My Manager Needs to Talk to Me and That’s Never Good News

by Amy L Clark

What I do is stab them all the way through, on either side of the cavity. I do twelve in a row and then set them upright to rotate. I’m on my fifth chicken when Albert says he needs to talk to me. Everyone knows this is the worst job in the deli, maybe the worst job in the whole grocery store. No one here but me knows that Albert got a bachelor’s degree in linguistics before washing up as a manager at the Shop n’ Save, which we all call the Shop n’ Slave; and no one here but Albert knows I sing lead in a screamo band that just booked our first gig. I place the sixth chicken down on the counter and, looking at it, say quietly, “don’t move.”


Amy L Clark (they/them) has flash and micro fiction published all over the place, including in Maudlin House, mac(ro)mic, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and the Norton Anthology New Micro. Their first novel, Palais Royale, is now available from Engine Books. They also publish under the name Aiden Grace Smith.