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PsyCop Short: Many Happy Returns

Hue, Tint and Shade cover

Many Happy Returns by Jordan Castillo Price

Series: PsyCop Short (#2.2)
Length: Short Story - 2800 words - 10 page PDF
Cover artist: Jordan Castillo Price - see larger cover

Find Many Happy Returns at the following places:

Amazon - Smashwords (many file types) - iTunes


The holidays.

Food. Family.


In this short story, Kenneth moonlights part time at SaverPlus to earn enough money to buy himself a state of the art computer system. He just wants to do his job and go home. But a sexy blond customer is looking for service, and he won't take "no" for an answer.

This PsyCop short can be read as a standalone!



Kenneth shot a plastic tab through the seam of a hideous sweater. He wasn't sure why he bothered. It wasn't as if the sweater hadn't been returned at least three times. Not that it was defective, per se. It was just so ugly that no one would ever want it.

But Kenneth was only there to earn enough money to buy a new computer. Part-time, seasonal work seemed harmless enough, or at least it had, the day he'd accepted the job of staffing the most obscure return desk in the least-known subbasement of SaverPlus.

He shot a plastic tag through a baseball cap, and wondered what type of person would return a hat. Someone with a head that was really big, or really small? He decided that he thought too much. Always had.

The clock clunked. It was an industrial piece of electronics, circa 1953, and it was far too retro to simply tick. Eight fifty-nine. He turned around and looked at the piles of clothes that had accumulated during his shift. Time to fold up the ugly returns and punch his timecard.

Forty-two years old and punching a time clock. Kenneth tried not to spiral down into a haze of self-pity by distracting himself with another thought, since his brain was so insistent on thinking.

Flat screen monitor. Bluetooth keyboard. Relax. Breathe.

The sharp ring of a call bell sent images of new computer systems scattering to the edges of Kenneth's mind. He looked up at the return desk, startled, and found a man in a leather jacket with spiked blond hair leaning over the counter on both elbows, chewing gum. He smiled at Kenneth. More of a devilish smile than an expression of actual happiness.

"We're closed," Kenneth said. "They've shut the lights off."

The customer peeked back over his shoulder, as if something had snuck up on him while he was trying to get Kenneth's attention.

"Sure," he said. "But look, maybe you can do me a favor."

Kenneth resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He couldn't imagine what would prompt him to do a favor for a total stranger, particularly at this purgatory of a job, and especially at 9:01 pm.

"This shirt," the customer said, swinging a plastic bag onto the counter. "I need a large."

Kenneth sighed through his nose and reached into the bag. He had a big enough pile of returns. If he had the shirt in a large, he could scan them, swap them, and send the gum-chewer on his way.

He pulled the shirt onto the counter. It was, in Kenneth's opinion, the only decent shirt that SaverPlus carried. He owned three, himself.

"Whoa," said the customer, pointing. "You're wearing the same one." He levered himself up onto his palms, leaning over the countertop, into Kenneth's personal space. "That's pretty wild. Don't you think?"

"We haven't got this in a large," Kenneth said. "Not in black, anyway."

"But I need black," he said. "The shirt's from my mom. And she'll get all weird if I don't wear it the next time I see her."

"I'm sorry, sir...."

The customer snorted. "Call me Crash." He squinted at Kenneth's name tag. "Kenny."

Kenneth composed himself. Bluetooth. DVD-RW. Five hundred gig hard drive.

"These shirts are sold out in black large. They have been since November. If you'd like the shirt in mocha, I can do the exchange, but...."

"Gimme yours."


PsyCop Ebooks

#1: Among the Living
What good is being a psychic detective if your murder victims aren't talking?

#2: Criss Cross
Mysterious messages from Lisa lead Vic on a wild ride.

#2.1 Striking Sparks
Andrew's got cold feet about his upcoming wedding. He figures a palm reading is just the ticket.

#2.2 Many Happy Returns
It's the holiday season at SaverPlus, and customers have become incredibly demanding.

#3: Body & Soul
Three missing people. No bodies. No ghosts. At least the case gets Vic out of an awkward family dinner.

#3.1: Stroke of Midnight
For a PsyCop, missing out on festivities to process a crime scene is all in a day's (or night's) work.

#4: Secrets
Is someone watching Vic's every move, or is he imagining things? Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

#5: Camp Hell
Vic delves into his repressed memories of Camp Hell and dredges up more than he bargained for.

#6: GhosTV
Lisa's gone missing, and Vic and Jacob head to PsyTrain for some answers.

#7: Spook Squad
Victor has been avoiding the exorcism he owes the FPMP. Now it's time to pay up.

#0.1: Inside Out
(Takes place before Among the Living, but best to read it later) The first time Jacob saw Vic, he was covered in red.

#6.1: In the Dark
Halloween is supposed to be fun.


PsyCop Paperbacks

PsyCop:Partners (contains Among the Living and Criss Cross) Amazon - Book Depository
PsyCop: Property (contains Body & Soul and Secrets) Amazon - Book Depository
Camp Hell Amazon - Book Depository
GhosTV Amazon - Book Depository
Spook Squad - Coming Soon


Buy the Bundle and Save

PsyCop Bundle

$46.70 $39.70

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All the novels plus all the shorts at a whopping 15% off: Among the Living • Body & Soul • Camp Hell • Criss Cross • GhosTV • In the Dark • Inside Out • JCP Cover Art Gallery PDF • Many Happy Returns • Mind Reader • Secrets • Spook Squad • Striking Sparks • Stroke of Midnight • Thaw



starving years
Imagine a world without hunger

Fasten your seatbelts

Mnevermind 1: The Persistence of Memory
Making memories, one client at a time
A PsyCop Novelette starring Crash
Body Art
Trapped on an icy island