Union Dues – The Threnody of Johnny Toruko
By Jeffrey R. DeRego
I duck through the door behind her. The place is jammed with customers. “You have any money? I didn’t think to ask Miss Jennifer for any.”
TK answers, “don’t worry, just tell me what you want.”
“Large with extra sugar and cream.”
TK grins and focuses her attention on the line of people stretching from the entrance down to the counter. They all sidestep and she walks unimpeded front of the pack. “One large black, and one large with extra sugar and cream.”
The barrista, a girl of about 18, repeats the order in a flat monotone.
“And these are on the house. Everyone gets free coffee for the next two hours.”
“Free for everyone,” the clerk answers then puts our order together.
TK snickers and hands the coffee over.
About the Author
Jeffrey R. DeRego is the author of the Escape Pod fan-favorite Union Dues stories, and other things, as well.
About the Narrator
Serah Eley is the original producer, editor and host of Escape Pod. She mispronounced her name as Steve Eley at the time, but has since realized that life is much more fun as a woman, and came out as transgender in 2015. Serah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two spouses (she prefers “spice”), Sadi and Cat.
So if there were ever any betting pools on what happened to Steve: the dark-horse winner is “changed sex and joined a committed lesbian love triangle.” She is, obviously, still Having Fun.