Samantha pulled out a cigarette and lit it, she looked around the parking lot in front of her confused, not knowing too much of where she was. Now walking across the parking lot, looking down at her feet she saw was missing a shoe, running her hand through her hair, feeling it matted up, snagging her hand, her shirt torn and blood dripping from her nose. Her head was pounding, and she had no aspirin to solve the problem. By the time she got halfway across the parking lot she noticed she was limping. She took a drag off her smoke and inhaled. Not more than a half hour ago she was sitting at a table at the Old Spaghetti Factory enjoying dinner on a date with a boy. He was polite and attractive. The night started off good she remembered. It didn’t last long. One moment she was smiling at the boy, the next chaos ensued.

She looked off to her right and saw flashing red and blue lights. Flicking her cigarette she limped with a little more pep in her step. She did not want them stopping her to drill her with a bunch of bullshit questions about what had just took place. They wouldn’t believe her anyways. She isn’t sure she even believes it herself. Damn, not in a thousand years did she ever guess that what happened could happen to anyone, let alone her. You never saw it on her favorite TV show Cops or even Dateline be for that matter. The ones she would watch every night in hopes to gain knowledge on how cops act, maybe it would be of use one day, she thought. No, you only read this shit in fiction. Once she made it to the other side of the parking lot and out of view from the cops, she sat down for a few minutes to rest her leg which was now throbbing with pain and lit up another smoke. Sliding her lighter back into her jeans pocket she saw her hands shaking. Where the hell is a hospital when needed? It didn’t matter anyways she thought to herself, no phone and no other means of calling anyone to pick her up. It was late. Laying herself back onto the grass, smoking her cigarette, trying to remember all the details of the insanity that took place on this cold December night.

She remembered waiting for her date to pick her up. Standing out in the cold, smoking. He was fifteen minutes behind. She was getting hungry and pulled out her phone to call, just as he came around the corner and pulled up next to her. He unlocked the car, and she got in feeling the warmth from the heaters against her ice cold hands. She hated that about herself, hand frail and always cold.

“Sorry I’m late, I got turned around out here. Almost called you.” The boy said turning up the heater noticing her rubbing her hands.

“I thought it might happen. The streets are confusing to those who haven’t driven them. It’s ok. I forgive you.” She said with a smile. “So, where are we going? What fancy feast are you feeding my rumbling stomach tonight?”

“I thought we might go to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Haven’t been in a while and they have great Italian food. Spaghetti just the way mom cooks it at home. If it’s ok with you?”

“Yes, sounds wonderful. I haven’t been. You get the pleasure of the popping that cherry tonight.”

“Hell yeah. Tonight is already starting off the right way.” He said laughing. He sped up a little to get through the yellow light ahead. Then slowed way down, pointing to a cop hiding behind a sign off to his left.

They pulled into the parking lot and parked. They got out and Samantha asked if the boy minded if she had a quick smoke before they headed in. He nodded. Not being a smoker himself but not minding the slightest if those around him did. She smoked it faster than usual not wanting to be too rude. She snuffed it out and walked with the boy inside. There were only two couples ahead of them. The wait was only five minutes. Not bad, she thought. Their menus lay waiting for them and water is on the way, the waiter said.

“So how was your day today?” The boy asked her while flipping through his menu.

“Good. Saw an old friend of mine who I haven’t seen in over two years. She came down for the holidays to visit with her family. She moved away two years ago, a week after I saw her last. Got into a college in Colorado she applied for. It was nice seeing her. But it seemed she had changed. Not the friend I once knew. Strange how that happens. We are close to someone. Know them inside and out. A few years and a few thousand miles everything changes. The common ground you once shared is no longer there. It was awkward talking with her. I screamed when she came to see me. But I won’t mind if I don’t care if it’s another two years.”

“I know how that feels. It seems as if the time spent apart your friend became someone you don’t know anymore. And you grasp at anything to talk about avoiding the awkward silence so neither of you admit that it isn’t the same anymore.”

She smiled. “That is what I was thinking when we were talking today. It’s sad. Her and I were close. Oh well. Life happens.”

By then the waiter had come back around asking for their order. They gave it. The boy let her order first and then himself. She thought she was glad he had asked her out to dinner. It was going great so far. It wouldn’t last long, enough. Moments later the boy acted a little off she thought. His eyes twitching. He rubbed his fingers together in as if he became nervous about something. The conversation carried on but she almost felt he felt strained to look her in the eye when speaking to her, Which she found odd, not ten, maybe fifteen minutes ago he could look her in the eyes with no problem. His eyes now filling with blood pulsated, looking like they would pop out of his skull.

“Are you ok?” She asked. Things were fine minutes ago. Something had triggered him. He saw something. Remembered something. She didn’t know what it was, except she was getting a little freaked out her now.

“Yeah, I’m okay. Suppose I got a little nervous. Don’t know why. I’ll be ok. Just going to drink water and hope it goes away. I’m sorry.”

“No, no, don’t be sorry. We all get that way. You are fine. I promise.” She said smiling at him. Although what she had just said to him was a complete lie, she needed to to tell him she thought, maybe for her own safety if shit pops off.

Their food arrived just in time. She could now focus on eating and not him for the time being. She breathed a little easier. Waiter asked they needed anything else. Both saying no, he walked off. Samantha was starving and ate right away. The boy put his napkin on his lap, took a drink of water, set the glass down and with one swift motion he stabbed his hand with his fork. He shook, convulsing while he continued to stab himself. Blood was everywhere. People were gasping at what they were witnessing. Samantha tucked herself in the corner of the booth with her purse in front of her face so she wouldn’t get blood on her.

Just then the boy screamed. Not out of pain. But he was screaming what Samantha thought was an apology to someone named Shoth. Samantha, horrified by this time was screaming at the boy to stop. But he wouldn’t. He continued to stab his hand, which was one big hole and blood everywhere and screaming. He had the whole restaurant in an uproar. Patrons were leaving in droves. Not one staff member even came close to us. Not even to rescue Samantha. No help is coming. The manager for the night shift hides behind the counter on the phone with the police. She only had to wait it out. But it took a turn for the worse.

The boy stopped stabbing himself. He continued on screaming his apologies to his master Shoth. For forsaking him. For not being able to follow through with his wishes here in this world. The boy dropped the fork and shook. Tearing his shirt off. He slammed himself down onto the table, throwing his plate of food to the ground. He was scratching at his body. Leaving red marks. By now he was screaming in pain. Saying it hurt and burned. For Shoth not to punish him. The boys voice grew deeper. Guttural in his shouting which turned into low deep moaning. His skin ripped apart. The boy jerked himself backward against the back of the booth. He was pulling at his skin, tearing it off piece by piece. Blood and flesh oozed off of him. Sliding off of him like burned flesh. His eyes fell out and his jaw unhinged. Still moaning, his voice now shook the table and Samantha. She watched in horror as the boy shed his skin and became this vile, horrific, monstrous creature before her eyes. Beneath the boy there was a hulking brute with ash grey skin that looked like leather. Massive tentacles slithered out from underneath his flesh, flopping onto the dinner table. As his flesh continued to fall from his body and he shifted into a hulking form, his bones were snapping like a thick twig snapping off a tree. Sharp bones formed down his spine. His canine teeth came into view, sliding out from his gums as his mouth filled with blood and overflowed. His eyes turned a dark, fire orange full of rage and fire. She could see evil within his eyes. Pure evil that made her shake with fear. He looked at her, his breathing low and deep. What was once the boy she came here with to have a nice evening was now a monster from the depths of hell? His old, used flesh, which had torn from his body now lay at his feet like a reptiles skin it had just shed. This creature towered above her. He took one step into the isle, looked around at all the people who were too frightened to run into the night, and then let out this earth shattering roar that shattered the windows within the restaurant. Their screams not heard above his roar. Some women passed out from sheer fright. Samantha hadn’t moved an inch. To frightened to blink but thought if he wanted her dead she would be.

The beast leapt forward with lightning speed grabbing the manager and bit his head clean off. Chewing it, he then ripped his body in half throwing one half across the corridor and slammed against a man and his wife knocking them down. The place went into panic mode running from the hell beast anywhere they could. But they were not fast enough to save themselves. The beast tore in half, throwing limbs across the room those he caught. He shoved some into his mouth, their screams heard, then cut off by his gaping maw closing down on their heads crushing them. Samantha stomach couldn’t take more of the gore she was witnessing. Throwing up on the table and breathing she saw the beast pick up a woman who was screaming. Agitated by her loud noises he pulled off her limbs like a boy would pull off a fly’s wings, relishing in the bugs slow, painful death. It was horrific to watch. But Samantha did, her eyes not leaving him for fear he might return to her. Eyes mesmerized by the art of a slaughterhouse something had hit the back of her head, turning around she saw a few people crouching by the escape door in the back of the restaurant. Knowing she had to move now and fast if she would survive this. The alarm would sound and catch his attention. A risk she thought worth it.

The people by the back door kept motioning for her to come. She held up her hand saying to hold on. Samantha counted to five then leapt out of her seat and ran as fast as she could to the back. As soon as she got there one man said the alarm would sound and attract his attention,. Samantha said it didn’t matter that this was the only way out. She looked back and couldn’t see him.

“We have to do this now, like right fucking now.” She whispered in a panic. The man closest hit the door bar hard, and it flung wide open. The alarm sounded, and it was loud. Samantha heard the beast roar. She ran as fast as she could. She knew there was no outrunning it but she only had to outrun them. And she did, giving a hard shove to the woman closest to her. Guilt came upon her but she had to survive. The beast crashed through a window and landed close by, letting out a roar of anger he scooped up the woman and looked at her for a moment. But for only a moment. The woman got off one short scream, then silence. Samantha made it to the grassy field behind the restaurant. Thinking she had made, she slowed just for a second and then it hit her and hit her hard. She didn’t even see what it was he threw at her, the force alone threw her against a tree at the end of the field. Her whole body hit that tree. She sloped down, her head had a gash which was bleeding, her nose broken, blood everywhere. Before losing consciousness, Samantha saw flashing red and blue lights. The muffled sound of sirens and the whooshing sound of the helicopter above. The searchlight attached hadn’t seen her, scanning the area, locking onto the monster that was her date earlier that evening. Her breathing steadied, and she closed her eyes to sleep.

Waking up in a panic a few hours later, Samantha grabbed her head and moaned. Her headache had not subsided, her nose throbbed. There was silence. Still in a daze and her eyes still out of focus and blurry she stood up, leaning against the tree. Her leg hurt and bruised, she thought the bruises would take on different shades of blues and purples. She sighed and searched her pockets for smokes. Pulling one out and lighting it up, she walked out of the field and across the parking lot. Her mind racing, searching, still hazy on what the fuck happened to her. She took another drag and filled her lungs with smoke. Camel filters. The fucking best.


Death is the greatest adventure.

One Comment on “The Night Shift

  1. Pingback: The Night Shift — Dark Tales – horrorwriter

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