Wow! We’re already up to the third Short Story Saturday! Which means I’m going to have to write something new for next week because this is the last section of Flykt. You can find Part 1 and Part 2 here. The rules are super simple; post a part of your short story (or a piece of micro-fiction) each week. Make sure you include this linky thing so your readers can find other great pieces of short stories. A huge thank you to Emily Witt at Keys and an Open Mind for setting up the linky.
This is the second part of a piece I had to write for my creative writing class. We were told to write in as literary a style as possible and to avoid fantasy. I freaked out a bit then because fantasy is what I usually write. Every attempt I make to set an event in the real world tends to flop but I embraced the challenge and this is the result.
The waitress is there, ‘Another?’
Janet glances down at her watch, ‘Is that the time?’ she jumps up, quick on her feet, considering her age, ‘Edwina will be expecting me!’
‘A friend?’ the waitress enquires.
‘An old friend. Always competing, we were. She beat me, though, this time.’
‘Beat you where?’ Emil asks.
‘To the coffin, boy,’ Janet laughs, ‘hence the black attire. Not my usual colour. Makes me look sickly. Anyway, nice to meet you, Emil.’ She bends down to pick up her bag and while her back is turned to the waitress, winks.
‘What a nice lady.’ the waitress remarks.
‘Mmm.’ he agrees, uncommital. He does not notice her hand brush his when she reaches across the table for his empty mug. It’s soft, and speaks of a scholarship to a private school and a job to make up the difference. Emil is too busy thinking about a woman who talks to her dead friends and is cheery before a funeral. He hadn’t felt cheery before his mother’s funeral, that was for sure. All he remembered feeling was relief.
The phone buzzes again, startles him from his thoughts. He glances down at the cracked screen. Samantha. Again.
‘You’re popular today.’ the waitress remarks.
Emil grunts, ‘I’d rather not be.’
‘You could always turn your phone off.’
As stupid as it seems, Emil realises he hasn’t even thought to turn it off. Habit, he supposes. When you spend two months in a foreign country waiting for your mother to die, the phone is ever-present. Just in case it comes.
The message on the screen glares at him. Where r u? it demands. Samantha knows exactly where he is. She keeps tabs on him. Tracked his flight. Told him three hours before he landed that his plane would be in twenty minutes late. They hadn’t even announced it on the flight. It makes him nervous, her tracking abilities. She stalks him. He never used to mind. But now….
– At a café.
– Thought u’d b home by now
– U shld b with ppl, after whats happened
– I am.
– Ppl who care bout u
– Would it kill you to use proper grammar even once?
– Ur being unreasonable. Come home
Emil doesn’t answer. He sips at his coffee which has gone cold while he argues with Samantha in his head. That’s all it is, he thinks, voices in his head translated into type, emoticons and poor grammar.
– I’ll be there before dinner.
– Pls E. We need 2 tlk
– About what? Your atrocious grammar?
The phone goes silent. Emil senses he will not hear from Samantha for a long time. Or perhaps it is just a futile hope. He leans back in his chair, searching the clearing sky for an answer. Nearby, the waitress is clearing tables. Stacks plates, swishes the cloth, spins on her heel and retreats into the depths of the café. Repeat. Emil watches her, drinking his coffee without tasting it. When she comes outside once more to clear the student’s table, he smiles. She smiles back. It gives him the courage to ask the question he’s been meaning to since he sat down, perhaps since he first found this obscure alleyway café, ‘What’s your name?’