Story Four – Ninety Nine

Funny enough…


Work sucks, let’s just get that out of the way.

I don’t want to go back and read your pages because I’m sure it’s going to be a year of me saying ‘work sucks’, ‘my boss is a dick’, ‘I want run away with the hot guy on the cover of the romance novel’, etc. That would depress me.

So I’ll pretend that the rest of you is more prolific. You are now retconned into an awesome and publishable collection of personal musings.

From here on out, this will be about my non-profressional, non-rut-stuck life. I will chronicle my loves, my hobbies and my great dreams.

I really can’t think of any of those at the moment. So I’ll tell you about my day after the suck-ass period of time I call ‘the hours’.

I went to my favorite diner.

This place is adorable. It’s one of those tiny fifties style eateries that serves whatever you want. They only have a few rules. Between 6am and noon, they only serve breakfast. After that, they serve everything except that.

I have my special seat, three stools to the left of the corner closest to the door. It’s not OCD or anything. That’s the seat right across from the kitchen. I get my food first.

There’s this guy who frequents the place as much as I do. He has his hown special seat too (see, it’s not that weird). His is two from my left.

His might be a weird OCD thing, though because I don’t know any advantage to where he sits. Also, he’s only ever eating one thing when I see him. It’s the breakfast special. I get there at six and he’s eating the breakfast special? Weird.

At least he’s not a hobo or anything. He always looks clean. He never wears the same clothes. He dresses like a construction worker or something but he eats and moves like how I would imagine a prince would.

I’ve wanted to talk to him for weeks. I probably never will.

I came home, fed Fluffers and fell asleep on the couch watching reruns of I Love Lucy.

Yay me…

Nevermind that last bit, sarcasm doesn’t translate well through the pen.




I saw him again today. He was sitting in the same diner, at the same stool at the counter, eating the same thing. It’s strange because I always come in and they tell me they’re done serving breakfast but there he is, munching away on his bacon and sliding his eggs around in ketchup. Who does that?

I don’t know why he interests me so much. I’m not extraordinarily attracted to him. He just sits there, there’s nothing for me to guage his attractiveness on. He looks young. About my age, which really isn’t that young but I’m not going to tell anyone else that.

I’m sure he watches me. His eyes don’t move and he never turns to me. I’m just getting this feeling that he’s paying attention to me.

I’m going to talk to him tomorrow.




So, it turns out that I am extraordinarily attracted to him. His name is Dean. Old name, I know. But he’s so charming. I hate that word. Why am I using that word? He’s CHARISMATIC. That’s better.

His voice is really soothing and he never stumbles over his words. He knows exactly what he wants to say and he just says it. Most of the time, though, he just listens.

I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him why he’s always there. I hope I didn’t sound rude. When it was happening, it didn’t sound bad to me, but writing and remembering it sort of brings up some kind of beligerent tone that I wasn’t intending.

He didn’t seem offended. We started talking before we introduced ourselves. Once the names were out of the way, we got a booth by the window. He had quite a bit to say but he said it in so few words.

He asked about my family, if I still knew them. I spent hours there tonight, spilling everything about my father and my mother. I hadn’t realized how much speaking about things can help. All those horrible memories. He’d nod and sip his coffee. He didn’t interupt. He actually wanted to know about me.

Watch, he’s going to be a real creep and do something really weird so I’m going to have to go to a different place every night. God, I hope he’s just what he seems.

I did ask him how old he was. He wouldn’t answer. He just smiled and asked if I’d allow him to ask the same thing. We left it at that.

Ok, so he is charming, no matter how much I hate that word.




Get this. Dean told me about his family today. He said they were all killed a long time ago. I asked how and he said I wouldn’t believe him. I asked when it happened, that might have been a bit crass. He said the same thing. He keeps telling me that there are some things I just wouldn’t believe about him.

What, is he an alien?

He sounds like he comes from another time, but this is the new millenium. Ten years into the new millenium, actually. There’s nothing that’s beyond belief for me.

I’m thinking that maybe he was on trial for their deaths. I know, a copyrighter’s creativity, right? I’m not saying he did it. I think he might have been equitted and they may have found the real killer.

That could also be because he reminds me of the mentalist.

I need to stop watching TV.

I hope he knows that the less he tells me about himself, the more I’m going to want to know.




I knew there was something wrong with him. He must have escaped from the hospital.

He says his wife was a witch. When he said it, I was imagining this bitch of a woman, someone you don’t want to mess with. I thought maybe she was a controlling spouse and maybe he escaped her clutches and she killed herself and their kids out of some kind of crazy rage.


He meant WITCH. Not a hook-nosed, pointy hat wearing witch, either. He says she was a real shaman woman that lived in… god, I’m not even going to try to figure out the spelling of this place… It’s somewhere in Norway. When I asked if I could look it up, he said no one knew about it anymore. It burned down in the 900s. The 900s? He didn’t even have the courtesy to make up a relatively recent story. He went ALL THE WAY back. He went Viking.

But this wife. He kept saying how beautiful she was and how powerful her abilities were. Their crops never had to winter over. They never had to worry about disease. He said that everyone else was jealous.

He told me his family was attacked by the rest of the villagers. They envied them and feared her power. They killed their children first and then tied them both to stakes.

I had to stop him there.

I asked him how he got out of that. Being burned alive is pretty final, if you ask me.

Right then I was thinking I had him. I didn’t think he could get any weirder with it. Of course, the mind of a psycho really is very good at developing this kind of story.

He said she put a curse on him to keep him alive. She used all of her powers to give him ninety nine lives.

I’ll tell ya, if I was a witch, I would have melted all the villagers and put out the fire. But maybe I’m looking at it from a spectator’s perspective.

He must be a writer. I wonder if Stephen King is crazy? They would certainly get along. Maybe the two of them and Anne Rice could get together and make the next hit TV series “Crazy writers in a house.”

I don’t know if I’m going to go back there anymore. He was upset that I didn’t believe him. I didn’t simply say I thought he was crazy. He’s perceptive. He saw it on my face.

He didn’t go ‘Rain Man’ and start screaming or anything like that but he did look hurt.




I’m still shaking. I don’t really know how to write this.

I’ll start from when I stepped into the diner.

No, before that. There’s a little before that.

Today’s my day off. I was walking around downtown, trying to see the new spring flowers. That was useless.

I really didn’t want to go back to the diner but I found myself there anyway. Of course, Dean was there. He told me what his ‘old’ name was but I can’t pronounce that one any better than I could the village he told me about yesterday.

I couldn’t stand being lied to. I hate when people think they can lead me on, even if they are crazy. I told him then and there that there was nothing he could do to make me believe him.

I gave him a chance, though. I told him that he could explain the truth and tell me why he would lie. If he did that, we could continue talking. If he couldn’t, we couldn’t. I thought that was simple. I never knew he would do what he did.

He didn’t say a word. He stood up and walked out of the diner. He went to the window next to our booth. I didn’t see him. I was too busy mourning the loss of a friend. I didn’t notice him until he tapped on the glass.

He gave me that grin and mouthed the words ‘watch this’.

Then he turned and ran into the traffic.

It was rush hour.

He must have had some kind of power. Not immortality, though. When that truck slammed into him… My god… But he must have had some power over me because I literally had to watch. I couldn’t look away.

He fell on the asphalt. He was starting to pick himself up. A speeding taxi sent him back down. I don’t know if the driver didn’t see him or if he was just an asshole.

I was already outside by that point. The vehicles had stopped hitting him. There was a clear path and I took it to get to him.

I’ve never seen so much blood. It was everywhere except inside of him where it should have been.

He looked at me and started to smile. I could barely keep my eyes on him. Half of his face was missing.

He whispered something that sounded like fifty eight. Then he was gone. I couldn’t stop crying. Even after they carted him away under the sheet, after the interview the cop gave me… I just couldn’t stop.

The page is going to be dry soon, but the tears are still coming.

I wish he would have realized he only had one life.

I’m going to miss him.



About Aaron Shively

I have been working as a freelance writer and artist for the last decade. In that time, I've done everything from ghostwriting to toy design and everything in between. I am currently working on a novel series called 'Myth' which has held my attention for the past sixteen years. I have spent my time developing the world, character and story and am now ready to funnel all the preliminary material into the manuscript of the first installment, 'of Men and Monsters' Bookmark & Share

Posted on 05/04/2011, in Freewriting, Personal, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I like the open ending, and I actually went the other way with it. Obviously, I’m not set in my ways that he really died, but it’s what my heart feels.

  2. Wow. Just…wow.

    I feel sorry for Sara, not because she lost her friend the way she did, but more because she couldn’t believe him even after what happened.

    I suppose now that he’s died once there, he’ll have to move on… She’ll never see him again.

    • Honestly, I’m glad you brought that up. I wrote this so the reader could decide for themselves whether he was telling the truth or not. I’m seriously debating whether to continue it as a series throughout the collection or just to leave it like this, with an open ending.

  1. Pingback: Today could be the day | ITSOGS

  2. Pingback: I need help… « to Write, Perchance to Dream

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