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Lindsay is driving from California to a small town in Texas when, out of nowhere, steam shoots up from under the car’s hood. The land around her seems completely deserted except for the few tiny creatures that scamper across the hot dessert sand and the dry bushes in the distance. She manages to find a mechanic at a run down gas station who can fix her car, but it’s going to take a few hours. There is no shade to hide from the suffocating heat and all Lindsay had to eat was a handful of stale potato chips earlier in the day. She asks the mechanic if there’s any place to get a bite to eat, and he points across the road to Moe’s Café. Lindsay doesn’t have much choice, so she pulls her $300 designer sunglasses out of the console of her new, shinny blue car and puts them on to protect her eyes from the scorching hot sun. She heads inside Moe’s Café and looks around in horror at the filth.
Walking in to Moe’s Café, she could only think about getting food into her empty stomach until the filth stunned her for a moment. Her shoes stomped over clumps of mud that were scattered all over the dingy, tile floor left by previous customers.
Lindsay thought to herself, “How awful! Have these people ever heard of a mop and broom?”
The walls of Moe’s Café were pretty distracting as well. The wallpaper that was once white with a floral print was turning brown and beginning to peel off. Strips of old wallpaper laid in piles around the perimeter of the room and bugs were flying all around the dinning area. The small sign by the door said “Please Seat Yourself” so Lindsay chose the only booth that was still in one piece near the window and looked at the menu that was already placed on the table. A part of the menu that was supposed to be clear had turned an awful shade of brown and she could clearly see dried up ketchup and barbeque sauce on the top corners of the menu. It was gross but Lindsay was starving.
From the corner of her eye, she could see the waitress stroll out of the kitchen in a frantic sort of way and scramble over to the booth she was sitting in. The waitress looked young, no more than 18, Lindsay guessed. Her hair was frizzy and blond and her facial features were soft and kind. The waitress definitely looked like an animal lover from all the many animal prints on her shirt. Lindsay wondered what she was doing working here at this shabby café. Julie, the waitress, politely took Lindsay’s order. There was something odd about her though. She seemed worn out but there was not one other customer in site. Lindsay had to squint her eyes as she glanced at the menu because the light was so dim that she could barely see the words on the menu. Years of dust covered the old light bulbs making the café feel somber as if you were standing in a funeral parlor. Lindsay decided to order an iced tea and continued looking at the menu without touching it to try and find something to fill her growling stomach. When she looked up, ready to order her food, she could see tears in the waitress’s eyes. Lindsay asked the woman if she was okay but the only response she received was a small nod that indicated she was not okay.
After writing down her order, Julie, the waitress, bent down low and quickly told Lindsay that Moe was holding her captive. Then all of a sudden, Moe’s raspy, booming voice called from the kitchen for Julie. She quickly asked for Lindsay’s help and then snapped her body around and swiftly walked back toward the kitchen and disappeared behind the double doors.
Back in the kitchen, Moe was sitting on an old, torn up chair and smoking a cigarette. He was wearing a dingy white shirt with holes and stains all over it. Clearly it has not been washed since he bought it.
“Yes Moe?” asked Julie.
“What’s taking so long out there? Somebody ordering everything off the menu?” questioned Moe as his thick scraggly mustache fluttered up and down.
“No sir. A lady was just trying to have a small conversation with me.”
“Oh a lady huh? What does she look like?”
“She is old and fat. You wouldn’t like her,” exclaimed Julie in hopes that Moe wouldn’t hold somebody else hostage.
“You’re not lying to me are you sweetheart? You know what will happen if I find out you are lying to me don’t you?”
“Y-y-yes sir. I swear I’m not lying though! It’s just some weirdo again.” stammered Julie. “Here’s her order.”
Moe snatched the order out of Julie’s hand and threw a dirty rag at her face and told her to clean the grill off. As Julie was cleaning Moe began to touch her and Julie screamed “Get your hands off of me you creep! Why won’t you let me go?”
“I can’t just let a pretty lady walk away from Moe’s Café. I need a cute little waitress to keep a smile on the customers’ faces and I just get real lonely out here by myself.”
“Then go find somebody who actually wants to be here with you if you are so lonely. Why me?”
“You just keep your mouth shut and everything will be a-okay. Got it?” Julie could see a small tear run down his face and almost felt bad for the guy but not today. She wanted out of the café and to be home with her family again. Never again would Julie run away from home.
Back in the dinning area Lindsay was waiting for her food to arrive and she could see Moe’s dog, Barney, sitting in the corner of the café licking his crotch with dog hair flying into the air. Seeing this and smelling the scented candles mixed with the burger grease made her completely lose her appetite. All she wanted was to get out of Moe’s Café before she became another one of his hostages but Lindsay just couldn’t leave Julie there alone. Who knew what could happen to her if she did? Lindsay tried to tune out the country music blasting from the jukebox but it was too annoying. She absolutely hated country music because her ex-boyfriend use to be the singer in a country band. Before Julie even reached the booth Lindsay was sitting in, Lindsay shot out of her seat and whispered in Julie’s ear that Julie was to come with her right now and she would get her to safety. Julie slowly set down the tray of food so as not to make a sound and ran full speed out of Moe’s Café with Lindsay. Moe saw the two girls run past the window from the kitchen and tried to chase after them.
“Get back here right now you two! Come on! Get back here!” he yells spit flying out of his mouth. He began running after them but his weight and health slowed him down and he ended up tripping on a rock and falling to the ground with a twisted ankle. “I’ll come after both of you and I will find you. You can’t hide from me! I’m going to get you!”
All Lindsay and Julie could do was hide out in the gas station and wait for Lindsay’s car to be fixed before they could peal out of there and find a working phone to call the police.
“I would rather starve to death before crossing a toe in Moe’s Café ever again.” stated Lindsay.