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I work at a ghost restaurant

daily life

By LimjiPublished about a year ago 12 min read
I work at a ghost restaurant
Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Hello, all. Somewhere between the end of my last shift and me waking up this morning, I found the moxie to post on here about the things that have been going on at my job. No, there is no bad experience that I am hiding until the end. Those experiences will be the subject of separate posts. All I want are some logical explanations for how any of this is possible.

Some backstory: I'm a 27-year-old who just got out of a deplorable divorce and was in need of a job if I wanted to ever have a sustainable living space for not only me but for my child, with whom I have shared custody. When I got married, me and my husband, whom we will call Darren, failed to sign a prenup, which meant I was able to dip into some of his money if I really needed to. At some point, I found myself reliant on him after getting laid off from my old job. I don't remember if it was because the company filed for bankruptcy or because they did that annoying worker liquidation thing, but either way, I had no way to get money, which meant I was back on my own to look for a job. So when he told me he wanted to file for divorce, I suddenly felt my world crumbling down. I had yet to find a job thanks to my town's ever-growing population, and I have very little saved.

I won’t say that 1,439 dollars isn’t a lot, because compared to others I know I had no right to be ungrateful; however, to pay for all the things I would need to survive puts that to shame. I was broke and living with someone on whom I depended but who didn’t love me any longer. Someone who hadn’t loved me for a long time But, not being an asshole, I respected his wishes, and we both filed for divorce. When we had him, we mostly fought over the custody of our son, Rowan, and we settled on split, 50/50 custody. The only other thing that came of it was that I was left with my own car and a small, three-bedroom house in a nearby town in New Jersey. Thank fucking god. I think I would simply die if I wasn’t left with somewhere to live, even if it was just my car.

When I officially moved out of our shared house, I knew that the first moment of "peace" I got would be spent looking for a job and doing everything it took before I found one that could keep me afloat for the time being while I found a permanent job that could skyrocket me back onto my feet. About a week into my new life, I was scrolling through the local newsletter for my town and found out that a diner not too far from where I was living was hiring. Perfect. Initially, I was sketched out thanks to a lot of factors. One being that, for as long as I’ve been coming to this town, I have never once heard of the diner. The name was Berryspout Diner, an interesting name all on its own, and it seemed both abandoned and brand new. I don’t really know how helpful that description alone is, so I’ll try to describe it in more detail. The walls are all covered in muck and overgrown leaves, with rust-coated hinges and windows smashed all to hell.

Oh, and we can’t forget the colourful graffiti depicting horrible things like police brutality and gun violence, with naked women to tie it all up. It was both lewd and potent at the same time.When I describe it as being new, I mean that it seems like it was just placed there, contradicting my description above. Had I just been blind? Was this building always here? But in spite of those worries, I went onto the website listed in the blurb and sent in my application. It was mostly normal, with me briefly explaining why I want the job and my gratitude if I am even considered for the position. After long, restless months of waiting for the divorce to finalize, moving away from what I thought would be a permanent home, and now looking for a job, I could relax my muscles just a little and hope that I wouldn’t be left to my own devices again.

It was a couple weeks before I heard from the diner, which left me begging for some money from my parents, from whom I have been mostly financially independent since I was 16. Thankfully, they felt pitiful enough to give me enough to pay for groceries and some bills I had yet to pay. When I checked the mail one morning and saw an envelope from the place, I felt a surge of joy go through my body. I was finally able to get my life back together. Faster than I would like to admit, I swiftly opened up the letter and read through the whole thing like an ecstatic 12-year-old opening tickets to their first concert on Christmas day. As if my luck got turned around, the diner accepted my application, and I set a date on my calendar for the upcoming Thursday, the day I go in for the first time and learn the ropes of the place.

Skipping some self-loathing and hours of crying, Thursday came faster than I expected. One moment I found myself sitting on my couch, scrolling through the dry and boring stories about my neighbor's cat being saved from the roof of the coffee shop, and the next I was standing in front of the building I have yet to see. The letters that were hung up, spelling "Berryspout Diner," were barely hanging on by the hinges, and I noticed that the window on the door was similarly smashed to the windows surrounding the walls of the diner. It was as rundown as you can get, really. Regardless, I made my way inside, and my world flipped on its head.

Walking inside, everything that was not visible when I was outside suddenly filled my sight. The typical bright fluorescent lights lit up the room, illuminating the rows of booths and tables filled with patrons, with waiters and waitresses periodically leaving the kitchen to either give customers their food or napkins or just to ask questions. In front of me was a smiling hostess who looked up from whatever she was looking at and met my gaze. "Hello! "What can I get you?" She asked, motioning me over as she assumed I was a customer. "Hey, I’m supposed to be getting a tour of the place." "Today is my first day on the job." I explained, observing how her face changed from the phoney worker cheer to a much more natural, neutral expression."You’re Jillian, right?" Follow me." The lady, who I assumed was named Megan thanks to her name tag, made her way to the back end of the restaurant with me not so far behind. When we were walking past the countless adults and children, I noticed the almost translucent look to their skin and the sunken-in cheeks that made them look both dead and alive simultaneously.

It made my mind wander back to how, from the outside looking in, the restaurant was deserted, yet when you step through the doors, you’re met with a whole new world. I got the idea to look back to the windows, but before I could, a gruffly male voice obstructed my hearing. "Hello there, little lady, I’m Hank." An older-looking man said as he extended his hand for me to shake.After a couple moments of hesitation, I took his hand in mine and ended the handshake as quickly as it started. "Before we start with the tour, you need to change into our signature uniform!" Hank began, a smile taking over the previous frown that must’ve been imprinted on his face naturally. The uniforms were what you would expect. a black shirt and black pants or skirt duo (with the addition of leggings and/or long-sleeved shirts) with the logo of the diner printed on the front, while the apron we had to wear was this maroon-ish berry colour to go with the Berry part of Berryspout.

Once I finished putting on my work attire, I left the employee locker room (which was fairly large considering I only saw about 5 workers in total) and met back up with Megan and Hank, who had just finished a conversation with a patron. "Are you up for the adventure?"Hank is known for being over the top with his descriptions. Megan humoured me, flashing me a quick smile before waving goodbye and heading towards the front where a small line of people (if you could even call them that on the account of their translucent skin and visibly dead-looking faces) were waiting to get served.

"Right off the bat, you should get to know the table numbers and their locations." Hank started off by walking over to the podium at the front, where a tablet was. Grabbing it, the man excused himself as an apology for interrupting the work of the brunette I have come to know before tapping the screen to prevent the tablet from shutting off. "There are a total of 20 seating options in two sections.On the right side of the restaurant are the tables to accommodate the larger parties that come in. "You'd be surprised at how many death dates are celebrated here." Hank laughed, seemingly ignoring the confused expression on my face. "Death dates?" "Don't keep your mind trained on that yet, sugar." Despite the scepticism and curiosity coating the walls of my brain, itching for an answer, I attempted to let go of that small detail while he continued. To spare you the details, I'll briefly list the important things he told me:

The large side of the diner was only to be used for small groups if the left side of the restaurant was full.

The kitchen is a dangerous place, so I should never go back there to talk for too long.

No lollygagging until it is around closing time; efficiency is not achieved by horsing around.

I would switch shifts with Megan halfway through our shifts, meaning I would have to get used to both being a hostess and a waitress (which is not anything I was ready for).

If I have any issues with the customers, I should speak to management rather than lash out and risk losing my job.

Never use the back door unless instructed to.

Never talk about your job in too much detail outside of your shifts.

The last two rules were strange in their own right, but Hank again reassured me that those weren't two that I would need to try and justify or worry about too much. However, the most important detail was told to me at the very end. After visiting every area in the diner and wrapping around to the employee locker room, the chirpy man who has been guiding me for the past hour suddenly had a serious look on his face. Before, Hank only wore a soft smile and cracked occasional jokes to keep the mood light and airy. In the current moment, his eyes were glossed over with a look of solemnity, and he stood up straight. Whatever he was going to say next was the most crucial thing I would hear all night. "One thing you should be made aware of might sound shocking, but I swear on my mother's grave that I am telling the truth." I hated when people did this—the starter sentence that filled you with enough suspense to make you think you were about to explode. It kept you on your toes for no reason other than entertainment.

"Our diner is, well, special." I don't know if you picked up on it yet, but the patrons we serve here aren't actual people. Not anymore, anyhow. Berryspout prides itself on being a "ghost diner," allowing whatever ghost is roaming our town to come and sit down for a meal. Hank explained calmly, his arms crossed as if he were my father, listening to me make up an excuse as a child.For what felt like hours, I remained silent. It was a mix of shock and me trying to rationalise what I had heard. But no reason I came up with was good enough. "Ghosts?" The question came out in a weak, near-whisper, which in hindsight was a bit embarrassing. How would anyone react to that news? news that I would be serving the dead. Hank, however, looked as though he understood my shock and slowly continued. "Berryspout is a ghost diner. Ever since our start in 1923, the dead have come here to look for a comfortable place to sit and eat. From what I have heard in conversations, the underworld is quite boring. It's a dark void where all you can see are specific buildings and the other ghosts. The only thing I cannot provide for you is how we have the ability to serve ghouls. "That is something no one has ever figured out."

I was hanging on to this for days after I initially heard it. It didn't help that I was thinking about it while at work, serving people who have long since passed. I felt sick during these moments of thought, especially when I thought about the ghost children who came and went with their families. It was depressing and bleak to see infants and toddlers happily ordering chicken tenders or mac and cheese like they would if they were still alive. I even tried coming up with answers on my own, with the occasional help of Megan, Hank, Tyler, Jaxon, and Olivia. So far, none of them seem credible. But I'll list them anyway in case someone could try and explain it to us better. Our first and only working theory is plain magic.

Yes, it appears ridiculous, like Harry Potter nonsense, but what else could we think? I mean, whenever we walk out of the doors, everything is normal. The diner was rundown and abandoned on the outside, but when you stepped inside, it was all perfectly neat and new with no indication of abandonment. Tyler even came up with his own little backstory about how in the 1920s there was an evil scientist who wanted to offer his mom and little sister another meal after they passed, and through an explosive chemistry experience, he ripped this hole into the fabric of space and time. Eventually, that hole took the shape of a diner. Now, it doesn't make sense, we know, but that is why I confided in you all. I am hoping that someone could offer a logical answer, especially now that we've been getting demons in the restaurant. They are so rude and creepy. They bite at our arms and have tried to kill us in a plethora of ways. On one occasion, I was sent to the hospital because of one of them. So I guess I lied in the beginning about having no bad experience. But seriously, how is this ghost diner even possible?


About the Creator


A horror and Psychology entusiast

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