It was a crisp and dry night; the tires of the heavy car ate the road in one continuous swoosh. The whispering wind seeping through the partially open window systematically pulled, shaped and destroyed the curling smoke of the cigarette hanging from the mouth of the driver. He was miles away, deep in the dark caverns of his distracted thoughts. His passenger, a beautiful young woman with thick perfect hair looked out the window and wondered for a moment if this was how the future would be for her; an endless ride through silent streets headed for nowhere in particular.
They stopped for food at a 24 hour Mickey Dees, finding the perfect parking lot right alongside the retro-built restaurant. Scores of other cars parked alongside the out roads suggested a quick-jump-in-dash-out attitude of midnight eaters.
She wanted the chocolate sundae, and the man just wanted coffee. She needed energy and he needed the bitterness. The found a booth and settled down. All around them sat seasoned night crawlers already waist deep in the business of existing murmuring to each other and peering into screens as their fingers tittered over the lighted keyboards and keypads. Did they just walk into an aquarium of future people taking a breather from the high speed pace of conveyor-belt life? She wondered.
A small commotion from the kitchen behind the counter made the man turn around. One of the workers was backed up against the coffee machine as three of his co-workers cornered him, trespassing his personal space. One of them had a finger brought up against the terrified worker’s face. It wasn’t speech which the man heard from where he sat, it was noise; deep guttural sounds interspaced with vicious hissing. Two of the co-workers grabbed the frightened waiter and pulled him to the back of the kitchen.
“Did you see that?” the girl asked her man.
The man just nodded, focusing on the other workers behind the counter. One of them, he noticed, was wiping his mouth with the back of his hand leaving a streak of what looked like blood.
“What happened?” she asked. The man shrugged, he gave the counter staff one last look and turned around.
“Finish your ice cream and lets go,” he said.
“You haven’t finished your coffee,” she said.
He frowned at her.
“Why?” she asked. He waited until she finished her sundae, then gulped down his coffee and stood up. The girl had wanted to stay on, as the 3 hours drive had made her sleepy and she had a thing against sleeping in moving cars. The Mickey Dees stop was to revive her mind and prepare her for the remaining drive.
“We have to leave now,” he said. The other people at the restaurant seemed oblivious; bent over their own personal thing. As the man was about to leave his booth he heard a shout from the counter, this was followed by scuffling as the previously cornered waiter was trying to jump over the counter, but failing as his co-workers grabbed him before both his legs could swing over. They pulled him down to the floor and started to kick him viciously.
The man stood still a moment, and then grabbed the girl. As they were hurrying towards the door, one of the waiters leapt over the counter and bounded to the door, blocking the man and stopping him from walking out the door.
The waiter shook his head, and snarled. The man saw what he was expecting to see, two rows of sharp teeth inside the mouth of the waiter. The girl screamed. The man reached into the side pocket of his cargo pants and whipped out a foot long extendable metal stick and swiped the waiter’s face with it in one deft move. He quickly inserted it back into his side pocket and shoved the badly bleeding waiter out of his way. He pushed the door open and pulled the girl. There were shouts behind him and the distinct sound of hurried footfalls behind him. His objective was clear and direct: get into the car, lock the doors and get the hell out of there.
News of the massacre reached global trending for both Twitter and Facebook several hours later. Witnesses accounts were varied and too broken to resemble actual reporting that made sense. Key words kept emerging; dark figure with long hair and sharp claws attacking the midnight Mickey Dees crew and some customers, and the blood, lots of it covering up almost half the floor space of the restaurant. That was the mystery there, as there was no body to suggest someone was actually killed or died from the loss of such a lot of blood.
The man released a long sigh. He was tired. The girl beside him, despite her thoughts on the matter, was fast asleep. Her beautiful face framed by her beautiful hair as it shifted and changed with the temperaments of the night wind coming in through the window. The thin single streak of blood running down the side of her mouth was the only indication of what she was. The man stepped on the accelerator and pushed on ahead into the night. Feeding time was for another 8 hours. And he was getting hungry himself.