“You’re a fool,” she shakes her head. “Even you can’t stop what’s to come.”
The way it was said sent a shiver down Tony’s spine. This is not the answer he expected when he asked the tiny old lady:
“Welcome to Starbucks, what can I get you today?” Tony wondered if it was his smile, he had a tendency to attract the crazier bunch. ‘Maybe next time I’ll stick to the standard, may I take your order.’ he thought. ‘Hey stop staring with that stare that says ‘biiiiiiiiiiiiiiish what? say something.’
“Oh, I’m sorry ma’am were out of soy milk but almond milk is a great alternative.” Tony replied.
“Oh that’s alright then, I’ll just take a white chocolate mocha.”
“And what was the name for that?”
“Susan. with two O’s”
“Alright,” Tony wrote on the cup and gave it to his coworker Jill, “that’ll be $3.53”
The frail woman handed out a five dollar bill. Tony rang it up and gave back the exact change… with a few extra cents. The lady was clearly off her medication or something. Tony thought it’d be nice to give her a little extra so she didn’t curse or stab him on his way out. Jill had finally made the white chocolate mocha and read the name on the cup.
“Suhh- ooo – zan…” She called, confused by the spelling, as she looked at the cup again she confirmation that she was not having a stroke and that the name was in fact spelled: Soozan. She called out again with more confidence, “Susan.” The old woman got her coffee from the end of the bar, gave Jill a smile, and left to watch pigeons by the fountain outside. Tony turned to Jill with a frightened expression.
“That was scary. If she stays there all night we might have to leave out the back.” Tony said.
“What are you talking about?” Jill asked.
“I think she’s off her meds, she said some really weird shit to me like…” Tony stopped because another customer entered the previously empty line.
Word count:344 in 15 minutes
“Welcome to Starbucks, may I take your order?” Tony asked the business man.
“You’ll never win. You can’t win. Give up now. He will rip your very atoms to shreds.” The man told him.
“Sir, we don’t have that, it’s not on our menu. May I recommend a Nitro Cold Brew? It’s great on a hot day like today.”
“Uh, sure I’ll go with that.”
“That’ll be $4.34 and a name to go with that?”
“It’ll be readdy at the end of the counter.” Tony handed off the markered cup to Jill, who’s face was bewildered by what just happened.
Jill filled the order called Jerome’s name and gave him the cold brew. “Delcious” he said as he sipped through the straw on his way out, toting his briefcase like it had a miniature schnauzer in it. Tony stood at the register still looking forward waiting for the man ‘Jerome’ to be out of sight. His fingers tapping furiously against the countertop. When Tony could no longer see the strange professional he turned to Jill.
“I have to get out of here before another crazy shows up.” Tony told her.
“You know, usually you’re pretty dramatic and tend to over exaggerate things but I think you’re right. They’re some weirdos out to get you.” Jill conceded.
“Thanks for understanding!” Tony ripped off his apron nearly tearing out his ear rings with it. He ran for the kitchen door as if the chase had already began. Tony didn’t stop moving and grabbed his bag while speed walking through the kitchen to the back door. Hector, the sandwich maker and dishwasher saw the blur and was confused, his music kept him from hearing the whole ordeal, he was left seeing the back door close violently.
Tony sped through the dark alley way trying to get to the street and the normal folk as quick as possible. A shoadow of a figure was in the midway of the strip. As Tony drew closer he saw that it was just a homeless man. Once Tony was visible though, the man stood up. A sharp glare fell upon the fleeing barista.
“You can’t beat him Diffuser! Once he gets his hands on you, you’re dust! Hahaha!” the homeless man laughed maniacally.
“Here’s $2 in quarters, now leave me alone!” Tony shouted, throwing the money at the vagrant’s chest.
The beggar caught all of the coins before they fell, he glanced at Tony with confusion as he passed by but then shrugged his shoulders and sat back down. The man was too tired and hungry to chase Tony, and he had just gotten $2 in quarters, enough for two slices of pizza. Tony almost made it to the end of the alley, he could see the light of civilation at the end of the tunnel, but a blood curdling chill went up his spine, making his asshole pucker and stopping him in his place.
“Diffuser! Finally we meet!” A disembodied voice echoed.
“Who’s there?” Tony’s words barfed.
“It is I, Nyarlathotep! Crawling Chaos! God of a Thousand Forms! Stalker Among Stars! Black Pharaoh! Messenger of the Outer Go…”
“Eew! A talking cockroach!” Tony shrieked stomping on Nyarlathotep in his current incarnation.
The bug was definitely dead but Tony stomped more than a few more times just to make sure. Then scraped the bug corpse off his shoe with assistance from the corner of a dumpster. The homeless man snuck up on Tony and patted him on the shoulder. It made Tony jump and think he was about to be revenge murdered by one of the fanatics.
“You did it kid! you freed us all from his mindcontrol. Can I have 35 more cents so I can catch the train?” The homeless man said.
“That’s great and all but I’m still gonna go home. Bye.” Tony said leaving the man in the alley.
“What about that 35 cents?”
“I gave you all my change!” Tony shouted from the street.
“Asshole!” the bum shouted before sitting back down and taking a well deserved nap. Being mind controlled by an outer god sure does take it out of you. Tony spent the rest of the day, lying, curled up in bed. He didn’t answer any phone calls even from Jill. Eventually, he got over it and wondered about a career in hostage negotiations.