Short Fiction: Java Junkie


The young man shot his shy female companion a grin as he pulled out the chair for her, a chivalrous action that shouldn’t have felt out of place in the cozy glow of the coffee shop. The girl shivered, shaking off the last remnants of frozen night air to return his smirk with her own tight-lipped smile.

She was nervous. She did not understand why she felt that way, but something inside her was screaming that she was in danger, that tiny voice inside telling her she had every right to be nervous.

More nervous than someone should be for a casual evening study session in a public space. A safe space. But not safe for her, because he had plans for her.

The thoughts running through his heart were as black as his coffee, running in dark rivulets through his mind, his hands itching with plans for his pretty female companion. It would start as a simple coffee date, some light conversation over class notes. Innocent enough, but the walk back to the dorms cut through a secluded wooded area. She wouldn’t even have time to scream before he knocked her unconscious.

And then the fun could begin.

But he could smirk all he wanted. I wasn’t going to let him leave the building, much less with her.

Unnoticed by the couple, I stood up, abandoning my own steaming drink to approach them. Removing one thick leather glove, I brushed passed the twisted young man, my hand lightly grazing the tips of his fingers.

The young woman looked up at me in surprise, just noticing my presence as the man shot me a dirty look and began to speak. “Hey, man, what’s your probl…”

But the words faded from his tongue, his face turning red and contorting in sudden pain. He fell to the floor, gasping, but the breath wouldn’t come. His companion screamed, her voice scattering people to action, chairs scraping and feet stomping across the floor, scrambling to help.

I donned my cap, gliding for the door through the midst of the chaos. The girl, her eyes turned away from the blue tinged face of her almost-assailant, watched me frantically as I left. “Wait! Please… help…” she begged, tears slipping from her eyes.

“I’ve already done everything I can for you.” I gestured toward her coffee mug, “All that caffeine is bad for the heart.”

The glass cafe door swung closed behind me, blocking out the noise and confusion over the dead boy. That evil, twisted young man needed to be cut from this world, removed like the malignant cancer he was before he could wreak his own brand of torture.

With the brush of a finger, my job was done. Just another day in the life… er… death… of a reaper.



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