This story is by Zoe Garcia and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
The blaring sound of my alarm goes off in my left ear, telling me that I need to get ready to head to a blank gray cubicle where typing is the only activity. Sluggishly I pulled myself out of bed and into the bathroom. I dressed myself in semi-formal attire then headed to the cramped kitchen to make myself a quick breakfast and my first cup of coffee. Once I finished I put on my shoes, my watch, grabbed my bag and left the drab apartment. I headed directly towards the coffee shop that’s on my way to work for another cup of coffee.
I opened the glass door and stand at the back of the line. I glanced around the uneventful little shop as the barista takes his time making the “tall, half-whole milk, one quarter two percent, one quarter nonfat extra hot, split quad shots, one one-half shots decaf, two one-half shots regular, no whip foam latte, a touch of vanilla syrup and three short sprinkles of cinnamon” that the person ahead ordered. The shop was filled with people but one person in particular sat by the window by themselves. They had their gray hood pulled up over their head and their dark green jacket bundled up around them.
I continued to stare at the stranger. The hood covered their face completely and a small cup of plain black coffee sat on the table in front of them untouched. I quickly glanced back to the front of the line to see the same person with the complex order yelling at the barista. When I glanced back to the stranger my eyes widened substantially, the creature had pulled down its hood. It had eight eyes like a spider and a long split tongue that licked at the coffee cup, it’s skin glowed with a blue hue.
I blinked and rubbed my eyes then gawked at the people around that did not seem to notice the strange thing sitting by the window. It did not seem to find much interest in the coffee itself but in the cup. I looked back towards the barista to find that I was next in line,the creature continued to push around the coffee cup while I ordered something with a double shot of espresso. Suddenly it stood up and made its way towards me.
When I sat down at my desk, I glanced up at my computer screen then down at my coffee and chuckled recalling how my heart had started to pound when the creature had tapped my shoulder and then hissed and gurgled. My eyes had widened in fear and sweat had began to slide down my temple the thing had only looked confused, it pointed to my watch with its head cocked to the side.
“It’s 8:40.” The creature had nodded in gratitude and then left. Perhaps I had overreacted.