorically. Suddenly her stomach grumbled loudly. She put her hand over her belly. “Sorry, dad. I’m just hungry.
Robert Sterling nodded. “I know. Sorry about that, but it’s the rules. No food for twenty-four hours.” He looked around again then called out loudly. “Hello? Anyone here?” The response was almost immediate.
“I hear a familiar voice!” The large set of double doors swung open and a thin man wearing a tailored suit emerged from the back room. His dark blue tie seemed to sparkle and looked very expensive and a set of silver cuff links kept his almost hidden sleeves tightly bound to his wrists. He grinned heavily and marched forward, extending his hand.
“Robert Sterling!” the man said warmly. “It’s good to see you again!”
Sterling smiled and shook the man’s hand. “Mr. Stone.”
The man waved his free hand. “Please, call me John. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to help us out on this.” John Stone turned and looked at Bethany. “And you must be little Beth. You look a lot like your sister, Cindy.”
Beth’s head bobbed up and down with a big grin. “Daddy told me about your special dinner. I wish I could have been there.”
Stone smiled and patted her shoulder. “Eventually it will be you at one of those dinners. But I have to ask; are you ready for summer camp?”
Beth nodded eagerly. “Though I hope that getting something to eat is one of the first things we get to do,” she commented wryly when her stomach gave another growl.
Stone laughed, his eyes flashing merrily. “Well yes. It is on the agenda. We pride ourselves on our meat cuts.” He looked back up at Sterling. “But I just want to say thank you again for being willing to put yourself at our disposal for this shoot. I know you’re getting the summer camp fee waved, but still – you’re allowing a valuable asset to be shipped by an untried carrier.”
Sterling waved a hand dismissively. “A&E seems to do so much, so well. When you called and said you’d broken into shipping as well as processing, I had no doubts it would be a successful venture for you.”
Stone shrugged, his face just a little wooden. “Perhaps. We have a lot of good competition out there. How does one compete with the sybian trucks? Right?” He shook his head knowingly. “The image of two dozen girls, bound with their hands above their heads, all getting vibrated until they’re screaming? It’s tough to compete!” He turned away and gestured at the posters. “But we think we’ve got a system that will allow for longer and safer transport. And that’s what we’ll be testing here.” He grinned at Bethany again.