Finding common ground – BC.

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

Temp:  Selina was actually quite fond of physical touch, or at least she felt like she was. This was likely something from her true self leaking over. The magic and abilities she possessed were very much reliant on touch more so than feeling. There were a great deal of things she could do to this man now that his hand was in hers, but she refused to do such a thing. This man was offering her a kindness previously unknown to her since her awakening. In truth, the emotions and thoughts of her true self bleeding over were quite frustrating.

Thankfully, she now had something to distract herself with in the form of Joel and a Miss Blackbane. The girls last name was actually extremely interesting for some reason. It felt familiar in some way, though she couldn’t quite place why. Regardless, there was now an introduction between them all, but they still didn’t know her name. As soon as she sat down she looked back and forth between the two curiously. Surely there would be now harm in sharing her full name to them. It was unlikely they’d know anything about her. “Mine name is Selina Shamandalie, ’tis a pleasure to meet thou.” She offered them both a slight bow of her head, and rested her eyes upon Joel upon hearing his request. “Nay, but I appreciate thy tender.” There was one thing that was surprising though. Joel seemed to think she was near the same age as Miss Blackbane. This was actually quite false. Even though she was very confused and alone, she knew that telling a human she was centuries old wouldn’t blow over so well. For now she would have to just go with his assumption of her youth.

 

Gene:  

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However long had gone by until Joel and Selina came to the booth was unknown by Ava; she had been too busy pondering on the current state of affairs. Though, the moment the two came over, Ava returned to reality and looked to them both. With Joel and Selina standing side by side, Selina’s height was really eemphasized she was small, very small and perhaps it was her height which gave Ava the impression of her being a young girl. Though, her mannerisms and the way she spoke told a whole other story. As Joel introduced herself, for her, Ava smiled.

“Please, call me Ava,” She added. As for Joel’s comment about them being around about the same age, based on her appearance Ava would say she was a few years younger. She decided not to mention it; Ava hadn’t realised Joel was trying to establish a common ground. Ava did want to ask Selina for her age, but it might have come off as an inappropriate question, so once again she kept her mouth shut.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you too, Selina,” Her surname was one Ava would expect in a history book.

Ava had no idea what to say. There were times when she was socially awkward around those her own age, however this time it was due to Selina’s attire and the way she spoke. How could someone pretend it was normal? Nevertheless, Ava decided she might as well try. It was clear that Joel was a few steps ahead, of Ava, when it came to accepting the girl and her differences.

“So, where do you come from?” She asked. Moments after asking the question, Ava realised that maybe she shouldn’t have asked the question. She had posed it in such a way that it’d make it clear Ava didn’t think she came from around here. Was it rude? No, it couldn’t be. Could it?

Her eyes flitted around the room. People were looking at them. Usually, people would only look at her because of who she was. Now, they were looking at her because of who she was with. Everyone was having their own conversation, though it was obvious which conversations were regarding Selina; they’d occasionally glance over as they spoke. Out of the corner of her eye, Ava saw a flash. She scanned the room for whoever it was, and saw someone – a male young adult to be precise. Had he taken a picture? If the picture was put on social media, then someone would recognise Ava. It’s not like she minded being seen with someone like Selina, however it was the fact she’d be seen in the Inner City. Her parents never liked it when she came here, especially on her own.

“Maybe we should go somewhere less,” She hesitated, thinking of the right word to use, “Crowded,”

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Joel took the girl’s rejection of the offer of more food well; shrugging softly as it was no big deal. The young girl was so polite, and the way she kept up with the use of words from another era was impressive. But the more she spoke, the more that Joel realized that the girl was not from this place, and now he questioned if she even knew where she was. Her name was Selina Shamandalie, a pretty name by all accounts. The teacher had not come across that name before, and he glanced toward Ava to see if there was a look of recognition upon her face. Sadly, there was no way to tell, what Ava was thinking. She kept her replies light and curt – as though she didn’t know quite what to say. No wonder this girl was alone. She was seriously lacking in social skills.

“So, where do you come from?”

Joel watched on silently for a moment, to see what Selina would say. He was curious too, but then his eyes narrowed as he thought of a question of his own. “You should not be asking her where she is from….but rather…when, Miss Blackbane.”

The young teacher was staring at the delicate embroidery on the girl’s attire, and knew that there was no way that had been made by a seamstress of the modern age. All of it was hand stitched. The kind of clothing you would see in a museum display. Joel’s face lifted slightly and he again turned on the charm.

“This really isn’t the place to discuss such delicate matters. The walls have ears, along with some very nosy patrons.” He was right of course, since all eyes WERE on the trio. There was a sudden flash, like you would get from a smart phone or camera, and the young teacher growled under his breath. What ever happened to privacy? Joel’s patience was now at an end. Ava had already suggested that they go somewhere less crowded, and he couldn’t agree more.

“I think the best place to go would be the library.” Signalling to Ava to gather her things. “If that is alright with you, Miss Shamandalie.”

Joel stepped back and made for a clear path towards the exit.

 

~RB~

 

 

Little Girl Lost – BC.

 

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

Temp:  Well, at least there were still gentlemen in this time period. The mans sole satisfaction with her smile was flattering, and the words were more than welcomed. It was a nice change of pace from strange looks and mumbled words. Unfortunately, the girl near the man seemed to be unsure as to how she should interact with her. The very late wave was something she decided to forgive and let go, rather than find any kind of offense. Selina was different from everyone around her, that much she was beginning to understand. From what she had gathered so far, there had been quite a bit of advancement as far as the human race went, both in terms of society and intelligence. There was likely a great deal of learning that she had to do, at least if she wished to live among these humans. The alternative to adapting to this new urban environment was to live in the wilderness. There would be a great deal of room for experimentation and witchcraft, should she choose to partake in it. It would also mean that her Awakened form wouldn’t be able to cause any sort of disaster. Leaving was definitely the best option, no doubt about it. Surviving on her own wouldn’t prove very difficult, or at least she assumed so. Before she did anything she would have to speak with her Grimoire, who was currently being stubborn and keeping her mouth shut. For now, she could at least enjoy her time among these ‘modern’ humans. Who knows, maybe she’ll even learn something.

Presently, she was too busy focusing on the food in front of her to notice anything going on around her. Anyone staring or talking about her would go unnoticed, at least for now. The quality of the food was a massive improvement from what she could remember eating in the past, which was fantastic. She had always enjoyed sweet things, but these biscuits were simply amazing. The tea was also very good and really fresh, which was quite surprising. The advancements to cooking techniques were something she was very excited to experience. Eating in general was something she loved doing. Thankfully she had no reason to worry about her figure, a true miracle. “So much hath changed.” Speaking to herself was a common practice she took part in, though this time she was communicating with Tallulah, who still remained still and silent. Was the world view on magic another thing that had changed? There was no other reason for her to remain inactive than that, considering she was very talkative when the two were previously alone. The silence was beginning to make her feel a bit lonely and depressed. Which only helped make her realize that she really was completely alone. Not one person from her coven likely remained, even descendants were highly unlikely to be alive. “I wish I couldst return to mine slumber…” Why hadn’t she thought of this from the beginning? Maybe she was just trying to deny the facts. Either way, it was unsettling and very distressing. A tightening of her chest was beginning to develop, as well as a very clear look of dread that now painted itself upon her face. She was starting to feel unstable, which was not a good thing at all.

 

Gene:

 

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The kindness and politeness displayed by Joel, to the girl, did come to Ava’s attention. He was an interesting person – that was for sure. Ava almost wished she could do the same; quickly switch how she acted around certain people. It’d certainly be a useful skill.

When Joel explained why he helped her, Ava’s gaze flickered to the floor. He had a point; people feared the unknown. Even Ava did, especially when she first began to practice magic. However, her fascination and curiosity was sufficient enough to motivate her to continue. Ava looked towards the girl. She was eating, seemingly lost in her own thoughts. She only turned to face Joel when he posed the question. This brought about silence once more. Anyone would want help if they were lost and hungry; the answer was simple enough, but Ava knew that wasn’t the point. Even though everyone would say yes, it was ironic how they wouldn’t help someone else in that same position. Ava wasn’t brought up to be charitable and had hardly been exposed to the poverty within the City. It was the same reason why she read the newspaper: Ava wanted to learn the truth about the City. The City – or the world for that matter – wasn’t a utopia.

“I understand,” She nodded. Just talking to Joel was allowing Ava to learn new things and open her mind; well, he was a teacher after all, “Should we ask her to sit with us?”

Once again, Ava twisted in her seat to look at Selina. This time was different. A look of worry was on Selina’s face and Ava’s own expression began to mimic it. Was the girl alright? Come to think of it, Ava realised she appeared to be around the age where one wouldn’t expect her to be out, in the city, by herself.

“Are you okay?” Ava called to her. A few of the neighbouring booths and tables heard the question, Selina once again becoming their centre of focus. It wasn’t Ava’s intention to bring any more attention to Ava; she bit down on her lip, silently cursing herself for her stupidity.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Soft words said only to herself were casually overheard. Joel couldn’t help but hear what the girl in the next booth was saying. Though it was not directed to anyone in particular, it did give rise to clues about the girl’s circumstance, and this suddenly made the young teacher curious. A natural trait of one that always was seeking to learn more about the world and those around him. Though Joel had his back to the girl, he was becoming more aware of her plight with each passing second. For a moment he zoned out of the conversation with the young pupil opposite him. Ava’s gaze was now going past Joel towards the girl in the next booth. Had what he said awakened something in her? Perhaps Ava did understand that Joel was in fact giving her a lesson on morals. “I understand.” But did she really? Only time would tell.

“Should we ask her to sit with us?”

“I wasn’t planning on staying much longer, but if you insist.” Joel was being honest in that he had planned to head home to Orago district. That was until the girl behind them muttered that so much had changed. What could she have meant by that? The girl was dressed as though she had stepped out of a time machine – not that there were even such things in existence. Not in reality anyways. Joel’s ears peaked again, when he heard the following remark again aimed at no one. “I wish I couldst return to mine slumber…”

That was enough for Joel.

“Go on and ask then, Miss Blackbane.”

Joel shifted in the booth, so that he could make room for the girl if she should happen to join them once Ava asked. Ava’s face however showed concern, which had Joel glance back at the girl again. Indeed the young girl was deeply troubled. Her lips pouting – a very real sadness showed. The tea and biscuits may have helped stave off hunger, but it was not enough to take away the sorrow. Who was this girl…..and where did she come from? More importantly, now that Joel studied her garments more closely…..when?

“Are you okay?” Ava called, bringing about the focus again of the entire cafe upon the young girl sitting alone in the next booth. That was the last thing she needed. Joel decided on action. Sliding across and out of the booth, he took the few steps and crouched down so that the girl could stare directly into his somber grey eyes.

“Please Miss. Come join us. We might be able to help you.”

Whether or not Joel could help remained to be seen, as he didn’t know the truth about the girl. Not yet. Joel offered his hand to the girl for her to take. Such gentleness in his expression, where from earlier he looked at the waitresses so differently. The young teacher could change emotions as easily as blinking. He waited patiently for the girl’s response.

~RB~

Tea and Biscuits – BC.

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

Temp:  What in the world was this place? There had been a fair bit of knowledge given to Selina by her Grimoire about this time period, but none of it really clicked with her. Gigantic stone buildings littered the area around her, and large metal rectangles moved at high speeds down large paved roads. None of this was even possible in the time that she knew so well, but that time had long since passed. Centuries had gone by while she slept within her sealed crystal, and for some reason she was now awake and in this strange land. Her Grimoire, Tallulah, had explained that the crystal had opened due to her own powers leaking from within, but it still explained so little. Her purpose in life had completely changed, as had her very persona. There were now two very different sides of her, one which was extremely vile, and one that was very confused and timid. The latter was what she was experiencing right now, though earlier she had been her true self. In a way, her ‘dormant’ form had a personality and mind of its own, one which disliked the ‘awakened’ form and it’s methods. Unfortunately, the awakened form was her true self, while her dormant form was something that managed to form during her slumber. Her goals and life were conflicted and a mess, but she at least had the resolve to continue with this new chance at life. She only hoped she could keep her true self at bay as much as possible.

After exploring the city for a fair bit of time, Selina found herself to be rather worn out. Her belly ached, her throat was dry, and her legs ached from the extensive amount of walking. None of the wordings on buildings really made much sense to her, so trying to find some place to rest was proving difficult. Until she stumbled upon a place called ‘The Peach Cafe’. Cafe seemed familiar to her, and if she remembered correctly it was place that she could actually utilize. Her small body eventually stepped into the cafe, where she found herself to be the new center of everyone’s attention. Everyone seemed to be staring at her. Perhaps it was because of what she looked like? Nobody here was dressed even remotely similar to her. Her eyes drooped down towards Tallulah, who was being firmly held against her chest with both of her arms.“Tallulah, would thou be so kind as to dilate wherefore these people art staring at me?” The cat plushy in her arms didn’t make a sound, and due to her very odd wording combined with her speaking to an apparent toy, she drew in even more reactions. “Prithee, doth not look at me like I am some strange creature.” She spoke lightly as she shot a rather weak glare out at the people around her, but somehow managed to get them to look away. Once their stares were gone she let out a weak sigh, and walked over towards the nearest seat. There were two people behind her that were talking, but she payed them no mind, and instead raised her hand into the air. She held it there for a good minute, as if expecting some kind of reaction from someone. After getting no response whatsoever, she cleared her throat with a loud ‘AHEM’, and wiggled her hand while staring at one of the waitresses. “Colours me! I require thy services! I desire tea and biscuits!” Ordering what she wanted wasn’t even something she could get right. Tallulah would be facepalming over and over again if it weren’t for the curious eyes of the humans around her.

Gene:

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It came as as a delight when Ava was allowed to sit. When she brought up the matter that she went to the Acalo school, Ava saw no signs of any emotion letting her know whether she was welcomed for not. Joel had sighed before – it was unknown to Ava the real reason behind it – though she only took it as him not really wanting to talk. The proceeding moments were awkward. Her eyes shifted to the objects on the table and then the photographs on the wall, waiting for him to talk. When he did, Ava couldn’t help but smile in relief. More so, he knew who she was. The thought of excusing herself and leaving crossed her mind seconds before he spoke. As long as Joel gave the impression he didn’t mind her presence, Ava would stay.

“We have crossed paths on occasion at the school, but as yet you are in none of my classes.”

Ava nodded in agreement, “I’ve heard a few things about you,” Her glance moved to his muffin, then back again as she quickly added, “Good things,”

Her composure had been engulfed with formality. She sat, with her legs crossed, back straight, and hands clasped on her lap. A smile was plastered to her face, next to her soft features. Ava ran a hand through her hair, moving it away from her face. No matter how natural Ava appeared, her eyes revealed her current mannerisms to be nothing but fake; the practice of being formal and polite was something she was forced to do time and time again.

“I imagined a girl like you would travel in a pack.”

Ava blinked in an initial response to what he said. Was that the impression she gave to those who didn’t know her? Perhaps it was true; she ought to have a close friends with whom she’d do everything with. Reality was not like that. Since all the students knew one another since they were kids, everyone quickly knew one another. When puberty came, Ava wasn’t deemed ‘good enough’ to be integrated into a close group of friends or a pack.

Ava hesitated, before she finally managed to reply, “It isn’t really my sort of thing,” Her reply had been well thought out and it might have been obvious to anyone she wasn’t revealing the true reason.

All the while, Ava remained oblivious to Selina’s arrival. She was positioned so she had no view of the entrance and consequentially Selina’s arrival. Despite Ava noticing others looking at something, she decided not to be rude and seem as though she wasn’t interested in conversing with Joel. Though, Ava couldn’t deny she was curious. It took all of her willpower not to turn around. However, if Joel made any mention to the new arrival, Ava would proceed to look. If not, she’d hear Selina calling to a waitress.

Either way, her formality would trickle away from her face upon seeing Selina. What in the world was the girl wearing? Her attire looked old; not just old by a few years, but by centuries. And what was up with the way she was speaking? Ava stared, her mind replaying what the girl had said.

“Is she,” Ava paused, thinking of the word, “Cosplaying?” She continued when the term came to her mind, “Why in here?” Even though Ava was speaking aloud, she was speaking to herself instead of Joel; Ava usually found it helpful to think aloud.

Razorbackwriter:  

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Body language says a great deal about the person, and it was clear from the way that Ava presented herself before Joel that she had been raised by someone that taught her manners and etiquette – especially in her posture. Back straight, and with hands in her lap. Ava’s dress gave Joel cause to wonder about her family; the Blackbane. One of the more influential in the city. With money comes power and influence, and yet this girl’s nature was a tad off from what he had come to expect. It was why he had made the blunt observation about how he imagined this girl’s social habits to be. Joel’s eyes followed Ava’s as she stared at various objects in a way to pass the time through the uneasy silence. This gave Joel the time to study her like she was a museum piece. It was amazing what one learns if they are truly observant. We often say more without having said a word. What was surprising however, was when Ava commented that she had seen him about the school too, and had heard things. This intrigued Joel, till she mentioned that she had heard good things.

“Really? Are you certain about that?” Here he was questioning her about such rumors. Joel was something of an enigma – a lone wolf. Not one to dilly dally in the daily lives of his contemporaries, or his students. He only took on students to tutor who showed patience and a will to learn – something lacking in most of the students at the school. At this point Joel’s grey eyes turned to the shade of a oncoming summer storm – drilling the girl’s as he continued. “Don’t always believe what you hear, Miss Blackbane.” Would this come off as a kind of warning?

Another pause in the conversation, only to be broken when Ava managed to say that travelling in a pack was not her sort of thing. At this, Joel raised his right hand to his chin and stroked it idly as though contemplating her words. Was she truly different from the other girls of her age? He had not seen any other students from the school in the cafe, so perhaps she did prefer her own company. But why? Tapping his cheek twice, he was about to say something when suddenly there was a ruckus being created what could be be described as a girl that looked as though she had stepped off the set of Downtown Abby. But it was not just her clothes that caused Joel to suddenly take his eyes off Ava, but how the girl spoke – and who she spoke to. A cat plushy held tightly within her arms. The young teacher moved his left arm to be draped over the back of the booth, as he candidly turned his head towards the newest customer to the cafe. His grey eyes trailed up and down the girl, taking in the outfit and he could not help but smirk. The girl was quite petite, but her accent. She was not from the city. The girl looked lost.

“Prithee, doth not look at me like I am some strange creature.”

Now normally when a person speaks, it is only interesting if it is addressed to them, but Joel was fascinated – oddly enough by how the young girl addressed the crowd. Instructing them not to stare at her as though she was a circus attraction. But could she not see, that it was the mix of her voice and her wardrobe that brought such attention? Even Ava could not hold back, and wondered out loud if the girl was cosplaying. At first Joel shrugged his shoulders lightly, his head turning just long enough to say. “Well if she is, she has a very good tailor.” The period clothes looked authentic. But Joel’s head snapped back so he found himself staring at the girl when she sang out; “Colours me! I require thy services! I desire tea and biscuits!”

~Tea and biscuts? Colour me?~ These words were definitely not said by some juvenile cosplayer. Keeping an act up like this took either great dedication, or madness. “Why in here?” The whispering of Ava continued, though she was not addressing Joel. Again thinking out loud. Was Ava not used to company?

The waitresses all huddled together, as though they were frightened to even approach the girl. They whispered to each other, pointing fingers, and one girl shook her head as though to say she was not going to go serve the weirdly dressed girl. Seeing this reaction, Joel raised his arm slightly and snapped his fingers.

“The girl wishes to have tea and biscuits.” His facial expression became cold…almost glacial as he stared at the girls with a menace that could not be hidden. “Now.” That word….Now, sent the girls scurrying to make a pot of tea and find a nice size cookie. Joel frequented this Cafe often and he was known to the manager. The last thing the girls wanted to do was upset him. Quickly, one girl came to Selina’s table and placed down a small tray, that had the tea pot, cup and saucer along with a little milk jug. A couple of shortbread cookies were on another plate and by the smell of them you could tell they were freshly made. The girl waited to be paid, but this was when Joel took out his wallet and handed the girl a ten dollar bill. “Keep the tip.” The waitress bobbed her head and hurried away, giving Joel the opportunity to speak to the strange looking girl. “Enjoy.”

Now the girl had her tea and biscuits, maybe she would be quiet and Joel could go back to his studies. Only thing was he forgot about Ava – who was still sitting opposite him. He picked up his coffee cup gently and took a sip, only to say afterwards.

“You were saying?”

~RB~

The Peach Cafe – BC.

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Location is displayed by the symbol: https://i1.wp.com/i62.tinypic.com/14nmcyq.png

The Peach Cafe is famous for many things: their milkshakes, drinks, and beautiful women who work for them. It is a great place to come and chat with your friends and usually ads are posted here (if you are looking for a job etc).

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Scene setting – The Peach Cafe : Blood City Series.

co-written with Gene.

Gene:

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Ever since her meeting with Hiram and Lilly ended, Ava had returned to the stalls and continued her little shopping spree. A few items caught her attention, but she was mainly proud with the necklace she wore. There was something appealing about it; it was simple, yet complex at the same time. It possessed the perfect kind of modesty, one that would go with any attire. She might have spent an hour or two zigzagging from stall to stall. Saturday was typically the market day and one of her favourite days. It wasn’t that she was looking for something to buy – although it’s obvious if she liked something, she’d definitely purchase it – but simply looking at the products each market had was interesting; Ava enjoyed asking the specifics about some of the products: where they came from, how were they transported, with what materials were they made? Indeed, they were odd questions to ask, however the owners didn’t seem to mind.

After her adventures in the market, Ava moved on to shops. She entered each store empty handed and left the same way; at home she had enough, so why would she have any need to buy more? Ava was more than content and so felt no need to buy unnecessary items, whilst others in the Vestro District were known to go overboard when they went shopping. There were shops in the Vestro District – this was so the upper class would have no need to enter the Inner City and mix with the lower classes – but they only sold what one might call ‘high classed items’. It was a bore to always see such glamorous items. Plus, at times Ava felt the need to escape the upper class.

Now, it was the afternoon. How long had it been since Ava entered the Inner City? A few hours. Maybe 3 or 4. Either way, she came to the Peach Cafe; it was busy as always, yet so calm at the same time. After ordering a warm drink, she took a seat near the window, reading a newspaper. In the Vestro District, newspapers were different; they never disclosed the amount of crime going on in the City, however there was plenty of gossip. Her eyes remained fixated on the newspaper, finding it deeply – and perhaps worryingly – interesting how un-perfect the City truly was.

Razorbackwriter:  

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Introduction of Joel Martin.

Gently blowing smoke out from between his parted lips, Joel stood just outside the Peach cafe – finishing off the last of his cigarette as it was against policy to allow smoking in the coffee establishment. Joel closed his eyes and with a light tilt of his head, he took one last drag before pinching the remaining part of the cigarette and then letting it drop to the pavement; where he used the tip of his boot to crush the stub into nothing. He could of dropped it into the rubbish bin, but preferred this method. A light shake of his shoulders, and he pushed himself forward from the lamp post; his grey eyes cast now towards the entrance to the Cafe. Already there was quite a crowd, but it was not bustling – nor was there much of a line up to be served. With an almost bored expression, Joel sauntered towards the door – only stopping to open the door for an elderly woman who had made it to the entrance before him. He reached out and let his slender digits clasp the bronze handle, pulling the door back almost effortlessly. The woman, whose head scarf covered much of her hair and obscured her face thanked Joel with a gentle tone, to which Joel merely nodded his head. If there was one thing his father taught him it was to respect his elders. It cost nothing to be a gentleman in what was a changing world. Respect for the elders of the community was on a down turn, as the current generation were all too transfixed by technological devices to even pay attention to people that they dined with.

Once the elderly woman was safely through the door, Joel followed and allowed the door to close on its own as he surveyed the interior of the Peach cafe. The atmosphere had a warmth to it – be that from the scent of the roasted coffee beans, or the tender smiles of the waitresses. The manager always found good looking girls to serve his customers, and being served by a pretty face was welcoming. Not that Joel was really bothered about being overtly friendly with the waitresses. They were there to do a job – provide a service, which they did well.

Taking up a menu as he waited to be served, Joel happened to notice a fair haired woman seated by one of the window booths. In her hand she was reading the city newspaper. The young man tapped the menu against his left open palm, not even bothering to open it, while his ghost grey eyes locked onto the cover story on the front of the newspaper. Joel’s lips thinned as he noted that the news of the day was about some B grade celebrities buttocks. Really, couldn’t they put something actually considered news on the front page? Joel’s concentration was only broken by the sing song voice of the barista.

“Sir, would you like to order?”

A petite blonde girl with pink satin ties pulling up her hair into pig tails smiled brightly, as she clutched her pen in readiness. Joel exhaled sharply through his nostrils, placing back the menu in the stainless steel stand.

“Flat white in a mug, and a blueberry muffin please.”

The girl scribbled down the order and then tapped the keys on the register before announcing that Joel’s order came to nine dollars. Joel’s right brow crept up slowly – as he was somewhat surprised by the cost. Had prices gone up that much in recent weeks that you were paying nearly ten dollars just for a coffee and muffin. The young man smacked his lips together in indignation, and produced a ten dollar note; before telling the girl to keep the change as a tip. It wasn’t much of a tip, but the girl hid her disappointment well.

Taking his table number which was actually a UNO card, Joel strolled towards his favorite booth, but not before making a passing remark to the blonde haired woman that was reading the newspaper.

“You’d find much more interesting reading material at the library, Miss.”

Joel ran his fingers through his sandy locks which were unruly; much like the man himself. Without bothering to introduce himself, or even wait for her reply; Joel continued to his own booth. Sitting down, he took out his brown leather satchel and started to undo the flap. He slowly reached into the aging leather and withdrew an old book. Tattered and worn with yellowing pages. Joel tossed the satchel onto the booth seat beside him and then flipped open the cover to start to read as he waited for his coffee and muffin.

~RB~