Slow for a Friday, the coffee shop was relatively quiet. The baristas’ joking behind the counter was actually heard across the business.
Only three other patrons occupied tables. Regulars, he knew their names, drinks, and faces. He supposed that they knew the same for him. Maybe not. Maybe they weren’t as observant as him or didn’t care.
A thin sigh passed his lips. He was supposed to be writing but it was one of those days when procrastination stopped him like a mudslide blocking a road. He was a little bored, tired, and restless. I’ll begin in a minute, he told himself, and noted the time. Yeah, like he was really that disciplined and focused. More coffee will help, he decided.
Reaching for the cup, he glanced at the coffee shop table. The blond wood – he didn’t know what kind it was – had a dark knot which resembled a mustache. As he chuckled at that, he spotted two small symmetrical knots above the mustache. They were like eyes, he mused, sipping coffee.
The eyes blinked at him.
His body quailed with alarm as his mind shouted, “What the hell?” He set the coffee down.
A new knot rose, forming a mouth below the mustache.
He looked around the coffee shop. No one was near. He wanted to show someone as validation for his sanity, and then pulled out his phone to photograph the small developing face. As he raised the phone for the photo, the mouth moved.
“Help me,” he heard. “Help.”
Pulling back, he lowered the phone. Friday was about to change in ways he’d never planned.