Moe's Cafe

November 13, 2008
By Michael Stark, Carmel, IN

I’m hungry. I have to wait for my rust bucket on wheels with another problem to be fixed. While I sit smelling decayed gas leak onto the floor, I glance for a place to grab a bite to eat. Hey, Moe’s Café, I guess that will have to do since this is the only place I have seen in one hundred miles. As I walk up to the strikingly 1980s looking burger shop, I glance at a couple of murky characters. I try not to make much eye contact so I can avoid anything that could make this day worse. One step in the door and my feet are stuck to the ground. Could I be in diner hell? The floor is clustered with green mold and dust and seems to be layered. The lasagna on the plate of a woman beside resembles the nasty red and white checkered floor. I want to leave but my stomach is screeching telling me to stay and feed it, so I carefully walk over to a shiny red-seated booth and sit down. The cushion collapses and I smack the wood panel below. “No springs,” I say to myself. I should have known, I wonder why I have such high expectations for a diner.

The high expectations were a complete joke. I would have not said that but the waitress made me. She waltzes up with the ugliest looking red polka-dot dress I have ever seen, “What you want?” she said. I couldn’t focus. Her lipstick looked like silly putty smacked over her lips, her hair looked like it was deep-fried in the back, and her face, well, lets just say it didn’t real. The amount of makeup she wore could not be measured with teaspoons or tablespoons; she had to be wearing layers. Lasagna, I thought to myself again. She hands me the menu and walks away give me a weird, unusual look. I pick it up and take a quick glance. Well, it looks like every other menu, except it is printed on just paper and not laminated, which causes stains all over from who knows what. I see burgers, pasta, and steak on the menu. The drinks are Beer and Soda, not specific sodas, it just states soda. I have to laugh at what I’ve gotten myself into. The waitress, Blanche is her name, comes back and asks me my order. “I will take a bacon cheeseburger with fries.” I say. “Are bacon ain’t too good, we’ve been havin’ trouble cookin’ it.” She says. Oh wow, thank you for telling me that one Blanche I say in my head. “Um, alright, I will just have a normal cheeseburger with fries then.” She leaves and gives me the same weird look when she walks away. As I wait, I realize other parts of the store. The walls are so artistic, which is a joke again. There are pictures scattered through the store but all look the same. Moe apparently forgot to take the original picture out of every single one of the picture frames. You know the picture with the fake mom and fake child both smiling in front of trees in black and white. Easy mistake, it’s hard to remember to do everything when you are spending so much time cleaning the floor, which I am stuck to again.

I see Moe working in the back. Man, he is one fat person. He is sweating profusely while stirring some kind of stew, his black hair and full beard make him sweat even more. I am just hoping my burger is not sitting under that man while he is dripping with sweat. Moe rings a bell and sets out a burger, Blanche comes to pick it up and Moe shows a very serious look before allowing her to take it. I hope he didn’t spit in it. Blanche walks over to me and sets down a freshly poured burger for me to eat or drink. The burger is dripping with grease and some other liquid, maybe blood. The bun was drenched and once again my stomach growled to lead me on. I could smell the old meat, the sweat from Moe, the hairspray from Blanche, the wet dog…wait the wet dog? I look shoot my head up and look. I turn around and cannot believe what I am seeing. Moe’s dog is apparently peeing in the corner of the restaurant; I guess it cannot go in the grass like every other dog. As I turn back around I spot the sheriff of the small town. That makes me feel better; He has no problem with this dump, I guess it is just me. All while this is taking place, Blanche is still standing next to me with that weird look planted on her face. She leans down while her lips are shivering and mumbles, “I know this is going to sound weird, but Moe and everybody are holdin’ me captive.” “What?” I say back. She leans in again, “This whole café is just a cover up for what is really takin’ place. This place sells drugs, lots of ‘em.” Is she really saying what I think she is? I storm back, “No way.” “Look to your left,” she says, “Those two men is drug lords.” They were the two men in saw outside. “Help me.” She says.

I begin to panic. Why would she tell me this, what could I do? She walks away and leaves me to decide what to do on my own. I take out my phone and hold it in the air for service. The men and woman around all stare at me as if I am an alien. Have they never seen a cell phone before? I put it down and wait for the attention to fade off of me. I dial 911. As I am waiting for someone to answer, I hear another phone in the restaurant. It seems as if someone else actually has technology past 1991. Someone picks up the phone and I urgently whisper, “Hello my name is Michael and I am in Moe’s Café. I have reason to believe that they are holding a waitress captive and are selling huge amounts of drugs.” The old western sounding man comes back, “Can you say that one more time?” I start to restate what I already said when I see the sheriff stand and look right at me.

I sprint up to him to tell the problem when suddenly he grips my neck and throws me into the wall. “You ain’t gonna mess up our great restaurant operation are ya’?” It is hard to swallow. He says it again but this time he places his hand directly over the gun that is hooked on the right side of his belt. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I say. He throws me into another wall and releases me. I smash into the dull pictures on the wall, causing them to break. You’re welcome, I say to myself for finally taking down the lifeless photos. I then slam onto the ground and say you’re welcome to myself again. I probably took off some of the dirt and mold from falling on top of it. I could not believe I was joking at this point. “You better run boy!” yells the sheriff.
At this point Moe had come out from the counter with his old wooden shotgun. When he opened the door from behind the counter I spotted loads of bags with white powder in them. Blanche was not lying. The sheriff then locked the front door, as if he had seen me staring at the cocaine behind the counter. The only way out was the window, so I burst through it. I slam the pavement on the outside and sprint away. When I reach the gas station I jump in my car and pray for it to start. The mechanic walks out with a bat when my car coughs enough to start. I speed out and swerve onto the road. I fly by and no one is following me. 50 miles past and there is still no car in sight. How did that happen? It was not my fault, no way. It was Blanche, yeah, that’s the last time I am ever being nice to a waitress. I look to my left, and I see a Jim’s Diner. My stomach begins to growl. “Shut up!” I yell as I turn the old radio up and fly by the other decayed restaurant.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!