Burger Time

enhanced-10990-1400016501-13 This story was inspired by this photo taken from a collection of stock photos. Click the picture to see the rest.

Sabrina had a massive headache. She got them about once over two or three weeks but they were getting worse lately. When she woke up this morning she couldn’t get out of bed for the first half an hour. They weren’t getting any more frequent, the pain was just more intense. She soldiered on, crawling to the shower, literally, and managed to get dressed and get to work. By the time she’d arrived at Hot Topic to start her shift the pain had abated somewhat.

“Hey Sabby, what the haps?” Chris, her manager, wore the baggy jeans, wallet chain, and awful black tee shirt that was practically the dress code.

She felt like punching him in the throat every time he called her ‘Sabby’ but it was better than Witchy-poo she supposed. That’s what he called her when he was really feeling his oats. “Almost didn’t come in today. Major migraine.”

“My mom says those are caused by gluten. Ever try cutting back?” Chris sucked on his e-cig.

That habit also made her throat punchy. Come to think of it, almost anything Chris did made her want to cave in his esophagus. “Your mom giving health advice…”

He raised a pierced eyebrow, waiting for her to finish the sentence.

“Is interesting.” The only time she’d come into the story, the elder Cragman was wearing a muumuu that could have been made from an afghan. Or it might have been an actual afghan. She could barely fit down the story aisles.

“You might try it anyway, witchy-poo. It’s also supposed to help with that monthly problem.” He made a shooing motion. “Go inventory the pegs in the back.”

She clenched and unclenched her fingers. If she didn’t need some kind of job she’d leave this place now. In their half horse town the mall was about the only option for a college freshman home on summer break. “Yes, Chris.” She grabbed one of the bar code scanners from under the counter and stalked to the back.

She was about halfway down the wall of crap when it felt like someone had driven a spike through her forehead. She dropped the scanner and hoped like hell that the cracking sound was her skull and not the expensive piece of machinery. A wetness on her upper lip and the smell of copper meant she’d started bleeding again. She went to one knee and realized that the keening noise was coming from her.

“Sabby, what’s wrong? Oh my god, you’re bleeding. Your fucking eyes are bleeding.”

Sabrina stood and shouldered her way past the skinny little bastard.

“Hey, where are you going? Your break’s not for another hour.”

She was bleeding from her fucking eyes and he was worried about break time? She stopped in the middle of the food court clutching her head. Her eyes clenched shut, she couldn’t see the burgers from the Sonic a few stores down take flight. The spun around her head for two full revolutions.

“You need to come back here and clo-” Chris’s words were stopped, and it wasn’t until she was able to open her eyes in the blessed relief of freedom from pain that she saw it was because a half dozen burgers had become lodged in his esophagus. It wasn’t a throat punch but it would do.

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