Picture the scene.
A dilapidated all night diner.....miles from anywhere...on one side open brush land leading to the base of the mountains that loom ominously over the
landscape...and in the other direction wide open fields of nothing, black barren land not even fit for the nearby farmers to let their herds graze.
The last stop to fill up on hot coffee for at least 50 miles in any direction...And at this twilight hour staffed with a grave yard crew of one cook,
and one server who doubled as a cleaner.
They both worked the shift that no one else wanted because it paid more, but mostly because neither of them worked well with others and in truth they
didn't like people very much at all, preferring the quiet undisturbed nights to the marginally busier day shifts which catered for the long haul
truckers and camper-van families. Here there were no “ regulars”....only strangers and just – passing - through types, once seen...instantly
Anyone who lived nearby avoided this diner, most of them having already sampled the greasy brown sludge that filled up the pots on the hot plates at
the side of the long counter. Instead the locals would forgo the slimy brown liquid offered at this converted Airstream trailer and drive on until
they reached a better watering hole, that served a decent cup of joe.
While the cook with zero social skills was out back having another extended break, smoking and logging into his favourite porn site on his phone, the
server side - eyed their one and only customer that night.
A strange one for sure, not only for the fact that he had arrived here without any form of transport ...a walk in... but also because he was now on
their third refill of “ coffee “ an event never before witnessed by this server. The usual duties performed by this server was clearing away the
half full cups discarded after any wayward customers' departures..... and there were never any tips.
So....the server wondered “what the actual F*#k?” Three refills? She shakes her head and picks up her cleaning cloths and spray.
The cook slams the side door hard as he comes in and shuffles over to the grill....still perusing his phone screen and the server tries to keep busy
by wiping down the already spotlessly clean counter top. She likes things clean and tidy.
It is a good 10 minutes later, when the customer slides awkwardly out of the booth and approaches the counter where, by this time, both the server and
the cook are leaning back against the wall of the diner watching him with open disapproval, no one ever has three refills.
The coffee drinker is tall, almost 6.5 feet and he is not dressed adequately for the unrelenting coldness of the night. Clearing his throat as if he
makes ready to speak, he reaches into the breast pocket of the thin checked shirt he wears over a t - shirt printed with the art work for Pink Floyd's
Dark Side of the Moon, flip flops and denim cut off shorts completing his wardrobe. And for the third time that night..the server wonders “what
the F*#k now... ?” The first being when he came stumbling into the diner out of the dark empty night..and simply pointed over to the closest coffee
pot with a long bony finger to indicate his chosen beverage, failing to offer any kind of verbal acknowledgement when she greeted him with her
standard customer engagement “ what can we get ya? “ Her staple “meet and greet” option was the only one she done and was offered to any and
all patrons who end up on the receiving end of her customer service.
As he stands opposite the diner staff he removes from his pocket a small black box which he places in the middle of the empty counter, and again a
deep rumbling comes from within his chest rising up to his throat, as if he is readying himself to speak. He doesn't. And the cook and the server
exchange a confused glance between them before focusing their eyes expectantly upon the box atop the counter that the coffee drinker has placed there.
With his elongated finger he presses the top of the box, it is almost the size of one of those puzzle cubes with the coloured squares, but completely
smooth and seamless and as he presses his skeletal finger to the box, it's centre starts to glow.....an ethereal voice emits from the box saying, “
Who is in charge around here ? I need to speak to your supervisor. Is the manager available ? Take me to your leader.
While these phrases are being played, seeming to come out of the box through some kind of speaker... one after another with just a short pause between
each ...the customer stands at the edge of the counter with his mouth opening and closing in time to a tinny sounding high pitched beeping pulse
coming from his throat.
The cook and the server exchange another, this time panicked, glance and without vocalising their plan they immediately take action, first with the
cook... grabbing his meat cleaver from a nearby hook and landing a fast powerful blow to the side of the customer's head, the server then has grabbed
the heaviest iron skillet off of the grill and after she has ran around to the front of the counter is now raining blows to the back of the customer's
head which begins to take on a very odd shape at the back, concave and busted looking. A thick brown gooey substance is exuding out of the gaping
wound left by the first blow of the meat cleaver. As the customer begins to slide down onto the front of the counter, the voice box gadget becomes
garbled and begins to crackle. The cook then delivers another slice to the face of the customer which splits it open from brow to chin, dislodging one
of his eyes, and more of the brown goo leaks out and spreads rapidly across the counter top. Finally the voice box lies inactive and silent while the
customer lies unmoving on the floor of the diner.
There is silence for a few moments, apart from the wind whistling around the diner and the heavy breathing of the both the cook and the server, both
of them staring, their eyes wide and crazy, taking in the scene that they have created, the air inside the diner now filled with the combination of
old stewed coffee and something else.....something indescribably foul and unworldly. As their combined gaze locks on their victim, his misshapen head
begins to dissolve as does his limbs and torso..until a minute or so later they are gazing at a pile of clothing soaked in what looks like congealed
thick coffee sludge. The pyramid motif from the customer's tee shirt is the only recognizable thing left of him.
That is apart from the obsidian looking box, which remains....and begins again to glow from it's centre, crackling back into life.
The disembodied voice from within saying this time....
“ We come in peace, from afar.
We wish you no harm. “
The cook and the server both shrug, it's not the first time they have taken an instant dislike to a solitary customer, disturbing their peace, but
this one sure has been a strange encounter. At least this dark sticky goo will be easier to clean up and get rid of than bones and heavy muscle. Only
3 hours left until they clock off and the day shift arrive.
The cook swipes the box off the counter, throwing it into the trash bin before he hangs up his meat cleaver... on his way out barking to the
server..... “clean this mess up, I am out for a smoke. “
edit on 28/8/17 by cosmickat because: spelling