Four years ago I would’ve laughed at someone like me—a twenty-six year old working some pansy-ass job at a coffee-house, complaining about the early hours and how much cream cheese I have to make. At one point I had wanted to move up in the world, make something of myself. But change has never come easily for me, not in my life, not even in the form of that wonderfully brassy clink! at the bottom of the tip jar after an especially meaningful transaction. Yes, I had graduated from a University. But these days a degree has to be accompanied by internships, a fancy resume, and giving a shit. And all the shit I had to give was already gone.
I was just about to put the key in the door to the coffeehouse when the early morning silence was brutally interrupted by my co-worker.
Melanie was one of those girls who got up every morning with a smile on her face and, I’m assuming, a teddy bear. But she was alright, I guess. There’s no law that says not having boobs is a criminal offense, and I have to admit that I was somewhat amazed by this fact. I mean, those babies were practically concave. I found myself staring and eventually shifted my focus back to turning the key. After briefly holding the door open for her, we headed inside. Three steps into the shop, however, Melanie looked quizzically back at me.
“What happened to the alarm?” She asked with pity in her voice.
“Some idiot must’ve forgot to set it last night… Liz is going to have a field day.” I, too, felt sorry for the poor sap. There are only two actions that can lead to getting fired from this place—forgetting to set the alarm, and not properly maintaining the pastry case. Whoever it was had broken the second most important rule. Melanie shrugged and continued to skip towards the light switches. I, on the other hand, headed straight for the espresso machine.
I turned the handle of the espresso device and pressed GRIND. Instead of the usual brrrr brrrr brrr of the espresso beans being ground, however, the machine sounded like it had developed one of those old people coughs. Angrily, I smacked the hopper a few times with the palm of my hand. Still, haaa-ck-k-k-euu-bleh. God damned machine. Begrudgingly I lifted the lid off the hopper and shoved my hand down into the beans. My hand had barely brushed past the surface when I felt something… hairy? Suddenly, the sound of Ted’s techno blasted through the coffeehouse. Fucking Ted.
“TURN THAT GODDAMN MUSIC OFF!” I shouted as I began slowly removing beans from the hopper.
“What’s going on Jake?” Melanie leaned over my shoulder to get a better look. As soon as I got a handle on whatever the hell was in that hopper and yanked it out, Melanie screamed. Fuck, I thought. Immediately I dropped it. Staring at me from the floor was the face of Ed, one of our regular customers, sawed at the neck apart from his body, and partially ground.