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Satan's Bitter Invention

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Satan's Bitter Invention | story.one

“A tall coffee mocha and a blueberry muffin”, grunts the skinny guy with long hair, which looks like he hasn’t washed it in a week.

I roll my eyes. That’s the only bad part about working at Starbucks: the customers. But I obviously get the muffin and take a tall cup. “That makes $6.40. What’s your name?”

“Grant”, he mumbles as he gives me the money. How fitting… Grant takes a seat, while I write his name on the cup. Grunt. I prepare the coffee and place it onto the bar next to the muffin and call: “Grant!” He gives me a cantankerous look as he takes his stuff. Then Grant sees how I spelt his name. His face freezes as he slowly turns around. If looks could kill, I’d be extremely dead now. Like, if there was a superlative for dead, this would be the perfect moment to use it. But Grunt is just a grumpy human, so I turn around and give the next customer a big smile. I look into the face of the older woman, who actually smiles back. She’s immediately more sympatric than Grunt, and she orders a grande caramel frappuccino. ”That’s $4.75. What’s your name?”

“Reese. With a y.”

Sure, lady. It’s my job to spell names wrong, so this one shouldn’t be too hard. I write ‘Rhys’ on the cup and prepare the frappuccino. She comes to the bar as I call her name and hesitates when I give her the cup. “Oh. You spelt it right!”, she realises.

Seriously?! I try my best to misspell names and then hers is so obscure that I’m actually correct?! But I don’t drop my smile. “It’s Welsh, right?”

“Indeed. Have a nice day, darling!” Rhys happily leaves Starbucks. I sigh. I’m really doing a great job at upsetting people…

A look over my shoulder shows me that Grunt is still starring at me. Honey, you’re messing with the wrong type of people! I decide to deal with him later. I manage to forget him thanks to the young woman who’s next. Her name is Yvonne. I make her drink and call out the name I wrote on the cup: ”Evan!” Yvonne only laughs as she collects it. What am I doing wrong? I’m not getting paid to make people laugh! I sigh.

However, the rest of the day I have fun upsetting customers with very easy names. Especially Mark, or as I call him, Josh, threatens to not give me a tip. I don’t get tipped anyway, so I really couldn’t care less. Grunt leaves at some point, but I think he’s still upset.

My shift’s almost over when a familiar face walks into Starbucks. She orders a short cappuccino for $3.15 under the name Pollyanna. I make her drink and call out her name correctly. She gets her cup and takes a seat on a bench next to the window. I see the confusion on her face as she reads what I wrote on her cup. I watch her type the Greek word into her phone. Suddenly, Pollyanna starts shaking. She puts her hands on her throat, probably because she’s having difficulties breathing. An elderly man notices and walks over to her. “Are you all right, young lady?”

Part two will follow…

© Petrichor 2021-05-31

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