Liam and Kati had dreamt of a trip to New York City for as long as they’d known each other. The two met in 1980 and here it was almost 40 years later and their dream was coming true. Their favorite couple, Will and Rose, they’d known almost as long as each other. All 4 would be staying at an Air Bnb in the Stone Street Historic District.
Early afternoon of their arrival, they Uber-ed from the subway station to the loft and simply punched in the code the landlord gave them. It was a 2-bedroom over The Dubliner Pub. The loft was spartan but they didn’t need any more than that. Kati, who was an event planner by trade, had made reservations for that night at The Dubliner for dinner. Kati, Liam, Will, and Rose were living the dream!
They had a couple of hours to kill before dinner and decided to walk the neighborhood. They ended up in Battery Park down by the ferry docks and stopped in a small pub called The Black Tail. Cozying up to the bar, the guys ordered stout and the ladies ordered Magners. Black Tail was a small neighborhood bar with friendly regulars. Liam and Will challenged a couple of guys playing darts to a match and soon they were learning all about Stone Street and the area near the park and the ferry docks.
One of the old gents said, “Just be careful, you young’ns when you’re out late at night. The Grinder walks these streets when they are empty, looking for unwary travelers.”
It was time to get going for dinner. As they walked back, Liam said, “Beware of the The Grinder! and started laughing. When Kati asked, Liam told her about what the old guy said. All 4 were laughing and wondered why the locals always tried to scare the tourists.
Their dinner was first class. Will, a well-known spendthrift, ordered the most expensive thing on the menu, then insisted on buying everyone’s meal for them. Rose rolled her eyes and sighed. She’d meant to call the bank and put a limit on the credit card before they left. In the morning she would. After dinner, they retired to the roomy tavern of the place and this time the women challenged the guys to pool. They shot pool all evening. Will, who drank the most, got boisterous and agreed to subsidize a drinking contest with the patrons. By the time the bartender yelled, “We close in 5 minutes!,” they were all plastered. As they only needed to walk up a flight of stairs to their loft, nobody was worried.
All 4 staggered out into the cobblestone street and began to walk the few steps to the stairs. The bustling street by day had turned into a low-light, shadow-filled corridor with not a soul in sight. Liam pulled his frisbee out of his backpack. “C’mon guys, lets play a game of frisbee before we go in! Seriously, nobody will believe us when we tell them we played frisbee at 4 a.m. on a cobblestone street in New York City! Kati make sure you get some snaps of it too. We need proof!”
They were all drunk enough to go along with Liam’s idea and soon they were hooting and hollering with delight as they played frisbee. Rose was the best frisbee thrower of the group, but she was also not in best form. She whipped the frisbee towards Will but it was way high. Will backed up but not fast enough and the frisbee headed into the shadows. Will heard it hit something and then he swore he heard a low growling. Searching in the shadows for the disc, he felt giant hands with sharp nails digging into his neck. All he could do was gurgle as he was turned into human hamburger after being pulled into a dark alleyway.
Rose began giggling and yelling for Will, “Will, stop playing hide and seek, you just don’t want to lose this game! She stumbled along the cobblestones, now slick with dew, calling Will’s name. As she entered the shadows she pulled out her mini-flashlight from her purse and started shining it around. It didn’t take long for her to see the blood. She screamed.
Will’s memorial service was held back home, but his body was never found. The NYC homicide detectives on the case went through the motions, but both of them knew what had happened. Another careless tourist had fed The Grinder.
Fandango’s FOWC is spendthrift, the Word of the Day Challenge is contest, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge words are memorial, hamburger, frisbee, and Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Daily Challenge Prompts are New York City location, the line, “We close in five minutes.”, and the photo.