The Night Shift

Before it all had happened, I enjoyed the night shift: there weren’t that many customers, I earned more pay, and I got home just in time to watch American Horror Story: Asylum. I mean, I did have to perform extra but simple work such as cleaning all of the roasters and espresso machines, sweeping the work area, and most dismal of all, closing the store. Closing the store involved me arming the alarm system near the dishwasher, turning off the lights, locking the back and front doors. These were the standard procedures of closure. But, on a chilly Januarian night, someone added to the routine.

Everything was normal as I entered the City Beans Roasting Co., a thriving and eclectic coffee shop that took the place of an old fire station. The fire station was remodeled into a posh extension of apartments for the complex next to it. The coffee shop took the place of the old front lobby. Every day was pretty much the same: customers came for our coffee, and the coffee satisfied our customers. As I quietly burst through the double-doors, I greeted Cara and Michael, my goofball coworkers. After I had donned my apron, I shared a satirical story that I had found on Buzzfeed about a barista worker who campaigned to remove peanut allergy warning labels from products in every restaurant. How crazy is that?

Around six, a young man who looked around my age entered the shop, clad in brown corduroy pants, a gray cotton shirt, a mahogany leather jacket. He had a good sense of style with these features. Topping off the collar of the leather jacket was a black scarf that wrapped around his neck. When he approached the counter, I thought he was staring at me, but he was staring at the menu board behind me. “Hmmm, I’ll take a grande iced coffee with cream and sugar,” he said. I nodded and wrote his order on the square markings of a grande-sized cup. After this, I punched in his order into the computer and asked him, “Would you like anything else?” looking at his hand in the process. Partially hidden by his jacket, his wrist had a device that looked similar to a FitBit. At that moment, I yelled at myself for forgetting to put mine on. After the man took his order, he sat at the bar, checking his phone for updates.

At 9 o’clock, everyone had already left, and I did all of the usual closing procedures. I shruggingly stepped outside into the snowy weather, digging into my pocket for the keys. I quickly turned the deadbolt and walked towards my car. In the distance of the parking lot, I could see the silhouette of a body inside a sedan. Because the window was opened, the wind caused a piece of cloth to lift perpendicular from the silhouette’s neck. The snow chilled my veins, but my veins were chilled by this discovery.


One thought on “The Night Shift

  1. I looooove the underlying suspicion beneath your plot and story. The chiasmus as the end was also very nice. The leisure tone with mysteriously tedious details built suspense, and the unfitting aggressive verbs (i.e. yelling at yourself) seemed to foreshadow. I enjoyed reading it, in all honesty. I felt like I was shaking from suspicion.


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