Flash: Gas Station Killer 1 – Bathroom Break

Photo by Aron Yigin on Unsplash

Brooke paused her true crime podcast as the three drunk co-eds stumbled back into the tight gas station store to trade keys.

“Sorry,” the largest of the three said, handing over the key attached to a large wooden dowel over a foot long, “we missed a bit.” Behind him, his friends snickered. All three smelled even more sour than before. One had vomit speckling on his shirt, and she bet the wet spots on all their pants wasn’t from water splashing back as they washed their hands.

She took the key between two fingers and set it aside under the counter, then retrieved the guy’s key she had demanded as a hostage so they wouldn’t forget to return the men’s bathroom key. The boss already needed to replace the women’s lock which had been broken for a month; he had said the next missing key would come out of her paycheck. Being the only one willing to work the drunk hours of Friday and Saturday night, Brooke disproportionally had “lost” keys as the drunks forgot and drove off with key and the big honking piece of wood the boss attached to it so people wouldn’t accidentally forget.

“Might I recommend calling an Uber?” she said as she passed over the keys.

“Nah, they don’t run at this hour.” The co-ed scooped up his keys, swaying. “Besides, I hardly drank anything tonight. I was the designated driver. Only three beers.” He held up two fingers.

Before or after the whiskey I smell on your breath? Brooke thought but didn’t say out loud, very conscious of being a woman alone. She shifted to feel her concealed carry at her back and the knife in her boot sheathe. “Well, drive safe. And Happy Independence Day Weekend.”

“You too.” The guy and his friends waved as they walked out to their car.

Unwilling to face the cleanup, she clicked back on her podcast and returned to restocking the smokes for the morning shift. Only after power walking around the parking lot five times after two o’clock did Brooke break out the hose and bucket to investigate what “missed a bit” meant. She moved to the side of the building away from the main road. Using the wiped down key, she unlocked the door and opened the men’s room, then slammed it shut before grabbing breaths through her mouth.

“Well, that can wait until I get the girls done. I hope morning appreciates everything I do for them.”

Brooke pushed the mop, bucket, and cleaner over to the women’s door. Frowning at the broken light set above the door, she wondered when their cheapskate owner would pay for fixing things. She opened the door.


Reaching in, she checked to see what level of shitstorm had just hit her life. Nothing moved under her fingers. She pulled out her phone, looked at the signal and the battery life, then clicked the speed dial for her boss. It went to voice mail after five rings. Brooke hung up and retried. On the seventh cycle, he answered.

“It’s two forty in the fucking morning. There better be a dead body.”

“There is.” Brooke reported.

“What?” came a groggy reply.

“A dead body.” Brooke leaned against the doorframe studying the dead female as best she could in the glaring light angling in from the pumps either side of the gas station’s building island. “Someone dumped a body in the girls bathroom.”

(words 573; first published 11/13/2023)

Gas Station Killer Series

  1. Bathroom Break (appears in blog at 2/7/2021)
  2. Station Attendant (appear in blog at 2/14/2021)
  3. It’s a Gas (appear in blog 4/11/2021)