I’m excited to share with you a dark and humorous flash fiction for today’s Story Time Sunday. I wrote this story for a humor contest, and I’d love to hear any feedback you have on this silly tale. Enjoy!
Deena’s first job was at McDonald’s, where she learned an important principle: When something goes wrong at work, blame the guy who gets killed.
“We’re out a’ patties!” Deena yelled over her earbuds, smearing sweat and grease across her forehead before replacing her raggedy red visor. Her neon yellow-green gum kept time with the music blaring in, “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. She was seven hours in to a late-night shift, and she was out of meat.
“It’s in the freezer, Deena. Can’t leave the window right now, so, just go get it,” Rupert used a stale frork (fork and spoon combo) to dig a massive green boogie lodged in his right nostril free.
Finally. He felt wonderful, flicked the mass at the glass window, and watched gravity take over. Working the night shift was a fling. Best of all, no one had to clean the toilets ’cause it was all drive-thru.
He heard the freezer door slam just as the mic picked up a customer, “I want an extra rare Big Mac,” the voice seemed to deepen with each request,” a slice of red velvet cake, a cherry berry chiller, and lots of ketchup.”
“Okay, sir, ummm, that will be a few minutes; we’re just grilling up some new burgers.”
Only static on the end, Rupert added, “So, please drive around.”
“Rupert, I need your help in here!” It was Deena, her head sticking out from the metal freezer door. Just a few more weeks of mopping up slop and serving worse-than-stoned customers, and she’d finally have enough money to start the cosmetology program her parents refused to finance.
“What? We got an order, Deena.” He was fumbling with the chiller mix and trying to find the velvet cake in the back of the blast cooler.
“I can’t get the burgers, Ruppie,” Deena always called him annoying nicknames when she was frustrated.
“Fine,” Rupert moved towards the freezer just as a silver 1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 pulled up to the window.
“Deena, you’re killing me, here! I gotta make a chiller, and we need burgers, now.”
“The burgers are up there, RuRu.” Deena smacked her gum and pointed to the very top row of an industrial metal shelf where a red plastic bag of burgers the size of Santa’s sack slumped against the back freezer wall.
“Shit, where’s the step ladder?” Rupert was shorter than Deena and deathly afraid of heights. He scanned the crowded freezer of frozen hybrid foods, but couldn’t find a fuckin’ ladder.
“Just put me on your shoulders, Rupine. I think I can reach it from up there.”
Just then the mic. in Rupert’s ear cut’s on, “Hey! You’re not at the window, am I getting my bloody Big Mac or no?
“Sorry sir,” Rupert replied as Deena did her best to dangle her legs over his shoulders, the smell of beef fat now flanking all sides of his head, “I’ll be right there, just had an issue in the back.”
After Deena had successfully mounted Rupert, the hybrid team swung back and forth like a Mcmonkey. “Move closer, Rupes, I can’t reach tha’ damn bag.”
She put both hands on the silver shelf trying to pull herself forward, but instead the shelf gave way, sliding crinkly packets of Mcnuggets and fries onto her and Rupert before coming unhinged and pinning them both mercilessly to the ground. It was obvious they were the losing team in this chicken fight.
“I’m losing patience, Man. You’ve got two minutes or you’re gonna regret messing with me,” the customer had circled the drive-thru for the third time to talk in the mic, but Rupert was out cold on the freezer floor.
Deena slapped a sack of McMuffins off of her face and tried to stand, but she was pinned by the metal rack with Rupert between her legs. She tried thrusting her hips forward and back to wake him, “Rupert! Rupert!” but no response, “Oh man, this is bad.”
It was then she heard a muffled voice coming from her crotch, “You had better be dead in there, buddy, caus’ I’ve been waiting a week for my Big Mac!”
Deena wiggled the headphones from Rupert’s limp head, and squeaked into the mic, “Hey man! You gottta come in here please and help! Please, we’re trapped in the cooler!”
Only static on the other end. Deena couldn’t feel her right arm any longer. She jiggled one more time her hips in the hopes of rousing Ruppert, but he was out cold.
She was pretty sure she was gonna die here in the Mickydee freezer with manager Ruppert between her legs. But just as she closed her eyes, she heard glass shattering. Footsteps and a baritone voice, “Hello! Where are you, girl?
“I’m in here!” Deena shouted but was pretty sure the freezer was way louder than her voice. She flexed her left foot and started banging hard on her metal cage.
The door flung open and in stepped a woman in head-to-toe black. Piercings in her eyebrows, chin, and noise. Her doc martins shinier than her spiky maroon bangs.
“Oh shit!” She hoisted the shelf in seconds and extended a hand to Deena. “Take it easy, take it easy, I need to call the police.”
Deena sat on her knees beside Rupert trying to check his breath. She contemplated CPR but couldn’t remember any of the steps other than to connect her lips to his.
“What happened?” her rescuer took out an i-phone and paused.
“It was just an accident…..Rupert climbed the shelf to get the burger bag…and it fell,” Deena checked Rupert’s pulse, nothing.
“Well, you’re lucky I don’t take no for an answer.”
If only she knew how much they had in common, Deena thought, regret rising and then falling like a double arch. She knew she would never tell that story, as she used her moveable hand to close Rupert’s eyes for the last time.