"The safety shut off for the fryer is located right over here," Lisa, the manager of the café, said loudly. With on hand she indicated a faded red button right beside the grills.
The group of trainees stood quietly. The orientation had been going on for a solid two hours. Most of it consisted of standing and listening to instructions and protocol that they already knew. Some of the trainees had a glazed look in their eyes as they pretended to pay attention to her. One person, however, was suspiciously attentive.
He stuck out in the group of adolescents, being the tallest. He was gawky with large brown eyes and awkwardly large hands. He listened to the lecture without moving a hair or blinking an eye. One would mistake him for a statue if it were not for the slightest nods he gave when the manager asked if everyone understood, or the slightest shake of the head when the manager asked if there were any questions.
Rubber soles slapped on the tiled floors as everyone shuffled towards the icemaker in the main kitchen. The manager slid the metal lid of the machine up revealing the mountain of sparkling ice cubes underneath.
The usually stoic man revealed the briefest moment of emotion as a shadow of happiness passed of him.
His smile was odd on his pale face. His lips looked strained as the corners quirked up, as if they were rusty and unused. His entire face contorted into a sinister look of pain instead of joy as he did smile.
Images flashed in front of his eyes; the type that excited him. He could just see the contorted limbs peak under the surface of the ice. He could imagine the blue face of the manager, open eyed, and dead covered in ice, with only her little hooked nose peeking out.
He stared at the security camera in the corner of the ceiling. That wouldn't be a problem for him; he could handle this little wrinkle in his plan.
He had just successfully lost the orientation group, and was walking down the stairs into the basement; where he wasn't suppose to go, when he heard his name.
"Joseph," said Cathrine, who was a waitress at the café.
He turned back, his face blank and distant.
"You forgot your jacket, it was in the front of the shop, and the group is going to the offices that way." She pointed towards the back door, "to discuss their schedule. Where are you off to?" she inquired.
"Washroom." Was his only reply as he draped his jacket over his arm.
Luckily the washrooms were located downstairs, and Cathrine volunteered to show him where it was.
They walked silently down the steep steps. There was so much noise that emanated from all sorts of machinery.
It was the type of sounds that drowned out cries of help.
He surveyed the aisles of stacked boxes of inventory. The boxes were so close together and stacked so high it was hard t see what was in front or behind you. This is absolutely perfect he thought.
They stopped in front of the staff washroom, and he entered without another word. The washroom was a small room with flickering artificial light. The toilet was dirty and the ground damp. His large hands searched his inside jacket pocket for his pocketknife and syringe. He felt the cold metal but did not feel the familiar cylindrical plastic tube. He pulled his jacket pocket open underneath the light and bent his head over it to get a better look.
He was right to think the whirring of machinery drowned out noise.
He didn't here the door open, or the figure creeping in.
The young man never expected his needle pierce the tender flesh by his own neck, nor did he ever consider that some other psychopath had found this café to be their perfect home.
"Sorry, darling, but I don't share," a soft voice whispered as he fell to the ground.
Cathrine pulled his body onto the trolley and rolled him to the fridge.
She pushed the trolley into the far corner of the large fridge. She upended the Trolley and Jospeh slipped into the hole in the wall, and disappeared into the darkness.
Cathrine slipped the faux piece of wall back in place and locked the freezer door on the way out.
"Cathrine have you seen Joe?" Lisa asked as she walked up the stairs.
"Nope, but I heard he decided he wanted a job where he was alone. I don't think he liked people very much. He probably slipped out." Catharine said conversationally.
"Well that sucks, but we need a people person, so I guess it would never have worked out." Lisa shrugged.
"No I guess It wouldn't have," Cathrine said darkly as she walked to the front of the shop whistling a little tune.