It’s the first day of fall! Hooray! To celebrate, here’s a free story to help get you in the mood for the Halloween season.
You think strange thoughts sometimes when you work the night shift. Coming home in the dark late at night, it’s easy to imagine that something in the darkness is out to get you.
If your imagination is like Tina’s, you might think how creepy it would be if the thin, dark gap between the wall and the vending machine at the end of the hall was really a doorway to some otherworldly dimension.
And then you might laugh the thought away as you grab your chips and resist the urge to run back to your apartment.
She was tired when the thought occurred to her, after a long night on her feet at the diner, and it was a nice distraction from worrying about getting mugged on the way home. Or worse.
Tina liked having the machine there. It was her one consolation when her budget had forced her to settle on the tiny basement efficiency. She almost hadn’t been able to afford even that, what with the landlady wanting two month’s rent up front. Thankfully, she’d relented. “Had a lot of trouble with drifters sneaking out without paying their rent,” she’d said, “but I guess you don’t strike me as a drifter.”
Anyway, takeout places were usually closed when her shift ended, and a bag of chips was better than nothing when she felt too tired to cook. She kicked off her shoes and turned on The Late Late Show and munched on her bag of Sun Chips. At least she could pretend those were kind of healthy. When they were all gone, she brushed off the crumbs, crumpled up the bag and headed to bed.