Flash fiction project: one dark story per day, all the way through October, each one based on one normal thing gone wrong. More of this year’s stories here.  You can find last year’s stories here, or at Amazon as October Nights.

Normal thing:  Making people smile

MINIMUM WAGE

She had a retail job selling food products at a counter for consumption, a bakery-café with baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and salads.  The products had a certain amount of natural romance to them.  The entire shop was perfumed with the scent of baking bread.  You could get coffees and lattes and espresso drinks, chai, smoothies, that sort of thing, cups of tea in porcelain mugs so thick that your tea would stay warm however long you worked on your laptop back in your booth and when you were done you could beat someone over the head with the mug, you know, in case of zombie invasion.  The word “diet” had been eradicated from the menu.  It was comfort carbs with carbs on the side, that kind of place.  And she, like all the girls who worked the counters (only gay guys worked the registers; the rest of the guys worked on the sandwich line or in the back, more macho), she was supposed to smile.

I must always be selling something, she thought, I am always being told to smile. Otherwise she couldn’t get served at bars, men wouldn’t let her pass on the sidewalk without catcalling and trying to trip her, older men on the bus hurr hurr did you hear about the blonde? would harass her, grandmothers with strollers at the mall would swerve into her legs, her mother wouldn’t help her with first-month’s rent after she got dumped and kicked out yet again, and god help her if she was on the rag at the time and lost her temper, ever.

But you know what they say, she thought, the customer is always right.

Dark, strange, twisted, and wonderful – #paranormal #horror and #mystery stories from Wonderland Press.