• The Tip

    The stranger entered covered in rain. He was wearing a black coat that made the rain look like he was wearing pieces of the night itself, and as he walked over to the bar he looked like a monster straight out of the worst horror story in the deepest part of the library. He had a beard that rivaled that of the mountain men’s long, wild beards that had long been forgotten in the course of time.
    But like the good waiter I was I plucked up some courage and walked over to him and took his order, my hands betraying my fear and shaking as if I was handling a block of ice instead of a warm pot of coffee. When I had finally gotten his food to him and he was eating I still had to do my best to not shake and eventually found myself in the kitchen crossing my arms over my chest and holding myself as if my shaking would eventually cause me to fall apart. The time until he got finished eating seemed like it was centuries, instead of the fifteen minutes it really was, and between checking on him to give him more drinks, which was as hard a task as moving a mountain, I was anxiously watching the clock tick by, each second seeming to echo in my brain like in a never-ending abyss, and finally he finished eating and I knew I had to go and finish waiting the table. As I put the check on the table he didn’t even look at it and he put some bills on the table. He started to walk out , suddenly, he turned around gave me a wink and said , in the roughest voice I had ever heard, “Thanks son”.
    At those words my heart felt like it was hammering its way out of my chest, and as the door closed I was suddenly so relieved that I nearly dropped to the floor. I instead looked at the bills, my jaw dropped and my stomach felt like it had been stabbed with a hot knife, for the bills were four crisp hundred dollar bills. My boss made no comment and he picked them up and said “Chris your in no condition to work, I’ll put these in your locker, go home and get some sleep”.
    Driving home I felt so horrible that I’m surprised I didn’t get pulled over.
    When I got home I turned on the TV and laid down. I was half asleep when a picture on the news hit me. The story was about a man named Nathan Atrocitas who had escaped from a maximum security prison in California and drove through Nevada killing random people in their homes and robbing businesses. The picture of the man matched the look of the person who had left the bills. The news disturbed me so much that I almost immediately shut it off and found myself uttering “No,no,no,no,no…”
    I got up and ran to lock my doors and I saw his face, smiling like a madman, looking through the window and holding the hundred-dollar bills with “You forgot your tip” written on them. I didn’t even have time to react before I passed out from the pure fear.
    When I woke up it was early in the morning. “You were just scared,” I told myself and eventually assured myself that it was all in my head and I was seeing things, I mean how could he know where I live? I looked at the clock and decided I would go to work early.
    When I arrived to work everything seemed normal but the place seemed empty. I went to wash my hands and I splashed some water on my face to help wake me up. When I looked in the mirror I jumped back because it looked like a message was carved into the mirror, the message said ,”YOU FORGOT YOUR TIP!’’ I screamed “NO!” and crushed the mirror with my fist, the shattered glass cascaded off the mirror like a deadly waterfall of fragments, luckily I didn’t cut myself , I ran to the front to get the broom and I stopped and saw a person at the bar reading the newspaper.
    I grabbed the coffee pot and went to give him a cup when I nearly jumped back seeing that on the front of the newspaper there was a picture of the killer, Nathan, on the front.
    The man put down his newspaper and in that moment I knew I should’ve ran, but all common sense left me as I dropped the coffee pot, its fall breaking the silence and spraying my with hot coffee, and saw his evil face and the butchers’ knife that I can now see he is holding in his hand. He got up and said to me” You forgot your tip.”
    The End