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Old 08-10-2017, 03:35 PM View Post #1 (Link) Mochacinos & murder
miss_smiley (Offline)
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Not sure... but it's dark and hot and smells of...burning...
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I figured it was probably about time I posted something up again. Behold! I'm not sure if I'm going to expand this out or not, but we'll see what happens. Enjoy!

Fair warning - there's a bit of foul language in here.

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It must have been around 2pm that he caught my eye. His hat was drawn low over his eyes, his collar turned up high against the non-existent gusts of Starbucks. Ok, then, I thought to myself, wondering where exactly he was dressed for. It was nearing summer and while the heat was not yet oppressive, surely he must have been drowning in sweat under that heavy coat. It looked like the kind of thing you’d break out for the middle of winter.

Around a quarter to 5, we began to pack up, ready for closing. I nudged my workmate. “Hey, Sal. Is he yours?”

Sal gave him a cursory glance and then, a double-take. “How is he not dying in that coat?”

“I dunno. Is he yours, then?”

“No way. My folks are nutty, but not that nutty.” She shot him another look. “Is he… is he carrying something under that?”

A cold feeling hit me. “What, like a… like a weapon?”

“Jesus. I hope not. Didn’t he come in around lunch?”

“I don’t know! Jesus Christ! I had my eye on the coffee! I think I noticed him around 2?”

“Ok. Ok. Ok. We just… we can do this. We just make sure that one of us is always close to the panic button. We can alternate!”

“Are you kidding me? What if he takes one of us hostage?”

“Ah, shit. You’re right. Uh…” Sal tried to look around surreptitiously, as the man stirred a little.

“You got your phone?” I murmured.

“Oh! Yeah! Good idea. Just keep the police dialled?”

I nodded. I already had my hand curled around my phone, tucked secretly into my apron. Admittedly, it wasn’t the police I had keyed in, but this guy would do the job regardless. “I’ll take the front. You do behind the counter, ok?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. Just keep your phone ready in case I shout, ok?”

“Shit! Ok.”

I edged out, the collar of my shirt brushing against the raised hairs on the back of my neck, broom in hand, spray bottle and cloth hanging off my belt. It was better that I go out front. It wasn’t like this guy could kill me, exactly – just cause a mess and maybe force me to have to start again. I didn’t want to start again. Starting again was all kinds of awful.

The man didn’t stir. The gentle swish of the broom felt as ponderous as the grind of a heavy door in the silence. Each spray of the disinfectant could have been the spitting and hissing of a cat. You could almost feel time unspooling.

I bit my lip nervously. He was… he was too still. Like a snake, lying in wait. I finished wiping the last table and, in a wash of relief, headed back to the relative safety of the counter, slipping my hand into my apron to delete the number. He wouldn’t appreciate a needless call.

“You ain’t gonna wipe this one down?”

My stomach dropped. I knew that voice. Oh, God, no.

Sal must have been in the back room. So much for that phone call, I thought. I pushed the call button on my phone.

“What do you want?” I asked, querulously. My voice quivers like a child in a rainstorm.

At last, he looked up. The hunter smiled. “Oh, I think you know.”

My breath is quick and shallow. I can’t get enough air. “Why?”

“You’d be amazed at what they sell for.”

“Go fuck yourself.” I meant it to sound bad-ass, but I can barely get the words out.

He chuckled breathily. “Once pay-day comes, believe me – I might just do that. I could fuckin’ kiss myself. You know how long I’ve been looking for you?”

I shook my head. Oh, please, God. Please let him get here soon.

His grin was mostly snarl. “Five goddamn years. Five fuckin’ years.” He knocked back the last of a coffee. “I gotta admit – you make pretty good coffee. Better that I expected from a Starbucks.”

“Thanks…?”

“Oh, my pleasure.” He slowly unfolded himself from the chair. “My absolute pleasure.”

Jesus H. Christ. He’s a giant. I can feel the sob starting at the back of my throat. Please, please, please let him be here already.

He loomed above me, too close. “How much do you think an elf's heart goes for on the market?” he asked, his voice soft and dangerous. "Go on. Guess."
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