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Happinex

By KJ Kabza
3,744 words · 14-minute reading time


From the author: Craig is stuck—in a small town, in a crappy fast-food job, and on the night shift. But at least he’s managed to make one work friend, a high school pothead named Tommy who repeats sick rumors and tells eerie ghost stories, and at least his new meds are keeping his hallucinations in check. Until the rustling begins.


After four months on Happinex, I got a job at Mr. Beefy's. Shut up: it was a job, and after years of unemployed misery, I was grateful to get anything at all. It meant these meds were working.

The Mr. Beefy's I worked at, store #9107, was near the highway and open until 2 a.m. Naturally, I was stuck on the night shift. The pay was dogshit and my coworkers were asshats, and I didn't like anyone except the 17-year-old pothead who liked to spit into the deep fryer to watch it pop. He was a good kid.

My shift supervisor was a sour old mummy shod in orthopedic shoes. She squeaked when she walked, and this I liked. It let me hear her coming, and it gave me time to hide whatever I'd been doing.

Tommy, the pothead, was the only one who ever caught me. I'd been there about two weeks. It was 11:00 p.m., and while the Mummy was squeaking up front by the registers, I was safe in a corner in the back, stacking up patties to see if I could fit a burger six patties thick into my mouth.

Tommy...

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KJ Kabza

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