Submitted into Contest #27 in response to: Write a short story that ends with a twist.... view prompt


Mystery Fantasy

   It was Tuesday. He was running errands: getting milk, bread, and eggs. He always got groceries on Tuesday at 9 a.m. Trevor liked to stick to his routine. He didn’t have to do his counseling until 3 p.m. He always had breakfast at eight. He was a man who enjoyed predictability. He always had the same meal for breakfast: two over-easy eggs and a slightly toasted piece of whole-grain bread. He never changed his breakfast habits. He never would.

   On this particular Tuesday, there had been a storm warning, but he had gone into the grocery store anyway. He was almost out of his dozen eggs. He quite enjoyed them but he was a penny pincher. He didn’t ever purchase a new carton of eggs until he’d finished the last one. In fact, he never would. He didn’t buy anything he didn’t need to buy.

   As he entered the grocery store, he noticed certain aspects of the customers that were just a bit off. Everyone was wearing maroon capes with yellow embroidery reading, “Mabel’s School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.” He sighed, checked the date on his phone in case he had somehow lost track of Halloween. He hadn’t. The man was meticulous about keeping track of every second of every minute of every hour of every day. He had his entire day planned out. He had gotten up at 6 o’clock sharp, gone for his daily walk, ate, and was now at the grocery store. He then intended to eat his daily salad for lunch, watch the news for exactly one hour, and then go to work. He knew each one of his clients. He’d counseled them for years. He knew what their deepest fears were, what their traumas were, and how they would respond to certain behavioral techniques. He was good at his job and he prided himself in it.

   He noticed that the cashier was also wearing a cape as he approached the cash register. He was in his seventies.

   A man of his age should know better than to dress like that for work.

   The counselor thought to himself, rattled.

   He placed his eggs and his bread on the counter, wondering if everyone in this store had simultaneously gone insane and thinking of the many disorders each individual must have. Borderline Personality Disorder was the first to come to mind.

   He looked around the place. No one was laughing at the ridiculousness of all of this. Instead, everyone was quite sullen, as if they were discussing an event that was looming in the future. As if they were discussing one another’s fate and that fate was somehow at peril.

   “Happy Tuesday,” The cashier said.

   “Thanks,” Trevor replied.

   He was in too much shock to say anything else to the man, who even seemed to be carrying a wooden stick inside of his robe thinking it was a wand.

   Had they released him from a mental hospital recently?

   The man tried not to stare, but his clinical background told him that this poor elderly fellow was exhibiting all of the signs of someone who was in desperate need of a professional’s help. He almost offered the man his business card but decided against it.

   That would seem insensitive and condescending.

   Instead, he kept his mouth shut, paid twenty-five dollars for his groceries, tried not to stare at the man who looked at his U.S. dollars as if they were leprechaun currency, and went on his way. He was walking towards his Prius. It was blue. He always parked it in the same parking spot each week: in the shade as far away from the store as possible so that he could get as much walking in as possible. Being a counselor required sitting for many hours at a time and this could wreak havoc on his health later in life. Because Trevor was so predictable, he found it odd that his car had been moved. He knew it was free and legal to park here and it hadn’t been towed. He noticed that the parking lot was empty except for a classic 1995 Ford Fairlane, which seemed odd. It was a bit outdated and no one drove standards these days. He rubbed his temples, blinked a few times, and looked again, thinking that maybe he was feeling loopy due to not getting enough sleep last night.

   His car, the blue Prius, flew over him in the bright blue sky. He tried to see if someone was driving it but he couldn’t tell from that particular angle.

   “Melverom Meethcam,” The man who had been at the cash register shouted, and, to Trevor’s surprise, his car continued to move forward in the sky. The man was controlling it with his…wand.

   “Am I dreaming?” Trevor asked.

   “No. You are not dreaming. My name is Lucifer. You could have figured that out if you’d looked at my name tag. Lucas. Pretty clever, right?”

   Trevor knelt down on both knees, a look of terror in his eyes, “I’m a God-fearing man. I swear.”

   “Is that what little Susan in the fourth grade thought when you raped her?”

   “I-I-I’m sorry.”

   Trevor had struggled with many anger issues when he was younger. He’d seen counselor after counselor to work them out. That’s why he’d become one, but, before that, he’d raped Susan: the girl he’d wanted to have sex with who kept inviting him to her house and canceling on him. The tenth time she’d done this, he’d lost it, and he’d raped her in the forest near the schoolyard when no one was watching. He thought no one would ever find out. He’d gone to church, apologized to her, although it had been several years later, and begged God for forgiveness each day since.

   “You’re going straight to Hell,” Lucifer said, “Straight to Hell, Sir.”

   Trevor nodded, his knees shaking, “It doesn’t matter that I tried, that I apologized, that I went to church, begged for forgiveness each day?”

   “Your sins will never be forgiven,” The man grabbed Trevor and spread his wings, taking him to his kingdom filled with fire and brimstone.

February 03, 2020 14:46

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Terri Ash
17:54 Feb 07, 2020

I love this ending. The whole piece was very well thought out, and that ending just put the cherry on top. It's hard not to end a short story bluntly (at least it is for me) but this was a wonderful ending to a well-constructed piece.


18:12 Feb 07, 2020

Thank you so much. I really appreciate that!


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