At exactly 3 o’ clock in the afternoon, she would get up from her chair and proceed to the cafeteria to get some coffee. It was like this everyday. Every single day. At three on the dot, no more, no less.
And every time she would get the coffee, the man behind it would greet her amiably. Nothing too great a conversation. It would play along like this:
Him: Good afternoon, ma’am. (a smile, always the goofy kind of smile)
Her: Hi. (a nod or perhaps a smile; both if she’s having a nice day)
And once the exchange of brief words were done and over with, she would dump three teaspoons of sugar, three teaspoons of creamer. Always. It was her personal three o’ clock ritual.
Today, however, something seemed off. She didn’t know what, exactly. She just FELT something had shifted. As she stood up and went to the cafeteria to get her coffee, she knew something had changed. That feeling grew more ominous, more intense as she stepped inside the well-lit, wide cafeteria of her office. People were scattered about, talking and laughing amongst themselves. She was the lonely one with her tumbler in her small hands.
As she got to the table where the coffee was set up, it felt like someone had pulled an internal alarm. She suddenly felt uncomfortable and ill at ease. With a shaking hand, she poured coffee on her tumbler and then proceeded to add sugar and cream.
“Good afternoon, ma’am,” He said.
She looked up at him and had already given him a nod when something about the man made her freeze. He looked normal at first glance but the longer her gaze lingered, the more she noticed it. The man’s eyes were purely black, as if someone had poured black ink directly into his eyes, sparing no white area.
“Ma’am?” He said, sounding worried.
She swallowed, shook her head and then looked back down at her tumbler full of coffee.
“Having a bad day?” He persisted.
She summoned all her courage and looked back up at him. Now he looked normal, like he did every day she saw him here. She felt her head spin. Maybe it was all in her head, seeing those horrible bottomless black eyes?
“You should try to smile,” said another voice.
She turned her head and saw another man pouring coffee on his plain yet huge brown mug. She didn’t know this man. She had never seen him in the office. He must be new. She was about to reply when he looked at her in the eye. That was when his horrible, bottomless black eyes collided with hers. She gasped. She couldn’t help it.
He grinned at her, the evil implicitly stamped on his nondescript face. “You look like you’ve seen the devil,” He joked, his voice smooth and jesting and yet. And yet his eyes and smile told of something else.
Fear wrapped itself around her, digging through her flesh and bones painfully. The longer she stared at the man, the more intense was her fear.
“Ma’am?” The other man, the one behind the counter, asked in alarm. He sounded genuinely concerned.
She whipped her head to look at him, as if almost daring him to show her his true form.
Nothing. He looked the same. He looked HUMAN.
With trembling hands, she hurriedly walked away from the table and all but sprinted back to her desk. She knew this would haunt her for the rest of the day, the night and probably the whole week, if not her whole lifetime.
image source: Profiling the Unexplained