Roll-A-Prompt Writing Journal- Horror Edition
By: Melissa Banczak and Lisa Mahoney
2. Sommelier (wine steward- works at fine dining restaurants and helps people choose what wine to drink with their meal.)
5. Black Rose
- Buzzing insects disturb a pleasant Sunday morning
My Short Story
Jeffery stared out the window at the back of The Black Rose, the fine dining restaurant where he worked as a sommelier for the past ten years. He could hear the servers preparing for the Sunday morning brunch goers as he daydreams. He faintly heard the clicking heels headed towards him, but there was a sound behind the heels that caught his attention more.
“What was that sound?” Jeffery said, keeping his voice low. He blinked a few times when the heels stopped behind him. He turned around to see who it was, his chocolate brown eyes twinkling when he saw it was one of his colleagues. “Good morning, Sheri.”
Sheri smiled her ruby red lips at her friend as she worked on snapping a purple sparkly butterfly clip in her long, smooth black hair. “Morning, Jeffery,” she said as she clipped the matching butterfly to the left side of her head. “Are you ready for brunch?” She pushed her hair back over her shoulders. She straightened her black jacket, then her black skirt, readying herself for a long morning of serving wine to their guests. The last thing she did was pin a live black rose to her jacket.
Jeffery grinned as he straightened his tie. “Another day, another paycheck, and more wines to talk about while wishing I was the one drinking it.”
Sheri laughed, gently punching him in the shoulder before she headed to check on the wine to make sure that everything was ready. Jeffery finished pinning on his own black rose and walked towards the dining room. He stopped walking when the buzzing sound he had earlier seemed closer and louder. He shook his head and stood by Sheri after she joined him and another sommelier, waiting for the manager to open the front door. Jeffery shook his head again as the buzzing annoyed him.
Sheri noticed Jeffery’s strange behavior and gently placed a hand on his shoulder. “Jeffery, are you okay?”
“Oh yeah, I’m fine,” Jeffery said as he cleared his throat. “Hey, Sheri, do you hear some sort of loud buzzing by any chance?”
Sheri listened for a minute, but she heard nothing. She shook her head and said, “No, I only hear the usual morning noises. People talking, pots and pans banging, and the doors opening.” She fixed Jeffery’s black rose on his jacket, making sure that it was straight.
Jeffery glanced over at the other young man, who stood to his right. He couldn’t remember the man’s name since he had just started working there three days ago, but he wanted to ask him, anyway. “What about you? Do you hear anything odd?”
“Sorry, but I don’t hear any buzzing either.” The young man shrugged and walked to stand closer to the front of the restaurant. He glanced back at Jeffery before he stopped in the section he would work during the brunch.
Jeffery sighed heavily, but before he could talk to Sheri about the noise again, the doors opened and hungry customers poured into the dining room. He grabbed his wine menu and walked around his section of the restaurant, asking if anyone had questions about wine pairings with their meals.
The morning moved steadily hour after hour, and Jeffery was so busy that he almost completely forgot about the annoying buzzing. The morning moved into the afternoon and the brunch crowd slowly faded and the lunch crowd took over. Jeffery finished his last table, thanked the customers for their time and for choosing one wine he had recommended to them to try. He headed into the kitchen, already loosening his tie. The buzzing sound of some bugs returned while he got ready to leave. He shook his head and looked around the kitchen, wondering if maybe a few flies had gotten in somehow. But as he looked around, he couldn’t see any flies and the buzzing wouldn’t stop. The sound had almost ruined the pleasant Monday morning brunch until he had really got into his work. But now that he was not bustling around the dining area, he could hear the buzzing even more.
Sheri walked into the kitchen, removing the black rose from her jacket since she had just finished her shift. She looked up and stopped when she saw Jeffery just standing there, staring around the kitchen with a weird look on his face. She looked around the kitchen to see if she could see whatever Jeffery was looking at, but she saw nothing.
She walked over to him and gently touched his shoulder to catch his attention. She jumped when Jeffery jumped. His wild gaze turned to look at her. She laughed and patted his shoulder. “I am sorry I scared you, Jeffery. What are you looking for?”
Jeffery sighed in relief when he saw it was Sheri next to him. “Sorry, Sheri. I was just about to leave when that buzzing came back.” He looked around the kitchen again. “I was looking around to see if maybe some flies had gotten in or something.”
Sheri glanced around the kitchen, looking for any flies. “No, I don’t think so.” She looked back at the confused man beside her. “By the way, what blood type are you?”
Jeffery barely heard the question as he looked back at Sheri. “What?”
“Your blood type? What is it?” she asked again.
Not really thinking about why she had asked him that question, he answered, “I am AB negative.” He froze when everyone in the kitchen stopped what they were doing and stared at him. He leaned closer to Sheri, staring around him. “Did I say something wrong?”
“Oh no, you said nothing wrong, Jeffery. You said something right,” she said, the words hissing out of her mouth.
Jeffery shook his head, confused about what was going on around him. He turned to head out of the restaurant so he could go home and try to figure everything out that had just happened. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Sheri. I need to get home.”
Sheri watched Jeffery and waved her hand, the kitchen staff quickly returning to what they had been doing. Sheri walked with Jeffery and patted him on the back. “Another long day of working hard is done. Go home and rest up, Jeffery. I will see you tomorrow.”
Jeffery opened the door to leave when another door opened somewhere behind him. He turned to see Steve; the wild brown haired, scrawny, blue-eyed manager walk out of his office. Steve saw Jeffery and Sheri about to head out of the day and grinned.
“Jeffery, there you are. I was hoping to catch you before you left,” Steve said as he ambled over to the two. He patted Jeffery on the shoulder, Jeffery trying not to wince since he wasn’t one who liked being touched. “I was told that we need another special red from our cellar. And since I trust your expertise on the matter of red wines, I hoped you would help me out and grab a bottle before you left.”
Jeffery stopped himself from sighing and grinned at Steve. “Hey no problem, Steve. I’ll grab it now and then head out.” He walked to a hidden door that sat at the back of the kitchen. Only the sommeliers, the manager, and the owner of the restaurant know about the door and the vast wine cellar that sat beyond the door. Jeffery slid the door back and descended into the dark cellar.