This is one that I really enjoyed writing. I hope you all enjoy it.


You and a friend have just finished a lovely meal at your favorite restaurant. But things take a turn when you notice that the waiter has scribbled an unexpected—and startling—message on your bill. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

The waitress brought the check at a quarter past eight. The check total was forty-two dollars and sixteen cents. Not shabby for a evening downtown. I pulled out fifty dollars for the bill and was planning to leave the change. Our waitress Cali, had been prompt and polite. She didn’t shove desert down our throat when we didn’t want it and she always made sure our drinks were full. I waited for Cali to return to the table while my wife went to the “powder room” to freshen up. I was pondering the reasons they call the powder room that when Cali jogged to the table side. “Do you not read or something?”

“Excuse me?” I said, obviously perplexed by the question.

“We don’t have time for this. She is going to kill you. Do not eat anything or drink anything tonight. Poison is her method and she is very good. Stay up late and try not to sleep at all if you can help it. We have been watching you for a long time Mr. Marshall and we can’t lose you now.” She nodded her head and started to leave.

“I…I…WAIT!” I yelled. Cali made her way back to the table, checking side to side as she went.

Cali moved just inches from my face. I could smell Wintergreen chewing gum strong on her breath.“Listen, you might have no idea what is going on here but you have to trust me. I am part of a very powerful organization and your wife used to be part of the same one. She has gone off the reservation and now wants to kill you so you can’t talk later. Do you understand what I have just told you?”

I said nothing and stared out the window. This didn’t make any sense. My wife? The woman I married over five years ago? Cali must be mistaken, but she seemed so sure of herself. I saw my wife moving with grace and poise across the dining hall. I got up from the table and stole a glance at Cali on the way out, she mouthed “good luck.” Thanks, I thought, I’m sure going to need it.

The drive home was terrifying for me. I began to relax as we neared our home. “You know about me now right?” my wife said.

I was without words for the second time that night and just nodded my head.

“You were never supposed to get hurt. I really do love you. You have been a great husband, the best so far.

This passed through my head with everything else she was saying. I pulled into the drive of our home and turned off the car. I sat with the ticking engine filling my head.

“If you run now, I’ll give you a head start. I won’t look hard for you and the agency isn’t going to spend the recourses. I nodded and started the car. My wife got out and walked to the driver’s window. “Take 75, and go south until you run the wheels off this thing.” She said.

I nodded and put the car in reverse. I headed towards the interstate but made a quick turn on Fourth Street in the direction of Downtown. I was going to find Cali. I wasn’t going to run.


About Marshall Franklin

I am a native of beautiful Kentucky, an avid reader, and an amateur writer.
This entry was posted in Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I love this story! Loved it on Writers’ Digest and love it here. Great job. I didn’t get the chance to respond to your comment about turning my short stories about Rett into a novel. That is my hope. I am using the prompts to develop her character and explore some of the other people who will people the novel. Thanks for reading! I’ll look forward to more stories from you, too!

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