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escher4096 t1_iudq6rb wrote

3:30am. Time always seems to slow down as I wait for the demon to show up. The first couple of times he came looking for a latte was absolutely terrifying. I can always smell him before he actually opens the door, the stench of sulphur and blood. It puts you on edge. It’s like your subconscious knows that smell and what it means. But nothing prepares you for when a 7 foot 8 inch demon walks through the door. He has to duck or snag his horns on the door jam. Even though it is the dead of winter, shows up wearing nothing but a chain mail loin cloth. His rippling muscles covered in deep red skin and nasty looking scars. He is a sight to behold.

3:31am. It is tempting to start making the latte early, just so he leaves early. I learnt the hard way that he wants it made so he can see you make it and so it is as hot as can be. I tried to make it early…. Once…. He yelled and banged his fist on the counter. Yelled is an understatement but I don’t know what else you would call it. The glass coffee pots exploded and it drove me to my knees. I tried to plug my ears as they bled. The front counter collapsed under the impact of his blow.

It was weird. He apologized and didn’t come back for almost a month. I had convinced myself it was a bad dream…. And then he started coming back again.

3:32am. I turned half of the over head lights off. It is so bright that it makes him squint and he is visibly pained. It is all about making the customer happy after all. The first time I turned off some lights for him, he was visibly relieved. He even got chatty, which was oddly terrifying. He has a voice like scraping rocks that is deep enough that your guts vibrate as he talks.

3:33am. I can smell the sulphur and blood in the air. The bell on the door dingles, letting me know we have a customer. I look to see him coming in from the driving snow. He is literally steaming as the snow melts off of him.

He ducks just enough for his curly horns to miss the door frame and walks in. A slight jingle from his chain mail loin cloth as he walks to the front counter.

“Hey Clair, how’s your night going?”, he says. Making small talk with a demon. So weird.

“Oh, same old, same old, Steve. I thought you might be late, given the blizzard out there.”, he wouldn’t give me his name when I had asked. Something about a true name freely given having power or something. I don’t know. So I started calling him Steve. He seems ok with it.

He chuckled, a terrifying sound. Like squishing kittens between rocks. “I made a snow demon in the parking lot. I have never laid down in the snow before. It was quite nice.”

I chuckled at that. “What can I get you Steve?”, I asked. Trying to keep it friendly but professional.

“Oh the usually. A double latte with a hint of Tabasco.”, he said with a smile as he leaned on the counter. There was a bit of flesh hanging from a fang and a bit of blood on his chin. Probably the demon equivalent to a bit of spinach in your teeth.

The “hint of Tabasco” threw me the first couple of times. No matter how much I added, he would always ask for a hint more on his next visit. Now I brew the coffee using Tabasco instead of water. It makes my eyes water but Steve seems to like it.

I do my best to make a nice hell themed picture in the cream. Today it is a horned skull. A useful skill around halloween time too.

“There you go, Steve.”, I said as I slide the cup over to him.

“The skull is a nice touch”, he says and gives me a wink. He takes a sip. He rolls his eyes and lets out a sigh. “That is, dare I say it, divine.” I smile as he takes another sip. “Thank you Clair.” He put a gold nugget on the counter, about the size of a robin’s egg. “See you tomorrow.” He says as he flashes me a smile and walks out humming some nameless tune that his pointy tail is keeping the beat to.


Dimantina t1_iue3o77 wrote

I loved this story the most out of all the others posted. However I know most people are gonna say "After a week of making that type of money, the Barista would most likely quit."

Let me do some math for you.

The average Robin egg has a volume of 78.66 cubic centimeters.

According to this gold weight calculator ( a volume of 78.66 cm3 of gold is 1.518kg.

At current market rate for let's say 24k gold ($52.77 per gram), that nugget is worth $80'105.

This means the main character will need to work 5195.25 years to earn enough to make Jeff Bezo net worth.

<S> So yeah, if you want to be a peasant you could quit after a week. </S>


escher4096 t1_iueb53b wrote

I was trying to think of something small that most people would have a reference to. Robin’s egg, thimble, head of a pin….. I don’t know something smallish while also conveying that it is worthless to the demon.


Dimantina t1_iuecaiq wrote

I think you did an excellent job at that! Just gold is ridiculous in how much it's worth.

I like that something which the average non million/billionaire would drool over is such a trivial thing to Steve.

That gold and money is so worthless in hell that Steve could literally spend the next 1000 years giving away this type of money every day and it wouldn't even touch the net worth of our top current billionaires.


Artanthos t1_iuhmvlz wrote

Imagine having as much gold as Mansa Musa.


P1emonster t1_iuifzpt wrote

Couldn't tell if you were talking about Steve the demon or Steve Jobs

Turns out we know what happened to Steve Jobs after he died.


MehKarma t1_iuelxjx wrote

Clair got student loans. There I solved your plot hole.


Dimantina t1_iuemkv0 wrote

Hahaha I love that.

Honestly at the end of Clair's life at this rate she'd have a little over 2 Billion in gold.

<S>And if you don't have 2 Billion for retirement in 2085 you just can't retire.</s> (I hope).


Toptossingtrotter t1_iuhjvw2 wrote

Clair: Hmmmm, let's see. I am set, my children are set, and I can help all my friends and family. How long does a demon live? This job can suck, but I'm getting paid very well. Yeah, might as well keep my head down keep the gravy train running!


ReaperofRico t1_iui1ezi wrote

She does finally pass away and Steve lets her keep going, got a nice little shop in hell that she makes coffee for the higher demons of hell all the while the big man downstairs just prefers a simple tea.


the-benegesserit t1_iuh52or wrote

Made me laugh louder than I should have. There solved your plot hole lol. Haha.

Although, meetings with a demon… I think I wouldn’t quit even though I’m rich. IRS would soon call me tho.


Artanthos t1_iuhn31b wrote

It doesn’t matter how much money people have, they always want more.

E.g. even billionaires keep competing for additional wealth.


MehKarma t1_iuhneot wrote

When Andrew Carnegie, by far the richest man on the planet at the time, was asked how much money was enough? His response was just a little more.


Hminney t1_iuf2hna wrote

That would be nice. But a Robin's egg is about 8cc not 80cc, so at 19g/cc that's 144g gold worth a little under $8k. Still a tidy sum, I'd go on doing night shifts as a barrista for that kind of income, even after I was rich! But yes, 50,000 years before I could buy twitter and turn it over to trolls


Dimantina t1_iufcyxu wrote

Average width, 2.1cm, average length 2.8cm.

Volume of an egg is equal to.. 49.42... huh I did my first math wrong. Well damn. Anywho. Loads of money.


aldhibain t1_iug137z wrote

Okay, using 2.1cm and 2.8cm I still have no idea how you're getting your volume from. Even very roughly approximating the egg to a cuboid 2.1 × 2.1 × 2.8, the egg would be under 12.5 cubic cm. In reality, it's probably about half that, closer to 6 cm3, ~120g.

But yes. Still good money. $6-7k per nug.

Edit: I think 49.42 came about by taking (2.1×2)^(2) = 17.64 ('rounding' to 17.65) and multiplying by 2.8 to get 49.42. But 2.1 is width, not radius, so there's no need to double it.

Anyway another commenter helpfully provided a formula for egg volume, and a(n American) robin's egg comes to about 7cm^(3).


seganku t1_iug5vw5 wrote

"The resulting formula for egg volume, V, was V = (0.6057 - 0.0018B)LB2 in which L is the egg length in millimeters, and B is the egg maximum breadth in millimeters.",B%20are%20taken%20in%20millimeters.


aldhibain t1_iug7w4j wrote

Thanks for the formula. It's for chickens, but works well for an estimate. Using that formula, we get 7012.429 mm^(3), or 7cm^(3) for an American Robin egg, still nowhere close to 49.

European Robins lay smaller (non-blue) eggs, 2cm long and 1.5cm wide with a volume of ~2.6cm^(3). That would be about USD2.7k worth of gold.


BSJones420 t1_iug04cr wrote

I was gonna say lets think here for a second...even a robins egg worth of lead wouldnt weigh 1.5 kilo (almost 3.5 lbs) just basic logic lol


LiptonSuperior t1_iuep1e5 wrote

Yeah, I don't think that being the dark lords barrista is a job you get to just walk away from.


redditingatwork23 t1_iufuiju wrote

How fucking crazy is that for perspective? You could have a demon from hell give you pure golden eggs every single day and you would still die from old age thousands of years before catching up with Bezos.

Hell, you wouldn't even break the top 1000 richest in the world unless price of gold skyrocketed.


5tr4nGe t1_iugoe9k wrote

Hell just the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire is terrifying

A million seconds seems like a long time right? Well it’s a little over 12 days

How long do you think a billion seconds is? A few months maybe? It’s just shy of 32 YEARS.

Let’s put it this way, Elon Musk, the world’s richest man. His wealth is truly mind blowing. Imagine you went back in time to the building of the pyramids, and set up a scheme where you would be paid a dollar a second between then and now, and then you came back to the present day, and you STILL wouldn’t have as much money as Elon Musk.


Xamonir t1_iuhmt2a wrote

I have seen this reposted many times. But I admit I had never seen it in comments. Didn't expect that. So now for me you will be the Original Commenter of that.


Dimantina t1_iufw1n1 wrote

Kinda why I did the math. Wanted to see how much it was.

The perspective is insane.

Thanks for appreciating it.


Mad_Moodin t1_iuggfce wrote

The net worth of top billionaires is just something else.

Going from 2017 to 2018 Bezos made more than 8 million per hour. More money than most people will make in their lifetime. Hell you could add together what my mother, father, sister and I will earn in our lifetime and it wouldnt reach Bezos' hourly income.

During that year he made as much money as the GDP of Ethiopia with a population of 100 million people.

The entire output of these 100 million people was less than Bezos' income.


Killfile t1_iufplln wrote

Lemme add an line to deal with that problem

"As he steps out into the snow I sweep the nugget under the counter and into the box with the rest of them. It's almost three quarters full now. No one else in the shop seems to have noticed them or even be able to see the box but somehow I know that, if I were to spend them, something very, very bad would find some way of happening. "


re_nonsequiturs t1_iug3pyh wrote

The main character will quit just as soon as she figures out how to sell the gold without drawing unwanted attention. It's not that she would mind paying taxes, it's just the whole "being in jail for felony theft because she can't explain where she got it from" that palls.

She managed to get enough scrapings off one to cover the next year or so of Steve's lattes, so at least she's not out of pocket anymore.

But aside from...shall we say "mortal" concerns? Aside from those are the supernatural concerns. Shortly after she worked out just how much Steve was tipping, she saw that Tumblr thread about Fey running a coffee shop and the dangers of not paying fair value.

Could accepting an extreme over payment count as a deal with a demon? A few days of reading and she added "may be given of your own will and do not bind us together by any contract" after "TIPS" on the counter jar^* . She's taking Steve's lack of reaction to the change as a good sign. But she's also not rushing to get that gold sold.

^* Actually a brilliant move, tips from human^& customers tripled after that

^& At least she assumes, hopes, they're human


spatzist t1_iufevsz wrote

80k/day, assuming it's only working days, would net you around 20mil/year before tax. I'd run that gig for about a year, then pass on the torch to some other barista and retire.


aldhibain t1_iugb9j9 wrote

The original math is off, so each nugget is perhaps just 7-8k. Still a hefty 2+mil/year, but I might hold out for a while more.


ivanthemute t1_iufu66v wrote

I go panning 2 or 3 times a year for fun. Biggest nugget I've found was a whopping 3 gram piece (actually considered large.) For mines, ore that produces 1 ozt (31.1 grams) per ton (1000kg) is considered high yield ore.

Hell, it's estimated that all the gold mined in all of human existence, if put in a single place, wouldn't fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.

To Op's statement, that's a great reference size!


Matasa89 t1_iufrht4 wrote

I wouldn’t dare quit, lest the demon finds a reason to come find me outside of work.


darthcoder t1_iuhc04e wrote

I find humor that in a writing prompt, so many people are doing math.


MolhCD t1_iufwdwe wrote

I'm also not sure how he can convince the taxman and the financial regulator that he's not like money laundering though with that amount of gold. Prolly can't cash out the nuggets for spending money that easily...


whitemanrunning t1_iug5l16 wrote

Imagine quitting and having "Steve" show up at your door for coffee Ala "one flew over the coo coo nest" with Jack Nicholson.


SnippitySnape t1_iugu81n wrote

I think the bigger issue is that it would be hard to actually sell it. Perhaps Clair is just like a hidden millionaire hiding her gold like Ron Swanson. But how much can an ordinary person keep selling off raw gold like that. I suppose if she managed to sell some she could try and buy materials for a forging operation and maybe get into the business of being a gold supplier for various technologies.


Simbuk t1_iui9cdg wrote

With a demon as a regular customer, you could probably arrange to live long enough to collect that much. If he likes your coffee enough, it might not even cost you your soul.


514X0r t1_iuee5rj wrote

Fresh brewed Tabasco...

Hell and damnation, it's rare that words can offend my tastebuds like that.

So what if you just chucked all that in a percolator? Would it be better that it's worse?


Sojoez t1_iueuvfw wrote

Did you mean loin cloth instead?
Also did you want to use different days instead of time advancing? The interaction seems to be based on different encounters, not just 3 minutes.


escher4096 t1_iuf0cow wrote


I was hoping for more of a flash back effect. 3 different flash backs for 3 different minutes


Similar_Molasses7440 t1_iuf69om wrote

The flashbacks were clear and really helped build to a point where their interaction felt natural.


MrRedoot55 t1_iug1mmr wrote

This "Steve" doesn't seem so bad.

So long as one remains reasonable with him, it seems.

Nice work.


escher4096 t1_iug21ov wrote

Just because he is a “bad guy”, doesn’t mean he is a bad guy….


TorontoHooligan t1_iugawyx wrote

Brewing coffee with Tabasco made me laugh so hard.


OreoVegan t1_iugj6tc wrote

It honestly pissed me off as a barista. In a coffee shop you wouldn't be able to make espresso using water instead of tabasco because you wouldn't be able to switch the water source -a coffee stand you could, but you would need a five gallon bucket of tabasco -which to be fair, Claire likely would have ordered/brought in; quality ROI with the gold nugs.

In the parameters of the story above, what Claire would really be doing is substituting steamed milk for steamed tabasco, and then dumping the two shots of espresso in the steamed tabasco.

The hell themed latte art would then additionally be a pinkish red color, which honestly itself would be a nicer touch than white latte art on what otherwise would be an indistinguishable cup of coffee, if it was being made with tabasco substituted for water rather than tabasco substituted for milk.

And again: you'd actually be able to get a way hotter cup of coffee substituting the milk because our steam wands get absolutely insanely hot -hotter than even the 200 degrees that our machines pour espresso at.


TorontoHooligan t1_iugrsp1 wrote

Man… who put Tabasco in your coffee this morning?

Just kidding, I had to. This was a decent explanation actually.


caffeineandvodka t1_iuh41hr wrote

7 foot 8 with rippling muscles, you say? Where, uh, where might this coffee shop be? Yknow, just out of curiosity.


Toptossingtrotter t1_iuhkr0z wrote

Oh yes, I too need to know where this coffee shop is. You know, so I can avoid that coffee shop. Especially late at night.


caffeineandvodka t1_iuhvw0k wrote

Terrible things could happen being out alone late at night. Terrible, terrible things... dreamy sigh


quibble42 t1_iugyqgd wrote

Two things

  1. it's door jamb I think, not jam

  2. how do you make a shape in the cream of you are not brewing the coffee as an espresso? Maybe the barista is using cold moldable foam?


Dachande663 t1_iudmjx4 wrote

“Espresso, hot.”

She had the little paper cup ready before the door to the restroom had even finished swinging shut. A slight mist followed the visitor out, sickly smelling like pumpkin spice.

“The nutmeg?”

“Extra nutmeg.”

“Thank you Julia.”

He shuffled up to the counter. Every time she tried to look at him. She could take in the black cloak, the cowl that covered his head, but every time she tried to make out his face things just got… blurry.

Instead she watched him pluck his pouch from his belt. A weathered hand held out his stamp card.

“One piece of silver,” he said.

“Nope.” She held up his card. “Tenth cup is free.”

“Then I gift the coin to you.”

“Thanks, but it’s kind of hard to cash in pieces of silver.”

His hand went to where his mouth would be, an audible gasp escaping hidden lips.

“I had no idea. Currency isn’t what it used to be.”

“I guess not.”

“We have other means of payment. Money is the root of all evil after all.”

His hand returned to his cloak, withdrawing a singular silver rectangle.

“Do you take American Express?”


One_Hungry_Artist t1_iue3xs8 wrote

Omg the Amex at the end killed me. I loved this!


SirEggsBennydick t1_iuf0x09 wrote

I did not expect amex at the end XD


Syndrome1986 t1_iug2rxb wrote

No expects the American Express-quisition....


katanakid13 t1_iugu9q7 wrote

Surprise and low interest payments are our two weapons. Surprise and low interest payment, low interest payments and surprise, and a fanatical obsession with what's in your wallet. THREE! Our THRE--


SirEggsBennydick t1_iugxuaq wrote

Calm down you greedy exec...

Oh wait...turns out amex is owned by the Lord of Hell.

...forgive me my lord


dj_fishwigy t1_iue6oc4 wrote

This would make a good ad


MageVicky t1_iufch9c wrote

any company that would make fun of themselves with an ad like this gets my vote.


OreoVegan t1_iugjj27 wrote

AmEx is owned by a Jewish family, and the Jewish faith doesn't believe in hell/Satan anyway, so I'd like to believe that they would be willing to do it. It would be hilarious.


Hminney t1_iuf0vo7 wrote

Yes I love the ending - even "money is the root of all evil" was great


JimmyFourLegs t1_iuet4hq wrote

the coffee is free. why is the demon still trying to pay after offering silver


Todesdogge t1_iug3zz6 wrote

Even demons from down below know to tip properly. It's only the Christians who leave you fake money bible passages instead.


rulethem t1_iue2qky wrote

Demons, I've come to understand, have a knack, and I dare say obsession, for dramatism. At least, those who served the Dark Lord did. Their entrances were always flamboyant, always.

Some burst out of the depths of the very earth, screeching at me for the never-changing order of their Lord. "Pumpkin latte, grande!" only to be gone in the blink of an eye after I gave it to them. Others enjoyed the fine art of brief mystery. They entered disguised as regular customers only to melt down into fire and ashes and be rebirth as a charred abomination the moment they reached the counter. Others were performers, they danced their way in, juggling spheres of hellfire.

The latter dressed in fine costumes and wore featureless masks. They were also talkative and had voices that were somewhere between a singsong and a grate. Despite this, a conversation with them was seldom pleasant, for I had to constantly brace for their inexorable out-of-tune screech.

That night the clock marked 3:32 and the winter clouded the shop's window. No customers were here. They never were. Only my coworker, Carl, who slept through most of our shift provided me with some company. Demons didn't like Carl, when he was awake, they never came.

I leaned over the counter, latte in hand, and gazed at the deep night. What would it be this time? I was not in the mood for talking. I never was. I wished for a silent and reserved one, but those, it seemed, didn't exist.

The clock struck 3:33. The window's tarnish dispersed, and rings of reddish light like giant fiery owly eyes, filled the dark. I sighed. So much for hoping.

Yes, the hellfire handling of this demon was magnificent, a private show any person would empty their wallets to witness, but I had seen it a hundred times if not more. I knew it by heart. There, the eyes turned into spheres and then the spheres burst into drops that bobbed and swirled mid-air. At times, I enjoyed pondering whether they imitated the shape of souls. Demons must draw inspiration from somewhere.

But those were short-lived thoughts. The drops commingled into serpents and danced into the shop. They slithered across the air all the way toward the counter, caressing my skin with an odd heat even from afar. I took two steps back. The serpents hissed and pounced onto one another, stretching until the disguised demon rose from their entanglement with a sharp crack.

"Lady, I hope this gorgeous night treats you well," it said, its voice muffled behind the mask.

I flinched, bracing myself for the usual unexpected screech. "It's treating me well, yes. Here's the order of the Dark Lord."

He nodded and with gloved hands clasped the latte. "Is it really treating you well? You seem to be in a bad mood."

That last sentence he screeched. Its voice grated like claws eager to tear apart my skin. I trembled and flinched and covered my ears.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I forget our attempts at empathy hurt your kind," it said. "We are not great liars. But lady, you at this point should understand, we are envoys of the Dark Lord, and your latte-making abilities are critical for him in the Underworld. Whether you know it or not, this thing"--he pointed at the latte--"helps the Dark Lord make important decisions, and therefore you are a part of what shapes the Underworld. We watch you, carefully and from up close. His orders, not our will. You are always safe, and you are always welcome to come with us."

The demon paused. "See how I didn't screech? I was sincere."

I frowned. "First time one of you invites me. What should I do?"

"Well, there's only one way in, unfortunately--"

The clock struck 3:34 am.

"My time is up, lady, cheer up. Not that we care, but have a good night," it said and faded into nothingness.

I was left pondering. One way in, what did that mean? Death? Was that the way into the Underworld? Did I want to go? I shook my head. Of course, I didn't.

Minutes later, the door at the back opened. Carl came out stretching and yawning. He met my eyes, then stared at the floor in front of the counter. He sighed. "Again, Carla? I don't mean to be rude, but I don't think the night shift is good for you."

He moved almost routinely toward the back and brought back a mop and a bucket full of water. "The wood will only drink so much pumpkin latte. Here, throw this in the trash." He picked up a grande cup and handed it over to me.

I obliged. He didn't believe me. He never did. Demons did this. They are creatures of mischief, and so they always made it seem as though I had dropped the drink when they were gone.



rulethem hopes you like it >:)

I'm a bit new to reddit, but I think you can follow me if you liked my stories? I'll collect the stories I write in my personal feed.


Roswyne t1_iuf1ez8 wrote

I really liked the idea that demons screech when they are are being insincere!


rulethem t1_iuf2v04 wrote

Thank you very much, Roswyne! Glad you liked that >>:))


Toptossingtrotter t1_iuepbj1 wrote

The door chime rang with its usual Fingernails on a Blackboard ring that only sounded when -HE- came in. I didn't even have to look at the clock; it was 3:33 AM. He was always very punctual.

"Hello, Sir. The usual?"

This time the Demon sighed deeply. It was a hot and humid night but his exhalation dropped the temperature by 30 degrees. I was grateful for that, to be honest. Our AC unit was in dire need of replacement.

Well, this was a new development; He had barely spoken in the past and he seemed all business on his visits. I glanced up at him, his dark shadow swirled in the vague shape of a very large man. Occasionally I'd see glints of light in it, almost as if someone had tossed a handful of glitter into a tornado.

I didn't know what to say, so I said it. "Is everything okay, sir?"

He roiled/moved/drifted towards a stool at the bar. Suddenly the seat disappeared, replaced by a black cloud. I guess that's how a demon sits down in our world?

I had started to make his usual request, a Latte, light sugar. As was the case when he ordered, I burned my hand. I was used to this. I kept a dixie cup of water in the freezer for these moments.

"I'm sorry about that, Julie. I am trying to control things, but they don't always work the way I want them to."

I turned towards him, my eyes wide. He knew my name? "Of course. You're wearing a nametag." He could read my mind? "Yes, Julie, I can."

'Wow' was my next thought. At this the head-portion of the shadow seemed to chuckle.

I blushed. The demon leaned back and looked at me with what I assumed was a smile? On his face? "Yes, Julie. This is what I look like when I smile. Although I rarely smile. I'll let you know one thing that disturbs me tonight; I wish you'd stop calling me 'Sir'. 'Sir' is my father. I'm Garettazikiel. Pleased to meet you. I'd offer my handshake, but I would just burn you. Gary for short." He added.

"Gary. Well, nice to meet you too, sir. I mean, Gary. I'll try to remember not to call you 'sir' but I'm kinda sorta used to doing that. The big boss doesn't like it when we're too familiar." Here I added air quotes. "He says he wants a 'higher standard of service' for our 'guests'".

I couldn't help but roll my eyes multiple times.

Gary laughed at this, an honest and heartfelt belly laugh.

"Your boss and my boss might just be related" he said.


mistressdizzy t1_iufhypg wrote

Well, now I want Gary and Julie trading bad boss stories.


Toptossingtrotter t1_iufnj74 wrote

That's exactly what I was leaning towards.

Can you imagine? "My boss is an asshole!" Demon: "Oh, that's cute, Julie! Here's what I had to do this past week...."

Julie: "Oh? Well here's what I had to deal with this month...."

I picture a cool friendship developing between Julie and Gary.


gdickey t1_iudoz5e wrote


oooooaghgoogh!!’ (Sounds of a thousand souls crying out in agony, but muted like someone put the volume down to three)

‘Oh, hello, Belial. You’re late. I was afraid I was gonna have to remake this latte.’


‘Uh-huh, well I won’t say anything, don’t even trip. Listen, remember yesterday we were running low on sugar-free hazelnut syrup, and if my shipment is delayed, we’d have to make a substitution?’


‘I know. It’s terrible. I feel responsible, but anyway it’s happened, so I just used regular hazelnut, but listen this one’s on the house. So if he notices, tell’em I’m sorry. I’m not supposed to do that, but hey, we do our best. And ya know, we’ll figure something out, if this keeps happening.’

Belial takes the cup, and vanishes in a poof of sulphuric mist. Then the cup reappears as it smashes against wall, a grizzled clawed hand still gripping the cup, as it spins on the floor, it’s contents dripping off the chalkboard menu behind the counter.

‘Well that’s just rude.’


LaserAntlers t1_iue2329 wrote

Wow. I knew Karens were possessed by demons but who knew Satan himself was a Karen.


WarturtleWitch OP t1_iues737 wrote

"Listen here new guy. Every night at precisely 3:30am I brew a fresh pot of our darkest roast. I use a whole bag of our house blend. If you know what's good for you, you'll set an alarm to remember." He looks at me like I'm crazy.

"But.. We haven't seen a customer for at least an hour.. Also, why so strong?" He leans in closely as I press the button. Hot steam billows from the coffee maker as the beans begin to brew. I look him dead in the face and use my serious tone.

"Because Beelzebub is coming for The Dark Lord's coffee, and he likes it hot." I smirk a little at the look on his face. Poor new guy has no idea what's in store for him. Bless his heart.

"You're kidding? Isn't Beelzebub a vampire or something? He's not real." This guy thinks he's funny or something.

The machine starts to sputter as the coffee finishes up. As if perfectly timed the lights start to flicker and the temperature in the shop starts to rise. The new guy leans over the counter as I pop the top on the extra large togo cups I special order just for Him.

I hear a snorting sound from the new guy and he whispers "Are you serious?" As the shadowy figure steps in through the door. The footsteps are so soft, almost silent. A single light beams down upon our demonic guest.

"Training some fresh meat tonight my darling?" The voice was so horrible, deep and gutteral. Very uncharacteristic seeing as it was coming from the cutest little girl you've ever seen. Yep. Beelzebub loves to disguise himself as a little bouncy haired blonde girl with big blue eyes. Tonight he wore a hot pink dress with a little mermaid on the front.

"Yes! I grow weary and it's time to retire!" I smile the biggest smile. The new guy looked like his soul had left his body. He stood there gaping with his mouth open. I winked at him. This was too much fun. "Are we still on for our bargain?" I asked the sweet little girl as I handed her the drink.

Beelzebub rocked back and forth on her tiny heels. "Oh yes my darling! You shall live deliciously as promised." She looked at the new guy then back to me. "Bless his heart." She grinned the most evil little grin, winked at me, then burst into flames. The lights flickered back on and the temperature dropped.

"Wha.. What the hell!?" The new guy finally found his tongue. I spoke to him with my serious tone once more.

"You better set that alarm."


MindlessSalt t1_iueppjl wrote

No one comes around this late, but that’s to be expected; small town Appalachia isn’t known for its night life. My few customers are police officers looking for a boost, maybe the odd plant worker fresh off third shift. The job is slow, and that suits me fine. I spend quiet nights getting paid in exchange for days all to myself. There is one thing though…

I’m not sure what to call it. It’s told me before, in some garbled dialect I’m not ready or able to understand, but regardless I call it ‘demon’. It’s a foul thing, some non-Euclidean horror almost beyond my comprehension, and it wants a latte. I think it does, at least. Just over a year I’ve worked in this coffee shop, and just over a year this thing has visited me nightly.

Its arrival is always unpleasant. At 3:33am, without fail, the brief shadows cast by the chandeliers above begin to distort as if they were being stretched open, like so many dozens of appendages tearing a hole in the fabric of my reality. It seeps from this hole, clambering from the void in one fluid motion. In its presence, the air of the room changes, suddenly chilled and reeking of ozone. I exist quietly behind the bar, the idle hum of the espresso machine filling my ears, waiting for the demon to acknowledge me.

It has learned to approach the counter before uttering its single question, understanding the abstract ritualism we take for manners. I do my best to observe the demon as it creeps across the floor, with no avail. My eyes can never focus, unable to identify any single feature or surface. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, or will ever see again. Lacking any natural features, it’s no surprise that is has no vocal chords either. Still it always tries to form words I’ll understand; a respectable attempt. It at least understands me, and I suppose that’s all that matters.

I ask what it would like. In turn it replies, straining to match the pitch and cadence of any proper English speaker. ‘Latte’ or ‘Coffee’, it hisses. And so I make a Latte, careful to make it right for fear of some otherworldly retribution. I press on the cup’s lid before slipping it into a protective cardboard sleeve, under the assumption it can register heat at all. I place the drink on its side of the counter, and on cue it dispenses an ornate, glimmering coin from its being. I struggle to describe these coins. They change at a moment’s notice, altering slightly in color and feature with each glance I take. I nod before plucking it from the tabletop.

The demon takes the latte but never drinks it, clutching it as if writhes back across the room towards its entry. In a moment it melts back into the shadows, finally allowing them to return to the shape light cast them in.

I’m not sure why that thing comes to my store, or where it takes that coffee, but I am sure it’s for someone or something else. I can recognize the bad temperament of an unpaid intern anywhere, and I can only hope whatever dark lord it serves is content with its beverage, for its sake and mine. I seem to be doing well so far.

Now, the most troubling dilemma is finding use for these coins. I have almost four hundred of them now. No appraiser can identify their origin, much less their worth. That’s okay, I guess. Might need them one day.


thelongshot93 t1_iuet780 wrote

Oooo I like this! So many possibilities for what the coins could be used for! I wonder if Charon would take them for something..


elegant_pun t1_iug577b wrote

Man, you'd get so many trips up and down the Styx...what a great date destination!

Aaaaaaand now I'm picturing Charon as a gondolier.


librarian-faust t1_iuh5n25 wrote

I'm picturing Charon from Hades (the videogame) being very pleased with that kind of thing.

Dude seems to just want someone to talk to, and being a gondolier would be interesting, I bet!


Winjin t1_iujnli5 wrote

I mean, he'd probably LOVE to get something done to his style and his boat, but it's not like a lot of people before that had a whole wealth of Demon Gold, and Demons don't do repairs nor do they even use his boat to travel.

He probably knows all about that stuff from the souls travelling IN - but never before had he had a chance to actually also take someone OUT with a shopping list - to return back later!


Viridian_Foxx t1_iudootg wrote

I poured the cream in the Dark Lord’s latte. I was told to make it dark as a corpse’s soul, and sweet as the honey of a million deceased honeybees. Whatever the hell that meant.

The demon lackey grunted when I handed him the latte, and tossed a penny in the tip jar.

“Thanks,” I said with the most insincere politeness I could muster.

“Is that sarcasm I detect?” Said the demon.

“There’s a line forming, so if you don’t mind…”

The demon was having none of it. He slammed the latte on the floor, growling deeply.

I glanced at the fallen cup of splattered latte. “You’re going to have to tidy that up.”

“You’re dead, barista boy…”

I laughed inwardly. Little did he know my covert secret. But I didn’t want to lose my job by revealing my side hustle.

The demon jumped up on the counter, and kicked his black clawed foot at my face.

“Ok then, I guess this is happening,” I said. I grabbed his support leg, and tripped him to the floor.

He hit the tiled ground with a loud thud, cracking his skull. I reached into my boot, where my demon-slaying dagger was concealed.

I held the knife to his black throat, told him to freeze. He didn’t listen. He grabbed my face with his claws, puncturing my cheek. Big mistake, freakshow….

I slammed the dagger into his hand, and he screeched. “Where did you get that weapon? You’re a damned rat!”

“No,” I said, lunging the dagger at his dark heart, shoving it to the hilt. “I’m a damned demon hunter.”

I wiped the green goo off the dagger on his raggy clothing, and stepped over his corpse. The Dark Lord would not be receiving his beverage today. And he would never receive it from me ever again…

I threw my apron to the floor and strode out the front door, into the cold morning air…

Because now and forever…

I quit.


photoshopper42 t1_iuev3wy wrote

I look at the clock, and right on cue, he appears in front of me with his ridiculous little horns on his head. I'm already putting his order into the register before he says-

"One large coffee. Black"

Black. So cliché. Heaven forbid the Dark Lord orders anything other than a plain black coffee. No milk or sugar for this guy.

He hands me some cash, I always think that is funny. A demon giving me money for the coffee. As if I would refuse him service if he decided not to pay me. Its good to know that there is some sense of morality in hell.

As I put the cash in the register and give him his change, I wonder how he even has cash. Is there capitalism in hell. Is this demon on payroll. Does he have to file an expense report or is this taken out of a petty cash fund? Or is this demon just conjuring money out of air, causing further inflation to our economy. Damn... I gotta stop taking the night shift. My mind is going wild from the lack of sleep.

I prepare his plain black coffee. At least it is not complicated. I can just cruise. In the corner of my eye I can see the demon staring at me. I would say that this behavior creeps me out, but its a demon. Their whole thing is creeping people out. And somehow knowing that is comforting. Like he is just doing what demons do.

The coffee is finally done. It only took a minute, but 3:33 is always the longest minute of the night. Somehow I don't feel like that is just psychological. I feel like the demon is distorting time somehow. I put the coffee on the counter and yell out,


The demon's name is Tim. Yup.

He takes the coffee and poofs into a puff of smoke. I pull out my phone and start browsing Instagram. Finally, at least the worst of my night is over.

"Excuse me! Can I order a latte?! What is taking so long? I want service now!"

Of fuck, I spoke too soon. Karen is here. Now I miss the demon.


a15minutestory t1_iuf4lyv wrote

An ominous blood moon hung over the oldest coffee shop in all of England. Its sole inhabitant, Isabella, worked to get everything ready. It was a job that started at 3 so the doors could be opened at 5 but for at least one multiplanar entity, that wasn't early enough.

She knew what time it was without even looking. The floor began to shake. The walls bled. The lights dimmed, the glass coffee cups rattled beneath the counter, and a crack of thunder echoed nearby. The lights went out with a pop before slowly humming back to life. In the center of the room stood a tall figure with two great horns and crimson skin. His eyes smoldered as he stared at her expectantly.

She knew exactly what he wanted.

"Tall latte with whipped cream?" she asked.

"Oh, come on, Bella, you're not even impressed?" asked the demon as he moved forward and leaned on the counter.

She sighed and rolled her eyes. "I guess the walls bleeding was a nice touch."

He took a seat on the stool and rested his head in his hands. "The thunder?"

"I've heard louder," she said through half-lidded eyes as she began making the beverage.

"Well, what, do you want me to wake up all of Brittania?"

"It's called England now, grandpa."

"What?" he asked, lifting his head. "When did that happen?"

"Centuries ago, at least. Iced or hot?"

"Blistering hot, and I'm not that old... for a demon."

"Mmhmm," she replied casually, not turning around.

After a brief silence, he sighed aggressively. "Y'know, there was a time when you used to be afraid of me."

"That was before you asked me out a hundred times."

"And I'll ask a hundred times more!" he pounded the counter. "Be my wife, sweet Bella!"

"A hundred times no," she said as she pulled the milk from the bottom cabinet.

"Aww, c'mon," the demon whined. "I'll lasso the moon for you, doll! Destroy it if you want. You want me to destroy the moon?"

"As if you could," she replied dryly.

He looked hurt. "... I could. Just, y'know..."

"With permission?" she asked. "And help?"

"C'mon, Bella, you're getting meaner lately..."

"Sorry. Just this stupid guy I've been dealing with."

"Stupid guy?" he perked up. "Who is he? Where? I'll shred him to a fine mist for you! I'll wear his face in here next time! I'll fashion jewelry for you out of his genitals, I'll–"

"His name is Maverick, and he's begging me to marry him again," she said as she turned around holding the beverage with oven mitts.

His face sagged as he fell back into his stool. "Oh."

She set the drink down on the counter and he picked it up. It began to hiss in his hand and she could practically smell his flesh cooking.

"Uhh... you want a drink holder for that?"

"Nah..." he said, taking a sip. "You know, Bella, you could do a whole lot worse than me..."

"The devil's coffee boy?" she scoffed. "No, I really couldn't."

He turned and made his way back to the center of the room. With his back to her, he asked one last question before his departure.


"What is it now?"

"... If I'm really so much trouble, how come you don't just quit?"

She leaned forward on the counter and smiled. "I don't know... I think I like being chased."

He turned his head and smiled softly. "Careful, Bella. Eternity is a long time to say no. One of these days... I'll getcha."

She blinked a few times as the blood receded into the walls, the lights brightened, and the entity all but vanished from the material plane. She stood still in the quiet for several seconds before slowly returning to work. The following morning, Isabella's mother was thrilled to find her daughter dressed for church and waiting on the front stoop.



delyra17 t1_iuhan6z wrote

Fif! So glad to see your handle pop up. Great writing, as always :-). Love the Tie-in to your other work!


Winjin t1_iujnxgs wrote

That's lovely! And I mean, Devil's Coffee Boy is basically King's Newspaper Bringer. It's a person who's got his ear.


notnotbbrg t1_iuem07h wrote

“Hey, how’d it go with your date last night?”

I looked at the time. It’s 3:32am. “Well, kind of a long story. I’d tell you, but you know who will be here any minute now.”

“Ah. True. Well, he might wanna hear too? Is he a he by the way? Does he just identify as “demon” or …”

Suddenly Damien the Demon, most venerable assistant to “The Dark Lord,” appears.

I’ve worked this shift at Angel Café for six months now. Damien, a powerful demon, without fail, appears every night at exactly 3:33am to pick up a latte for “The Dark Lord.” I’ve never gotten used to this and probably never will. I get chills every time Damien appears, but I always try my best to hide my fear and stay professional.

“Damien! How are you?”

“You know why I’m here. Where is it?”

“Ah … uh … right. Coming right up. Just finishing it up now.”

“And why isn’t it already ready?”

“Well … sir … or … uh … yea …”

“What Chris means to say is that last time we made it to be ready for as soon as you arrive and you complained that it was not fresh enough despite us making it literally 30 seconds before you appeared.”

I go back and forth between looking at Damien and Lisa. I can’t believe she just said that to a freaking demon. Is she crazy? Ah, shit! I spill Damien’s order as I’m distracted.

“Fuck,” I whisper just a tad bit too loudly.

“What is it? Where is the latte?”

“Uh … sorry Damien. I …”

My eyesight rapidly deteriorates as tears pile up. I wipe my eyes to prevent a waterfall. Lisa comes over to help.

“It didn’t come out right. We’ll get you a fresh one started immediately.”

That was a lie. Lisa just lied to cover for me. God I hope Damien isn’t psychic.

“It has been 3 minutes. The Dark Lord will not be happy with this wait.”

I nod my head furiously while multitasking and scrambling to get another latte started. Lisa puts her hand over my hand in a signal for me to stop and calm down. I look her in the eyes and nod slowly.

“I am not Cupid. I am a powerful demon. Cut the romance, complete my order, or you will find out exactly what it means to be a powerful demon.”

“Yes. We’re on it Damien. Chris is going to take a break and I’ll get this done right away.”

Damien grunts. I walk to the other side of the café to do some stocking. Lisa pours Damien’s latte into a large coffee cup.

“Here you go. One large iced vanilla latte.”

“Have all the specifications been met?”

“Blonde roast cold brew, one pump vanilla, whole milk, and a dash of cinnamon.”


Damien grabs the coffee.

“By the way, my manager did mention that we’re getting ready to sell to a new owner so I’m not sure if the new owner will be okay with the whole free coffee in exchange for not killing us deal. Just letting you know.”

Damien glares at Lisa.

“I guess we will see.”

Damien suddenly disappears.

I let out a huge sigh of relief and put my hands on my knees while looking at the ground.

Lisa walks over and rubs my back.

I stand up straight.

“You know, Lisa, either you’re the bravest person on the planet, the craziest person on the planet, or both … You know if I didn’t know any better I’d think you’re a demon yourself.”

I grin and giggle.

Lisa grins as well.

“Chris … you have no idea.”

Lisa winks at me.

I tilt my head slightly to the side while looking slightly confused. I wonder what she means by that?

My thought is interrupted by another customer walking in. Ah, fuck. I guess it’s about that time for the after-party crowd. Beats a demon, but not by much.


Chance-Leg-5953 t1_iuenmbr wrote

“He still really drinking the PSLs?”

Betabat sat slumped over the counter and didn’t look at me as he replied. “Yeah. He thinks they’re delicious.”

I poured him a cup of coffee and leaned down beside him. “Who knew pumpkin spice was so popular with the dark side?”

“Do you know how long eternity is, Dolly?” He said, sitting up to look at me. “Because it’s a really long time.”

“I know, sugar. And it must feel even longer when your boss is mad at you.”

He groaned and leaned back, hands holding onto the counter to keep himself from toppling backward. “Why did I even take this job? I was perfectly happy terrorizing the damned. They feared me! I was good at it!” He lay his head back down on the table and covered it with his hands. “And now I fetch pumpkin spice lattes and track soul snatching appointments on outlook.”

I tapped my fingernail on the counter and smiled. “And you can’t even do that right.”

He pushed himself up forcefully. “I know!!! I can’t even keep fucking appointments straight!”

The shop was empty, but I looked around reflexively before returning my gaze to him. “You know why you took this job, sugar.” I said evenly, looking him in the eyes. “And you need to stay focused on that.”

He turned his face away from me, so I grabbed his chin and kissed him. He was hesitant at first, but I felt his mouth melt into mine and his fingers in my hair.

I pulled back and stood up, the chain on my ankle rattling as I did so. “Because we’re getting out of here,” I said determinedly. “Even if it takes an eternity.” Then I turned and dragged my manacled foot toward the espresso machine.

(Note: my husband says they don’t serve pumpkin spice lattes at diners but this is just how I pictured the scene in my head.)


Philosopher_1234 t1_iufpxtj wrote

About 5 years ago the owner decided to make this little cafe 24hrs. He figured he could take advantage of the after club crowd and by him I mean my poor ass that got shifted to over night. I was the assistant manager, was getting ready to become the manager, now I run over nights 6 nights a week.

Why do I work 6 nights a week? Well Sunday night we're closed and no one else has ever covered a shift for me and returned for their next shift. The benefit is I now make $60k a year working nights, pouring 3 cups of coffee a night. From 10p - 5a there's only ever 3 customers.

2 of the customers are the local police. I'm pretty sure they would quit if they met my third customer. See she's a demon. Not just any demon but Lucifer herself. Apparently one evening a low level demon came in and tried my latte. Then wouldn't stop raving about it to anyone and everyone in the other place. Luci said it wasn't actually hell, just a different dimension. Tried for weeks to get me to pronounce the name right but my human vocal chords couldn't do it. So I call it the other place.

Luci was wonderful. We spent many nights talking about how Christianity screwed up and got everything wrong. Talked about Luci spending a century trying to get it fixed but apparently being a woman and a demon made it a bit difficult so she said fuck it and let it be.

I hit the brew on the fresh pot 3 minutes ago. It would be ready at exactly 3:33, when Luci walked in. It was getting close to that time, it was 3:32a and I could feel the tingle in the air. Lucifer would be here soon. The clock turned to 3:33 and the coffee stopped brewing, the lights dimmed, the air sizzled with static, and smoke poured in through the door frame.

"Hey love, good to see you. Coffee is ready"

"It doesn't even phase you anymore does it?"

"Why should it. Other than the showy entrance, your my best customer. You pay 50x the rate tip. You're the sole reason the night shift is profitable."

She looked me over, head to toe. "You know flattery will get you everywhere. My offer still stands. Come to the other place, live forever, open a chain of cafes, and be my lover"

She has made this offer once a week for 5 years now. Every time I turned it down.

"Yes" I spoke before I thought. Then it hit me, I said yes. Before I could think, everything turned black. The world became fuzzy, my feet left the ground, and then it stopped. I stood in a cafe, empty except for a table and chair.

"This is all yours Jimmy. Anything you need to make it perfect, is yours. Just ask. I'll see you at home husband."

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in the other place, apparently married to Lucifer, and would have my dream cafe. "Well fuck me sideways"

From behind me I heard a gentle whisper "there's time for that later honey"


VacuumInTheHead t1_iugk22v wrote

My sleep deprived brain has gone into hysteric laughter. Very good 👍


UntakenNameFtw t1_iufkxon wrote

I wiped down the counter to make sure it was spotless. Now, If anyone asked me if I believed in the supernatural before I worked as a barista here, I would laugh in your face thinking it as a dumb joke. Well, not anymore. I looked as the clock hit 3:33am. I looked around as the lights dimmed considerably and the air went stale and cold. I was prepared for this so I wore a thick jacket over my uniform to keep warm. Is it strange that after working here for 5 years that I'm actually used to this?

I could see my breath as I watched the wall near the entrance. A human like shadow appeared and out walked a devilishly handsome demon with bloody red hair. Mind you—he told me previously that this isn't his actual form but the one he uses when he crosses to the Earth's realm. The lights and temperature returned to normal. I took off my jacket.

" Vincent, How many times have I asked you to use the front entrance?" I asked with fake seriousness. Vincent is just what I call him. I don't know his true name. He won't tell me. Has something to do with demon culture apparently. At least that's what he told me.

The handsome demon gave me a pitiful look. " Don't be like that, you know I like flashy entrances."

I smiled and nodded my head in understanding. " So what will it be?"

"Ah, you know, same as always." As he walked up to the counter.

" Sure thing! I got started making a Carmel latte with extra Expresso." I got to work while the demon sat down and watched me with interest.

" Have you made any progress with that women you told me about yet? What was her name again? Claire?"

I almost slipped up what I was doing at the question and had to catch myself on the counter. I brought that up once like almost a year ago! How the hell did he remember something like that and bring it up now?

" Hey, I heard that. Don't say hell in vain, I get prickly everytime."

I stopped what I was doing and glanced at him for a moment.

"Really? That sounds rough. You must be really uncomfortable around people on earth."

" Tell me about it! it's insufferable! However, we are getting off topic, so?"

Tsk. Topic change has failed. I decided to be honest. Cause lying might get me killed.

"Uhh, no. Actually, she fell for some other asshole. So I lost interest."

I frowned in displeasure as I remembered that guy. Vincent looked at me with his ruby red eyes in sympathy and nodded in understanding. Then as if he thought of something great — he spoke energetically,

" Want me to curse him to death for you? It's the least I could do after all the lattes you served me." He looked at me eagerly.

If he had a tail I could almost see it wagging back and forth. Sometimes I forget who and what I'm actually talking to. Suffice it to say my malicious thoughts disappeared like smoke.

I spoke cautiously, " No thanks. It's in the past now. Please don't harm anyone for me in that way. Like ever." I reached for the Expresso.

Vincent shrugged, "pity." He sighed in regret. A moment past as I was finishing up with the first latte and started on the second.

" Do you know why women always fall for the assholes?"


" Cause assholes know what they want and go for it."

Am I getting women advice from a demon right now? This is unbelievable. I decided to move the subject along quickly.

" Makes sense, what about you, any demoness catch your interest lately?"

Vincent paused before laughing boisterously, " You have no idea who your talking to kid. I have a whole harem of succubus at my beck and call back home." He winked at me, " I can let you meet one of them if you like?"

Is this demon pimping his own women at me? No. More importantly, is he trying to get me killed?

I started sweating before carefully saying,

"No thanks, that probably wouldn't be good for my health."

The demon sighed again. "You're no fun."

I dropped two lattes in front of him.

"Here you go, enjoy!" I said with my best fake costumer service voice.

From what I know, one is for him and another is for some demon lord back home.

Vincent took a sip and moaned, " This tastes like heaven." He took another sip slowly enjoying the taste before standing up.

"Well, I best be on my way, wouldn't want the demon lord's latte to get cold now, do we?" He said rhetorically.

The lights dimmed again and the temperature dropped. I put my jacket on again.

"Cya later Vincent. Same time tomorrow?" I asked as I watched him put one foot in the shadow before stopping.

He turned as if he forgot to mention something. "Actually no, I told a friend of mine how divine this place was and she's taken an interest. She'll drop by in my stead tomorrow."

He smiled devilishly, "Don't worry she won't bite. After all, it would be annoying to have to find someone else that can make a latte as good as you." Then he disappeared into the shadow. The place returned to normal.

I walked to a nearby chair and collapsed into it. I looked at the floor blankly. I only had one thought going through my mind.

'should I quit?'


resonantdendrites t1_iuf3t3n wrote

I awaken to my ringtone coarsely penetrating my consciousness. My ringtone, "Come Sail Away" by Styx, is playing at full volume. By the time I open my eyes, the lyric,

"I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise, We climbed aboard their starship, we headed for the skies"

is playing, which sticks out to me in my mind because I had never noticed that lyric before despite listening to the song countless times.

I answer my cell only to find it's my boss calling me for the second time this week in the middle of the night. The last time I had refused to help him, being that the bastard only pays me $11 an hour plus the meager tips (which I am convinced he has been skimming). It's bad enough being a barista in a place where nearly everyone is too busy drinking soda and other canned drinks to stop at a shop and fork out more money on a locally roasted brew.

Tonight my boss sounds incredibly intoxicated, and he tells me that the motion detection alarm has gone off again inside the shop. He begs me to go down to the shop and check out the situation, saying that he cannot afford a second DUI. I want to tell him that he needs to get his shit together and that none of this is my responsibility, but instead I demand that I be paid for my time and he begrudgingly agrees.

Gazing into the vanity mirror of my aged Buick LeSabre, I am mortified by the glassy, bloodshot, and sleepless eyes that peer back at me. I decide to spend the 30 minute drive in silence, but I abandon that plan half way through when the prospect of letting my drooping eyelids close becomes too seductive. I manage to make it to the shop without passing out, in no small part due to ripping some of the hairs out of my nostrils in order to be woken up by the stinging pain.

I notice someone must have forgotten and left out the chalkboard sign, which is odd because that never happens. More odd are the strange symbols some mysterious passerby must have drawn on the sign. They remind me of hieroglyphics, some of them purely geometric, some of them incorporating animal imagery. Most of the animal images are extremely strange looking and seem fantastical. The only ones I recognize are an eagle, a lion, and a bull. I check my watch before unlocking the door, and it is 3:31AM. I groan. Once inside the shop I feel puzzled because I hear none of the alarms going off. I check the alarm system on the far wall and confirm my suspicions that the alarms never were tripped. I decide to do a quick once over of the shop using my phone as a flashlight and then leave. I groan again knowing that I have to be back to work in this same building in 4 hours.

I open the back door into the employee area, and a chill slithers down my spine. It feels as though there is a frozen wind slowly lapping at the back of my neck, and the hairs on it stand up like I was touching a Van de Graaff generator. I swivel around and see a form in the shadows. A guttural voice begins speaking, and I freeze in a blind panic.

"Did your corpulent, wine-addled master send someone competent this time?"

I struggle desperately to process what is happening but utterly fail. I manage to mumble "wha....what?" under my breath, when suddenly the figure steps forward and comes into focus.

Roughly 4 feet tall and vaguely humanoid, every square inch of the creatures skin is covered in gleaming, slimy, off-white organs that vaguely resemble eyes. These self lubricating optical pustules quiver sickeningly when the creature moves, dripping whatever unholy secretion coated the abomination. It began to raise its hand, still walking directly towards me.

I feel a scream start deep in my throat but for some reason it catches, and nothing comes out but a weak stream of cold air. Suddenly I realize that I am unable to move, as if I had instantaneously developed paralysis. The creature gently touches the tip of its left index finger between my eyebrows.

A blinding light replaces my vision, and I hear a booming, baritone voice shout thunderously,

"Grande Caramel Macchiato with Oat Milk and two pumps of hazelnut syrup. Extra whipped cream."

My vision fades back to normalcy and I feel myself moving, propelled as if by some other will to walk behind the counter. This feeling of almost being controlled like a puppet lasts until suddenly I find myself holding the finished drink. I hesitate before handing it the the slime covered appendage of the creature, which grabs the cup greedily. The creature lets out a disturbing screech before disappearing through a flaming portal, leaving behind only a faint smell of Sulphur.


mazzimar7 t1_iufjb4e wrote

The Barista sat at the end of a counter in an empty coffee shop, flipping through the pages of a disguarded magazine. The after-bar crowd had just cleared out and it was time for a well deserved break. Turning the page, The Barista's nose was met with a strong smell of sulfur and something sour that sent chills down their spine.

The Barista rolled their eyes and slammed the magazine shut.

"You're late" The Barista mumbled, not even bothering to check their watch.

A shadow stood in front of the register but didn't respond.

"I suppose you've come for another latte" the Barista said while opening a small refrigerator and pulling out a carton of goat milk. "Decaf, extra hot, extra shot, no foam, goatmilk latte for..." the Barista stopped before continuing "...the dark lord." Their back was to the shadow, but was that a smirk on The Barista's face?

The shadow didn't respond at all but seemed to be solidifying. Those were definitely 2 pairs of arms by its sides. It held out the lower right hand expectantly. The smell was worse when it moved.

The Barista was watching the espresso drip from the machine.

"It's the extra shot that gets me, you know?" The Barista chuckled, looking back toward the now solid shape at the register. "Like, does ol' Lordy want an extra shot of decaf or regular? Because one-third-caf doesn't quite roll off the tounge but an extra shot of decaf is... a choice."

The Barista turned back to the coffee. The shape at the register had acquired a glow in the places eyes would be if you considered the mass on top of it the head.

The Barista held one shot of espresso out so the shape could see it and said "I've been meaning to ask you, you know? But I've just been doing the extra as a regular shot and, you know..." The Barista looked back while reaching for the steamed goatmilk. "You keep coming back"

The Barista slowly poured the milk into the cup. Carefully crafting an elaborate pattern. Smiling at their own creativity. The Barista turned back to the register. Still admiring the art.

"It's a shame ol' Lordy's just gonna put a lid on that." The Barista smiled looking the shape straight in the glow. "That'll be $6.66, after tax." The Barista extended their hand and their smile grew.

The shape didn't move. It was completely solid now, casting it's own shadow. Smoke and grime seemed to be leaking from it from places The Barista couldn't see and the smell was starting to make their eyes water.

Both of them stared at each other for a full minute, unblinking, arms out stretched.

The Barista, still smiling with tears building in their eyes, cleared their throat.

"That'll be $6.66, after tax."

Tears were starting to stream down The Batista's face, but they remained smiling. Another minute passed and neither The Barista or the shape at the register had moved.

The smile faded from The Baristas face as they lowered their arm.

"We talked about this last time, dude." The Barista lifted the latte off the counter, still staring the shape in the glow. "No money, no coffee."

The Barista slowly began pouring the contents of the cup on the area where the shape's feet would be if feet had been there. Holding eye contact while the last drop trickled out, carefully setting the cup back on the counter and continuing to stare into the glow of the shape.

The smile was back on The Bariata's face. "Ask ol' Lordy for a spending account, man. That's pretty standard for assistants these days, you know? Or like, reimbursement or whatever." The Barista shrugged and turned around. Walked back to their seat at the counter, picked up the magazine, and started flipping through for the page they were on before.

The smell started fading and The Barista looked back up. The shape was gone. The smoke and grime were gone. All that remained was a puddle of cooling latte on the floor.

The Barista chuckled to themself then said,

"You know, I think that thing's a demon"

The Barista erupted into a fit of laughter.

"Fucking demon."


Omniscient_Pig t1_iugr16c wrote

What even is this song that’s stuck in my head?

God, it’s dull as ditch water here.

Can’t wait to hear about the new guys. The banker yesterday, hilarious!

That fucking lights been flickering for a week now, when’s that going to get fixed?

Might as well do another sudoku, I think, as I open the app. It’s 3:25. Oh, 8 minutes, yeah, easy.


And there’s the last 7, which makes that the last 2. Nice. Oh, sweet, only 5 minutes. Suppose I might as well get the machines running.



Crack. There he is.

“Hey, Mike!” I say, my voice dry for disuse.

“Hey, man. How’s things?”

“Boy, am I glad to see you. Not a single sod’s been in here all night, I’ve been bored stiff. I mean how many sudokus can you do in one night? Anyway, how you doing?”

“Oh, not too bad, can’t complain,” he growls, then shivers. “Christ, it’s always so cold up here.”

“Well, I suppose it would seem that way. So, what does he want tonight?”

“Here, get this," he says, leaning in and whispering. "An iced latte.”

A fucking iced latte?!

“I know,” the little fella laughs, “doesn’t seem the type, does he? He's pushing the boat out a bit.”

“Ah, fair enough, I suppose. So, how’s things down there?” I ask, keenly. “Any new faces?” God, I love this bit.

“Yeah, actually, a few,” he chuckles, as I begin brewing the espresso. A fucking iced latte? “There’s this politician, so, you know; liar, gambler, corrupt up to his eyeballs,’ he itches his ear with a gnarly red finger, ‘had several competitors killed and threatened, willing to destroy the planet for political gain... Nothing unusual for his kind, obviously. He cried like a baby when he saw the big man, it was hilarious.”

“Speaking of which, how is the big man?”

“Oh, same old,” he says, with a disinterested wave of the hand. “Although, I think he’s a bit bored with the whole... shtick. Hence the iced latte, I guess. How’s Alex, any news?”

“Oh yeah - she’s pregnant!”

He beamed, revealing several yellow and pointed teeth. “No way! That’s wonderful! Congratulations!”

“Thank you! I can’t believe it,’ I say, giddy, ‘I’ve been praying for this day to come!”

“Oh, I’m so happy for you both. Ah, well done, man! The boss’ll be just thrilled for you.”

Finally, I pour the cold milk in. “There we go, Mike,’ I say, sliding the cup along the counter. “One... Iced latte.” We both laugh at the absurdity of it. Satan. A fucking iced latte.

“Thanks a million, mate. How much do I owe you?”

“5 dollars.”

Hey?! 5 dollars?!

“I know, inflation’s a bitch right now.”

He pulls his wallet from his pocket, and reluctantly hands me a crisp, and incredibly warm, $5 bill.

“Right. Better be off. Don’t wanna keep him waiting," he chuckles. "See you tomorrow, mate.”

“See ya, Mike. Have a good one.”

And with another crack, he was gone.

What a nice guy...

Suppose I could actually do something useful. Cleaning or something. Nah...

God, that fucking light...

And that’s a 3, which makes that a 9...

Satan. An iced latte. Ha!


I just about jump out of my skin. “Mike? What do -”

That’s… That’s not Mike. Mike’s not tall. Mike’s not handsome. And he certainly doesn’t have a…

“Halo,” I say, somewhat pathetically, as my mouth falls open.

“Hi there!" the angel says, in a gorgeous, deep, ethereal voice. "Could I get a pumpkin spiced latte to go, please?”


justafriendofdorothy t1_iuf7v0l wrote

“The usual?” I ask the shapeless… blob, I suppose is one way to describe it. It still hasn’t given me its name, so I call it Tim. Looks like a Tim.

“Yesss” the cursed sound comes out, like nails on a blackboard. The first time I heard Tim speak, I swear, my ears bled, it’s so awful. I wonder if it’d be inexcusably rude of me to offer throat caramels.

I begin working on that latte - 2 pumps vanilla syrup, extra sweet with cinnamon on top, as Tim peruses the shop, eyes soulless, and never focusing at anything too long, as always.

‘Last Christmas’ plays on the radio, and the shop is empty. Starbucks, on the corner across the street is equally deserted for once. Must be a Christmas miracle. At least the ‘Dark Lord’ supports local businesses- or Tim does. I doubt his boss would allow him to continue taking her coffee from here if she minded though.

I hum along to the radio as I finish the coffee at set it aside. Tim seems pensive, looking outside the window at the Starbucks barista cleaning up an espresso machine. I decide to leave him to his thoughts a little longer.

Setting the mocha down at the bar, I grab my macchiato, because gods above I have another three hours until the next girl’s shift starts, and call out; “ The coffee’s ready - and this is for you, mocha, it’s a sweetish, chocolate caffeinated drink. On the house.” Tim stares at me, and slowly comes and sits at the barstool I front of me. We drink quietly, and I appreciate the company. Night shifts may be convenient as they deal with less people, but at times like these, I do feel somewhat lonely.

3.55. “I better gooo… Thank you, Melissssaa.” it goodbyes me, leaving the money for the latte in the counter. “Happy holidays, Tim.” The demon walks out to the lamp-lighted pathway, and fades away into the night. I had never given it my name, and for some reason, I know I’d not be seeing Tim again. After all, a dark creature had just felt happy, and the balance had been tweaked. Who knows what would happen now. But for a moment, Tim was happy. It must have been a Christmas miracle.


(As you can see I’m already in a holidays mood, and it’s not even November yet. Also, I’m using the term Christmas miracle very loosely, in the commercialised, secular sense the Christian holiday has taken under capitalism. Unfortunately, Yuletide miracle or Hanukkah miracle don’t have the same sensationalistic value as Christmas miracle.)


Raikage77 t1_iugl7y1 wrote

Working at a small time café was never what Devon imagined when he thought of what his first ever job would be; Burger King, Footlocker, maybe some random grocery store. All the options he could imagine, and something like a café wasn't one of them. Devon didn't even like coffee like that. He'd drank a cup here and there, and his grandmother used to give him sips from her cup when he was little, but other than that he barely ever thought of having coffee.

Of course, there were worse places to start out. His older sister, Tamira, had given him some pretty horrible tales about what it was like working in a UPS warehouse (though, he doubted it was as bad as she described). But, beggars can't be choosers, and since his allowance got cut off a little over half a year ago, this was the only way for him to make some extra spending money.

Tamira had gotten him this job through one of her old high school friends; said friend no longer worked at the café, but they'd been good friends with the owner. Good enough that the owner decided to give him a chance, despite not knowing much about him at the time, and Devon was grateful.

Before he started working at the café, Devon rarely talked to any hipster or goth people, now he'd talked to more than he could count of his fingers; being a barista was similar to being a bartender in some ways. You had a lot to talk about once you got to know a person, especially the regulars, like this one goth chick who Devon had his eyes on; dreaded hair, dark skinned, with black lipstick and nails, and her eyeliner was in this style that reminded him of those ancient Egyptian wall paintings. He'd never met someone who was black and goth before, and given how she dressed, it only made since that her name was Nubia.

But not all was fun and games at the café, after all it was a job; a job with very specific rules for those in charge of working his shift, which was the overnight shift. Some which were very odd, but: "must be followed, no matter what," as his boss had put it.

Firstly, by eleven-thirty, all the blinds on the windows in front of the shop must be lowered, and no one was allowed to look through them under any circumstances. If you forgot and had to lower them, don't make direct eye contact with the kids beyond the glass for more than five seconds.

Second, once the clock struck twelve, lock all three bolts on the door leading down to the storage cellar, starting from the bottom most bolt at the bottom of the door, followed by the middle bolt, then the top-most bolt, and the second bolt, in that order. If you mess up, start over.

And thirdly, at 3:33am, a woman will appear and order a latte; she won't use the front or side doors, she'll just be there (most likely when your back is turned). Be polite, make what she orders, and always greet her a goodnight when you hand her her order.

Three rules, very odd at first glance, but there was always a reason.

Devon had been working at the café for a little over a month, and had worked the nightshift a handful of times because those that worked nights got paid a bit extra. "For the dangers," the owner told him. His first night was probably the scariest night of his life; the eerie voices and scratching coming from the basement door, the creepy kids giggling outside the window, and getting jump scared by the woman he'd been warned about that he dubbed 'Madam Red' because of the red office clothes she wore; with the hair and the height, he was honestly closer to calling her 'Miss Bellum', though she sounded more like 'Him'.

And so, after a long day of school, Devon found himself showing up at the café at quarter to eleven for the nightshift. It was a Friday, the weekends being the only days he could work the nightshift until Spring Break started. The one working the evening shift was an older teenager named Bobby. Devon was taking over the shift for Shane, an ex-employee, and like all the other employees, Shane had also worked the nightshift, but he'd made the mistake of not following rule one; looking through the window blinds.

"Never again," Shane said to the café owner. "I don't know what kinda cursed place this is, but it ain't worth what I'm getting paid."

"Don't be mad at me, kid," the owner said. "You were the one who didn't follow the rules."

Devon and Bobby talked for a little bit, then when the clock hit eleven, Bobby left. During the nightshift the café didn't get too many costumers; you got a night owl or two, a few randoms stopping in to get a pick-me-up, but other than that it was pretty lonesome work. The first thing Devon did was close all the blinds on the windows, then he began cleaning down the counter tops and tables, mopped the floors for backroom, dinning area and bathroom; all of that took a little over forty-five going at his slowest pace.

Once all the cleaning was finished, Devon went to the cellar door and locked it the way he was told: "bottom, middle, top, down," he said to himself (there was no rule saying you couldn't lockup early, it only became a problem when you lockup late). Then the voices and the scratching came. Devon had always been curious as to what was down there at night, but there was no way he was gonna open the cellar door and look; he wasn't stupid. That's one way to end up on a t-shirt. Devon thought.

For the rest of his time, Devon played games on his tablet and listened to music to keep himself busy. The boss saw no issue with it, as long as he did what needed to be done. So, when 3:28am rolled around, Devon paused the game he was playing and began getting ready to make 'Bellum's' latte.

The first sigh of her appearance was the lights flickering ever so slightly, and the music coming from the speakers on the walls distorting.

At 3:30am, the voices coming from the cellar stopped, as well as the scratching, and the eerie giggling from outside the store quieted down into hushed whispers.

Then, just before the clock hit 3:33am, Devon turned his back from the direction of the cash register. He knew she was there before he turned back around; she was always followed by the strong scent of perfume; of lavender, roses and something else he could quite put a finger on. Devon straightened out his red apron and turned, a smile on his face as he greeted the tall, slender woman in red.

"Welcome, Ma'am. What can I get you today."

The tall demoness stared straight ahead at the menu on the wall for a moment, before she cast her gaze on him; her eyes glowed an eerie red that he could easy see through her long black tendrils of hair. "My lord is feeling something of the peppermint variety; he wants a peppermint mocha latte with goats milk, three sugars, no cream, and a dash of Deadman's root powder."

Deadman's what? Devon raised an eyebrow at that last one. "Um, I have no idea what that is, ma'am."


Will be continued soon when I have time


Iam_Introverted t1_iufrpr7 wrote

The woman sighed as she looked at the clock 3:30. Each day a demon would stroll in through the door, sometimes in a disguise while others not. Every day there always seemed to be a new one too, every Halloween one of the Lords of Hell would order a drink too. It became so normal to the point that she memorized the regulars orders and occasionally had a short chat with some. Why you may be asking? Well one day her and a co worker decided to 'get into the Halloween spirit' by making the most hellish latte they could make.

Once they were finished she came up with the name that apparently grabbed all these demon's attention 'The Dark Lord's latte' the two tried it and cried for hours, when their boss found out about it he told them to put it on the menu. After an entire lawsuit though the customer had to sign a waver before drinking it and was granted a years worth of free drinks if they drank it all. 
"Hello welcome to- what the **** is that?!" Carl yelled in horror, she was in the back restocking some ingredients when she walked through the door to see an 8 foot tall 'person' standing in front of the counter. 
 "Um, hi? May I try the Dark Lord's latte?" the man politely asked, his skin was red as blood and he emitted an unholy aura that made the two feel light headed. 

"Ok s-sir what's the name for it?" Carl stuttered, the man paused for a moment and then casually introduced himself "Asmodeus." he grinned. The two made the drink and quickly gave it to him he then caught into flames and only left ash from which he was standing and two twenty five dollar tips and the payment for the drink. 

After the third time this happened the two noticed the one, the camera footage would become corrupt at the exact time the demons showed up and two, the demons only showed up at 3: 33 am. Carl got tired of everyone not believing him so he quit trying to convince people. 

Although Mary keeps saying that Norse gods have been coming in after she made her own drink called 'Frigg's Frappuccino'. Everyone decided to stop making their own drinks after Kyle made 'Zeus's Energy Drink'.

ignatzami t1_iugklsf wrote

I work for a 24hr drive-up coffee chain in the Seattle metro area. You might have heard of us, the boss got in hot water playing fast and loose with PPP loans at the height of COVID. Anyway, I work the night shift. The differential makes it worth it, and most of my customers are Boeing blue-collars looking for 32oz monstrosities with 10 shots of espresso, and at least a dozen shots of syrup.

I've got my regulars, lots of them in fact. One of the big advantages of the night shift, especially in Seattle, is the night owls are consistent. There's Derek, who comes through on a fixed gear bike he made himself, orders a doppio, and calls me honey. Then there's Jim, Josh, and Frank, the adorable gay triad that live in the flats across the road. They always swing through on the way to, or from, somewhere naughty. That's always how Frank describes it. "We're off to somewhere naughty!" He says. Three coffees, cream, sugar for Josh, cream for Frank, black for Jim. That's the thing, you get to know the regulars, the good tippers, the oddball orders like the one guy that gets a 16oz steamed cold brew. Still not sure about him.

Then there's the car. That's the thing, I don't know the guy's... the drivers? Whatever, the entity behind the wheel, I don't know their name. Let's be clear, I'm not religious, I don't believe in ghosts, or spirits, heaven, or hell, but there's something just... not right about this car, and the thing that drives it.

3:33am, every day. Gorgeous car, never a speck of dirt, or dust on the high gloss black paint. Looks like a 40's Rolls Royce Phantom, only it's not. I dated a guy for a few months who was a total car nut. The sex was good, and I learned more about classic cars than I ever cared to. I mean, this car's perfect. Showroom fresh, absolute mint, black exterior, and this deep maroon interior. Not a badge, or mark anywhere on it. Windows tinted just on the inside of illegal, and the weird thing? The weirdest thing, it's silent. I mean silent. Not Tesla silent. Even with an electric car there's some noise. The tires on the ground, the tick of the inverter, the sounds of the cooling fans, or a belt, or even the sound of the air moving around a large metal object. Cars, regardless of their power train make noise. This one just doesn't.

I remember the first night, right at the height of COVID, we'd been declared "essential" so I was out at night slinging coffee. I turned away from the open drive-up window to check my phone, and maybe get in a quick level of Candy Crush. I knew I'd hear any car pulling into the drive, and wasn't worried at all about being caught out. Then, out of nowhere, a soft cough behind me.

I spun, dropping the phone in my haste, and there was a car at the window. That car. "Sorry, one minute" I said, pulling my mask over my nose and bending to scoop the phone off the floor. That was my first impression of the car, the long fenders, the white wall tires, the absolute silence. I stood, taking a moment to collect myself and looked through the window with my best barista smile firmly on my face.

You ever see a wolf? Not in a zoo, but in the wild? I did once. I was snow shoeing and came around a fallen tree and there, maybe fifty feet in front of my was a wolf. Full size, grey, those alien yellow eyes. That little part of your brain that knows, on some level, you're food started to scream that this, right here, was dangerous. As I looked out the drive-up window, taking in the car, and the immaculately dressed figure at the wheel, the coiffed hair, the obviously expensive sunglasses, black leather driving gloves, the hint of an olive tan, the too-white teeth behind thin lips. At that moment, that little part of my brain started to scream.

"Latte, small, cream"

His, it's, their, voice slid into my ear. I say slid as I can't describe it any other way. The sound was a violation on some basic level, the sound was simply wrong. There's no way I should have been able to hear them over the traffic and yet, I heard every word. Cold, clear, as if they had whispered into my ear from an inch away. I moved on reflex, grind, tamp, lock the portafilter into the machine. The shot glass slipped through my fingers tumbling onto the black anti-slip mat. I noticed, at that point, my hands were shaking, adrenalin thundering in my ears, my throat terribly dry. I grabbed the other shot glass, and hit the double button. The machine hissed, filling the shot glass to the brim, 3oz espresso and crema.

"Dairy is fine." They said. I hadn't even had a chance to ask, they knew the question before it left my lips, and answered before I could ask. I nodded numbly, filling a 12oz cup with milk, steaming to 130 degrees, espresso in, lid, sleeve, I turned back to the window as they extended a thin arm through the open window of the car, their gloved hand holding a jet black card.

I took the card, no name, expiration date, nothing. Just a flat black rectangle with an EMV chip. Still half on autopilot the card slid into the machine. A second later a single chime informed me the transaction was approved. I passed the iPad through the window to the waiting... car, and they signed. A simple three rectangles, a small dot in each, and a $2 tip. Then, just as suddenly, and silently, the car, and the thing behind the wheel were gone.

Now, every night, 3:33 the car simply appears. I've stopped questioning it. The order never changes, nor does the appearance of the driver, or the condition of the car. It's as if I'm stuck in a loop. 3:33am, every night I work, I make a latte, small, with cream and the whole time my brain screams that I'm in terrible danger.


Chicken_Bytes t1_iufqzxg wrote

3:29... any minute now... Alex's eyes fluttered up to the clock, hanging above the coffeeshop's tacky entrance. Working the nightshift had been dull, but it paid well. Other than a few drunks here and the occasional night owls, nothing happened in this little town. Until a week ago when they'd had a change in menu, from upper management. The drinks were... special, to say the least. Alex didn't question it, it took them a while to get used to making these new coffees, which didn't really resemble coffee- and smelled putrid. But whatever. Coffee is coffee and money is, and always would be money. Ever since the new menu came out, the nights had grown... darker, a heavy silence pressed down on the coffeeshop, only the soft ticking of the clock interrupting it's tension.. tik... tok... tik...tok...TIK

3:33 am, the time Alex somehow knew the door would open, and a shadow would ooze in, followed by shiny black snakeleather shoes, expensive looking, and a black suit. The face of this customer was unrecognisable, it seemed to shift ever so slightly, the face changing slowly, cycling through faces they almost recognised. Only the eyes remained the same. Cold icy blue pits that gave Alex a deeply unsettling feeling in the pit of their stomach.

Quickly averting their gaze, Alex cleared their throat and said "Hi, what can I get you?" Staring down at the counter, they could hear the heels of the being's shoes click on the black and white tiles, which were due a good clean. "Uhhhhh yeah can I get a uhhhhhhhhh Frap- no... no you know what, I thought I was going for something else today but I've changed my mind, I'll stick with the Dark Lord's Latte please"

The voice changed from a woman's, to a child's to a man's, cycling through accents as if it wasn't sure what fit right, what would work best on this Barista. Alex nodded and quickly whisked around to start working on the drink, steam hissing and the dark liquid oozing out of the machine, a tarry scent wafting up at them. The sooner they'd get this coffee right, the sooner this.. customer would be gone. Swallowing down a lump in their throat, they glanced back quickly, not quite making eye contact and asking "anything else?" "No... no thank you, that would be all" the chilling voice said, now with a foreign accent, before switching to a youthful, happy voice.

The voice felt like a stab of a knife, that was Laura's voice, or at least it could have been a very close match to that of Laura's, from 8 years ago. That was when she was last seen, just around the block from the movie theatre. Alex and her had gone to see some blockbuster film, and she had ran back inside to grab her forgotten beanie, which had dropped underneath her seat. She never came out, she had vanished. Police investigations had been thorough, Alex had gone through investigations, sleepless nights, but no trace. Alex was staring into the customer's eyes now, the voice haunting them. "Can I get my drink, please?" Said Laura. With shaking hands, Alex picked up the coffee, the drink sloshing over the sides of the paper cup, scalding hot against their skin, and set it down in front of the customer, who's face had begun to resemble Laura's almost perfectly, apart from the eyes. A dark, oozing hand placed money on the counter, more than Alex needed for this coffee, but they were stuck, staring in horror at the icy blue eyes, until an eerie thought popped up, and for a split second Alex couldn't remember who they were. The thing laughed, a cold, harsh sound, the voices mixing again "Oh you'd be a delight to consume Alex, you could join your friend Laura, but then I'd have no one to serve me my coffee, would I now? And you do make such a delightful brew" it picked up the coffee, and with a heel clacking sound, the door creaked, the customer gone, and the clock ticked once again. Tik.. Tok.. Tik.. 3.34.

Alex's eyes fluttered as they were trying to remember what just happened. Manually grabbing the money, and stuffing it in the register, they turned around to make themselves a small cappuccino. Huh.. I guess the late nights were getting to their memory or something. Ah well, time to scroll through reddit, sip their coffee, and wait for the next late night customer.


ExLegeLibertas t1_iugpjw5 wrote

The creature is never late. Three-thirty-three AM, every single night, without fail for the last nine years, the 'demon' pours out of the broken grease trap at the back of the shop like the worst vodka-diarrhea you've ever heard. Bits and pieces, wet and chunky and impossible to even look directly at, a slurry of pseudopods and vomit and teeth and thousands of crushed human eyes that congeals together over five or ten nauseating minutes. It can't speak, because it doesn't have anything approaching a human mouth, but it can slop wetly across the floor and leave a glistening brown-red trail that more or less reads the same, even when we scream at it not to bother - we know what it's going to order.

The owner says this place used to be a pizzeria, and that a bunch of kids once performed some kind of bullshit seance or whatever in the bathroom during a birthday party, the kind of thing that happens when your birthday is on Halloween and you're nine years old and don't understand how the multiverse really works. If enough dumbass children do enough bullshit rituals at enough haunted pizzerias, one day they're going to annoy Something and it's going to slough through the hole in reality. They closed the place two months later, when they finally had to admit the stains were never coming out.

Why they turned it into a cafe, I'll never know. I started here two years ago and this nonsense was already tradition. The shitbarf-demon always spews out of the same broken grease trap, always writes 'Dirty Soy Chai Latte W/Vanilla' on the bottom of the old dish sink, and of course we make it, we pour it down the hole, and then the thing regurgitates a bunch of old coins that no one wants to touch. Morning crew's job is to use the scraper rake thingie hanging above the sink and shove them all back down the drain.

The thing never tips, but it also never complains, so I'd say that puts it a cut above our regular clientele.

I need to get out of this shithole town.


Jdog73 t1_iufynna wrote

I looked up at the clock. 3:15 am. Time to reach to the back of the freezer.

This nightly ritual began 2 months ago. I’ve always been a night owl, but I’m also a barista. That job usually requires early hours so when a 24 hour Starbucks opened down the street I was first in line with an application. Most people hate the night shift. It’s usually a combo of homeless people and drunk sorority girls looking for their pumpkin spice latte fix. The homeless usually weren’t a problem, and the drunk girls were good for a tip when the random guy they were going home with threw a $20 in a jar after she’d hurled mango white claw on the floor. Vomit cleans up easy, especially once I learned to start the night with a fresh mop bucket.

That night a different variety of customer walked in. 3:33 am. She was well dressed, early 40’s, still rocking the Kate Gosselin haircut after it had run it’s course.

“Unicorn Frappuccino” she said curtly. In my head I was thinking of writing “Karen” on the cup, but to be safe asked her her name.

“Karen” she said in the same quick and bitchy manner. I almost laughed, but the last thing I wanted to deal with in the early morning hours was a “Karen”. She didn’t seem like the kind to wait till six am till my manager arrived, but you never know.

I started making the frap which I had started calling a “crapuccino”. As a barista, we have to try all the new promotions. These reminded me of a McDonald’s shake, hint of peptobismol and an extra pound of sugar. But oh well. No accounting for taste.

I took extra care in making it, not feeling the desire for complaints. I handed it over to her and she began walking out.

“Enjoy” I said.

“It’s not for me.” She quipped as she hurried out.

I forgot about it. It wasn’t a story worth sharing with the morning crew so I clocked out and went home to sleep.

I don’t usually have dreams, especially not nightmares. I did that day. In my nightmare the same woman from the night before came in, followed by 10 more identical twins. I looked out the window and there was a line of Karens as far as I could see. Everyone ordered a Unicorn Frappuccino. Everyone of them would take a sip and scream that it was the worst thing they’d ever drank. Then they would demand to speak to my manager while shoving a funnel up my ass and giving me a unicorn Frappuccino enema. After having hundreds of Karens in a row do this, I suddenly woke up screaming and realized I’d shut myself. It had a slight pink hue which at first scared me. I thought it was blood, then chalked it up to the bowl of fruit loops I’d had before going to bed that morning.

I cleaned myself up and tried to go back to sleep. I had more dreams. Dreams of riding my bike through the city. I woke to my alarm at 8pm. The bad thing about working through the night is that it’s easy to fall into a habit of sleeping all day. It’s a cycle. Work, go to sleep, wake up and go to work, repeat. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d had a day off. It all became a blur after awhile.

That night was the usual crowd of drunks and homeless. It died down after 2:30 and I was actually starting to nod off. The bell over the door startled me awake. It was 3:33 and Karen was back. At first I thought the nightmare was back until she slammed her hand on the counter and shouted “are you going to help me?!”

I moved to the register. At that point some serious deja vu kicked in as she again ordered another unicorn crappuccino.

To break the feeling of my life repeating, I said, “somebody must really like these”. She again said that it wasn’t for her and hurried out the door with the drink. She was the last customer of the night. I had a momentary fear that my nightmare would play out in reality and a crowd of Karens would fill the store.

I left when the morning crew arrived. For a moment I thought about telling them about Karen, but I was too tired. I went home and immediately went to sleep. No more fruit loops after yesterday.

Unfortunately though, yesterday repeated. I had the nightmare again. The coffee shop full of Karens, all demanding to talk to the manager, all shoving their unicorn crappuccino a up my ass. Just like the day before, I awoke screaming. Just like the day before my underwear was full of pink shit.

I started feeling that deep fear you get when your body does something to remind you you’re mortal. Did I have cancer? Was I bleeding internally? It couldn’t be though. It literally looked like peptobismol, not blood. I did what all guys do and talked myself out of going to the doctor. I showered and changed underwear and got back into bed. My underwear had caught it all so the sheets were fine. I slept. More dreams of bicycle riding.

The alarm woke me. I showered and went into work.

As I walked into the coffee shop, past the chalkboard that said “Try the new Unicorn Frappuccino! It’s yummy!”, it reminded me of something from the nightmare. During the attack of the Karens, over one of their shoulders, I could see the chalkboard. It said “Dreams are a vision of Heaven. Nightmares are a taste of Hell.” Hell. That was the perfect way to describe the past two days.

Which turned to three days. Four days. Five days. Every night Karen would appear, order and leave. I’d stopped trying to break the deja vu feeling with small talk. Now I accepted it.

Every morning, going home and going to bed to greet the nightmare I knew was coming. I’d started wearing adult diapers to bed. It was just easier. I didn’t have to get up to change and could transition to the bicycle dream.

I grew more and more haggard. I wasn’t sleeping and when I did I’d wake up shitting myself with peptobismol. All because of Karen and her fucking Unicorn crappuccinos.

By this point I had no friends to talk to. For the past two months my life had been nothing but work and sleep. I’d become a hermit and had started looking as ragged as the homeless that stumbled in at midnight, trying to get free coffee but settling for a cup of hot water.

I walked into the door of the coffee shop, ready to begin the routine all over again. As I walked by the chalk board, I saw it had changed. It no longer advertised the unicorn Frappuccino. Stunned by the first different thing in my life for the past two months. I grabbed one of the day shift baristas leaving for the day and asked them what was going on.

“Limited time. We’re rolling out a holiday Frap tomorrow. Come to a meeting once in awhile and you’d know what’s up.” He said as he brushed past me and out the door.

I smiled. It was over. When Karen showed up tonight, I could tell her to shove it up her ass for a change. No more crappuccinos for that bitch. She was done making my life hell.

As I waited for the inevitable 3:33 door chime that would herald Karen’s arrival, I happily finished the turn over chore list day shift had left. Especially the last item. Move all the Unicorn Frap mix to the back of the freezer till they had time to ship it back to the supplier.

Ding ding. 3:33. Karen.

“Unicorn Frappuccino” she said, as curt and bitchy as the first time she’d come in and uttered those words.

I’d spent most of the night smiling inwardly as I’d worked on what I would say.

“I’m so sorry MA’AM.” I emphasized ma’am for an added bit of verbal acid. “That was a limited time promotion.” I had a shit eating grin as I uttered those magic words.

Nothing. Karen just stared at me. Through me.

“Unicorn Frappuccino.” She said again, almost as if she hadn’t heard him.

“I’m sorry,” I stuttered. “We don’t have those anymore.”

Again nothing. She stood there and then repeated the order.

“Unicorn Frappuccino.” This time more urgently.

“Unicorn Frappuccino!” Again, slamming her hand on the counter.

“UNICORN FRAPPUCCINO!” It was turning into a shouted chant, each time punctuated by slamming her hand on the counter. I swear to god I could see the counter almost buckle under her slamming.

Not knowing what to do I stammered, “I’m sorry! You’ll have to come back in the morning and talk to my manager!”

Karen stopped. For the first time in their two months of interactions he saw her expression change. She smiled. The smile grew, revealing a grin that looked like she was about to devour me.

“No!” She growled. “But you can talk to mine!” She slowly backed out of the store, smiling that horrid smile. That was when I noticed movement in the corner of my eye.

I couldn’t turn to look at the shape in the corner of the shop. I physically couldn’t. I was frozen by some force I couldn’t see. It was large, 9 feet tall at least and a sickly greenish gray. It was pulsating and swirling. It made the hair on my arms and back of neck spring to attention, like the fear and revulsion you’d feel if you looked down and saw a spider crawling up your body.

*”Dreams are a vision of heaven. Nightmares are a taste of hell.” *

The voice chilled me to the bone. It was high pitched and tinny, almost like glass breaking.

“Wha-at” I stammered out.

*”fetch me my drink boy and I’ll let you wake up!” * It’s voice was like fine crystal in a garbage disposal.

What was going on? Wake up? I was awake. This wasn’t the dream.

Dreams. The bicycle dream that came after the Karen nightmare. He remembered it. He’d been riding his bike to apply at Starbucks, but for the evening shift. The truck came out of no where. The impact was so sudden and forceful he’d been dead before he hit the street. How long had he been here? Which part of this afterlife reality was real and which was the nightmare? I suddenly realized I’d never know. I’d be living this existence for eternity. I was literally in hell where the true horror was never knowing what was a nightmare and what was real. Where nightmares and reality were as interchangeable as a unicorn Frappuccino becoming a pumpkin spice latte. This was my eternity.

I applied for the evening shift, because the only 24 hour Starbucks is in hell.


Wdrussell1 t1_iugk59b wrote

Its been a long day. Today of all days you agreed to work a double. David had suddenly quit and you saw him on the news a few days ago. He won the lottery, the lucky fuck. Oh well, maybe you will pick a ticket up after tonight's shift. You look at the clock as you haven't seen anyone in about an hour. Its almost 3:30. "Bah, I will lock the door and do some organizing in the back." You go up to the door and lock it with a nice tactile "CLICK!". Toss in an earbud and start sorting some stuff. a few minutes pass and you hear a "DING". Huh, sounded like the bell on the counter. Then another, "DING! DING!". The hell?

You take out the earbud and walk to the front. Sitting at the counter is a very well dressed and groomed, wait does he have red skin? Horns!? "Hello dear." He says with a smile. "You must be new, I am Charles Xorn. I am what you know of as a demon. I am a servant to the Dark Lord and more than that his personal assistant. I have come to fetch his morning coffee." In all the time you have worked at this shop you have never seen something such as this. As the words fall out they hardly seem real. You notice his horns are a deep red and white, pushing back behind his head, almost like hair, gray hair even. he has on a very well kept dark black suit adorned with gold buttons, cuffs and even a simple pentagram lapel on each side of the collar. Gold rimmed glasses, and a single gold ring on his hand. His eyes are very cat like and match his golden adornment aside from a hint of green in his right eye. As these thoughts rush past you and your own attraction to them it seems he interrupts. "Ma'am, I apologize. Can I order please? I will be paying so there is no reason to worry. Just a normal coffee order for such a normal day." His words spark you and you go into a bit of autopilot. "Oh sorry, I am just uh.. you understand I am sure. What's the order?"

He tells you the specific order. Simple coffee, a bit of milk, a single scoop of peppermint and just a single pump of caramel. "This is what the devil orders? Hmm, I would expect that Chris Cringle orders this one.." You think to yourself silently. You hand him the coffee and he lays a single one hundred dollar bill on the counter. He smiles and simply says, "Keep the change, its the largest single denomination that I can give you unfortunately so it will have to do. Thank you for you and I will see you tomorrow at this same time dear." He give a gentle nod and bow and walks directly into the door. Except instead of hitting the glass he simply walks right through and goes down the sidewalk. You wanted to see where he went though! You hustle up to the door and unlock it only to look that direction and he is gone. "Drats, what the hell was that." Then you smell the typical smell of alcohol as the sound of a drunk man wanting coffee brings you back to reality.

You remember he said at this same time tomorrow. You look at your watch, 3:34. "Hmm, what's so special about this time." you think to yourself as the night goes on making coffee like normal. The night goes and you end your shift like normal. The money he paid was real and you use it to buy your own meal before you go home and get some rest. You wake midday from a call from your manager. You answer with a meek "hello?!". "Jessica! I think I need you to work the night shifts for a while until we can get someone who can replace David. I will gladly give you an extra few dollars an hour during this time if you can work it." Your thoughts go back to the demon and your curiosity. Well you do have questions and certainly you would like to get some extra cash. "Sure, count me in. So just the normal 9PM to 5AM right? Starting today/tonight?" You tell him with a bit of excitement. "Yeah, take the day to get used to the schedule. Ill compensate you starting from last night." He says as you feel the weight lift off of his shoulders. He would have had to work the night shift if you didn't agree so its does make sense.

Hanging up the phone you get a bit of excitement, even decide to get a decent lunch for once. Over your lunch you mull over your questions, at least the ones you can pick out of the thousands. Is the order always the same? Why my shop? What if the person didn't make the coffee? That last one makes you shudder a bit. Best not think about that one. Wait, are angels real too? This subject is just way too deep. You finish up and get a bit more rest before 9PM. Going in you are really busy for the times you expect. Keeping the place in shape and playing on your phone to pass time. Watching the clock tick by. "It's 3:30AM, a few more minutes." You say lightly. "What if I made the order early?" You start getting the cup out and grabbing things. A few minutes pass as your trying to get the stuff out. "DING!" you hear from behind you. "Oh, I was just getting things ready." You turn to see the same smiling demon. This time his suit is a bright white. All of the same accents but instead of gold they are a green, but his smile is just as deep and warm as last time. "Ah hello again dear. Glad to see you again this evening. Just the morning trip for the Dark Lord's coffee. Same as yesterday. Thankfully he has been in a good mood as of late. I like to think the coffee helps." He smiles a bit deeper and gives a mild chuckle. You smile and get him the same. Simple coffee, splash of milk, a single crushed peppermint and a pump of caramel. "Here you are Charles! I made sure everything was made fresh as can be. Hope he stays in a good mood!" you tell him as you hand him the coffee. He gives a bit of a haughty laugh and lays down the same payment as yesterday. "HA! You and me both darling! His bad moods are not to be trifled with. Maybe I can dodge them for a few more lifetimes!" He gets up from the bar where he has been waiting and steps to the door just like last time off to carry this prize to his master.

This same routine continues for many weeks and months with minor conversation each time. You have learned that demons retain their complete selves from their past life and that every demon fades with time until they are nothing. There are some exceptions and servitude to the master is one of them, the others you haven't broached as a subject yet. After some months that same ritual comes to pass. Only this time as you are making your way to the front something is different. Charles starts getting a bit more agitated and rings the bell three times, now four, five. Something is off. Charles looks as clean and well dressed as ever but his face tells the tale of tales. He has a very off putting mildly angry look with a bit of fear mixed in. Before you can greet him he snaps the order. "Just a latte, coffee and milk only. Quickly, time isn't a thing to be trifled with. Over the course of the last few months you have actually found that the exact time Charles shows up is 3:33AM. You also have figured out that when this happens time seems to stop or go very slowly while Charles is in the shop. So you know he is lying at this point. But you do not argue, you simply make what was requested. Charles leaves a handful of money on the counter and leaves. Not even a single shred of banter. He is a demon after all he isn't supposed to be nice. But this was different. You decide to go about your morning and finish up the shift like normal. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Nine o' clock comes slowly. Barely sleeping and worried what the dreadful time has in store for you after yesterday. The time creeps by on the shift even feeling like 100 orders are taken in less than a second. Finally 3:33 pops up on the clock. Charles once again has a very sour look and says "The same, just a simple latte and milk. Quickly...please..." The 'please' in his voice would be easy to miss if it hadn't basically been a whisper, and maybe a slight plea for help. You make the latte as instructed and try to talk to Charles. "What had the Dark Lord done to sour your wonderful personality Charles?" but there comes no answer. He gives the ever so slightest smile and puts the money down as he leaves. This time at least the one hundred dollar bill. After about 20 minutes of day dreaming the door swings open again and in your mind you hope its Charles returning. Unfortunately its not, and worse the two that just walked in are holding guns. One of them immediately runs to the counter rushing you so you can't respond. The other locks the door. The 'CLICK' almost feeling like the trigger was already pulled.


Wdrussell1 t1_iugk87z wrote

The two men together rush the counter and demand everything from your pockets and the register. Panicking you dump everything. What are you supposed to do anyway? The closest man takes the gun and the second starts to jump the counter saying something. All you caught was "Oh no baby, I want much more.." but just as his feet touch the other side of the counter you hear a familiar voice. "Gentlemen, I believe that a mistake has been made." While the voice is familiar, there is something different there. Its more calm, more collected, and certainly not well meaning. The men turn to Charles who is wearing a suit you have not seen. It is a very dark red, almost maroon or even black if not for the bright lights. The other aesthetics of his suit being bronze or copper in color. Almost as if a haze was on them. Almost dirty. Charles never looks dirty.

"Gentlemen, I will only ask once and I will not delay. You have ten seconds to remove yourself from this place before things get messy. But let me be honest, I like messy and I am counting at twice speed." He then starts counting. The first number seems slow. "One" Then the second number and you realize he is going to count to ten. "Two" You count with him. "Three" He is counting fast. "Four" Your heart is counting too. "Five, Six" Did he just count two numbers together? "Sever, Eight, Nine!" Charles voice is getting scratchy and deep, what one would call as demonic. "TEN!" The two men turn their guns and fire at Charles. He simply smiles and drops the two bullets. Before the casing and the bullets are on the ground Charles has moved up and disarmed both of them. Smacking their guns with his tail as he pushes them into the back room. As one of the guns hits the ground it goes off. Suddenly you feel a very warm, no.. HOT sensation in your stomach. The pain being brutal, and forcing you to pass out. As your light fades you hear the screams of the two men. Unsure if he is torturing them, eating them or just killing them.

You come to still in the coffee shop. Charles is over the top of you with his signature smile on his face. His suit is once again a brighter color. White with emerald accents. He greets you as you wake. "Ah there she is sweet girl. Thankfully the bit of magic I do have works on humans." He says as helps you to your feet. You check your clothes and body. No bullet wound. "How?" You ask him meekly, still feeling the searing pain but quickly subsiding. "Ah, never fear, the bullet did go through." He tells you as he shows you the bottom of a cup. "Its still got your blood on it, but you otherwise are in mint condition. Come, sit at the counter and drink some water. I feel I owe you an apology that I came to deliver and I am certainly glad I did." He helps you up as he tells you this and hands you a cold bottle of water.

You take a few sips and start to let the stars stop flying in your mind. As your stress starts to lift he speaks softly, but warmly. Much as he did the first day you met. "First, don't worry, no one will hear anything that happened here, I also have fixed all damage caused as well as cleaned up any loose ends. All but the bloodied bullet, which is yours to do as you wish." He points to the cup with the bullet. "But second, my attitude towards you has been sour for a few days and that is not kind of me. You have done nothing but be nice and I should have done the same even if my work was making me insufferable. So I thank you very much for still being you. You also asked what has soured my mood. Well, the short of it is that the Dark Lord is not happy. I do not know the nature of work for the lord of demons but he isnt in a good mood and he is taking that out on the rest of the underworld. But thats nothing we should concern ourselves with. I promise I will be proper and respectful from here on out. That is a promise." he then summons a piece of paper and a quill. "Now, I am allowed to make very few deals in my work. But I am able to make them. This page is a deal. You are not required to sign it certainly but this deal, with a demon, is ever binding both ways. I cannot go against it and nor can you. However this deal is written specifically." He pushes the paper towards you to read.

I (Charles Xorn), promise to be respectful and polite to Jessica Steely forever and all of eternity. I am also not allowed to harm her in any way. This contract only expiring when in the event of her death or when my own essence fades. Signed Charles.

Reading the few words carefully you are satisfied. "So what if I were to not sign this and we just shake hands?" you ask him mostly curious. "Well, I certainly can make this promise and I aim to keep it. However, I think this deal means more to both of us. It simply keeps me honest should my own mind forget itself. It also seals in the event that something happens and I am to be forced to harm you, which I certainly do not want to do." He sounds firm, and direct. Certainly no tricks here. He hands you the quill. "This is a blood quill so signing it will hurt a tad, but I promise, no lasting marks and the pain will be gone as soon as you sign it." He smiles as he tells you. "Ok, then I agree." You pick up the quill and sign it. The pain is quite light and manageable. Your signature then glows and sets in the paper. Charles takes it from you and it bursts into flames as it is put in his pocket. "Excellent. Now, I must be off. The Dark Lord let me make this errand and I certainly shouldn't keep him waiting. Plus, we have two new souls that I need to re-introduce myself to." His voice on the end makes you shiver slightly. But he gets up and starts to walk out.

"Wait!" You say, making Charles stop mid step. "What would a deal with the Dark Lord look like?" Charles tilts his head slightly and his expression changes a bit, something to more of concern. "Well, I must warn you that deal with him do come with a debt. Unlike this one we just made. But certainly they would be ever binding. What kind of deal would you like to make with him?" He leans slightly against the counter as if to inspect you as he speaks. "Well, I would like to offer a deal but my first requirement is that he must drink the latte I make him tomorrow first. If he doesn't want to try and take me up on my deal then he will get his usual latte order. So tomorrow I will do this. I will make two cups. One with his normal order, and one with what I think he will like. If he accepts my terms you take mine to him. If he doesn't then you take his to him and we act like it never happened." You stumble at first as you start the words. But as you speak you gain confidence. "No matter what, he gets his latte at exactly 3:33 AM. But if he takes my terms then we come to the table with understanding." Charles thinks for a moment. "I- I will ask. I will take whatever punishment he deals out if he doesn't like this. So if you see me tomorrow I will deliver his message. If you do not...then I guess I will still have delivered his message. Either way, tomorrow we will see." He steps towards the door as is his usual, unlocking it as he gets close. "You are quite the curious girl Jessica." He says over his shoulder. He then steps out into the morning air and walks away. "Now that I opened my big mouth. What do I make the Dark Lord of the underworld..."


issawildflower t1_iugv7t7 wrote

Oh man I’m so curious to see what Jessica makes him!!!


Wdrussell1 t1_iuh27zu wrote

Heya! I was thinking about leaving it at that part but decided to finish it. Give it a read now. I posted two more replies. Sadly a 10k character limit on reddit! lol.

I am also open to any critiques. I am no professional. I do this simply to exercise my mind when it feel constricted. I will also say I am not a coffee person lol, so this is all based off simple stupid research I did.


Wdrussell1 t1_iuh20g2 wrote

You end your shift in a tizzy. You are both scared out of your witts and excited to no end. What does the Dark Lord enjoy? Could he have a nut allergy? More questions and more things to distract from the task. "Surely not pumpkin spice.." You chuckle to yourself. No, this has to be something delicious and something that he would drink every single day. Sugar? No, that would just be stupid. You spend hours thinking and thinking. You eventually fall asleep at your computer as you research what would make the best coffee. Your dreams are filled with the the information from which you were trying to derive your options. You found that coffee used to be called the "Devils Brew" because they thought it was evil. This was certainly fitting and gave you quite the chuckle when you figured it out. Almost didn't know how to take it when you found out. "No wonder this guy likes coffee, it pissed off all of humanity at one time..."

'BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!' Your alarm starts shouting at you. "Shit, its time to go to work....I better get this figured out or I am fucked." You start your walk to the shop. Plenty of time. You walk by admiring everything as you go. You then pass by a little taco and elote stand. You see the guy sprinkle different things on them. You then see him take out a zester and put nutmeg and lemon zest on them. You order one and start eating as you walk to work. The taste is perfect. You can taste the nutty and sweet flavor of the nutmeg and it compliments the citrus of the lemon. Perfect. Add a hint of peppermint and its complete. "Oh I have GOT this!" you say as you nearly sprint to work.

The night goes as expected, but your giddy. Your about to serve the devil the best cup of his own brew that has ever been brewed. You even picked up some fresh lemons. Time starts to roll faster and faster as cup after cup flies. Finally its 3:30AM. "I guess I should get started." You start making the Dark Lords typical cup, making sure everything is perfectly fresh. You set that one on the counter, and start the next. By the time your done Charles will be walking in the door. First a little dab of peppermint in the bottom. Next nice fresh hot coffee. Little dab of milk all foamed up just to specification. Now the lemon zest. It should sink through the foam. Finally, a fresh heavy handed scratch of nutmeg over the top. Almost turning it brown. Your getting so into this prep you didn't even notice the time. You peek at the clock behind the counter. Like clockwork. 3:33AM and the hands have stopped. You turn to put the cup next to the other and as you do you see Charles is sitting at a table away from the counter and someone else is sitting at the counter. Charles is drinking the first cup. The other is waiting with a simple smile on his face, ready for HIS cup of coffee.

The man sitting at the counter is a thin fellow. His skin red but slightly darker to a more red color. He too is dressed in a fine suit. He has on a green suite with very similar jewelry and accents to Charles. His however are a black and red. The glasses even remind you of Elton Johns. The pentagrams on the collar are instead horns with a crown and it looks like they are literally on fire. "Well hello Jessica, its a mighty pleasure to meet you. I am as you know am known by many names. You may call me Dark Lord, or Lord. I am told that you have offered to make me a cup of coffee that might make you favorable for a contract. I wager you are looking for the same deal that David got, but that was more pity for a dying kid who wasn't able to make coffee anymore...So what have we made here today. I only caught the last few seconds and didn't see much else..." His voice was sweet, sexy even. He never raised his voice or even had a change in tone. Like a well oiled machine coming buttery smooth over the best set of headphones you have ever worn. A very welcoming and warm set of tones.

This is something you had not anticipated. The man showed up himself. I guess you don't go toe to toe with the devil and not get a little warm. "H-h-Hello Lord, this is quite the surprise, I never thought you would come yourself. Uh what I made well..." You take a deep breath and stop your trembling, whenever that started happening. He speaks as you try to compose yourself. "Sweet child, your deal with Charles still stands and I honor it as well. You will not be harmed. I just wanted to see what you made and was quite interested in the idea you came to me for a deal. Do not fear me. This could be motor oil and I would simply leave, but disrespect is not your type so I am confident this will be good." His words again are smooth and for a moment you feel are a false sense of security. But something in you knows, he means what he says. There is no trick in his wording. "Ok Jessica, its time to do this..." You think to yourself. "Lord, what I have made well...would you be willing to drink it first and then let me know what you think. I feel like this speaks more for itself than it does from describing it. As you can see I am a nervous wreck..." You say, trying to get the words out as fast as possible but also trying to gain your confidence. The Dark Lord just laughs with a warm smile as he reaches for the cup. "Alright then sweetheart, lets see what you came up with."


Wdrussell1 t1_iuh20oz wrote

He takes a long drink of it, stops after a second or two and gives a small. "Hmm..." Then goes back to drinking. Before anyone can breath he has taken the whole thing down and sets the empty cup on the counter. "Hmm.." he murmurs again. "Now how the hell did you get this idea from an elote stand." He says and smiles deeply. "Charles, when you told me this girl was quite curious I thought you were pulling my tail." You hear him say as your still processing everything. "Wait, you were watching me today? I have been dreading the last 24 hours and you saw everything..." You say somewhat emotionless and slightly angered. He somehow manages to smile even wider and laughs very haughtily tapping the counter slightly. "My my Jessica, you can't have thought you give this kind of ultimatum to the Lord of the Underworld and not get some kind of curiosity. Honestly as much as you have dreaded it I have been drooling and just giddy with excitement over the details of this very moment. Not many people can get my respect but damn have you ever done so." He nearly falls out of his chair with the amount of laughing and excitement he is expressing. "So I think it is no secret that you certainly have earned the right to a deal with me. I only have one demand in this whole deal and I will be upfront about it. What are your terms! Be honest with them, don't be shy!" He exclaims and then summons a dark black book and very fancy pen. Both of which match perfectly with his style choice.

"Well, they are very simple. I will start first with my offering to you specifically. I will make you coffee for as long as I am alive and have the ability to do so. Then, my terms on what I want. My first demand is that you must always employ Charles for as long as he wishes to be employed. Second, you must treat him with respect at all times. Certainly you are his master, but you must also respect he does work for you and wishes to be treated with respect. It is after all an honor to be in your service for him I am sure. Now for myself. I only want two simple things. My bills are always paid in full and on time. But they do not come out of my bank account. House, food, cars, the works. Finally, I wish to never have what happened to me yesterday happen to me again." Your voice cracks and tears start to flow a bit. "I wish to never.....have that happen again....please.." You fall to your knees and start weeping. Full blown tears, enough to flood a desert in seconds. You then feel a warm hand on your shoulder, and a soft warm voice in your ear. "You have a deal young lady. Those are terms that are more than enough." Your crying deepens and you throw your arms around the Dark Lord as he speaks to Charles. "Charles, bring me the book of deals. The red one." Charles responds with a simple "Yes sir, right away. Be back in 5.

"A few more minutes pass and you have collected yourself slightly. The Dark Lord helps you from the floor and much the same as Charles had done previously. He hands you a bottle of water. "Take a drink and catch your breath." You do exactly that, taking a drink you realize you didn't even reconcile these feelings before. You were scared out of your mind. Now though, things seem better. You know that you won't ever have to deal with this again. After a minute you choke the words out. "W-What about your terms? Don't you want something from me? I am sure more than just the coffee you have been given for the last few months." The Dark Lord gives a smile and a slight chuckle. "Darling, you faced the Devil and went toe to toe with expectations and in the end only cracked when you were overwhelmed with other feelings. You gained more respect from me today than anyone has in over 1000 years. Your terms of coffee are more than acceptable after the display of confidence."

Just as the Dark Lord finishes his sentence Charles walks in with a rather large red book. The Dark Lord thanks him and then opens the book to a blank page and writes out exactly what was requested of him. He turns the book to her and summons his very elegant blood quill. "These are the terms exactly as you asked me. I have also taken the liberty to close any loopholes so that they stay in tact. Please to read them over." You read them carefully. Aside from impeccable handwriting everything seems perfectly in order and as it should be. You put the quill to the paper and Charles speaks up. "Be sure Jessica. This is no small ask." You look at him and smile. "I am quite sure of this. If nothing else we suffer together." You then turn to the page and take every stroke of the quill with the pain it causes and enjoy the pain that is the best decision of your life. You finish and the Dark Lord speaks first. "It is done. I am bound to this contract just the same as Charles is his. Charles, as your first assignment. Your to make sure that Jessica always has protection. I will also accept you taking moments away to deal with problems yourself. Also, be sure that those two souls are given extra duty while any new ones are given the same. Take the book back, make it so. I will work in your place for now until you return. Take your time. I would like to get to know and talk with Jessica. After all, every demon in hell will likely know her name and face."

Charles takes his leave with the book his face smiling wider than ever before and his step just as peppy. After he leaves you speak up. "So you are really going to make sure to come personally every time so the three of us can have a cup of coffee together? If I didn't know any better Charles might have asked you to to setup a date..." He smiles his tail flicking as he does. "Well, the world may never know. But certainly I would love another cup of this lovely drink you made me. Just a bit more nutmeg for me this time though. Didn't know I needed this stuff in my life."

Every night at 3:33AM the Dark Lord and his assistant Charles drop by your home as they have for the last 40 years. Stopping by to catch up on the day, talk about life and death, and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Its been 40 years, but today is different. The Dark Lord has brought a note. Its something you expected for a while. Your last living cup of coffee. But hey, not your last with the Dark Lord and his assistant. The devil's brew certainly is a good treatment for the soul.


GangPug t1_iuh1nqo wrote

Quiet, serene and peacefull, that's how I saw it when I got this job. Beautifull smells, a cozy and well-mannered atmosfere, clothing out of old movies the sytle of black and white with a hint of red at the neck!

I looked over the well-cut counter, cravingly scouting the coffee shop I used to be in-love with. Now, I detested it. Deserted and life-less, it had stopped being a fairytale and had turned into a nightmare. The empy blocks and seats of the late hour didn't smell of conversations past, the windows didn't show me a sight of the magnificent moon shining its rays of light upon the "open" sign that welcomed customers in next to a bell chiming the tune of good-faith.

I told myself that. Because of the demon. Yet I did not believe it, and that really should have scared me.

I let out a construated sigh, lying down on the counter. The scent of coffee beans coming from the box touched my nose. It was warm, so very warm. I still felt this place welcome me, for it was the same. Warm, yet so very hot, and I knew it was only going to turn smoldering soon.

I clenched my teeth, an ugly grimase on my face, and slammed my fist next to the "Parluxe" bean grinder. A small bump followed, meaningless and unheard to everyone but me, yet it hurt, my hand aching afterwards.

"What's wrong with me?" I thought, holding my trembling hands before me as my teeth rattled, but I knew the answer. A grin escaped my pursed cold lips. "Maybe I'm trying to escape the coming wildfire by kindling one up myself..."

I kind of cant finish this a 2nd time, might do it at some point.


ValienSR t1_iugzjbg wrote

I still remember my first night shift at the Nighthawk Cafe, even ten years later it’s seared into my mind. I kept myself busy most of the night cleaning, straightening up the displays, and watching reruns of Criminal Minds on the small tv in the corner. Past midnight the only costumers I saw were the occasional night shift workers picking up office orders, or burnouts looking for a caffeine fix to keep them going. It was boring and lonely, but the pay was better than expected for the position. I’d asked my manager why the pay was so much more than day shift but all she’d say was that it was more important.

Around 3 in the morning was when I felt it for the first time, the feeling of being watched. At first I tried to dismiss it as nerves, being alone in the middle of the night could make most people a little paranoid. But as the minutes ticked on the feeling got stronger, like the eyes that followed me were getting closer. Along with that came a distinct rise in the stores temperature and the smell of burning. In a panic, I ran to the kitchen, thinking I might have left something in the oven in my sleep deprived state. When I entered the kitchen, I was greeted by an empty stove and a digital clock flashing the time, three thirty three a.m. That’s when I heard the bell to the front ring.

I hurried back out to the front to be greeted by my new customer. He was an average looking man in an entirely unaverage attire. He was dressed completely in black, from a black bowler hat and coat, to the black mirrored shades he wore despite the time. I gave him a smile and welcomed him in.

“Hello sir, what can I get for you tonight?”

The man stood silently, I thought he was reading the menu behind his dark glasses, when it occurred to me he might have been blind.

“We have espresso drinks, juices, smoothies. If you want we still have some pastries I could-“

The man raised one hand, as if to silence me, and I stopped short.

“It’s a lovely morning today, isn’t it?” He asked plainly.

Confused, I responded in kind, “Um, yes, I guess it is. The man grinned slightly and I felt a shiver run down my spine. There was something wrong about this man. “Anyways sir, is there something I could get you?”

“No.” The man said bluntly. “It’s not for me, my master always gets his morning latte from here.” His master? I thought. Odd, but I supposed most of the people awake at this hour were likely a little strange. “Your master?” I said, trying to make conversation. “Who’s he?” The man chuckled, seemingly amused, “You know him, just as all mortals do.” He pointed a finger towards the ground. “He’s the big man downstairs, the devil as you’d know him.” I felt a laugh rising in my throat, but it never came. With most people, I’d assume they were crazy, but with the certainty this man spoke with, I couldn’t help but doubt. “Oh,” I said, trying to stay calm. “A bit of a trip for a coffee run.” “Not during the witching hour.” The man answered matter o factly. “During that time, we can move swiftly between plains. And besides, my master much enjoys the coffee here.” He smirked again, and this time, a got a glimpse of eerily white, pointed teeth, almost as if they’d been filed to a point. This man was scary, but he didn’t appear to be a threat. Yet. “Okay sir, so what would your master like to order?” The man raised his brow slightly, as if a bit surprised. “You must be new here,” he said curtly. “The master’s order is usually the first thing they teach night employees.” He shrugged, reached up to his glasses. He brought them down enough to see his eyes, and I was struck by them. I can’t quite explain what I saw in those eyes, like some horrible unknowable truth was briefly shown to me. But in that moment, I understood, and I nodded to the man. “Right away sir.” I breathed, barely above a whisper. I went to work quickly, not making him wait. I brought the cup to man immediately when I finished. “One large sweet chili latte sir, I hope your master enjoys it.” The man nodded and proceeded to walk away, when I had a sudden urge to call out to him. “Abbadon.” He said suddenly, not turning around. “What?” I murmured. “My name. The new hires always ask. I’ll see you tomorrow Samantha.” I nodded, and watched him leave, my mind in a daze. Until a realized, I wasn’t wearing my name tag today. The label printer was broken and I had to wait until tomorrow to get my name tags printed, so how did he know my name.

From that day, I never forgot Abbadon’s order, and over the years, we became good friends. Even when I died in 2020, he let me follow him on his nightly coffee runs. I like the new hire, I hope she sticks around longer than I did.


NicomacheanOrc t1_iuh2mtz wrote

At first I thought they picked me because of who I am. Who I was, I should say. See, I've been a terrible person, for a long time, so it seemed to fit. When I was young, I was all sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Then came the chase for the Almighty Dollar, but when I realized that it was all rigged against us, I just kinda lost it. I went through an angry phase, a revolutionary phase, an all-out anarchist phase. And finally, when it was all too much, I just...turned my back on all of it, including my partner in (literal) crime. And now I'm here, working graveyard in a shit-pile somewhere between Big Sky and Jackson Hole. And so of course the Devil's shitty assistant comes to get the Devil's shitty coffee at the shittiest joe joint in the world, from me, the shittiest joe jockey on the whole mortal coil.

Or so I thought. But lemme set the scene right.

I'd been working here nine weeks before I got graveyard, and that very first night, at 3:33a on the nose, this super sad, harried-looking chick blasts in like a bat out of Hell and cracks out a latte order in between gasps. She was heaving like she’d just run up a million stairs, and she was dressed like a tax collector’s second-favorite apprentice. She was out of place here, but I didn’t notice her just like I didn’t notice anything in those days, until she looked up and I saw her eyes. When I met those eyes I could tell she was frustrated, aggravated, overworked and underappreciated–and wholly, numinously damned. Her eyes were stained-glass windows before a towering flame, and the light of it danced across the blackboard with our specials.

She blinked and it was gone, but we both knew what I’d seen. “Make this one a rush, alright? I can’t be late again.” Her voice was thrillingly rich. I didn’t move. “Please hurry.”

“Um,” I said. I couldn’t say anything else.

“Oh, right,” she said. “I’m not here for you. When we come for you, you’ll know it.”

“Oh. Ok,” I said. “Uh, whole or half?”

“Full fat, please.” She’d pulled out a jet-black BlackBerry and started clacking away on it, looking up every few seconds to check the clock. The clock didn’t work; you knew because the mold on it would’ve been shaken off if it ticked. But she kept glancing up anyway.

I pulled it as hot as I could–they’d want that, right? I picked the largest cup, though she hadn’t specified. And on pure impulse, I pulled a second and gave it just a tiny shot of the sheep’s milk my boss sneaks in for his own consumption.

“Uh, here you go,” I said. I was having some very understandable trouble with words.

She took the large latte and looked down at the second, smaller drink. “What’s this?” she asked.

“Well, you seemed like you needed a little something,” I floundered.

She looked up at me with those eyes, the flame roaring behind them, and her lips quirked upward, and she said “hey, thanks! That’s really nice of you.” She took both of them and sat down in one of our uneven, cracked-vinyl booths. She put her long-nailed (taloned?) hands around the small pour I’d pulled for her, and made this short, hiccupy sound, and put her head on the table, and just cried there quietly for, like, five full minutes.

I made myself busy behind the counter, because that’s what you do when a patron has a breakdown; you let them have that breakdown in peace. When she was done, she drained her drink in one swig and walked back up to the counter.

Her glass-before-fire eyes found mine. “Hey, thanks again, I really needed that. What do I owe you?”

“On the house,” I said.

“Won’t your boss get mad at you? She looked up over my shoulder, as if remembering. “Bad Scally? Is that really what you call him?”

“Bad Scally isn’t so bad,” I said. “It’s his kid Worse Scally you have to look out for.”

She looked me over, sized me up, read my life top to bottom for all I know, and sighed, and said, “look, can I come back next week? Have the same order ready?”

“Sure,” I said. I waved out across the fluorescently empty room. “But you’ll have to wait in line like everyone else.”

She almost smiled at that one. And then she got serious. “Do you promise not to tell anyone?”

“Who would I tell?” I asked.

“I mean it,” she said, and the shadows across the room sharpened as she said it. “Do you swear on your eternal soul not to tell anyone I’m coming back here?”

It seemed simple enough. “Sure,” I said. “I swear.”

The relief on her face was completely, absurdly, over the top out-of-place for such a simple promise, for this ratty coffee bar, for the tattered decade I was living out.

“Thank you,” she said, and I could tell she would be smiling if she could. “I’ll see you in a week.” She set her shoulders, cracked her neck, picked up the latte, and checked her watch. “God damn it,” she cursed, “6:65a already?” She turned quickly around and marched out the door, her heels (hooves?) cracking against the parking lot pavement.

So that’s what it was like when I met her the first time. Afterward, I couldn’t help but think that this was how my slide down the hill was going to go–one stilted, awkward, sympathy-for-the-Devil conversation at a time. I still thought it was about me. So let me get you a refill and we’ll talk about last night.

Part 2 tomorrow

It’s my first time writing a Part 2!

Bonus points for folks who can guess the protagonist’s name


NicomacheanOrc t1_iuj68rd wrote

Part 2!

The next week she was there, 3:33a precisely, almost-sharp suit smudged a bit, clipboard under her arm, dark red caked under her fingernails. She wasn’t smiling, of course, but I knew she was glad to come.

I wasn’t sure whether she’d show, or if she was precisely real, so I hadn’t made a latte. But as she pulled the door open, I started a pour.

“Hey again,” she said. “Same thing?” She put something on the counter–a weirdly misshapen travel mug. I took it and started to fill. It was obviously old, polished, lacquered bone. “He likes to use his own cup. It turns out he’s an environmentalist; he wants to keep you all going as long as possible.”

As I poured the latte into the mug, I asked her, without looking, without meeting those world-breaking eyes, “how old is this thing anyway?”

“6000 years?” she responded. “Millions? Who can say?” I could hear the joke despite the lack of a chuckle, and I knew that if she could’ve, she would’ve winked.

I turned back with two drinks: one in the mug, and one just for her. She brightened a bit. “Hey, thanks,” she said. “This really means more than you know.”

I waited as she counted out the exact change and slid it across the counter. “Can I offer you a tip?” she asked.

“No thanks,” I said. “Just in case.”

“Ok,” she replied, though I could see it made her sad. “Hey,” she continued, “tomorrow I’m going to meet someone here. Is your oath still holding?”

I hadn’t broken it; I had no one to tell. I couldn’t recall the last person I’d seen, with a soul or without one. “All set,” I said.

“Great! I’ll catch you tomorrow.” She picked up her drinks and started sipping hers from our ugly, spongy styrofoam. As she clicked across the linoleum out toward the door, I swear I could almost see the hooves.

The next night she was back, bone-mug in hand, and took her drinks to sit in a booth. She sipped quietly, looking nervously out the window and avoiding the fuligin BlackBerry on the table. With nothing else to do, I watched her fidget, and so I was taken by surprise when someone else walked in.

This one filled the room the moment she entered. She had working gloves, baggy overalls, and a small trowel hanging from her belt. She wasn’t large, wasn’t impressive in any way, really, but the whole place seemed to bend around her. And as I looked up to greet her, I met her eyes and they were smiling windows onto a sunrise, steady and almost too bright to look into.

She strode up to the counter without glancing at her counterpart at the booth. She put her lean elbows on the leaner counter and leaned, and it groaned slightly under her uncanny weight. “Cuppa joe, please,” she said, and her voice was pure music. “Small today, and oh! are those old-school sugar cubes? Two of those, if that’s alright.”

I had already grabbed the pot of drip and was filling a cup with shaking hands. “Hey, buddy, it’s alright, we're cool” she said as I turned back with her drink, sugar cubes bobbing. “I’m just meeting a friend.”

“I guessed,” I said. “She’s over there,” and I nodded at the booth.

“Thanks, kiddo,” she replied. She took a long drink from her cup, set it carefully back in its saucer, and in one motion, turned and sat across from the other.

“Hey, Naam,” she said, and when their eyes met, I could feel it in my bones. The whole planet seemed to flex like a bow, seemed to lens like light through a bottle. “It’s good to see you.”

“Hey, El,” replied Naam, barely moving. Her voice dripped longing and defeat. “It took a long time to find another place to meet.”

“Are you doing alright?” asked El.

“Oh, the usual,” replied Naam, because that was her name. “Just the daily grinding. I mean, grind.”

El leaned in and put her hands on the table. Naam specifically didn’t take them. “Well, it’s good to see you anyway,” she said, and they started to talk quietly, in a language I couldn’t quite understand.

Part 3 to finish!


NicomacheanOrc t1_iuj6tvt wrote

Part 3

They’ve been back every few days for a while now. Sometimes they talk, sometimes they don’t. Naam always gets the same thing, but El changes it up. I try not to pry. I eventually got used to it–that’s a funny thing, isn’t it? We humans can seem to get used to anything. I became a piece of background art for them, like we were in Hopper’s Nighthawks only instead of the city it was the End Times out in the ass-end of nowhere.

It was last night that something changed. Such a small thing, that made all the difference.

They were finishing up, swirling dregs around in their cups. As always, El laid her hands out on the table. Naam was staring at the hole in the world that was her BlackBerry screen, and as if in a dream, she began placing a hand into El’s. And as their fingertips began to touch, a rumble started to clatter all the plates in the place–plastic, ceramic, and tectonic.

Naam snatched her hand back. The smile on El’s face dimmed, and as it did, so did the light from her eyes. She stood. “Hey, so I should go.”

“Yeah,” said Naam, her voice hollow.

“But you know you’re welcome back anytime, right?” El was probably trying not to cry.

“I know,” said Naam. “I’m just…I’m not ready.”

“Ok,” said El. “Same time next week?”

“Same time next week,” replied Naam.

“I’ll see you then,” said El. “Take care of yourself, ok? Don’t let him push you around so much.”

Naam only nodded, head pointed down at the table.

El sighed and looked up at me. I shrugged, and it felt like everyone shrugged with me. What could we do?

“Hey,” she said to me as she turned to go. “You take care of yourself too, yeah?”

“Yeah,” I said, and for the first time in a decade, I meant it.

“Later,” she said.

“Sure,” I replied as she headed for the door. Her racerback showed off her unearthly shoulder blades as she raised her arm in a wave.

Naam took a full half-hour before she got up to leave. Her tears had made her mascara run down in trails of smoke. “She was right, you know,” she said to me. “You should take care of yourself.”

“I will,” I said.

“See you soon.” She clopped her way out into the night, the clock hands following her to read 6:66a–she'd be late, and there'd be Hell to pay.

It was in that moment that I knew I had to change, maybe in a way they couldn’t. They weren’t here for me, but maybe there was a lesson in it anyway. If we’re halfway between Big Sky and Jackson Hole, mixed up between here and nowhere, bridged across the supernal and the infernal, then maybe in the sheer chaos there’s something we can do about it.

So I pulled out my phone, unused for all this time, and picked a name I hadn’t thought ever to find again.

“Hey, ‘Trix?” I said, my voice not shaking at all. "It’s Dante. Virgil gave me your number. I guess I figured I should finally give you a call back. I hope all’s well. I was wondering if you’d want to catch coffee sometime.”

Thanks for reading!


librarian-faust t1_iuh9b0m wrote

When I named this place Purgatorio, it was because I was in kind of a mood. Very emo. My attempt at an internet startup had flunked before the VCs had bit, and I knew that the work to bring it back to normal operation would cost more than I had.

Such was life, and I'd only hired people who knew what they were getting into. Anyway. Doesn't matter.

I'd ranted that I'd missed out on "angel investor" heaven, and would be stuck in "worker purgatory" for the rest of my days. So when I'd sold my house to buy a coffee shop with the attached apartment upstairs, I'd named it Purgatorio, considering it my own personal purgatory in which to... I dunno, earn my way back into Capitalism's good graces?

I'd run into an old friend called Enzo, who'd heard of my plan as I was renovating the place, and supplied a design that he insisted, with a mad look in his eye, be used on the signage outside and the decor inside.

He'd cringed at himself when he said I had to paint it myself, and use a little of my own blood in the paint.

Honestly, I'd forgotten about that stipulation, but opening paint cans is a goddamn pain. I somehow always cut a finger, or my palm, or... something. Lucky shot, really.

Because it turned out I'd stumbled on something unusual.

The sign outside, I'd written in both English and some norse runes. Figured it was cute, given how cold it could get up here. The Italian alps were a little cold; a small town halfway up the mountain, got very cold indeed.

I'd also written "neutral territory" on the base of the sign, on a whim.

And the design Enzo had given me - a thornlike bramble of Celtic knots, with old runes and bits of what looked like the Voynich Manuscript's text? - had gone all the way around the skirting board and around the coving at the ceiling.

On a whim, fuelled by insomnia and far too much of my own product (coffee and muffins at 1am is a bad plan, even if you already can't sleep!), I'd painted the same design around the door frames, all the window frames, even the garbage chute.

If it scared Enzo enough to be straight with me like that, then it was either the best prank he'd pulled since school, or... he was serious. But, I didn't have a clue how he could be.

But, with Neutral Territory on the sign, the design painted in both paint and blood around the place, and the design on the sign... something happened.

Something snapped into place, and it felt like home to me. More real.

I'd painted the same design around all my rooms upstairs, the roastery out in my storage shed, the basement... literally everywhere. Even the mirrors.

Turns out? Great idea.

I'd gotten basically every spare part and service manual I could for the coffee machine when I got it, and - unsurprisingly - I'd really gotten into tinkering with it in my off time. Usually between midnight and 2, which for me was solidly insomnia-time.

Sleeping 7-12 and 2-7 was a routine, now, and I just kinda dealt with it. I'd posted on the door a sign that said "sorry, irregular hours, please ring doorbell" and gotten used to laying out a clean pair of trousers and workshirt to throw on by the end of the bed.

It was approaching 3:30 when I'd gotten the machine back together and working as I wanted. I made myself a celebratory decaff, when as I finished it, the lights flickered. Including the battery-powered alarm clock I had on top of the counter.

There was a knocking sound behind me. "May I come in?" as though asked through a door.

Next to my reflection, in the mirror I had behind the coffee machine - like it was a bar or something - was a lady in a smart shirt, black trousers, a waistcoat, and - the only item of clothing not in the black and white colourscheme - blood red high heels. Matching the colour of her eyes.

She tapped mirror me on the shoulder, and I felt it. "May I come in? This is the first coffee bar I've found that we might be able to regularly use..."

Dumbly, I nodded, reaching a hand towards her. "Neutral territory," I squeaked, on a whim.

She nodded, and reached through the mirror, grasping my hand and climbing over both sets of counters - mirror and 'real' - to join me behind the bar.

"Hi?" I said, wondering if this was real.
"Hey," she answered, rounding the counter and being back on 'client-side'. "That board is easier to read right-way-round. Do you have caramel syrup?"
"Salted or unsalted, I've got both."
"Good. The boss might've invented salted caramel, but they don't torture themself with that stuff."

I blinked, laughing without even thinking about it. "I had a girlfriend once who hated salted caramel. I couldn't understand it."
"It really is a matter of taste, but the boss reckons they invented it to torture people who just wanted caramel. Personally, I love it."
"Your eyes. Is that your natural colour?" "Flatterer." She stopped staring at the board, looking me in the eyes instead. "Yes, and I put on the 'sunday best' to come here. Figured you wouldn't be okay with my normal."

My brain made a wild 3am leap. "Are you a demon?"
"Got it in one."
"Oh. Well, if that'd failed, I had a nice lead in for a pickup line..."
"In your own coffee shop? Classy," she answered, but the grin made it clear she appreciated it. "I mean, you're prepped for safety from the clientele, with all these runes and designs up."

Thank you, Enzo, I thought. "Oh?"
"What, did you paint it without knowing? ... you DID. Oh, that's just... frustrating. But yes, perfectly done. You have a neutrality sealing array painted around here, floor, ceiling, corners, windows and all. Even the dang mirrors, how did you know they were crossover points...? God Themself could come in here and would have to step outside to smite you."

Thank you, Enzo, I repeated internally, feeling numb.

"I think I'm ready with my order."
"Okay, what'll it be?"

Half an hour and fifty coffees made later, I was handing them through to her to the other side of the mirror.

"See you soon. Get some sleep, Barista boy, and if this is any good, I'll be seeing you in a few days."

On a whim, I wrote a note to myself to get a doorbell fitted behind the bar, that rung in my bedroom... and a wide, full length mirror.

Amazon could get anything and deliver anywhere, but here was far enough out that next-day service was an impossibility.

So, not having hooked up a doorbell - yet - I tried to shift my insomnia hours to 2-4.

It just about was working. Two days later, demon-lady knocked on the mirror again, rousing me from my half-asleep stupor at one of the customer tables.

I reached out again, stating "Neutral Territory." She nodded, reached through, took my hand, and climbed over.

"Sunday best again? It's a Tuesday, though." I grinned.
"Actually... would you mind if I relaxed a bit? I came here early, so I'd have a little time to chill. Wouldn't be so rushed."
"Of course. Sit down at one of the tables. I'll make you a chai latte whilst you think?"
"I... sure. I like those."

She sounded unsure, but sat down, pulled a hairband out of her hair, and I heard her high heels clack on the table. Figured she'd take them off, they don't look comfortable for her.

I made a pair of chai lattes - because hell, I like 'em too - and set them down on a tray, rounding the counter.

Her mousy brown hair had ravelled itself into two great horns coming from her temples and wrapping backwards. And she'd stretched out her long legs, resting her calves on the opposing seat, showing off her hooves.

"Too much? Sorry, I can go back to how I was in a minute. It's nice to just breathe up here and relax. Keeping the disguise up gives me a headache."
"Not the way my mind was going. I've spent too long on the internet," I clarified.
"Finding me attractive?"

She seemed shocked, but only a little. "You really are a flatterer."

I put the latte down in front of her, and sat down at the next table. "Is the clipboard all the coffee orders?"
"Yup. I wrote down your menu last time I was here." She handed me a sheet of paper. "I'll need to be off with it by 4am."
"There's forty coffee orders on this spreadsheet. How're you paying, anyway?"
"Oh, right. Mundane cash, including for last time," she slid an envelope towards me, "and if the boss remains impressed, we can look at a bonus every so often. They appreciate a bit of luxury."

I blinked, sipping my latte. "Really?"
"Really. Any fool can make instant coffee. Proper coffee? With mundane milk, not the hot-pepper-tasting stuff we get in Hell? It's a luxury. It's why we want to come here."

I shrugged, and skölled the rest of the latte. "Time to mix drinks and change lives," I said, quoting a videogame I loved.

And got to work making forty coffees in forty minutes.


Alexi_was_not_here t1_iuh2ccf wrote

"The regular?" I confirm once it was the pink haired gentleman's turn in line. It was 3:33 and just like normal a pink haired, darker skinned, one eye green, one eye blue man in his mid twenties in a business suit, was waiting in line. He nodded his head, and I handed him this month's special, "The Dark Lord's Latte". He handed over the five dollars and disappeared.

He always had bags under his eyes, and always seemed like he was ready to go home. And honestly I don't blame him, I really wanna go home too, but this is hell and there's not really a whole lot of options that were better.


Octahedral_cube t1_iuh8d1o wrote

I can tell who's coming from the way they apparate now. Belial does the classic "born from a fireball" entrance and stinks up the shop with the smell of brimstone. He has the whole Minotaur look and speaks Aramaic. Everything about him is so classic.

Beelzebub does the "clawing out of the earth" thing which is terrifying.

My favourite is Baphomet. He can take any form, including human forms and will converse in English. I study history so I tentatively gave him a book of history's most evil dictators, and he's shown up as Pol Pot and Mussolini once. It's the highlight of my month.

The door goes "ding" and the heavy steps of Joseph Stalin approach the counter. He is decked in full uniform, his steely mustache gleans in the light. I can't believe it. He slowly removes the peaked cap and sets it on the counter running his hand through the greying hair. He says something in slow deliberate voice.

I look at him and the gears in my head go spinning. Was that Russian or Georgian? Ugh I can't tell. What language did Stalin converse in? I dig deep in the memory vaults. I come up empty. But... I rember his original surname

"Good evening to you Mr Jughashvili"

Baphomet cracks a smile and replies in English "well done he says" as he hands me a roll of Soviet banknotes.

He then orders the darkest roast for the darkest lord.

Feeling a little braver now I ask "why not take sugar and milk"

"And how would that please the dark lord?" He asks, sensing I have something for him

I had saved a ripped page out of an insurance booklet just for this occasion.

"Look: fat and sugar kill WAY more people than caffeine. Their death count is insane. What's darker than that?"

He looks at the graph for a few seconds, nodding with satisfaction.

"Let's get both kinds then. In case the Dark Lord does not accept your argument, though I think he will"

From that day on, it was triple sugar, full fat milk.


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Zenvarix t1_iuefrt2 wrote

Demon is probably the most polite customer.

"Look mortal, I'm a demon, but I'm not a monster."


toapat t1_iufnv1g wrote

"its also physical torture for me to exist on this plane of existence so i want to get out of here just as quickly as you do."

"What, no your world is fantastic, You have War, thats like, Super Hell. Its great. You also have diplomacy, and alone time. Its nice to be able to take a vacation from work. In hell We dont get that. Granted we also love our job or can transfer departments till we find one we love.

The difference is that ALL coffee shops exist in a different plane of existence from Hell or Mortalspace."


Terrivel119 t1_iueywmq wrote

Should make it 7:06 instead, because it’s effectively 6:66.


ShmodaYT t1_iuh7swg wrote

It was another quiet night at the coffee shop, as always. no matter how may nights I worked it was always the same, 1 or 2 regular customers around 4:00am and 5:00am, but never many people outside of that. Of course, that is, unless you count the dark lords personal assistant.

I checked the time on my company issued watch, it showed the time down to the nanosecond this was so I could tell exactly when id be getting a visit from my most reoccurring customer. 3:31am on the dot, this was usually the time when the air in the shop got cold, and when I say cold I mean ice cold, unless the demon was running a little late, apparently traffic in hell could be a nightmare at times.

3:32am was always the worst part, no matter how many times I've seen it, all the lights on the street, in the shop, even in the sky, all going out at once always made me jump. I was tempted to start making the coffee's early, but I wouldn't risk that after the last time I made the coffee early and the ruler of hell decided he didn't want his usual that day, he was outraged I thought I could predict him, he nearly docked my pay for that. yes that's right I work for seitan. well technically I work for Johnny Smithson, the owner of Smithson coffee, but on the day I was hired, the devil himself switched out my contract so I would have to work very specific hours, every do so that I could always be the one to make his coffee, his kind of a sick joke I guess, but according to the contract I he switched for the original I get pretty good pay for the work, tax less 100K a year isn't anything to complain about. Not to mention all the free stuff I got to keep me working their, the most precise wrist watch in the world, a glasses that let me read any language, explicit permission to tell of unruly customers with no backlash, hell even free dental, the benefits are great. Don't bother asking me why the man down under is so invested in keeping me specifically, but at this point I'm not complaining.

Finally, 3:33. The door to the coffee shop cracked open and mist begun flooding into the store as it did every night. As usual I was the only person working at this hour, and all the cameras shut of automatically for what the manager calls "automated video download", aka the devils fancy way of saying "its time to get my coffee". As the door shut itself, the mist slowly formed itself into the shape of a tall, slender man with 2 horns on the top of his head. As the mist dissipated, before me stood my most loyal customer, "Hey Asrogorth" I said enthusiastically, Asrogorth had become one of the few sources for social interaction I got while on shift, so I always relished in his company. "The usual?" I continued, no matter how many times i saw Asrogorth, the cracks of burning fire around his eyes and horns contrasting with obsidian black skin was always a cool site. "Yes please" he replied, "1 pumpkin spice latte and the largest ristretto you can make". As I got to work making the coffees I was tempted to ask how Asrogorth's family was, but then I rememberd last night when he told me his wife filed for a divorce and wanted full custody of their kids, its bad enough the guy works the longest hours in the universe, he didn't need me brining up his tricky situation. I finished the coffees quickly, making sure to fill the ristretto a high as possible. "Here you go" I say as I slide the two coffees over to the demon, "thanks Mark" he replied with a grateful tone as he slides onto the counter 3 teeth, Asrogorth always tipped weirdly, but I didn't complain i guess hell just has a different tipping culture. "well I should be off then" Asrogorth says while turning to leave "the big boss will be mad if I don't get back before his latte goes cold", "oh Asrogorth" I say as he starts to leave "would you tell mister Lucifer my car is having engine trouble, id like him to send someone to have a look at it", Asrogorth gives me a quick wink as he opens the door, returns into mist and leave the store.

Now i just have to wait around until 5:54, apparently God gets his morning coffee at 5:55am, and mister Lucifer definitely doesn't want me serving him.


nightimevil t1_iuhhtgy wrote

'It's 3:32 already?' Ro put their phone back into their pocket and peeked into the backroom. Casey was still napping in that single spot the cameras don't see. They smiled, and let them continue to dream as they walked over to the bar and started on a fresh hot latte to go.

Just as they decided on how to make this week's surprise latte, the door's bell rang. "Welcome in," Ro said automatically as they stayed staring into the fridge. "What kind of milk should I use today?"

"Whole milk. I think it has a nice texture, but the boss prefers your alternative milks. Something about his stomach not hurting," a tired voice replied.

"Okay, thank you. I'll keep that in mind and let the others know. Did you want what he's having?" Ro pulled out a pitcher of hazelnut milk, it would be a nice flavor combination.

"Sure Ro. How have you been tonight?"

"I've been okay. Casey has been sleeping for most of their shift. I don't really mind though, not like many people come here during this time. Plus they need it, full-time school and work is a lot. You know? By the way did you want yours hot or iced?" They started to prepare their shots, and get them going.

"Iced please. Also, I kinda wish I knew. After a couple of centuries it gets fuzzy."

"Are you doing good?"

"I mean, sure. I don't really stop to think about it."

"You should try to." Ro started to pump cherry syrup into both cups. As they pumped in mocha sauce they added on, "Think about it, I mean. You should focus on yourself too at some point. It's important. Self care and what-not."

"Do you think about yourself and how you're actually doing often? Everytime I ask you, you kinda brush yourself off."

"No," they firmly stated as they poured the shots into their respective cups and swirled everything around to combine. They smiled under their mask at the scent of the espresso. It made them feel so comfortable and cozy.

"Maybe you should focus on yourself too. We could keep each other in check!" The succubus said excitedly, almost dropping their phone in the process.

"Maybe. Does your phone let you text human phones?" They wondered if that was a dumb question while pouring the milk into a steaming pitcher.

"Mine does. What's your number?" Their little sheep-like tail wiggled excitedly as they quickly unlocked their phone and started a new contact for Ro.

They gave them a number as they steamed the milk, "Feel free to text me anytime, I'm kind of nocturnal though so I might not reply during the day for me." They groomed their steam milk before filling up the hot cup with it. While they let their cup rinse, Ro put the milk away and grabbed some whole milk.

"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I just sent you a text."

"Cool, I'll add you to my contacts once I'm done." They quickly added ice to the second latte and topped both off with some cocoa powder. Ro finished by lidding the drinks and handing them over. "Your latte has whole milk since you prefer it, but besides that they're the same."

"Thanks Ro, you're pretty caring. You know that?" The succubus stuck her phone into her pocket before grabbing the lattes, "What was the surprise flavor for this week?"

"I was going for a chocolate covered cherries kind of thing. Hopefully it tastes good. I know hazelnut and chocolate are a nice combo, so I figured hazelnut milk for this syrup pairing might not be the worst one to pick," they said as they grabbed the pitcher and set it down to dry. "Also, I'm not that caring. It's not hard to give you a different milk when you prefer it."

"Yeah, but the fact that you still did it when the hazelnut milk was out is a kind thing to do. It shows you care about my preferences, especially when you didn't need to. Not everyone is like that."

"I guess. I'd do it for anyone, you know? It's not hard to make someone's day a little better by doing something simple."

"The others always go on about how humans are so selfish, but Ro... you make your species seem so much nicer. I mean, I don't talk to a lot of humans, but you almost make me want to go vegetarian." They sipped from their latte and smiled at Ro.

"Is it good?"

"It's perfect."


EnigmaWho t1_iuiuoxz wrote

[Pre-Script] Okay so there is already 33 other posts regarding this WP. Seems a bit of a waste, but here I go...

[18+] Lord Asmodeus Guide Me 🙏

12AM - 6AM Everyday, except 12AM - 4AM on Sunday. This is my shift every day. 40 hours a week. Luckily or unfortunately, I seem to be somewhat nocturnal. My brain typically shuts down when the sun rises while my hazy adrenaline seems to bring me back to life a couple hours after noon.

Being the way that I am, the people around me would typically call me lazy or call me names. The people at work would even call me Sloth because I'm tall, skinny, and lanky while being slow at times. Even so, they know I can take care of the grave shift because it's rarely busy and ends right before the morning rush where I tend to mess up the most.

I don't know exactly on what day it happened, but about a week ago, I had a peculiar customer at 3:33AM. It happened while I had just finished cleaning, reorganizing and prepping everything for the next shift. I tend to experiment with certain ingredients when it comes to my own personal coffee. I like collecting exotic materials in my free time. Dry axolotl tail powder for rejuvenation, barrenwort for the rich caramel aroma, and pomegranate... just because it's my favorite fruit. Compress it with expresso grinds and make a nice warm latte.

As I had just finished my new recipe, someone walked in. It wasn't everyday one would smell sulfur and damp salty fish mixed into one... A weird scent by anyone's standard being that it was quite peculiar and not of one with any main brand notoriety.

But I personally liked it.

I wasn't able to pinpoint if it was a man or a woman.

"Hello, sir... or ma'am? I'm so sorry. I can't seem to make out what you are... no offense I hope..."

"Oh, I'm..." it said in a deep mysterious yet alluring voice.

"... whatever you want me to be." It finished with a seductively charming feminine voice.

"Oh okay, then. How can I help you?" I responded.

I wasn't sure since I was distracted by the fashion sense of what seemed to be their horned head gear, but the customer seemed a bit disappointed.

"Might I ask what you have in your hands young one?"

"Oh this? It's my own personally recipe."

"May I?" The customer asked while reaching out a hand slowly.

"Sure... but..." as I passed my latte to the customer hesitantly while trying to inform him/her about the ingredients.

The customer places a finger on my lips and takes a sip. Breathes deep and releases a sigh. Not sure if I was hallucinating, but I'm sure I heard a faint sound of children screaming within the sounds of that sigh.

"It's missing a thing or two...." The customer said.

I wasn't sure if the customer knew about my interest in adding strange ingredients, but without a moment of hesitation blurted out, "Blood!" While quickly grabbing my hand and pricking my index finger.

It all happened so fast, as if having the speed of a demon. The customer uncapped the latte and squeezed my blood in the cup. Happening instantaneously that I couldn't react or sense any pain.

"Uhm... dear customer? We're not supposed to do that..." I spoke out.

"Oh I'm sorry about that. Please forgive me. I have a tendency to get ahead of myself."

"It doesn't really hurt, so it's not a big deal or anything." I responded, trying to be as nice as possible since I'm still on the clock.

"I have another request and it might seem a little bold or straightforward, but please help me a little would you?" The customer said while looking into my eyes.

Those eyes... were so mesmerizing... like a dark sea of stars pulling you in.

I replied slowly "...sure."

Next thing I know I was pinned down by what seemed to be the strength of 2 tons. Uniform oddly removed quickly in an orderly way.

Moments pass.

The customer retches my fluids from their stomach and into the latte.

I stand there traumatized, yet neatly re-uniformed.

The customer thanks me and says their Dark Lord Asmodeus would love this and leaves. Thinking this was one big daydream hallucination, I ended my shift wide eyed and went home. The sun rises and I collapse on the sofa. I wake up the next day none the wiser for my next shift. Apparently the customer was a shape-shifting incubus/succubus.

Everyday at 3:33 A.M. that "customer" orders that "latte" for the Dark Lord.


KaskaraKate t1_iuiyzhv wrote

I waited patiently for Abaddon, Satan's gofer demon, to show up. He always comes in at exactly 3:33 A.M. and waits for me to make him his coffee. Usually he picks something simple like an extra dark black coffee with a shot of espresso, but sometimes he decides to spice it up with something a little more aesthetically pleasing to us humans, like an Americano or a Cafe con Leche.

The first few times I saw him in the cafe, it threw me off. I thought the building was burning the first time, the smell of sulfur was so strong.

"Sorry, I didn't get a chance to change out of my work clothes. I'll try to change before I come up next time."

His voice is a deep baritone that vibrates in my head when he speaks. It gives me butterflies almost every time he says something, no matter what he says. It honestly surprised me that he didn't really look like I pictured a demon to look like, with the only indication of him being a demon was the espresso brown ram's horns protruding out of his head full of glossy jet black hair. He wore a black Hellfire Club tee shirt under a black leather jacket.

He walked into the cafe in the middle of me reminiscing. Exactly 3:33 as usual.

"Hey Abaddon. What can I get the Dark Lord Himself today?"


cRokin t1_iujixjd wrote

3:33, like clockwork. A portal appears and a demon walks out.

"Soy milk latte, please"

Same order, but it's a different demon this time. This one doesn't waste words. I start making coffee for it's master.

"What happened to Bulbofex?"

"It was disintegrated. I transport the beverage now."

It seems quite proud of its duty.

"Why was it disintegrated?"

"Dark Lord deemed its service inadequate."

"Inadequate? All it did was bring coffee."

"Inadequately. Last time it was late."

"Oh." Last night I asked Bulbofex to describe its master to me. It took a minute. I guess the coffee got cold.


anne446 t1_iujycne wrote

Time is passing slowly. I have been working for a week now in 24 Coffee and this is my first night shift. I have seen a few drunks this evening. They were quite funny at first but when I got sleepier they started to irritate me more and more. The last customer left 5 minutes ago and I'm now cleaning up his puke. Anyway I'm not expecting many more customers since most bars are now closed. I put the dirty cloth in the laundry basket when I feel a sudden tap on my shoulder. A cold shiver runs down my spine, which enhances when I see what's standing in front of me. "A ghost", I accidently say while shaking. "I'm a demon, not a ghost.", says the demon. "I'm sorry.", I say. In my mind I say: "Please don't kill me." But the demon is not interested in killing me, at least not for now. "Can you make me a Dark Lorde's Latte please?", he asks. Damn Billy why did you put that drink on the menu, it lures in the creepiest of the creeps, I think, only to distract myself from my fear. The drink I make quicker than ever before. It also helps that my customer isn't much of a talker. Am I hallucinating? I don't want to look him in the eyes but I can see that he graps the cup and that he drinks it all in one go. He doesn't seem to bother the heat. Then he takes some coins from his purse and gives them to me. The coins don't look like money I have ever seen before, but I accept them nonetheless. "This drink is what I needed.", he says and soonly he drifts to the wall and disappears. The next morning I book an appointment with a therapist. I have been hallucinating it must have been, although I can still feel the demon's golden coins in my pocket. While hallucinating I must have bought these golden coins somewhere. Whatever it is, I need someone to talk to. The therapist replies to my message by saying that my case gets prioritized and that I can meet her in the afternoon at 16.00. The whole day I don't get out of my house. I'm trying to sleep, but thinking of the demon keeps me awake. It could have also been a nightmare, maybe I fell asleep during my first night shift and while sleepwalking I found these coins. But nobody ever told me that I walk in my sleep. Did the drunken guy give me the coins? Hopefully my therapist can give me answers. Her clinique is close to the church, which is a few miles from my appartment. I avoid cycling through the dark alleys. I ring the doorbell and a few seconds later her door opens with a squaky sound. 'Come in' she says. 'I'm Sharla and you must be James?", she says. 'Yes I'm James.', I say. 'Go and sit in the green chair.', she says. 'Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?", Sharla asks. "A coffee please.", I say. 'What kind of coffee do you want?' Sharla asks. 'A latte.", I say accidently. I don't even like latte. "I mean an espresso." But she already left the room. The room is nicely decorated. There are a few plants that are enjoying the sunshine and the paintings are interesting to look at. The paintings remind me of the places I love to visit. They look like the windy beaches near Bantham, and the floral forests south of Aberich. 'Here's your Latte." Sharla says. 'I like your paintings.' I say. 'Thank you I have made them myself. Could you tell me why you have come to me?', Sharla asks. "Yes.", I say while regretting that I have to go back to reality. I start my story and she listens carefully, writes something down from time to time and when I'm done she starts asking me questions. "Can you describe the demon?" "Have you ever seen demons before?" "Do you use drugs?""Are you scared to leave your house?" "Do you still want to go to work?" They are all kinds of useful questions, that I hadn't thought out that clearly. Tonight is another nightshift. I should make a choice whether I want to go or not. At the end of my session my curiosity wins from my fear. I mean she made a good point, according to her demons are only creations of the mind. I can if I want, try to make friends with the demon if he returns. I should'nt be afraid of him. I get prescribed some medicine that can prevent the demon from returning. I can always message Sharla if I have seen the demon again. It all sounded hopeful, until that night again at 3.33 in my coffeeshop, the demon returned.