Strangers in the night

It was Karl’s night shift and all he could think about was that sloppy hot dog he only ate twice a week. Not a minute before midnight, he would close the heavy doors and bounce slowly across the street to get his little juicy sausage. Karl was a peculiar guy. Some days he would look like your silent staring neighbor that just had a shower and went outside with water still dripping from his forehead, but other days he would easily pass as a late struggling veterinarian student, always mumbling the only anatomy lesson he could remember from class. His walk was funny. You could swear he was wearing squeaky shoes by the bounce of his feet. He wasn’t.

It was a warm spring night with no clouds in the sky. The hot dog guy was having a good night too, dancing in his trailer to a Sinatra tune. It was so quiet that you could hear the music from two blocks away.  Karl waited patiently for his treat, slowly bouncing on his not so squeaky shoes.

Back in the office, he congratulated himself for spilling only ketchup on his already red t-shirt. He loved taking his time enjoying every bite of his meal. Seinfeld was on. He hated Seinfeld.

Two minutes after 3 AM the phone rang.

“You’re late.” said Karl in a disturbingly calm voice. “I already finished my hot dog. You know I hate finishing it before.”

He hung up and left his office.

Karl was a quiet man, didn’t give too much away. But Karl had a secret. He enjoyed other things besides hot dogs.

The delivery guy left the large purple package at the back door. Karl moved it inside, after some serious struggle. He wasn’t exactly athletic. But he was meticulous. In fact, he was great at his little hobby. So great that people would pay a great amount of money to get his products. It took him about 4 hours to finish the job and he would never deliver late. The pieces he designed were true works of art. His clients were very rich, eccentric people who would truly understand the value of Karl’s work. He usually found them online, on that side of the internet one doesn’t simply linger. Or it’s best to say the clients would find him.  His ad sounded something like this:

“Will craft anything. Your materials or mine.”

And indeed he did. Just last week he delivered a beautiful pair of gloves made from a beautiful shade of brown skin. He was almost ready to keep them especially since he had to get the skin himself, but he could never disappoint a client.  This time it was a bit more complicated. Since the delivery boy got here so late, and the morning shift starts at 7, Karl would only have 4 hours to deliver a skull-shaped jewelry box. Good thing the materials were somewhat ready. The client them delivered with a bag full of diamonds. Real ones, like you see on red carpets. He wanted to surprise his mistress and prove his loyalty in the most original way possible – by gifting her with a majestic jewelry box made right from his now ex-wife’s skull. And Karl was the guy for this.

It was a good night for Karl. Ten minutes until 7 and he was almost done with the cleaning, humming that catchy Sinatra tune he heard at the hot dog trailer.