4.01.2018

Send Zombies, Eggs, and Bunnies (Short Fiction)

The hippie guy looked confused. Or maybe bemused is a better word. He had just come into the coffee shop where I work. He stood inside the door and looked slowly around. He took a deep breath through his nose and smiled ever so slightly. Since he was obstructing the entrance a little bit, after a couple minutes, I decided to approach him.

"Hi. Can I help you with something?" I asked.

"What is this place?" he replied with a question. "It smells...fantastic."

I wasn't sure what he meant at first. "It's Cuppa Joe's," I said. "A coffee shoppe."

"Coffee..." the hippie guy said, neither question nor command. More like acceptance.

"Would you like one?" I asked.

"No," he replied. "The smell is enough."

"I'm Chet," I said, extending my hand.

He stared at it for a moment before seeming to understand. He reached out and took my hand in his. As he did so, a kind of inexplicable warm happiness enveloped me and I had a brief moment of infinite understanding. But it passed quickly.

"Jesus," he said. At first I thought he was simply commisserating, but then I realized he was telling me his name.

"The Jesus?" I inquired. But I felt like I already knew the answer before he nodded the affirmative.

"Well...welcome back?" I said. "Why don't you take a seat and just let one of us know if you need anything." I extended my arm toward an empty table by the window. Jesus nodded and shuffled over to sit down.

I returned to my barista station behind the counter and shuffled through the notes the owner had left for us were we to encounter a situation such as this. I finally found the crumpled sheet of paper on which she had written a phone number and a short note: "In case of Second Coming, call this number...tell them to send zombies, eggs, and bunnies."

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