Prompt: You’re a horror movie victim who has been avoiding death by telling the monster that you’re “busy” and that you “have plans”. Today, the monster confronts you at lunch, determined to schedule a convenient murder date.
As I sat out on the patio of Marco’s Eats, the warm, summer breeze wafting over me, I read the newspaper and ate my chicken salad. My cell phone rang and, putting down the paper, I picked it up and saw it was the same dumb, annoying person from before. I put down my phone, and picked up the paper again.
I went to take a bite of my salad when someone sat in the chair across from me. He was more of a thing than a person, and his deep-seated, dark green eyes gleamed underneath the sunlight. He looked normal out in the open, but I knew when night fell and he lurked around the street corners, as he had so many times in the past, his true, ugly form would come out.
“You’ve been dodging my calls,” he said, flatly.
“Well I’ve been busy. I have a life, you know.”
“You’re avoiding the problem here, and you know it.”
“I’m sorry,” I said sarcastically, “but I don’t think not wanting to die is a problem.”
“It’s a problem to me, and you know that. Every other person let it happen quickly, but you… God, you’ve been the worst. You’ve managed to avoid it once, then twice, then a third time, and now miraculously your schedule is too full.”
The waiter came over, and the thing across the table asked for a black coffee and a chicken sandwich, on wheat bread.
“I have a job and friends—”
“Bullshit. You don’t have any friends. I know because I killed them all!”
“Well I still have a job and an apartment to clean and…”
“Look, I get it, I really do. When I died, it was the worst. It was in the 1600s, I was burnt at the stake for being a heretic. Have you ever been burned alive? No? That’s what I thought. Your pain will be not even a quarter of that. I like to do things quick and easy, no mess, no fuss, just in and out and it’s all done.”
“How did you come back?” I said, trying to change the subject.
His food was placed before him, and he thanked the waiter with a nod. After he took a bite of his sandwich, he said, “Worshippers. Apparently I was an important person to them for God only knows. They raised my corpse out from the swamp I was tossed in afterwards. They were nice people, the worshippers. They gave me clothes, food, allowed me to feast on their newborns to regain my strength and flesh and… Wait, we’re not talking about me! We’re talking about you!
“Now, when are you available?”
“Uh… I don’t know,” I muttered, picking up my cell phone and going through the calendar application. All the days were empty, but I kept on swiping. “I’m packed for weeks and weeks. Is the winter good for you?”
“No, I’ll be in Alaska then. There’s some truckers who scheduled their dates while they’re working.”
“What about spring?”
“No, can’t do it; way too many stoners scheduled for that day. They thought it was a joke when they agreed, but they’ll find my work isn’t a joke.”
I grumbled. This was annoying. “What about May 5th?”
He leaned back in his chair and looked up at the sky, closing his eyes and humming. “Yes, that should be fine. May 5th. Any time in particular? Are you a morning person or a night owl?”
“Might as well be night, so at least I got my whole day to myself.”
Nodding, he sat forward and finished his sandwich, then downed the rest of his coffee. “Good, good. So, then I will see you on May 5th.”
“I guess we will…”
“Goodbye,” he said, throwing a ten dollar bill onto the table, then left the restaurant and disappeared in the crowd of the people moving up the sidewalk.
“Jesus Christ,” I whispered, the reality of the situation just hitting me. “I just signed my own death warrant.”
Read my previous prompt, “The Trapped Dragon and the Knight.”
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