The Cold Barrel - Chapter 1 (Shawn Mendes)
Word Count: 1,356
Biography: Melanie Hill is your average teenage girl: trying to keep up her GPA in school, working at a cafe to save money for university in the fall and having big ambitions that she promises to follow. Everything in her life seems to be going as planned, that is until the night a mischievous boy came late into Melanie’s work. Her life rapidly begins to change paths and for the first time she realizes that she doesn’t know what she wants anymore or which pathway to choose. The one thing Melanie does knows is that she’s beginning to fall in love with the dark side.
“You should go home.”
It was a little past eight, by now the sun had began to set. It always took me a few weeks to adjust to the long summer days when it didn’t turn dark until nine. At the moment, I was busting the last of the dirty tables in the now empty cafe that I was going to work at for the entire summer in hopes of helping to pay for university come September. I looked at Abby when I didn’t hear her respond and saw that she was crouched over the bar top looking ill as ever.
“Did you hear me?” I asked her as she answered me with a single nod. She lifted her head painfully looking even more pale than a minute ago and began to argue with me, telling me how she was fine before cutting her off. “Abs, you need to go home and try to sleep this flu off. I’m alright to close up the cafe by myself. Plus, I really don’t feel like mopping up your vomit.” She gave me a weak laugh before hesitantly agreeing.
“Thanks.” She gave me a relieved and appreciative smile. “I owe you.”
The cafe remained silent after Abby had left which I didn’t complain. The entire day seemed to have dragged on with the flood of customers streaming through the doors and the noisy atmosphere of the cafe that made me miss the calming sounds of nature as I held a paint brush and canvas in my hand.
The sound of chimes ringing through the room told me the someone had just came through the doors. I peeked my head around the corner of the espresso machine to let them know that we were closed, but as soon as my eyes rested on him the words slipped my tongue. I took in his dark chocolate hair that sat in an organized mess on his head. His dark eyes could fool people into thinking he was nothing but innocent but the tattoos that peaked out from underneath his plaid shirt said differently. He was tall, definitely around six foot and was built of lean muscle.
I cleared my throat, regaining myself. “We’re closed now, sorry.” The words didn’t come out as strong as I had hoped for.
The inked boy gave no regards to my words as if I had never spoken them. “I need change for this hundred.” He held the bill up to my face as though I was blind. I stared up at him with a mixture of disbelief and retort. “Please.” He spoke the word like he had maybe spoken it twice in his life.
I plucked the bill from between his fingers and opened my cash register. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him looking around nervously and impatiently as if he had somewhere to be.
“What do you want it in?” I asked
His head swiftly turned to me as soon as I spoke like I had sent him out of a daydream. “The hundred you gave me. What do you want me to break it into?”
He regained his composure though I could see a small flush rise into his cheeks. “Just 20′s.”
I counted out his bills and handed them to him. He took them quickly and shoved them deep into his back pocket. Giving me no thanks or a sign of appreciation before disappearing out the door and into the night.
“You’re welcome.” I muttered.
* * *
I rattled the handles of the doors that lead into the cafe to make sure it locked behind me. When the doors made no sign of budging, I turned on my heels and began my walk to home. The cool summer breeze was refreshing on my skin from the steamy and humid cafe I’d been in all afternoon and evening. The moon helped the street lights light up the pavement beneath me. The night sky was clear making the stars look brighter than ever. If I had my sketchbook and pencil with me I know that I’d sit in the middle of the road and sketch the picturesque sky.
A yell from the alleyway between an old book store and dress shop made me come back to reality. My head turned in the direction as I stopped walking and began looking down the ominous alley. All I could see was darkness but curiosity drew me towards it. I only had to travel a few meters down it to find four guys arguing over something. Three of them stood side by side against the old book store’s wall while the other was alone and out of place facing them. Creeping over to the dumpster that sat outside the dress shop’s back door, I hid myself behind it, peaking around the corner so I could see and hear.
I almost let out a gasp but covered my mouth quickly before any sound came out. I recognized one of them as the boy who had come into the cafe to exchange his hundred for twenties. The other three I didn’t recognize but I could tell that they were as much trouble as the hundred guy.
“I guess you don’t remember the boundaries we set, Mendes.” The guy who had said it was definitely shorter than the hundred boy or Mendes ift hat was his name, but he was built twice the size in muscle.
“This is our turf,” The lanky guy added who stood to the right of the first guy. The guy on the left of Muscles looked the complete opposite as he was massive in size though he looked dazed and had nothing to add to what the two of them were saying “You’re not allowed to come this way anymore.”
“Listen,” Mendes spoke up. “I’m only here to try and make things right with you guys.” The two laughed as though they had just been told a hilarious joke while the big guy continued to look dazed. “Here.” Mendes held up the five twenty dollar bills I’d given him. “I know it’s not all but look at it as a down payment. I’ll keep coming here every week until I pay off my debt.”
Lanky looked as though he were considering it but Muscles spoke with no hesitation. “What do you think we’ll give you after you pay off your debt?” He snarled. “Your spot back?” He began to laugh and the other two chimed in before Muscles held up a hand as a sign to stop. “This is what will happen if you even try to come on our territory again, Mendes.” Muscles reached his hand to his hip pulling out a metallic black object. At first I didn’t recognize what he held in his hand, as I had never seen one in person, until Muscles had his arm fully outstretched. I jumped out from behind the dumpster and screamed stop the same time the trigger was pulled. I watched as the bullet whizzed passed Mendes’s head and settled into the brick wall, missing him completely. I realized then and there that muscles wasn’t actually going to shoot him, only scare him and that now I was completely exposed.
In unison, they all turned to me, taken aback at first. I looked between them before setting my gaze on Mendes. I knew instantly he recognized me as his face was masked with shock and confusion. As if I were watching a slow motion film, Mendes turned to face the three other guys where to my realization Muscles now had the gun pointed at me. Mendes ran into him with all his force, slamming Muscles body against the wall of the book store while holding his fire arm upwards. The gun shot up into the night sky, echoing through my body.
Without another breath, I turned from them and ran. I didn’t care how sore my legs were or how my lungs seemed to burn every time I breathed. All I knew was that I had to keep running and that I couldn’t look back.
* * *
A/N: Thank you for stopping by and reading my fanfic. I’m hoping you like it so far and that it has you intrigued :) I promise it’ll definitely get better and that this is only the first of many chapters! I’d love to hear your thoughts about it so far and if you want more so don’t hesitate to come talk to me! Thanks again!!