This short story was written for the Gold Star Writing Prompt #GSWP5 hosted in Mason’s Book Club. on Facebook. Click the link to find the details and write with us every other Tuesday.
As a story released on the 7th day – I repost for Fandango’s Friday Flashback Hope you like it!
Coffee, Cakes and Conflict
It all started with coffee and cakes and went ballistic from there. I’m Harry, a teacher first, writer second. Tina’s Café is a quaint affair with all wood furnishings, little lamps and a bright, glass service counter.
There I am in my usual booth with my notebook out, a white chocolate muffin in hand and my sleuth on my mind. The doorbell chimes and in walks a guy clad in jeans and a denim waistcoat. He approaches the counter and Tina. She’s adorable with her white, apron over a pink pinafore dress, and pigtails.
“Welcome to, Tina’s. What can I get you?” she asked as I polished off my muffin.
“Get me a coffee, woman.” He leant on the counter with malice and stared at her as if she were a juicy steak.
“Okay,” Tina backed up a step. “Filter, or something from the espresso menu.”
“Are you thick!” the man thumped the counter, making poor Tina flinch. “Get me a bloody coffee, wench.”
“Please, sir. There’s no need to be rude.”
“You stupid …” the man called her something unrepeatably nasty, bringing me to my feet. “… Get me my damned coffee!”
I walked between the tables, getting ten feet from him. “There will be no coffee for you – get out!” I kept my tones level although I was seething inside. How dare he verbally abuse Tina!
“The sow will make me a coffee, now!” he replied his eyes still locked on Tina.
“I said get out!” this time I added venom to my request by pointing to the door while giving Tina a calming nod.
He rounded on me with a hissing breath. I felt the coldness in his eyes as he measured me. “Ha, what are you going to do, four-eyes?”
I’m short, overweight, and my school teacher clothes, make my muffin look more dangerous than me. I knew that – I dress this way on purpose. “Try me.”
“Harry, please don’t get hurt,” Tina stepped toward her phone.
“Call the police and I’ll kill you both.” The man seized a lamp and hurled it at Tina. She screamed and cowered in the corner. The lamp hit the wall and showered her in china.
“You, callous arsehole!” I took a step forward, ducked as he swung a left hook at me. Straightening, I twisted beneath a right haymaker and came up behind him. “What’s your problem, huh? Why have you got to disrespect the lady?”
“Because I can.” He threw out both hands to grab my collar.
In a flash, I blocked and deflected both as I slammed a palm into his sternum.
He recoiled with wide eyes, hit a table and sent another vase crashing to the floor. Seizing a chair with a furious roar, he tried to take my head off.
I blocked, with a forearm, my other palm striking his chest, propelling him backwards again.
The winded man hurled the chair.
His aggression forcing me to catch and cast the furnishing aside. “Don’t quit, do you?”
“I’ll kill you!” he growled. Redder than a fire ant, he ran at me swinging his fists like clubs.
I defended every blow, edging him backwards. Soon fatigue staggered him, as I went low, swept his legs and dumped him on his arse, right by the open door. “Get out!” I ordered again.
He staggered to his feet, drawing a kukri from his pocket.
I watched the curved Asian blade dance between his hands. “Nice knife. Ghurkha, are you?” I asked referring to the military unit that wielded the weapon in the war.
“Nah, cold-blooded killer!” he swung for my throat.
Jumping aside, I snapped up my right leg. My heel clipped his jaw with a tooth-loosening crack. His eyes crossed and he fell out the door to the pavement. I flipped the sign to closed and locked the door. Returning to my seat, I picked up my coffee and took a sip.
“That was amazing, Harry,” Tina said having come over. “I called the police by the way.”
“Well done, Tina.” I scowled, “Scumbag, made my coffee cold.”
“Never mind, I’ll get you a fresh one. You earned it.”
I allowed Tina to hug me as I settled into my seat again. “No, I didn’t. I just did the right thing in protecting you, that’s all.”
“All the same,” said Tina from behind the counter. “I’m grateful to you.”
“My pleasure.” I smiled as the police arrived and dragged the unconscious man away. Rolling up my sleeves to write, I revealed my dragon tattoo.
The moral of my story is, I am an average looking, bespectacled teacher. I’m also a black-belt Kung-Fu expert – Never judge a book by its cover.
Thank you for reading my friends. Don’t forget to check out Mason’s Book Club to learn about the prompt and join in.
Check out the Short Stories page here on the website for more of my short stories. Have a great day!