Exposure

Rob stumbled into the diner, feeling half-drunk, dizzy and completely terrified. He hit the counter hard, almost falling off the stool.

He ordered a coffee without looking up, he tried to reason out what had happened. Some kid in a Halloween mask, a damn good one, had tried to jump him in a back lane three blocks from his house. It was dark out. The kid was hidden and waiting.

Scared the crap outta me.

He just ran. He was a Triathlon champion for three years before he got trapped working late at that god forsaken firm. So he ran. He would run home, he’d be safe there.

When he turned the corner, he was in the middle of the park across the highway from his neighbourhood. Benches on his left and pine trees on his right. He tried to call for help, but his phone was dead. He tried to find help, but couldn’t find anyone.

He began to walk in one direction back towards the highway. One direction. One step at a time. He went around a huge oak tree and found himself in the middle of a farmer’s field.

When he turned around, he saw the city with its lights, its sprawling suburbs, and towering Downtown.

Now he was lost and this diner was the first thing he saw. The flickering lights, the smell of grease and the three vehicles in the parking lot told him he’d find help.

“Here ya go, Sweetie,” said a girl’s voice.

“Thank you,” he looked up and almost spat up his coffee.

The waitress was a gorgeous, almost inhuman in her perfection, as if the light sparkled off her. She was a young girl with green eyes and long chestnut hair pulled into a braid and woven with ribbon.

Her pale ears rose up along the sides of her skull into perfectly delicate points.

“You okay, Sweetie?”

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