The Co-Worker

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about secret. Everyone has them and when they are ripped open in front of people that are unaware, their lives are changed forever.

Submitted: December 17, 2018

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Submitted: December 17, 2018

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Karen Blithe stood behind the cash register at another night at the corporate business in the Midwest. She got her nails done this morning when she waited for the paint to dry on her nails. Now she stood as she hears the co-worker that is tending to the grille in the room behind her when she sighed, trying to remember his name.

What is his name? What is his name? What is his goddamn name? She couldn’t think of his name when she shifted on her feet as she looked behind her at the man that is cleaning the grille that he shut off moments before. The man is odd, quite odd when he went out the back door of the place to catch a smoke when he stood in front of the picnic table that is twenty feet away from the door. He has a beard around his mouth that points at the chin and his had long hair that is in a ponytail when he stood there in the night, looking at the fence line that is past the parking lot when he stood there in silence. The man did not talk much when she came out from time to time to throw the garbage away in the trash, wiping the crud off of her khaki pants when she walked up to the man that is catching a smoke in the night breeze.

“Evening, Karen.” The man clocked his eyes at the fence line when he smoked and smoked.

“Evening,” She couldn’t remember his name when she considered walking back into the restaurant and stopped. She patted her hand on her thigh when she came back out.

“Do you have a car fuse that I can get from you, a fifteen volt?” Karen asked the man when the man looked at her before looking back at the fence line.

“I don’t think I do.” The man replied when Karen looked at him before walking back into the restaurant with her mind thinking about the man. He is much fun as a man at a wake. She went back inside when she didn’t know that there is a person waiting at the cash register with brass rings on his fingers and meanness about him for a man that does not wait for no one. Karen greeted the man when the man nodded, placing his order.

“That will be $9.81.” Karen smiled her false smile when he handed her the money and she opened the cash register, giving him the change when she retreated back through the grille to get the man that is still smoking at the back of the restaurant.

“Order,” Karen spoke through the open door when the man crushed his cigarette on the bottom of his shoe and came back inside to fire up the grille as fast as he can.

He waited for the drunks to come in. He waited. Karen however is too young to understand when he kept these matters to himself. He is hungry and he needed to step out for a while when he started to get a headache from the fumes of food that is whiffing up to him. He fought it for a while when another customer came in, then another customer came in, followed by another. He worked for an hour when it got quiet again, feeling the shakes in his hands when he looked at the backside of Karen when he shook his head, walking towards the back of the restaurant when he thought about walking off the property to get this done.

He stopped and placed a cigarette in his mouth and started to smoke, not helping his need to feed much. Karen came out of the restaurant with that headset on when the man looked at Karen and then looked at the fence line again when he licked his lips to the sight of her that came from the back of the restaurant.

“Quite a night,” Karen spoke when she pulled her own cigarette out of her pocket and lit up.

“Sure is.”

“Did not catch a break until now,” Karen said when she lit her cigarette up when the man felt the pain in his stomach, not doubling over when he had to keep this at bay for a few more minutes. He just had to.

“Did you see the game, the Packers and the Bears?” Karen asked the man when the man did not make any eye contact. He shook his head when he put the cigarette back into his mouth again.

“I did. I like watching football any chance I get. I don’t like the national league too much. I’m more of a college-pro watcher.” Karen smoked her cigarette some when she looked at the man and then looked at the cracks of the parking lot.

“I have not worked for you too much and I cannot pin your name on my memory.” Karen asked when the man smiled weakly before looking at her. There is something in the man’s eyes that she saw when it glowed before she looked back at the fence line with her mind being a little uncomfortable at the sight of it. What she saw is his eyes that are glowing red like little coals. She felt very uncomfortable at the sight of his eyes.

“My name is Gerald.” He said when he didn’t make any eye contact with her when she brightened up on the feel of the lie with her back straightening up.

“Well, back to it.” She smiled when Gerald only kept looking at the tree line like there was nothing going on but the talk between two co-workers. She sauntered back to the cash register and looked at the empty seats that are all around the restaurant when it was only 10:30 at night on a Tuesday. Why are they open that long? She didn’t know when she grabbed her phone and went on the web to look at some good deals that are on her shopping apps.

She heard the door open and close when she looked up at the man in the flannel jacket and the bland but warm green shirt. The man looks a little unhinged when the man looked at her and then looked at the menu that is over her head. He smiled when he flinched for no apparent reason. Karen saw this and then thought in silent wonder in her head.

Looks like another dope head to me. Karen thought when she tried not to shy in anger to the guy that keeps flinching, looking at the menu when he looked at her and then looked at the menu with some sort of giddy laughter that came up from his throat.

“I like a hamburger, a cherry pie, and all the money that is in the cash register!” He pulled at small .38 from his pocket and cocked the hammer back when Karen flinched at the sight of the gun that is pointing at her head.

“Open the cash register, now!” The man laughed when Karen knew that he had no teeth. Karen hurried up and opened the cash register when the man started to jump on his feet with a pride of like a kid getting his favorite ice cream after dinner.

“Give me the money, give me the money, and give me the money!” The man spoke over and over again when Karen gave him the till with all the cash and checks inside of them. He grabbed the till and ran out the restaurant, smiling a loony smile when he started to run into the night with the gun still in his hand.

He didn’t realize that he was being followed when he kept running and running until something fell from a tree branch behind him. The thief turned when he is approached by a man that is a tad taller than him when the man leveled the gun in his chest.

“Who in the hell are you?” The thief asked.

“I am your end, thief; for I am a thief as well.” Gerald smiled when the man shot a bullet that went through his body when Gerald still kept coming with no contortion of pain on his face. Blood poured down his work shirt when Gerald smiled as he came nearer and nearer.

“A kiss is all I can do for you now.”  Gerald smiled as he rendered his fangs. The thief shot again, hitting him in the center of his head as the blood poured down Gerald’s face.

Gerald still did his namesake as the thief felt the piercing notion of pain on his neck that soothed into something as a hug with a long lost friend that the thief has not seen in years. The blood poured down from the both of them as the till from the restaurant fell onto the walk path, throwing the money up into the air as the wind caught it and danced with it as the money danced into the night of some unforeseen future.

Karen is on her cell phone, talking to the cops about the robbery that just happened. She wondered where in the hell Gerald is when she looked at the backdoor and then looked at the front door that she had just locked moments before.

“He is a white male, about five foot; eight inches and he looks to be about in his mid-thirties. He had a gun and threatened me with it. I was afraid. He might still be outside the restaurant.” Karen looked at the locked door and then looked at the backdoor that is still slightly open when she kept her hand on the phone for safety.

“I have someone else here but he is out back. I have to get him in here.” She jogged to the back door and opened it when she is accosted to an image of Gerald that is standing in front of her, looking at her with those dead eyes and blood all over his shirt and face. His pale complexion can be barely seen in the light of the door overhead when Karen almost felt like dropping the phone.

“Uh?” She moaned when Gerald came forward and grabbed the phone out of her hand, bloodying it.

“Yes. I am her co-worker. Yes. We were robbed but the assailant got away.” Gerald still looked at her when he kept talking to the 911 dispatch that is on the other end of the line.

“Okay. Please get here soon. This man was very scary.” Gerald kept listening on his end before hanging up the phone.

Karen’s mouth became unhinged when she looked at all the blood that is on him and the bullet hole wound that is on his forehead.

“What are you?”

“I’m a vampire. I needed to make some legitimate money before I shove on. My name is not Gerald but a cover to get this job. I kill people and take their money as this job is a cover for what I am.” Gerald didn’t smile when he thumbed towards his car that is sitting in the parking lot.

“I need to get the gallon of water from my car, a fresh work shirt, and a fresh pair of pants.” He said when he didn’t wait for a reply when he did so.

Karen felt like she was going to hit the deck when everything started to whir around her in great gasping circles. He felt her heart getting weak in her chest as she started to feel like she is going to throw up. It almost felt like butterflies when she thought of the man that is pulling out a gallon of water from the back of his trunk, carefully cleaning off the blood as the water poured and poured all over him.

My hero is a creature of myth. My hero is a stalking and killer of the night of ancient being. My hero is a vampire. No one will believe this for as long as I live.

Karen felt like passing out on the cement walkway leading up to the backdoor of the restaurant. Her life is changed from this point onward.

Later that evening, the police officers appeared at the restaurant. Their names are Officer Penrose and Officer Isaac when they showed up at the front door of the restaurant with their guns on their hips and their flashlights in their hands. It is almost midnight on the clock when Karen Blithe came to the door to let them in with sweat appearing on her brow.

“Are you the person that was on the phone?”

“Yes, officer. The man took the till and he had a gun pointed to my head.” She is disgruntled not from that anymore but from something else that is gripping her mind to the point of insanity.

“Okay, miss. We got the description from dispatch. Do you know any specifics about the man’s facial features? Like a tattoo or a scar that is underneath his eye or something?” Officer Isaac is the one speaking for both of the officers in this little visit.

“No but I know that he was on drugs.” Karen tried not to place her hand on her elbow when Gerald came in from the back door, shutting it when Officer Penrose and Office Isaac turned towards that direction with their hands on their guns again.

“Is this your co-worker?” Office Penrose broke silence with his deep voice shaking the walls of the restaurant.

“Yes.” She didn’t want to get anywhere near him. She felt a shiver up her spine when she tried to look at him and did nothing but look at him in the corners of her right eye.

“Sir, did you see anything? She said that you were in the back of the restaurant at the time of the robbery.” Office Penrose said with his pen out, pointing out the scene with his pen dancing in his hand all around it.

He is a vampire. He is a vampire. He is a vampire. Karen spoke over and over again in her head when she felt the wave of almost passing out in her mind.

“No, I didn’t know what was going on.” Gerald is convinced on the truth. For a “person”, he could get an academy award for his acting.

“All I heard is her coming to the back of the restaurant, telling me that we just got robbed.” Gerald looked at her when she felt the tip of a phantom knife up her back. I don’t know what he is thinking when she didn’t want to look at him. She didn’t want to know what he is thinking.

The officers questioned some more and then they asked Gerald about calling the supervisor down while this place will be cordoned off for a criminal investigation. Gerald told the cops that she didn’t know the contact information of the supervisor when Karen pulled out her phone and complied with the cops. In the time that passed, Gerald stood outside the restaurant with Karen, waiting for the supervisor when Karen stood well away from Gerald after seeing what she just witnessed.

If she spoke to anyone about this, they will think that she is crazy.

She felt an itch on her back when Gerald showed up beside her like a shadow from the light coming to life when she tensed up to the feel of his eyes looking at her.

“What a fine night this is.” Gerald didn’t sound disgruntled but satisfied when Karen didn’t do anything but nod her head, hoping that he will go away.

“The night is always cold to me – until I feed.” Gerald murmured the last part when he continued to look at her like something of a loose end that he needs to keep on point until he gets what he is asking.

“Do you know what death is, Karen?” Gerald asked when Karen couldn’t look at him in the eyes.

“It is the absolution of the promise when we were born. We do die in the end. Nothing is eternal. But for me, I might just see the end of the human race.” Gerald looked at the restaurant and then clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth.

“This used to be a tavern in days of old.” He pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and then lit one up.

“Would you like one?”

Karen never smoked a cigarette in her life grabbed it and waited for the light to start the cigarette when she coughed and hacked, hoping for the change to happen when it came just moments later. It is the feeling of wanting to throw up.

“Don’t worry. It will pass.” Gerald knew what she is thinking. They are all mind readers of sorts. Better mind readers when they give them a kiss in the night of many nights that are longer than years can count.

“You might just have a knack for it.” Gerald smiled when Karen felt like she is going to pass out again.

When the supervisor came, they played their cool. Then they were asked to go home and they did. Karen left at ease and then raced home in quite a hurry, almost breaking the key off in her deadbolt lock. She shut the door behind her and threw off her work shoes, crawling into bed that is also in the living room. She didn’t sleep on this night when a razor sharp sound pierced the window in her living room. She didn’t want to look up to see what is there. Not until morning.

The day came and the day is the same, not for Karen though when the day turned over into night when she came back into work again with Gerald manning the grille in the back of the restaurant. Gerald looked up at her when she pushed the till down into the cash register slot, closing it when she didn’t look at him for the longest time when he continued to dance his eyes on her back. Karen felt no peace anymore. Karen felt alone in this new world that is feared in her head.


© Copyright 2019 Adam Steele. All rights reserved.

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