Waiter’s Note

You and a friend have just finished a lovely meal at your favorite restaurant. But things take a turn when you notice that the waiter has scribbled an unexpected—and startling—message on your bill. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “Waiter’s Note

  1. megsylegsy

    “They know you’re here”.

    He kept staring at the words, waiting for them to sink in. Then his head snapped up, quickly scanning the room. The waiter in the corner met his eye, his face pale and drawn, and gave the slightest of nods. Right, time to move.

    He stood as casually as possible, pulling on his coat and counting the number of agents in the room. Three in the corner, taking too long to choose their food and two at the bar taking too long to finish their drinks. He sighed. He’d thought he’d left this life behind him. A long time ago, perhaps, he’d have revelled in the danger, in the opportunity to let his instincts take over. Now, he was tired of the violence, tired of running, tired of all the bodies left along the roadway. Then suddenly he spied another way out.

    The girl had obviously spent too long at the bar. Her laugh was too loud, her smile too forced. The surrounding diners were tutting and muttering and shaking their heads. He smiled and strolled over, rolling his eyes and smiling like he knew what she was doing but oh well, it can’t be helped. He slipped her arm into his and gently pulled her to her feet.

    “Come on, duck,” he said loudly, “let’s go somewhere a bit quieter, eh love?”

    “I need you to work with me for a minute here love” he whispered in her ear, kindly but firmly, at the same time steering her to the door. She looked at him surprised, then laughed with a little twinkle in her eye and tripped along after him.

    “Thanks love, but I could do with a few more eyes our way” he muttered, as he saw the five men start weaving their way towards them through the diners.

    She looked at him and laughed again, “coming right up”.

    She suddenly stumbled on her huge heels, crashing into one diners table and tipping their dinner into their laps. The man sprang up, furious, “how dare you Madame, I am…”

    But he got no further before the man sprang at him, socking him in the jaw, “how dare you speak to her like that,” he bellowed.

    A full on brawl started, quickly spilling out on to the street. Most of the restaurant followed and by the time the five men made it out, the man and his new companion were nowhere to be seen.

  2. kathleenmagner

    Helen paused in mid-sip when she noted Andy sliding her debit card through the register a second time. The machine beeped and he stared at the panel. Whatever the display indicated, he didn’t bother swiping again. Instead he plucked a pen from a neighboring canister and while he jotted on their receipt, Helen swallowed her mouthful of unsweetened ice tea and set her glass aside.

    “Are you ready to go?”

    Slouched in her chair, Wendy kept gazing over the wrought-iron fence and its pansy-housing flower boxes. Pedestrians swooped along the tree-lined sidewalk and beyond them, the traffic slugged by, bumper to bumper, but Wendy seemed to peer beyond the lunchtime crowds and into nothingness.

    In the passing seconds, the ice in Helen’s glass clinked and she sensed Andy’s approach.


    “Sure,” she whispered.

    Helen rolled her eyes, and then stiffened when Andy’s shadow fell across their table and its dirtied dishes. Looking up, she smiled. His atypical frown when he offered their receipt, however, made her lips droop and the BLT on rye settling in her stomach to flip.

    “Is everything okay?”

    Andy cleared the worry from his square features and laid down the bill, pressing his fingers onto the spongy cover.

    “Fine,” he said in a hushed baritone. “You two take care.”

    He strode away, his departing steps and the brush of his charcoal slacks gathering Wendy from her perusal of empty air. She tilted her head and sighed.

    “Do you think he has a girlfriend?”

    Helen stiffened in her seat. “What do you mean?”

    With a shrug, Wendy snagged the straw plunged into her lemon water and drained the glass while Andy vanished inside.

    “He’s cute.”

    “And you’re on the rebound.” Collecting the billfold, Helen worked the pen from the seam and opened the cover.

    “You have to get back on the horse, or the bicycle or whatever right?”

    Wendy’s sarcasm slid off of Helen’s shoulders and her spiked nerves dissipated while she looked at their receipt. Her gut clenched viewing the bright red circle around her debit card number and the accompanying line through the digits half hidden by the plastic card. Below, the words: “Just go – A” caused sweat to spout on her palms. Snapping the cover closed, Helen smothered the folder beneath her palm, but her downcast gaze poured through her flesh and the leather; the sharpie and ink in Andy’s hand staining her sight.

    “….it, don’t I?”

    Wendy’s question blended with Helen’s pounding heart, the honking horns and the surrounding banter of other conversations.


    She jumped when Wendy touched her hand. Collecting the bill to the front of her peach tank top, Helen bit her lip tasting the mustard from her sandwich’s dressing and her lip gloss underneath.

    Wendy tightened her grip and faint lines marred her pristine brow. “What’s wrong?”

    Click here to read the rest.

  3. rubyblues456

    The cute waiter, who had been eyeing us up through our whole meal, gave us a wink and a smile on our way out of the restaurant.
    “Wow! Was he cute!” Maggie exclaimed as we got into the cab.
    “I would love to wake up with him next to me! “ I said as I pulled the receipt out of my pocket to check that I had left a big enough tip.
    As I looked down at the papers in my hand, I realized that there was some small handwriting.
    “Look at this. It looks like cutie pie left us a note.” Maggie practically rips the paper in half in her haste to get it from me.
    “Meet me at 11pm down by the old Movie Theatre. Which one of us do you think he left this for? “I could hear in her voice that she was hoping I would just step aside and let her have this one. But he was so incredible. I could still see his sparkling blue eyes, his dark hair, that smile.
    “Why don’t we both go and find out together? “ Was the only think I could think to say.
    Reluctantly she agreed. We decided to go home, freshen up and meet at 10:50pm a block from the theater.
    I showed up right on time at our meeting spot. Maggie was nowhere. She has a habit of being late, so I am not really all that concerned. I stand around waiting feeling very conspicuous. It dawns on me that maybe she came early to meet Mr. Amazing before I could have a chance. Angrily I stomp down the street to the old theatre. The place had been closed for a long time. The paint was peeling and most of the lights of the marquee were busted out. None of them were working and it was really dark. I slowly walked up to the double doors that led into the lobby.
    The doors creaked as I pushed them open. The lobby was deserted. The room had a musty odor. I could hear sounds coming from the theater. There were flashing lights coming from under the doors leading to the theater. It looked like a movie was playing.
    I pushed the doors open and was instantly assaulted by the coppery smell of blood. Maggie was up on the stage! There was a slasher horror movie playing behind her. She was covered in blood and not moving. I moved closer to get a better look at her, to see if she was breathing. I hadn’t moved very far when the doors slammed shut behind me and there he was! Mr. Awesome with his killer smile. I realized I was trapped!
    “How nice of you to join us! Unfortunately your friend left us a little early. Now it’s just the two of us!”
    The world just faded to black at the sound of his laughter……

  4. jmiff328

    The waitress brought the check at a quarter past eight. The check total was forty-two dollars and sixteen cents. Not shabby for a evening downtown. I pulled out fifty dollars for the bill and was planning to leave the change. Our waitress Cali, had been prompt and polite. She didn’t shove desert down our throat when we didn’t want it and she always made sure our drinks were full. I waited for Cali to return to the table while my wife went to the “powder room” to freshen up. I was pondering the reasons they call the powder room that when Cali jogged to the table side. “Do you not read or something?”

    “Excuse me?” I said, obviously perplexed by the question.

    “We don’t have time for this. She is going to kill you. Do not eat anything or drink anything tonight. Poison is her method and she is very good. Stay up late and try not to sleep at all if you can help it. We have been watching you for a long time Mr. Marshall and we can’t lose you now.” She nodded her head and started to leave.

    “I…I…WAIT!” I yelled. Cali made her way back to the table, checking side to side as she went.

    Cali moved just inches from my face. I could smell Wintergreen chewing gum strong on her breath.“Listen, you might have no idea what is going on here but you have to trust me. I am part of a very powerful organization and your wife used to be part of the same one. She has gone off the reservation and now wants to kill you so you can’t talk later. Do you understand what I have just told you?”

    I said nothing and stared out the window. This didn’t make any sense. My wife? The woman I married over five years ago? Cali must be mistaken, but she seemed so sure of herself. I saw my wife moving with grace and poise across the dining hall. I got up from the table and stole a glance at Cali on the way out, she mouthed “good luck.” Thanks, I thought, I’m sure going to need it.

    The drive home was terrifying for me. I began to relax as we neared our home. “You know about me now right?” my wife said.

    I was without words for the second time that night and just nodded my head.

    “You were never supposed to get hurt. I really do love you. You have been a great husband, the best so far.

    This passed through my head with everything else she was saying. I pulled into the drive of our home and turned off the car. I sat with the ticking engine filling my head.

    “If you run now, I’ll give you a head start. I won’t look hard for you and the agency isn’t going to spend the recourses. I nodded and started the car. My wife got out and walked to the driver’s window. “Take 75, and go south until you run the wheels off this thing.” She said.

    I nodded and put the car in reverse. I headed towards the interstate but made a quick turn on Fourth Street in the direction of Downtown. I was going to find Cali. I wasn’t going to run.


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