Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Service Station

For audio click here
Luka sang along to the radio wondering what on earth the words meant. Maybe if he’d tried harder in school, he’d be able to understand the lyrics to pop songs, but more importantly, maybe he wouldn’t be doing night shifts in petrol stations on dark, lonely roads. He thought back to those school days; he'd been, the first one with a joke, the first one to lose his virginity, the first one to get a girl pregnant, and the first one to fail his school leaving exam. He loved little Dusan, and still loved Marja, but if he could turn back time. Well, you know the end of that sentence. 
He’d never admit it to anyone, but the night shift scared him. All alone miles from civilisation. Okay, he had a panic button, but if someone or something wanted to attack him, he’d be dead long before anyone had even noticed the alarm. It wasn’t the bandits he was scared of. If he was robbed, he’d hand over the money and play dead; Luka wasn’t about to be a hero for a petrol multinational. No, his real fear was the beasts that lived in the forests. The bears, the wolves, the goblins and fairies that he’d heard but never seen. The bins round the back of the station were a beast restaurant and it was only a matter of time before they came exploring for fresh, human meat. He shivered at the thought.
Luka watched headlights approach along the road. Would they pull in? He tossed a coin. Heads, they would, tails they wouldn’t. It was a head and he saw the indicator wink. He did a fist pump. He loved it when he was right. 
The car pulled up outside the window, no petrol for these jokers. The two men got out and stepped towards the door. They looked normal enough but there was something about them that made Luka glad that the station was locked, maybe it was the baseball bat the one was holding or the sawn-off shotgun the other had in his hand. Yeah, that was it. 
They tried the door and found it was locked. Luka pointed towards the night window. 
“Empty the till, ” one of them shouted and held the gun up level with Luka’s head. He may have been locked in, but Luka was taking no chances. He opened the cash register and started pulling out the notes. 
‘And a Twix,” the baseball bat one said.
Out of nowhere came a big, black blur. It knocked the two men over in one movement and then came back and dragged them away. Luca looked up from the till and saw a pair of feet being dragged into the bushes. Luka hit the panic button but he had the feeling that the thieves would be dead long before anyone had even noticed the alarm.

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