Nicole stared at him. He looked lost. The gaze was a million miles away but directly into the swirly vapor of steam arising from the black, fairly bitter smelling juice that had been poured into the typical white mug. The mug was a completely blank slate, nothing to give it identity besides its’ single purpose of holding hot liquids. Replaceable in an instant by its’ owners but showed up to work every day, never complained, did its’ job with pride daily… and yet would lose its’ job in an instant if another mug came about with a little pizazz on the outside. The job of holding hot liquids would be done no better than before than before, but wrapped with a quirky slogan, an unorthodox handle, or even with a different color than “white” would push this mug out the door to make room for the more “woke” mug.
“ED! WAKE UP!”
She couldn’t get through to him. Lost in thought, in a prison of his own mind, he couldn’t hear her. It was like he had fallen asleep but his eyes were still cognizant of what was happening. He was gazing, but his eyes were very subtly vibrating. She knew he loved coffee and without it, could certainly become victim and trapped within the walls of his own mind, drift into deep thought or the lack thereof, but usually after a couple sips he would become more lively or at least aggressively push onto her his opinion of the coffee… whether he felt it was a shotty product of a bean or just operator error, as she would sit there and politely listen to his passionate ramblings about coffee.
Frustrated, annoyed, and ultimately just concerned about his lack of responsiveness, she lifted her canvas covered steel tipped boot off the grungy cafe’s ground with an audible peeling noise and slammed it into the inside of his shin, right in the sensitive spot that feels like it’s been mortally wounded every time it’s impacted and the nerves were ripe like summer tomatoes. She had been sitting perpendicular to him, not directly across, as it’s the best seating arrangement for conversation. They had known each other forever, but there wasn’t any pressure to make eye contact during chitchat, they could focus on their thoughts as they conversed… or as they didn’t in this case. There was an odd sense of satisfaction when she planted the stiff part of her boot into the soft part of his shin, like the sensation of a baseball bat connecting on that perfect hit, sending the ball miles away… except the ball was more alive since it was his shin and all.
His eyes widened as if he never had eyelids to begin with. The pain hadn’t even hit his nerve center yet but he could feel it traveling through his body, just like when a stubbed toe doesn’t hurt for a moment. The vibrations crawled up his leg, through his hip, and all the way until the shock zapped him back to life.
“WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK?” exclaimed the man who you’d think got shot in the shin.. “WHY in the hell did you kick my shin the the toes of your boot? Was it necessary? I was actually trying to concentrate on something!” he started to trail off again. His eyes started to drift back into the abyss of his coffee cup, his coffee still steaming up out of the mug but less than a moment ago, starting to cool to a drinkable temperature.
These mother fuckers. This cunty little fruit fly that won’t let me drink my coffee. This manipulative seductress of a waitress. Those babbling little midgets parading as children. And the GOATS. ENOUGH FUCKING GOATS. I just wanted a calm getaway with some reflection and these dumb cunts try to trap me in this mental prison. Halloween is over and these demonic fucks are spoiling not just MY good time, but subsequently Nicole’s too. She’s a goddamned saint and deserves to be treated as such. I love that girl with every ounce of my being and these shit eating cocks are ruining mine aaaaaaaand HER vacation.
He was becoming visibly red, comically red. Nicole could see the gears inside his head turning. She could see the emotional shift happen in real time. For a moment she wondered if he was even breathing. Any look of sadness had dissolved and left the building. Instead, just like when things get hot, he was turning shades of rage.
I’m going to bring death to all of you.
Time slowed down again, but this time he was on the outside. Ed’s hand moved at the speed of lightning. While a moment ago it had been clenched and resting on his lap, within an instant he whipped it over the edge of the table as soon as he saw the tiny fly landed. He turned his hand over with anticipation and the expectation of seeing his victim. It looked like when you lean your hand on some cheap crumbled mascara. There was what looked like black soot across his palm close to the thumb. A big satisfactory smile came across his face.
You dumb bitch. Taking your life brought me great joy this morning. You’re now one less problem that will haunt me. I can sip from my coffee without having to drop my dollar store mug in fears that I’m going to snort your tiny ass up my nostril and choke on my happy juice. I want to kill your entire family. Your sisters. Your brothers. Your parents. Your children. Your husband or wife. Dead. . I’m going to burn their home to the ground, I’m going to trap some in a cup and watch them suffocate to the end, I’m going to play with myself as I watch them take their last breath. I might even defecate on them. No. No. Probably not… BUT I MIGHT.
….Holy fuck has this gotten dark. Unfortunately, this force can only be met with a much greater force. Fight fire with a bonfire? Go tit for double d titties? Blow for blowjob? If it’s going to be me or them… it’s going to be them.
It all played out like a scene from an action movie. The ambiance and background noise was vacant, time slowed to that of a quarter of the speed we usually perceive it at, and a cool kickass song that has no copyright bearing played over the entire scene. The song started slow with Ed sitting at the table staring at the black smudge on his palm. Little by little, the rhythm sped up nearing closer to the beat-drop as he continued to stare at his right hand while it slowly clenched into a fist. Suddenly, the music drops to that of a whisper while his gaze slowly comes upwards back to all the enemies that haunted him.
Happening in an instant, the beat finally dropped and a heavy metal song started to play over the action that ensued. Ed made an unintelligible shout as he kicked the table from the stem sliding it into the long legs of the “waitress.” The shouting noise that he made was somewhere between a battle shout, a growl, and a cough… it always seemed so much cooler in the movies with the badass protagonist kicking off a fight scene with that noise, but unfortunately it wasn’t as cool this time around. Thankfully, we had that music playing over it so we never really got to hear it.
The evil waitress buckled over the table with her hips and legs sliding back while her face left an imprint on the recently set out napkins. He shifted his focus over to the wee man who was wobbling over towards him with his own knife in hand, pulled back as if he was going to stab in a lunging, linear motion. Ed, again, saw it all in slow motion. Instincts kicked in and while sidestepping the lunging beach ball of a man, he grabbed the hair and quickly brought his knee straight up to meet the jaw… repeatedly. With two more approaching in a similar manner from both sides (imagine – lieutenants of the midget army… the evil midget army), he dropped his foot quickly, replanted, and shot to his right side kicking his heel and blade of the Vibram-soled foot sideways through one’s face, looked over his shoulder, calculated, then gave the next approaching fun-sized villain the same kick but with the added momentum of a spin. It was like watching a Bruce Lee film but he was fucking up females and midgets. EVIL females and midgets.
Sideways pupils. Staring directly at him. Before he could be pulled back into it’s evil stare, he marched over to the tincan chewing demon, took a skipping step, and met the slack-jawed animal with the laces of his shoe, like how you would dropkick a soccer ball. Blood poured from the mouth and the servant of Satan dropped to the floor, most certainly biting off its’ tongue and fracturing the neck upon impact of the floor.
One left. The waitress had stood back up and regained her bearings. Nicole had used the balls of her feet to shimmy her chair backwards into a safe space on the wall, not entirely free of the commotion but definitely out of the way. With the fun music playing over everything, it wasn’t possible to hear the nails-on-a-chalkboard-esque scraping noise her chair was making. Her mouth was agape and her eyes showed a mixed emotion of shock and “go get’em.”
Lasers might as well have been coming out of his eyes. He was locked onto the seductive, black haired, dressed-as-a-witch, witch. She was trembling in fear knowing that she wasn’t making it out of this. Regret shot through her mind like lightning. I should have let this one be.
Grabbed by the hair and dragged down to the ground. There was struggle, but she had always relied on her mental abilities to subdue her prey that she was out of her element. Without taking his focus off of the demon that had tried to prey on him this fateful day, he reached behind him to another table that had been set this morning. Patting around the table from side to side, looking for something without the use of his eyes.
The music was coming to an end, as was the scuffle. He knew how he was going to end her and he wished that he was more witty so he could have dropped one of those cool one-liners you’d hear out of a Die Hard movie. He noticeably shrugged as this dialogue played out in his head. Oh well.
The knife plunged into the side of the abdomen. Her empty evil eyes looked upwards into the great beyond and her jaw dropped like she was trying to breathe air that wasn’t there. He pulled forcefully, but slowly across her stomach, making sure that she felt all the pain that she had caused to others for an unknown amount of time. As he reached the other side, drawing a long red line across her belly like gutting a fish, her last breath released like air from an sliced car tire.
It was over.
He got up, pulled the table back to where it was, pulled Nicole back to where she was, kissed her on the top of the head, looked at her eyes with a genuine and relieved smile, walked over to the kitchen and poured himself a fresh cup of coffee as his other one was spilled over the floor, sat back down at the table, and sipped it smacking his tongue satisfactorily against the roof of his mouth.
“Aaaaah.” His smile widened and he shifted his gaze to out the window, staring at the beautiful mountains across the landscape. Nicole stared at him trying to unpack and digest all that just happened with a big “What the fuck” look in her eyes.
“What do you want to do after brunch?”