The Extraodrdinary Café

in finishthestory •  2 months ago

This is my entry into Finish The Story Contest hosted by the @bananafish.

The Extraordinary Café

by @theironfelix

The warm smell of fresh brownies drifted across the cafe, ducking under the tables, squeezing through chairs, urged on by the fans; it flew. A gooey batch, chocolate chips still soft, had appeared on the counter. So loudly rang the placing of the tray, that Matt’s eyes glanced over, his mouth already watering, and so the enticing aroma managed to make him half consider ordering two.

Over Matt’s head, a clock's hand ticked a steady background beat, drawing his attention. For all wandering eyes, it was ten to two; she was twenty minutes late. A huff of impatience escaped his cracked lips, his mind drifting back to the crowded room.

An elderly man sat slouched at the table across from him, his broadsheet newspaper out of place in a room full of faces glazed by the light of phone screens. Matt‘s hand instinctively touched his own in his pocket. If he got it out, his eyes would be glued hard to it, in case the light flashed. His mind knew it would vibrate, but the flash came first. It was an addiction he couldn’t fight. Not to the phone. To her.

His mind buzzed and beeped, unable to fight the itch of wonder…

”...where was she?”

The old man‘s mouth let go of a cough, accompanying the symphony of crinkling as he flipped a page. Matt’s eyes darted up, accidentally catching his gaze, the man smiled at him eagerly folding the paper away.

Matt’s mind shuddered, cursing itself as the man rose, heading towards him. As soon as the stranger came within ear shot, Matt called out trying to put him off.

“Sorry mate, i’m waiting for someone.”

The grin over the worn face widened.

“Someone who still ain’t here yet, ‘ow about a bit of company, to help with the waiting? Whatcha say?”

Put on the spot, Matt’s thoughts already ablaze, he found himself nodding before reason could interject. The flame in his mind was inundated with worries and the urge to call her now - to see where oh where she was. Matt didn’t have the patience for small talk, but it was too late; the elderly man was lowering himself into the chair opposite.

The chair eeking with the slow applying pressure of aching joints, a wry smile found itself on the old man’s lips. In the opposite side of tension: a forced smile began forming on Matt’s dry lips, his hand quivering but extending for an introduction.

My Ending

"I'm Matt," Matt says.

"Nervous son?" The man says taking his hand back.

"Impatient. She should have been here already."

"No worries. In due time. I'm Hecktor. Would you like to hear a story?"

Matt shakes his head yes in hopes that he'll have to as little talking as humanly possible.

Hecktor began.

"Anthony Burris Green traced one jagged fingernail along the railing. Then, he opened the knife. Shut it and opened it again. The Uber driver's texted said he was right around the corner. However, the car hadn't shown up.

"Anthony checked his phone again. No text. His mind started to race with all sorts of end-time scenarios.

"A person coming out of the Starbucks offered him coffee and a chocolate donut. She said it was for a friend that never showed. His eyes caught sight of her tatter skirt as it flapped with the gentle breeze, taking him back to the cold, dry, and frosty nights he'd spent in the barn with her, his ex.

"'No. Thanks,' he replied. 'I should get going.'

"Not waiting for a response, he hopped over the railing, landing on his feet with a loud thud that sent his legs tingling.

"Age has started to catch up with me he thought.

"He meandered to the curb.

"His phone vibrated. Not due to moonlight, but because of her dream, read the text.

"'What the he...'

"Before he could finish, he saw a black Mercedes-Benz Sprinter comes screaming around the corner and the cars, nearly getting sideswiped before coming to a screeching halt right before him.

"The driver yells out the window, " GET IN, Anthony! We've got a Japanese pregnancy happening in the back seat."

Anthony stood frozen. A group of men came out of the shadows from behind him, grabbing him by the arms and legs, and tossed him into the van's side door that was opened by a person on the inside.

"The van tore down the street at top speed like an indie race car.

"Looking around, Anthony saw no pregnant women but he did see a woman.

"'The dream told me to come for you,' she said with a half-cocked smile.

"'She ain't what you think,' she said after taking a sip of her slushy. 'Bella. Oh ... That one has a bit of a bite.'

"'What are you talking about?' His eyes betrayed his thoughts. He couldn't hide the fact that he knew something was up when Bella turned on him in the barn.

"'Going to play coy with me?' asked the woman.

"Anthony played with his knife, his nervous tick done unconsciously.

"'Stop playing with that knife and tell me what happened that night.'

Matt sits up straight in his chair. His eye twitches, a sign to anyone that knew him he was nervous. The old man seems to know his whole story. His mind dredged up what he'd somehow forgotten.

Matt says, "The interjection from a strange man disrupted what she was going to due to me in the barn. I could hardly breathe in her presence. The snake-like ropes were closing in on me, ready to hang me."

"That's right, Anthony," Hecktor says as he pulls out a knife, clicks it open, and holds it out for Anthony to grab. "It's good that I was able to get to you again, today, or you'd be right back in her hands."

The End


The piece I wrote above stemmed from this Saturday freewrite post.


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Very interesting take on this story. I've read another 2 already and all of them were so different. I love to see the creativity of artists joining this contest.

I wonder who this guy was and how come that he knew about his story. Matt is very happy with him showing up then. I hope that it was the last time when he was about to get into her hands as that man wouldn't be there to save him all the time :)

Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your curie vote!

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It's almost like all the stories can be tied together into one crazy adventure. haha

I'm wondering the same thing. I'm not sure what this old man's plans are. You caught that Matt's real name was Anthony, right? The idea behind this was supernatural like thing going on. I'd have to write more to see where it ends up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Hector the savior! :) Is he Matt's spiritual guard? More like a guardian angel? Curious.

Posted using Partiko Android

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I'm not sure who that man is yet. I have an idea that he is a part of some supernatural gang and he was there to help his friend or entice him into following him for diabolical reasons.

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Alright, then let's unravel that mystery together. :). Good story! 😊

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(Henlo, I like to mention that me and mój Ukochany [@calluna] coprompted this edition. Can yah make the fix now? Thanks!~)

Hmmm, the brain I stole from Lorerunner's head has to sit down for a bit and not ruminate on what has happened. I mean I knew another story was being interwoven with this post, hell yah gave us the dead-on clue that it stems from a Sunday freewrite. Where I will not be like some people that despises a narrative that interrupts another narrative going on, I like to say it reminds me much of my entry with the highwaypeople driving a truck to somewhere. For that I will be biased, not like we all are biased in one way, shape or form, and say that this interruption by another narrative works. But I shall stop here before it gives some people that cock-eyed reminder a bad taste in their coffee.

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The name Hecktor came to mind. At the time, I thought you might think it was connected to you, but not this time, nor to @calluna. 8-) Although, she did read that freewrite and I'm curious to know if this piece read differently to her than the first time. When I did the Sat. freewrite, I had in mind to work with the FTS.

Haha. I hear what you are saying. I missed the piece that you wrote. I wrote a similar piece that went completely out of the story way back when I first started showing up. We've got to throw those curve balls once in a while. Besides, this could be only the beginning of the story.

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Nie, I know it be not connected to me and semi-connected to @calluna. So nae worries brother.

Hue hue hue hue!~ We do indeed need to do that from time to time. Especially when it's just the beginning of the story! (I need to find a way to get @f3nix on board for a contest where people begin a tale, or "explaining the story away!" or something to that nature where people jester a beginning.)

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Interesting thought. It just might work.

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Just might... proceeds to flood, personally myself, @f3nix’s dms

Hi tristancarax,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Haha!!! Awesome

Whoa, that is an unexpected twist. The old man is not a friendly stranger who's looking for some chit chat. I didn't expect it at all, but it's good to be surprised.

Congrats for your curie vote =).

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Any time I can get you to look over here and away from your artwork is a challenge I accept. 8-)

Writing a freewrite from the beginning FTS prompt gave me the chance to create this unique piece. I thought I'd have a hard time connecting the two. A little bit of editing solved that problem.

Thanks. That surprised me. 8-)

Ooo this works so well, and it does read differently, in your freewrite it came across as a more immersive moment, where as here each line adds another layer to the tension. Matt being Anthony is such a twist!! It is amazing how with a few tweaks, and a slightly different setting it feels like a whole other story to your freewrite.

I know you were probably up against the word count, but i feel like this could have gained a lot from having the story interspersed with Matts reaction what Hecktor says to him, his growing concern, tension. The story you brought from the freewrite is so good, you could par it down to gain words and it would still work just as well. The trick then would be to keep that tension vague, so it could be read at first as him worrying about the girl, and then once the plot came together at the end, that tension would make sense in him hearing his own story. Which we both know you could do no problem ;) That said, this works so very well as it is, as proved by your well deserved curie <3<3

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Thanks for your humble thoughts. They will be kept here for me to draw on in the future should I take up the challenge of expanding this piece.

Thanks for reading a second time. It's nice to know that I was able to change the way you looked at this piece vs. the freewrite on its own.

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Than again, I am no expert :p I more just very much hope you do expand this again, and I get to read it in its next form (message me if I somehow miss it when/if you do)

It is a great skill to give the same words a new slant, and to use that slant to tie up the opening here is just even more impressive, and it does work so well.

I loved the dynamism of the dialogues and the accurate details during the whole action. I also liked how the story suddenly transitioned into an immersive scene when Hector started his story to Antony/Matt. I can tell that this was coming from a freewrite. Sometimes we would like to have such a deus ex machina (or a Mr. Wolf) in our lives letting us off the hook.