It was just a normal night at a store stationed next to the highway. Tulip usually worked night shifts at the gas stop in a rural area, so it was quite empty, as anyone would expect. From the cash register they assigned her, she could spot her other coworkers busy restocking the store, making sure the first shift workers would have enough material to work with before small rushes slammed them in the mornings.

Scrolling through her phone out of boredom, Tulip stifled a yawn. When a customer walked into the store, she shoved her phone into her pocket and greeted them as her managers taught her to do. As he disappeared behind some aisles, Tulip pulled out her phone again and texted her best friend before gazing around the store for a couple of minutes. The man that had walked in was taking a while. She could clearly see him walking painfully slow down every single aisle to the point it irked her. Why was he taking so long when it was a stupid little gas stop? Just grab your favorite snack and go!

With a sigh, Tulip shifted her attention to one of her coworkers busy restocking the deliveries they had gotten just thirty minutes ago. When the boy, Kyle, made eye contact with her, she waved him over. Kyle glanced around himself before standing up from his crouched position. He pointed at himself and called out to her, "Me?"

"Yes, you, knucklehead," Tulip replied, rolling her eyes in mild annoyance.

Kyle walked inside of the employee-only cashier area before looking her straight in the eye. "What do you want? Because, you know, I'm kinda busy." Kyle asked in a rude tone.

Tulip flashed him her best fake smile, knowing it would trick him into lowering his guard. "I just need to go to the bathroom for a few minutes. Could you look after this register for a bit?" Tulip requested with the sweet voice of hers, hoping she could make him feel at least a little guilty for his frustrated tone.

Kyle's expression darkened as he waved her out of the way. "Alright, I got it. Just don't take so long. I want to restock everything before midnight."

"Thanks, bestie!"

Tulip skipped to the bathroom with moderate joy. It was a way to avoid the stress of working for a few minutes and look at her phone, even if she didn't have to relieve herself. She already got caught a few times for taking way too long in the bathroom, and she was slightly notorious for it, but who was going to stop her? She was a great cashier, and they were always short-staffed. They couldn't afford to fire her. Besides, who was going to replace her? Nobody! Especially someone who was going to work the cash register during night shifts. Few people were willing to sacrifice their nights just to get paid a few extra cents to be glued to the cashier job for eight hours.

Grinning to herself from ear to ear, Tulip spent her time wisely and savored every second in the small enclosed space she was lodged in. Most times she spent it all on texting her friends, and other times she phoned them. Heck, she even played mobile games because it was a great way to forget about her horrible night shift job, but this time she wanted to laugh out loud at memes.

Tulip scrolled through the one social media app she owned and giggled at the funny posts she found. Why only one social media app? Because having too many gave her anxiety and stress trying to keep up with everyone's lives. When she finished her small giggling session, Tulip flushed the toilet to slip in the element of reality that she actually used it just in case she didn't hear her coworkers eavesdropping on her.

Tulip opened two sets of doors; one for the bathroom and one for the employee room. She made a straight beeline for the cashier area, oblivious to her surroundings because of her overflowing mirth leftover from the hilarious memes.

But just as she stepped inside of the cashier area and turned around, her mouth went dry. Down on the floor was the man wearing the skins of both her coworkers, layered on top of each other, adorning them over his body in all their gory glory. Their flabby skin swung in different directions as the man slowly stood up with no resilience or firmness to the thin layer of flesh. At the end of their skins and in the eye sockets she could see drops of foreign red liquid gathering together before it fell down on the floor or his besmirched, tainted clothes.

Gazing at the floor, she witnessed streams of blood running across the tiled floor like a series of red spiderwebs. The way it slowly dribbled along the floor like worms squirming their way to where gravity directed them was sickening. No matter what she looked at, it only got worse.

The skinless frame of her friends made her dizzy. Every heartbeat their bodies made squeezed blood out of their fresh, exposed veins. Next to them, Tulip could see their vocal cords carefully carved out from a deep blood-filled hole in their necks, so even if they tried screaming for help, it would fall on deaf ears, resulting in futile gurgles of pain to escape their throats. Their tender, exposed flesh soaked up the dust caked on the floor, sticking to the leaking surface of their bloody skin. It was all too much for her as vomit traveled up her esophagus.

Swallowing it down, Tulip watched as the man holding the knife and looking through the crimson splashed eye sockets of her coworkers began moving towards her. Fear took a firm grip on her as tears of absolute horror welled up in her eyes. The blood ramming through her ears and curse words spilling out of her mouth snapped Tulip out of her stupor as she shoved the swinging door open to sprint to her car. Trying to save her still very much alive coworkers wasn't worth it at all, especially if it came at the expense of her life. She liked them as friends, but there was no way her petite body could fight a skin-carving serial killer.

But just as she was about to exit, she heard the fearsome noise of an explosive gunshot. It echoed throughout the interior of the store as a small whistling sound passed through the air. In just a second, Tulip could feel unbearable pain searing her shoulder. Letting out a small whine, Tulip staggered out the door and collapsed on the asphalt parking lot. Lying there, Tulip winced as she let it all sink in. The man shattered the few seconds of silence she had, his shoes clacking against the paved road.

As he neared where she laid, Tulip tried to stand up, but he shot his hand in her hair and curled a fistful of it, causing tears to dribble down her cheeks from the horrific burn she was experiencing on her scalp. Struggling in his grip, it induced far more pain than freedom. He dragged her inside the store while Tulip's shrieks could be heard reverberating through the empty highways, far from the range of anyone.


It didn't take too long for a customer to show up at the front steps of the store for some energy-boosting snacks, but as they stepped inside the store, they saw the man wearing all three skins of the night shift workers standing completely still at the cashier, not even sparing a glance at the fresh face.

"Isn't it too early for Halloween?" The customer joked with a laugh, only to elicit zero reaction from the cashier. Confused, the customer walked closer to the man to check if he was even alive, but as they neared the counter, they could see three skin-shaven bodies lying on the floor and blood coating the entire floor.

Right as they looked up at the man running the cash register, the glistening barrel of the gun was a few feet away from their head. The customer froze still and slowly put their hands up, but the bloodthirsty glint in the man's eye showed no mercy.

From outside the store, the man could be seen skinning the new customer with his knife while the blood drooled onto the floor from the bullet hole. When he finished, the man delicately and gracefully wore the new skin over the three other layers before cleaning up the atrocious mess. Then he went back to the cash register and stood completely still, waiting for his next victim. Waiting to wear the skin of the next unsuspecting person who walked through the door.