New Flavors

It was tall, and thin, and looked like a man wearing a severe black suit. Despite this, it did not belong to the masculine pronoun. It was sitting in a Starbucks, staring into a $3 drip coffee, black. It did not drink coffee. It did not drink, period.

It wanted to worry, but this was also something it did not do. Of course, it also did not fail in its tasks. This one had not been any harder than any other, at first. A young woman, a book, a theft. Simple. It couldn’t see where things had turned.

She had begun intimidated, nervous. It was inherently unnerving. But then she demanded answers of it in the middle of a full mall food court. And then it had entered a room through the secret ways that connect all dark corners, only to be faced with a streaming webcam and a live mic.

If it could fail, perhaps it could drink coffee. It took a sip. Hot. Bitter. Burned. The stuff tasted wrong in all the right ways. It took another sip.

That’s when it tried worrying for the first time, and found it didn’t like the flavor of that at all.