Short Story: Hands for Pummeling

Genre: slice of life, humour

She watched with wide eyes as the kitchen hand pummeled the dough to within an inch of its life.

A few paces away, in the laundry room, another man savagely beat the dirt out of the soapy clothes.

“Don’t mind them. We’re all here for one reason, that is to punch things. It’s easier to get everyone to chip in with chores if they can punch their way through it,” the owner said as he led her deeper into the compound, “But bills are one of those things you can’t just punch the lights out and hope it pays itself. And that’s where you come in.”

She nodded, even as she kept a weary eye on the calloused fists and enlarged knuckles.

The owner led her to the office, the only empty space in the compound. Papers and envelopes sat in stacks on the table and chairs.

“If anyone threatens you, just call for help. Everyone else will be more than happy to beat up the idiot who bullies the new help,” the owner said with his eyes on the men around them, with a particularly long look at one of the men who still had a cast on one arm.

“Yes, boss,” the chorused, and it sounded like a clap of too-close thunder.

If that was supposed to help her feel safer… the owner should try to help her less.

“Let me know if you need any help with the bills and documents,” the owner said with a clap on her shoulder that almost sent her to her knees.

“Noted,” she said.

The owner left, and she turned her attention to the controlled chaos before her. She reminded herself about the good pay, the flexible hours, and the short distance between work and home, and buckled down to begin her work.


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