James Holden: Snacks at Twelve

Debbie and Keira met as they did every night – at 12 o clock in the small kitchenette. The call centre staff had had to push hard for the cramped space, to save them a trek to the vending machines on the ground floor during their short breaks. “What do vampires need a kitchen for?” was the initial response from management. But the nocturnal workers had argued it was against, well – not quite their human – but it was definitely against some kind of rights they held. “And anyway,” said the union rep, barring his fangs, “you don’t want a bunch of hungry vampires working for you.”

Debbie filled the kettle as they shared difficult calls they had taken during the first part of their shift, gossiped about colleagues and touched upon the recent government shuffle: “it doesn’t matter how many women they put at the top table, the government still won’t do anything for us.”

“They should give us a proper stake in the economy,” said Keira. Debbie shivered.

“You know I hate it when you use that word.”

“It’s a beautiful night again,” said Keira changing the subject. She looked beyond the reflection of the room’s fixtures and fittings in the window, and into the car park and fields beyond . “Shame we’re stuck inside working.” She sighed. “Neighbours still keeping you awake during the daytime?”

“I got myself some earplugs. I sleep like the dead now,” Debbie said, chuckling. “How’s your diet going?”

“Oh, you know…” Keira shrugged. “There’s always something tempting you isn’t there. I feel ravenous when I leave work. Even at four thirty when we get off shift – you walk down the street and there’s always something you could just sink your teeth into.”

Debbie thrust a small packet in her direction. “Here – have you tried any of these?”

“No,” Keira said taking it. “Are they any good?”

Debbie nodded as filled a pair of mugs with boiling water. “They’re 100 per cent organic. And only 97 calories a bag.”

Keira barred her fangs before eating one and then looked at the back of the packet.

“Mmm, they’re not bad are they. But what exactly are ‘organic humans’?”


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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