Once Is Too Much
By Wes Herbst

Joshua Crowley tossed his depleted cigarette from the window of his 76' Camero as he rounded the final leg of the off-ramp descending onto Seven Highway from the Interstate. Smiling, he fished for another cancer stick in his front shirt pocket as the sign labeled with the town's name flashed by: Deacon Falls.

Rosarita Cosantino had originally come from the Dominican Republic in the ballasts of an oil tanker. Having paid for her passage with copious amounts of oral sex, she could still taste the lingering revulsion that was the flavor of smegma. America had been the land of opportunity as promised, and as she upended a scooper of hash brown nuggets into a small cardboard box, she recanted on how good it was to make $ 6.25 an hour. Sure, she served white people who interpreted her lack of speaking proper English as a sign of her being an idiot, however, it was entirely untrue; they could go on treating her as they wished; she was pulling in royal money compared to her days of fellating unwashed sailors.

Joshua was speeding merrily down Parker lane when a pang of hunger struck his middle. He had been driving all night, and the prospect of food seemed somewhat nice. The recent events in his life had taken direct precedence over the routine directives, and now food seemed to be the subject of the hour. His mouth beginning to water to the thought of a cheeseburger and fries, a staple of the bachelor life, and he pulled into the first fast food restaurant he came across.

Being one of uncountable franchise chains, it was a safe bet they had a fairly standard selection of foods to under compliment their current specialties, which would inevitably prove unpopular and give way to the next fad sandwich.

The only person in line, Joshua pulled up slowly to the large plastic backlit menu. One side had a wide assortment of pictures of hamburgers and chicken sandwiches; below it was written listings of drinks and side orders. The other side, parallel to the first he'd looked at, was breakfast items; sausage biscuits and pancakes and the like. Joshua detested breakfast foods. They were all his dead beat, good for nothing uncle could cook.

Want some pancakes, boy?

Fuck you and your pancakes, old man.

Fucking pancakes.

Rosarita answered the buzzing in her ear emanating from her headset; which in turn got its signal from the pressure plate beneath the drive through menu; she depressed the small button on the side of her right earpiece which would transmit out, "Good morning, would you like to try a breakfast Egg, Cheese, and Sausage rollup?"

The vowel sounds in her speech were drawn out, and her endings consonants came out slurred. English was her second language, and she spoke about as much of it as could be expected of one who's entirety of experience with which was resultant from taking and bagging orders here at the restaurant.

"Yes, I need just a minute.I have not decided what I would like to have yet."

She did not fully understand his response, "May I help you?"

A sigh came in over her headset, "I would like to have a minute to decide which food I would like to purchase."

Once again, Rosarita was slightly stumped, "Sir, would you like to try an Egg, Cheese, and Sausage Rollup?"

Another sigh, "Actually, could I just get the Number Four Double Bacon Cheeseburger Meal with a Large Coke and Large Fries?"

Rosarita understood this, "I'm sorry; sir, but we are serving breakfast until 11:00."

Another sigh, "Could you please just make an exception, I'm really in the mood for a Hamburger and some fries. I'm willing to wait."

Rosarita was once more stumped, "Sir, I'm sorry; we are serving breakfast until 11:00."
She heard another sigh then the sound of a car pulling up to the window.

Joshua had not been able to contain his anger at the farce that was this establishment's customer service. Clicking his tongue behind his teeth, he slowly pulled up to the first window. He could clearly see a Hispanic woman behind the sliding glass window looking at him. Pulling up even with it, Joshua looked up to stare at the woman who had angered him.

The twin halves on the window parted ways and from the center of the portal came the head of the tan woman, "I'm sorry sir we're serving breakfast until."

Joshua cut her off by pulling his 50 Caliber Pistol up from under his seat and shooting her in the face.

Joshua drove off before the smoke had settled around the drive through window. The other employees on duty were in a panic as Rosarita's headless corpse spasmed on the floor in front of the window spurting out gouts of bright red blood. They would have called an ambulance or even the police, but none of them spoke enough English to use the phone.

The 76' Camero drove back up Seven Highway to the Interstate. Joshua found himself still hungry, and now slightly perturbed, I should have just taken the next damn exit