I Think I Met The Devil While Working The Night Shift

I Think I Met The Devil While Working The Night Shift

A Story by HadesRising
"

I clicked the little button on the top of the black ballpoint pen that occupied my right hand and spun it around between my fingers. I felt a slight yawn

"
I clicked the little button on the top of the black ballpoint pen that occupied my right hand and spun it around between my fingers. I felt a slight yawn coming on, but I clenched the muscles in my jaw as hard as I could, and rejected the suggestion, doing my best to appear as stoic as I could in the face of the Goliath that was lack of sleep.

I placed my hand over my face and rubbed the heavy bags that marred my lower eyes a couple of times, doing my best to at least dissipate their presence a little bit. Hopefully, I wouldn’t have to put on such an act for much longer.

My weary eyes drooped down to the little digital clock display in the bottom right corner of the cashier’s computer that I was stationed at, and I noticed the time.

1:40 AM

Good, 20 minutes left, and I can go home, take a shower, and sleep.

I knew that sleep would most likely be pitiful at best, the full breadth of approaching finals was wearing down my psyche like flowing water smoothes over rocks, and I found that I was beginning to lose it a bit.

Every moment was tense in some way, and preoccupied with the thoughts of grades, and passing percents.

Of course, this was partially my fault, since I had, and still have a rather serious procrastination problem, but even though I consciously knew that I had been in more dire situations in the past, my worrying had possessed me.

After shaking the sleepiness away, I figured that I should have probably started restocking some of the gum that we had in the front counter shelf, and I peered out into the store to make sure that no one was inside.

Of course, nobody else was there, save for Cody, the manager for the night who was dozed off in his office.

I stepped out from the counter and began to make my way to the stockroom.

It took me a little while, but eventually, I produced a little box filled to the brim with peppermint flavored gum. I fished a pocket knife from my left pocket, slashing open the cardboard like a master chef, filleting a salmon.

Once the flaps were cut from the box, I began to walk myself back to the counter, until I felt a bit of shock fill me, as the sound of a ringing bell, and an opening door faintly pierced the air.

I set the box down, and put the knife back into my pocket, as I began to walk out of the storeroom.

A guy was standing at the counter, staring down at his feet.

I quickly stepped back behind the counter and gave a little smile at the man, but I noticed that he wasn’t looking at me.

He seemed to still be looking at his feet, and the only part I saw was the top of his tattered blue baseball cap.

I flashed my regularly rehearsed customer service smile and spoke.

“Good evening, sir!” I mused, doing my best to come off as nice as possible.

“Uh-huh,” he mumbled.

He was a young man, no older than 25, and if my senses weren’t fooling me, a skunk-like, and acrid stench emanated from his clothes.

I knew it well, not because I necessarily participated, but because the smell was quite distinct, and I encountered it often.

I looked at the counter and saw that the man was only purchasing two things: A 20 ounce Red Bull, and a pack of Magnum Extra Large condoms.

Classy.

“Is that gonna be all for you?” I asked, my wide grin beginning to fade a bit. He wasn’t the type that I expected to actually care if I smiled at him or not.

He nodded.

“That’ll be 6.22,” I said, and after a bit of fumbling, he produced a heavily crumpled $10 dollar bill.

He actually looked at me for the first time, and deep redness that stained his brown eyes only confirmed the suspicion that I had about his scent.

I quickly rang everything in, and after I handed him $3.78 back, he nodded and walked away, opening the glass door, and stepping out into the cool December air.

I let out a sigh of relief and closed my eyes. Most of the time, people at this time of night were rare, and when they did show up, they normally weren’t much to write up on. They consisted of truck drivers, road trippers, late shift cops, and stoners, and most of the time the interactions were minimal at best. That was precisely why I stayed up until 2 AM on most weeknights; the job was beyond easy, and I got a pretty decent wage considering that all I did was stock the shelves in the early part of the night, and stand in a single spot for the later part.

The work was easy, but far from fulfilling in any sense.

Of course, the simplicity and isolation made the work beyond boring, and each time I donned the uniform, I felt an almost primal urge to tear it all off, but every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I found myself bound behind the counter for 7 hours, chained by financial obligations, and my pride. My eyes opened again, and I spotted the digital clock again.

1:42 AM. Now only 18 more minutes.

He smiled at me in a way that made me feel sick to my stomach.

He stood at the front end of the counter, and he was staring at me.

I stared at this man for a couple of moments, and blinked a couple of times, doing my best to actually decipher what this all was.

I knew for certain that the little bell on the front door hadn’t rung, and that I didn’t hear any footsteps squeaking on the tile floors.

“Sorry! Um, can I help you?” I asked.

As I looked at him more, his presence only unnerved me more. His hair seemed slicked back with oil, and I detected just the slightest fragrance of apples. He was wearing a pearl-white suit, a maroon tie hanging from his neck in a rather strange knot. The silk fabric seemed layered, and each layer rippled like waves. I didn’t know it at the time, but the knot was called an “Eldredge Knot.” A similarly maroon handkerchief poked its’ head from his shirt pocket.

“Evening, and yes, I suppose I could use some help.” He spoke, his voice rather deep, and full-bodied, despite the fact that he couldn’t have been more than 5’5. He seemed to have an accent of sorts, it sounded just slightly English, but I never have, before or since heard anyone else speak like that.

I swallowed a bit and did my best to maintain my plastic customer smile. I couldn’t help but feel like I was vulnerable, and naked, like a rabbit, nibbling on grass as a coyote bounds towards it.

He was looking at me, but not into my eyes, he seemed to be peering at my chest more than anything else, and I sort of instinctually rubbed over it, making sure that nothing had soiled my uniform.

“Well, do you need something? I could help you!” I muttered, my normally cheery voice beginning to waver a little bit.

He nodded and held out a single red pen. It was still in its box. This addled me even more, since the only pens we sold came in bulk, and I didn’t think we sold anything except cheap black pens. This was a Gas Station, not a Staples.

“Is that gonna be all for you tonight?” I asked, inhaling after speaking. He gave me a hungry grin and laughed a bit.

“We’ll see.” He spoke. I didn’t like the way he said that.

“$5.00!” I smiled, although this smile was strained. I knew we had pens, but a single pen for 5$?

The man began to dig around in his pockets, and as he did, he left me with more free time to actually ponder what had just occurred.

I didn’t hear the bell ring, nor did I hear footsteps, nor did I hear a door open. The guy with the blue hat left, and I closed my eyes, and then he was just there. Am I just sleep deprived?

Am I losing it?

He slid a clean 10 dollar bill across the counter and smiled in that same way again.

I picked it up, and examined it, furrowing my brow just a little bit.

Sometimes, the other cashiers and I would collect the really old coins that we’d received. The oldest one I ever got was a quarter from 1959, back when they made the quarters out of silver.

This bill was almost certainly older than that, and I almost held it up to the light just to verify that it was real U.S currency and that this wasn't just a very artistically liberal counterfeit.

I cashed it in, and gave him his change, making sure to slide the 5$ across the counter again, and I breathed a slight sigh of relief as he shoved the bill into his pocket, and began to walk away.

Before he left, he stopped, and turned around, his fox-like smirk undoing the relief I felt.

“You know, I think I forgot something.” He voiced, his tone clear and concise.

Unlike me, this man was the very definition of comfortable. He unbuttoned the suit he was wearing, and folded the sport coat, laying it over some boxes. He then began to whistle, as he produced a stiletto knife, the sharp clack of the blade paralyzing my heart for a second. His blade gleamed, and the reflected light glared harshly, like the eyes of a snake in the grass. My left hand shivered as if I was standing outside in the cold, and it dipped into my left pocket, weakly gripping my own knife, my index finger ready on the lever-action.

He cut the box that had the pen in it open, and he tossed the box away.

He pushed a button on the ivory handle, and the angry blade retracted back into the body of the weapon, like a turtle’s neck retracting back into its shell.

He clicked the button on the newly opened pen and began to scribble on his hand, until bright streaks of red began to track on his pale skin, like open cuts.

He smiled again, and placed his elbows on the counter, leaning over it a bit.

I backed away, more out of natural instinct than anything else.

He must have detected my discomfort, and he held both his hands up, leaning away from the counter, showing me nothing but the red pen, intertwined in the fingers of his left hand, and his pallid palms.

“Sorry there, Mike. I should have asked you for yours before I pulled mine out. Trust me, I mean no harm!” He nodded, innocently. It was an innocence I would have trusted if he didn’t know my name, and more importantly, if he didn’t know I had a knife on me.

There was a small pause, and he grinned again.

“Uh, it is Mike, right?” He asked, rubbing the back of his neck a bit, almost like he was flustered.

“It’s um, It’s Michael” I forced out, through paralyzed vocal cords.

The man tensed up, and clenched his jaw, cringing a bit as I told him my name, almost like I had just cursed in front of his kids or something, although his expression dissipated rather quickly.

“Ah yes! Mike!” He spoke, placing a slight emphasis on the Mike part.

“You know, that kid that just walked out of here thought you were a rather nice cashier, most of the people Brandon Miller has ever dealt with have been rather mean. You were nice for a change, even if you did judge him for his purchases.”

He smirked once again.

For a moment, I stared at the man’s nose, finding myself unable, and unwilling to actually look him in the eyes.

“How did y-”

“I know things, a lot of things, things about you, and this place, and everyone who’s ever entered it,” he said, almost like he was announcing it to an audience. He then paused, and smirked, although this time his smirk was 10 times wider than before, and the malevolence behind it made my knees begin to shake a bit.

“Things that you might want to know.” He added as he crept up the counter with his elbows a bit.

I found my confidence and spoke up.

“Who are you?” I asked, furrowing my brow at the man, as I clutched the knife a bit harder. My teeth were gritted now, and I was too scared to assume that this guy was just some weirdo. The fact that he knew my name was creepy, but he knew about the guy who had just left the store, and most importantly, he knew what I was thinking.

“That’ll come later on, Mike, for now, I’d like to interest you in some knowledge,” he spoke.

I gritted my teeth harder and responded.

“Listen, I uh, don’t need anything.” I asserted, standing up a bit straighter now.

He laughed.

“Are you sure about that, Mike? You don’t want to know the answers to that “Basics of Economics Principles” Class? You don’t want to know why Audrey just can’t give you the time of day, even though you’ve expressed your feeling already?”

“What?!”

“You don’t even want to know what gonna happen to that Brandon Miller kid?” he exclaimed, before smirking.

“N-no, I-”

“He’s gonna hit a tree at 55 MPH, Mike. He’s gonna mistake a shadow for a deer, or maybe, just maybe, he might even see a man in a white suit. And he’s gonna swerve to his right, and he’ll strike an 82-year-old oak tree, and his head will hit the bark, and he’ll die on impact. Isn’t that sad?” He asked.

“Who the f**k are you?!” I shouted over him, pulling the knife from my pocket, and flicking it open, the matte black blade contrasting with the harsh white of the fluorescent lights above us.

At this point, my fear translated into pure anger. Whoever, or more aptly, whatever this was thought that this was some silly game or something, and I wasn’t having it anymore.

He looked me in the eyes for the first time, and everything I ever thought I knew was gone.

For those moments, I was falling into an abyss so deep, and incomprehensible that I might as well have just walked off the earth.

It was hot, and every single inch I fell only brought me closer to a complete abandonment of anything and everything good.

Evil was at the bottom of this hole, and evil was in the man’s eyes.

My stare was fixated on his eye sockets, which were now occupied with earthworms, and greenish pus, which dripped down his face like tears.

I began to scream a bit, as I felt scalding hot tendrils wrap around my legs, and as I looked down, I could see simmering hands, as red and as hot as coals, digging into my ankles. They were pulling me down faster.

I remember looking at their faces and seeing nothing but eons of regret, pain, and anguish.

They were no longer human at this point.

They were fear personified.

Eventually, I must have fallen over, because once I actually came to, I was lying on the floor. I probably hit the rack of cigarettes behind me, as evidenced by their presence around my body.

I fixated on the light above me and took in shallow breaths. Then, when I heard footsteps coming around the counter, I began to sob a little bit.

“Mike, I just wanted to talk to you.” He smiled.

“Wh-what?” I asked, through tears and gags. The visage of his face contorted and rotting like that was being replayed through my head over and over, and each time I saw it, I retched.

“You wanted to know who I was. I showed you, quit being such a baby and get up.” He insisted, in a voice that almost sounded rather impatient.

I wanted to get up and run as far away from this man as I could, but my legs were still shaking, and part of me knew that he could probably run faster than me anyway.

I got up and started to cry again.

“What do you want?” I pleaded as I pressed myself up against the wall opposite to him.

“Well, I do want something, I suppose, although I’m not gonna take anything from you without providing something back.” He sneered, before speaking again. “It’ll just be a friendly little transaction, kind of like how you sold me the pen. I plan to offer you all the knowledge that you could ever need. In return, you’d have to pledge a part of yourself to me. That’s all there is to it!” He proposed, that same smile on his face.

“No.” I countered.

He seemed a little bit dumbfounded for a bit, before asking again.

“Mike, you have nothing physical to lose from this, you’re working at a gas station during the night shift. The things I know would make you a millionaire! You’d own like 50 of these places!” He mused.

“No, I don’t want this,” I said again, making sure to repress any sort of forcefulness that I could have conveyed, just in case he decided to look at me again.

He frowned a bit and shrugged.

“You seem to need a bit more convincing, Mike.” He smiled, as he reached into his pocket, and pulled out a hefty wad of cash.

It was almost as thick as a bible, and from what I could tell, they were all 100$ bills.

“You know how much work you’d have to do to make this much money?” He asked.

“N-No, I do-”

“2,880 hours. That’s about 120 whole days standing here and doing nothing else. How boring!” He grinned, confident with his pitch.

It was a lot of money, I don’t think I’ve ever that much money before or since.

“N-no, I don’t want it.” I stuttered. He detected my hesitation and began to grin again.

He pulled out another wad of cash, and then another one, setting them on the counter. This went on for almost 30 seconds until the whole counter had cash on it. I’m not particularly good at math, but I’d estimate that he had around 60-100 thousand dollars on the table.

I stared at it for a while and furrowed my brow. I was certain that it was physically impossible to fit that much into a suit, especially since none of it poked out from his pockets, but then again, was any of this real, or rational?

“You could make 10 times this in a day if you’d want to, Mike. All you need to do is ask for it.” He spoke, closing his eyes.

“No,” I said again.

He inhaled, and exhaled, clenching his jaw a bit, before smiling.

“You know, you could really get far in life if you weren’t so damn stubborn, you know that, right? You’d be in a much better position, and you’d finally drop that Audrey broad that you care so much about, and be with a girl who’s much better to you! You’d actually be useful in the world, and do great things! You have potential, but you keep wasting it!” He seethed, as he pulled out a rose-colored paper, and clicked open the pen, his voice clearly strained with a bit of anger.

I noticed that he seemed to rapidly switch between anger, and happiness, without much rhyme or reason, and that kind of scared me a bit.

I didn't respond.

He sighed, and turned around, shaking his head a bit. “What a fool.” He shrugged.

His back was turned to mine now, and he held that position for a while, stroking his chin with his right hand like he was thinking.

I spotted the black pocket knife on the floor by my feet, and I knew that this would probably be my only chance to fight back. For all I knew, he was just gonna kill me anyway.

I picked the knife up, and lunged at him, plunging the blade deep in between his shoulder blades.

He flinched a bit, and started to cough, before turning around, and facing me again.

Part of me didn't actually expect anything to happen to him, and part of me expected him to fall over.

He just stared at me again.

“Pfft, did you really think that you could do that?” He asked, as his hand dug into his pocket again.

He pulled out his stiletto knife again, and the blade shot out like a bullet.

His eyes were on mine again, but instead of any sort of vision, I saw his eyes for what they were.

They were a dull blue, and his pupils were slitted, like a snake's eyes.

He plunged the knife into his chest, and I think I screamed.

He did it again, and again, and each time the blade pierced his flesh, it made a heavy thwack noise.

He didn't bleed, or flinch as he then began to saw the blade into his throat.

I started to cry a bit more, and he put the knife back into his pocket.

“Take the damn offer!” he cried, as he stepped closer to me, holding the paper and the pen in his hands.

“NO!” I shouted over him, as I cowered in the corner. I placed my hands over my head and shut my eyes hard. I held this pose for a while, and just before I opened my eyes, I heard him.

He was whispering into my ear.

“Fine then. Keep being pointless. You’re gonna die here, you know. Not now, but in 40 years. You’ll be behind this very counter, still eking out a horrible wage. You’ll have a heart attack, and no one here will help you as you choke on the floor, ain’t that sad? And Audrey will marry a man who’s much more attractive, and intelligent than you are, and you’ll never get over her, so you’re going to die alone.” he said, with a hint of finality, before laughing.

“You have 40 years, Mike. When you come to your senses, I’ll get you. I always do.”

I opened my eyes, and I was back on my feet. I blinked a couple of times and stared around the store. Nothing had happened, as far as I could tell. Everything was in order, no cigarettes were on the floor, and nothing had really changed.

Most importantly, the man was gone. He was physically gone, at least.

Cody was still sleeping in the manager’s room, and I was alone again. I checked the time rather instinctively and laughed just a bit.

1:42 AM. Of course it was.

At the very least, the experience put matters of exams in the back of my mind for good, and the 18 minutes went by in a breeze. Nobody else came in that night, and as I clocked out, and sat in my car, I began to cry again.

Eventually, after consoling myself enough to drive, I made the trip home.

I intentionally took the long way home this time, since I figured that the relaxing lull of the road would do at least a little bit to calm my mind. I knew it wouldn’t calm me, but I figured that I’d try anyway.

I wish I didn’t.

I could see sirens flashing in the distance, and I felt rather sick to my stomach as I approached the scene.

Thank goodness I didn’t see his body, the paramedics had taken that to the morgue awhile ago, but I saw something that still made me double over, and almost swerve off the road.

It was a blue baseball cap, laying on its side about 20 feet away from the wreck.

I remember crying again.

As I got back home and started to take a long, and warm shower, I began to think just a bit more. I hated the sight of his eyes, and I felt dizzy each time that part replayed in my head, but I mostly focused on the last thing he ever said.

I was gonna get a degree in Civil Engineering! How the hell could I end up in a Gas Station?

I very quickly remembered that I was almost failing 2 of my classes, and I felt dizzy again.

All of these things occupied my mind for days, I think it took me a day and a half after the whole thing before I fell asleep again, and my sleep was poor and plagued with nightmares.

As the time to my finals draws closer and closer, I realize that I probably will, in fact, fail the exams, and in turn, fail the whole classes, and flunk out. Audrey also told me that she met a guy on some dating website and that he was “Really cool.” and “Different.”

Cody just offered me a promotion at the Gas Station too, and while I’m certainly not rich, it’s enough to cover basic needs and leave some spending money.

But I don’t want this life, and I hate complacency. That money, the women, all the promises he made, as time lingers on, I’m beginning to wonder if I should, in fact, come to my senses.

I still have nightmares, but the wriggling worms and hands from hell are gone now.

All I see is his face, smiling that horrible smile. And saying some simple words.

“I’ll get you eventually. I always do.”

© 2019 HadesRising


Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Reviews

You have no idea how much i enjoyed reading your short story. I pictured everything as i read it, i love the setting and the ambiance feels comforting. The story is amazing and i love the ending where he didn't do anything and just goes on with his life. A lot of people will relate to this and I hope you post more of these kind of stories.

Please keep on writing, you're amazing!

Posted 1 Month Ago


HadesRising

1 Month Ago

Thank you for for you lovely review, and I have a lot of stories on here. And I try to write daily s.. read more
Were you get idea for you stories?

Posted 1 Month Ago


Scary, ahhh................

Posted 1 Month Ago


I truly loved this especially hearing you read it to the pupils for the 1st time.

Posted 1 Month Ago



Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

39 Views
4 Reviews
Rating
Added on July 11, 2019
Last Updated on July 11, 2019
Tags: Horror

Author

HadesRising
HadesRising

London, United Kingdom



About
The cruelty wrought between lines of despair is but one with my own labored heart Favorite Poets/Writers Dani Filth, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Tolkien, more..

Writing
ADDICTED ADDICTED

A Poem by HadesRising