I’m the kitchen guard. A rough-talking, tender-hearted soul. That’s why they call me Avocado. I’ve even got the shiny tag to prove it. Step into this room, and it’s a whole new world. You leave your shit at the door, and you focus on the joy that comes from life. I ain’t got no time for whiners.

Freddie walks in, and instantly I see that he’s got baggage. Buck up, Freddie, I growl. This is a happy place. I show him his place at the counter and watch to make sure he’s focused. Knives are dangerous around here. They’re excellent for slicing out a hunk of sizzlin’ steak, but they’ve been known to spontaneously attack. These prison guards have it tough, that’s for sure. It’s my job to keep the men laughing. I love watching the rosy twinkle that creeps up their drawn cheeks. Replace the hollow expressions with ones of Christmas morning happiness: that’s my goal.

Once in a while, someone crosses into the realm of misplaced reality. I can tell by the haunted look in Freddie’s eyes, by the heaving of his breath and the erratic pulse in his right hand that’s making me bolt for the corner. We’ve lost another one.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday:

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