Cold Oatmeal

by Rod Drake

It could have been the oatmeal; Jesse hated cold oatmeal, and this oatmeal the waitress had served him was colder that his cheating ex-girlfriend’s heart buried in Antarctica in December. So Jesse threw the bowl against a wall of the luncheonette, which caused the beefy, bald cook to come storming out of the kitchen carrying a meat cleaver, a threat only, but Jesse took it serious and grabbing a nearby steak knife, jammed it deep into the cook’s sizeable, food-stained gut. The cook gasped a horrible sound and collapsed to his knees, leaking like a punctuated water balloon, while the waitress began screaming and pounding wildly on Jesse’s back, which he also didn’t like, so taking the meat cleaver from the dying cook, Jesse swung around and sliced it across her throat. A bank guard breakfasting there unsnapped and drew his pistol, but Jesse acted faster, clutching a nail gun from another stunned customer’s tool belt and pressing the gun to the guard’s forehead, fired three times. The few remaining customers were scrambling for cover, but the construction worker tried to subdue Jesse, who hurled a pot of hot coffee into the worker’s face, then slugged him with the nail gun still in his fist; the skinny bus boy, hiding behind the counter, crawled out, picked up the bank guard’s gun, and fired, accidentally shooting the construction worker in the arm but then hitting Jesse by luck squarely in the chest. By the time the police arrived, Jesse was as cold as his oatmeal had been.


Rod Drake, whose full catalog is here, lives, observes, thinks and writes in the neon capital known as Las Vegas. Check out his longer stories in Flashes of Speculation, Fictional Musings, Flash Flooding, Flash Forward, MicroHorror, and AcmeShorts.