Flash Fiction Friday: Model Employee
by David C. Hayes
Skippy, the stock boy, was lonely. He worked the night shift. Stocking shelves, of course. The D-Mart was dark at night. Dark as pitch, but he worked on. Skippy wasn’t like the other stock boys. Or stock girls. Or cashiers. Certainly not like Mrs. Lippman, the manager. Skippy couldn’t be seen by customers. He was a little slow. He looked funny, too. His arms were too long. His face was funny. Born with too much forehead, Mrs. Lippman said. Too much forehead was funny. Like an upside-down ice cream cone. Skippy chuckled. He was wearing a white shirt tonight. Vanilla melty ice cream. He was strong, though. Skippy lifted things that other people couldn’t. Right up in the air. Laughing, Skippy lifted a tractor up. It belonged in the Garden Department.
Skippy settled the tractor down carefully. He had been too excited once. He broke a snow blower. Mrs. Lippman was mad. She scolded Skippy. He didn’t like that. He got so upset, he hurt things. When he had a moment stuff got wet. He tried not to, but it happened. So, he was careful. Skippy was funny that way, too. When he got mad he couldn’t stop. He had to grab and squeeze. Anything soft and gushy. He broke the snow blower on accident. Mrs. Lippman knew that, but wouldn’t listen. Too bad Ellie worked late. She was pretty. She cleaned the floors. She was nice to Skippy, too. Not like Mrs. Lippman. He was so angry. He grabbed Ellie and squeezed. Melty ice cream was strawberry after that. Mrs. Lippman understood when she came in that morning. She cleaned up. She sent Skippy home (to the garage). Poor Ellie.
Skippy heard a sound and stopped thinking of past stuff. He whipped around, toward the offices. Garden was a whole store away but he heard the sounds. Skippy’s ears were funny, too. Really big, like plates. He heard good. He heard people talking by the offices.
Mrs. Lippman said to never go there. The offices were off limits. Skippy didn’t want to make her mad. Not again. But there were people! He heard them. Skippy bounded forward. He leapt from spot to spot. He made it across the whole store. Only three jumps this time. A new record.
Two men dressed in black jammed a metal bar in the door crack. The door popped open. To Skippy, it sounded weird. Like dropping ravioli cans. He loved ravioli. That is all he ate.
The men went in the office. Skippy sprang up. He knew Mrs. Lippman would yell. He knew she would blame him. Two men? In black clothes? No way, she was too tough. He felt himself getting angry.
His face heated up. That is how it started. The hair on his back tingled. The too much forehead got hot. Right to the tippy top. Skippy’s piggy eyes smoldered. Mrs. Lippman called them piggy eyes. He liked that. Sometimes he would snort like a pig. Mrs. Lippman smiled then, too. But not now. Now he was too angry to snort.
Skippy could feel the want. The gushy, wet want. Those men were bad. They would get him in trouble. Mrs. Lippman would yell. And yell. Loud. Mean. Hateful things.
The two men exited the office, smiling. One of them held a large bag. Skippy didn’t care who they were. No way.
Skippy vaulted over the rack of lingerie. He landed in front of the men. They turned, startled, smiles dropped. Skippy stood before them. The name tag said so. Muscles rippled underneath the white shirt. Skippy’s eyes glossed over, rationality gone. A snarl creased his face. His red face. Beat red to the top of the conehead.
The men dropped the bag. Before they could make a peep, even. Skippy reached up. He took a head in each massive hand. Skippy squeezed. His fingers dug into their skulls. Eyes popped divots. Not content, Skippy pushed in. Yes, he squeezed their skulls. The red stuff, and gray stuff. The men shook. They rattled. They jitterbugged. All the while, Skippy squeezed.
He squeezed until the mad went away. How long? He didn’t know. Long enough. The men stopped shaking. They hung in the air. Skippy’s breathing calmed down. His head cooled, starting at the top. The heat dissipated, passing his cheeks. Skippy’s back hair lay flat. He calmed.
Skippy used his foot. The men wouldn’t shake off his fingers. He had to push them off. Skippy smiled.
Mrs. Lippman would be happy. He could prove he didn’t go in there. Not in the office. Never.
Skippy wiped his hands on his shirt. He went back to Garden. More tractors to move. Always more work.
David C. Hayes is an award-winning author, editor and filmmaker. Most recently, he has written stories for Dark Moon Books, StrangeHouse Books, Evil Jester Press, Blood Bound Books and many more. His first collection, American Guignol, is availableand he is a multiple genre anthology editor. He is the author of Cannibal Fat Camp (with Mark Scioneaux), Muddled Mind: The Complete Works of Ed Wood Jr. and the Rottentail graphic novel as well as many screenplays, stage plays (his Dial P for Peanuts won an Ethingtony in 2011), articles and more.
His films, like The Frankenstein Syndrome, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp, A Man Called Nereus, Dark Places and Back Woods, are available worldwide. He is the co-owner of Cinema Head Cheese, a geek culture website, and you can visit him online at http://www.davidchayes.com. David is a voting member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dramatists Guild. He likes creepy hugs and all kinds of cheese.