The grave mi-steak

Submitted into Contest #162 in response to: Start your story with someone looking at a restaurant menu.... view prompt


Funny Suspense

(TW: not suitable for vegetarians)

I've picked out the perfect victim from tonight's customers. Even from where I'm lurking in the shadows, I can smell he's my type. He is simultaneously muscular and gangly, gripping the menu between fleshed-out fingers. I don't know how he can read it, with that great mass of hair falling over his eyes. I watch him from the shadows as he flips it over and promptly flips it back. Everyone does this. 

Sorry for our lacklustre menu, but we only serve steak.

He lifts his head and scans the restaurant, his piercing grey eyes finally falling upon mine.  He looks me up and down for a few seconds, before beckoning me to him by raising his hand in the air. It's like he's volunteering himself as my next meal. 

Straightening my collar, I approach the target's table, where he has dumped a bulky rucksack on the chair opposite. If he's trying to fool anyone that his bag counts as good company, he's failing badly. I know a lonely person when I see one- I am one after all.

He is wearing a tight t-shirt, and from this proximity, I can see the bulges of his abs. I need to pull myself together. 

I also need to pull the notebook and pen from my pocket. The pen's inkless, and the pad's untouched, but this place insists on us waiting staff having them. I may have a photographic memory, but company policy is company policy.

"Good evening," I say, even though it is well past evening. The restaurant operates from 9-5 - that's 9 pm to 5 am. It caters for an ultra-specific subset of the city's population, who experience late-night cravings for steak.

"Good morning," the target responds, "had a long shift? You seem kinda tired mate." 

No, I'm not.

"Are you okay? You look a bit papery. Do you want to sit down?"

"No I don't, asshole."

Shit. I just said that aloud didn't I?

The target looks a little taken aback and chews his lower lip awkwardly. 

"Sorry, just thought I'd check… you look fine. Actually, you look great."

I know I do, with my gelled-back raven hair and midnight blue suit. He doesn't need to remind me. 

"Great name too" he adds.

I look down at my laminated name tag. My name is Drake, and I get a lot of teasing from the other waiters because it rhymes with steak. It isn't my fault mum and dad named me after the Count himself.

The target chuckles, "I meant the restaurant - 'Steak in the Heart' - kind of genius."

Cold-blooded though I may be, I feel myself blushing slightly red at my mistake. 

Obviously, I despise the name of the restaurant. If I was more than a lowly waiter, I would change it to "Bloody good food".

"Your name is nice too," he says, "mine's Titan".  

"It suits you," I say truthfully. "Anyone joining you tonight?" I already know the answer.

"I'm afraid not. I would have asked my Aunt Josephine, but she keeps asking me for money to fund her gambling addiction."

I would say something sympathetic, but I know from experience that there are worse things to be addicted to.

"Would you like something to drink?"

I know what drink would like, but I'll have to wait till the end of the shift to get it.

"Some cold milk would be great."

What kind of man-child asks for milk at a five-star steak restaurant? 

"Sorry, we don't do that here," I say.

Titan furrows his bushy eyebrows and pouts his lips as though he's about to have a tantrum. Maybe he is a man-child after all.

"I'll have a coke then. I was trying to cut fizzy drinks, cos of the family history of high blood sugar, but I guess one drink won't hurt."

He loves oversharing, this one. I can't stop myself from licking my lips at this new information- it only makes him more alluring. 

"Of course," I smile at him with pursed lips. He grins at me, flashing all his flat pearly whites. He can admire my canines a little later. "Can I get you anything to eat?"

"I'll be cheeky and have the rump," he says. 

"Good choice," I say, but I don't know if it is a good choice as I've never tried the rump (or anything else from the menu for that matter).

"How would you like it done?" I ask

"Rare is good," he says, "and I'd like to upgrade to the large."


I bring Titan his steak, rivulets of blood oozing from the meat. I place it in front of him, lingering above him to breathe in his sweet, human aroma. 

"Looks tasty, no?" he says, and I quickly straighten up and move away from him.

Yes, yes, he definitely does. 

"I'll save you a bite if you're lucky," he chuckles.

I nod and turn to leave, but my hand brushes past Titan's and he grabs it in his own. 

Shit. Oh shit. I quickly pull my hand away, hoping he won't comment on my suspiciously cold temperature, praying he won't begin interrogating me on my health. 

"Sorry, I wanted to ask for one more thing."

I sigh in relief, as it seems he's none the wiser. 

"Could I get some garlic butter with my steak?"

I do a double take. Titan's eyes are deadly serious, but I can see a little smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.

"Excuse me?"

"No worries, I always make sure to bring some with me. Aunt Josephine says you never know when the need for a condiment may arise."

He reaches over the tablecloth and pulls at the zip of his rucksack, drawing out a crinkled white sachet. 

And he begins to tear at the serrated edge with his teeth.

I'm not the kind to run. I hate running and have for all 354 years of my life. I can move at superspeed, but when I do, I'm not running. I'm just walking very, very fast. 

But now I do run. 

I disappear into the safety of the kitchen in a matter of milliseconds. 

And as I shelter in the kitchen, looking through the steamed-up circular window, I see Titan put the sachet down, pick up the steak with both hands and wolf it down in less than a minute. I stand there agape and look around the restaurant, but no one else appears to have been watching. He wipes his bloody mouth with the back of his hand and looks up. Our eyes meet and he winks at me. I notice now how grey his eyes are and how pointy his ears are. I should've guessed- he is named after a moon. But it's so rare to see a werewolf in this part of the city. He gets up, slings his rucksack over his shoulder, and strides out of the restaurant. I am too stunned to chase after him with the bill.

September 06, 2022 14:29

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Jeannette Miller
15:14 Sep 10, 2022

Ah, clever! The predator becomes the prey :) I love the trigger warning, too :) The pacing and dialogue are good with a bit of suspense of what is going to happen next waiting for the waiter to pounce even though the patron seemed a bit cocky at the same time. The reveal came just in time and naturally so well done :)


Martha Brown
21:27 Sep 10, 2022

Thanks Jeanette for the feedback- I’m glad you enjoyed it :)


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