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This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.

He always ordered the same dish.

When you found something special why would you bother working your way through the menu?
The cafe was incredibly loud; the noise was coming mostly from the bar area.
It was one of those cafes that tried to have it both ways, and the bright young things who worked in the city were only too pleased to oblige.
Earlier in the week it had been quieter, but come Friday night and the noise registered on the Richter scale.
It hurt his ears when he first walked in but amazingly, he got used to it very quickly.
Humans can be very adaptable.
The cafe had an excellent red wine ‘by the glass.’
He got to know the staff very well after his first visit. They were friendly and looked after him really well.
For forty years he had dined as one half of a couple, but now his wife had gone away and he was dining alone.
It was a strange experience at first, but like most things in life, he got used to it.
His routine was to eat at the cafe and then go wandering through the city in search of coffee.
When he found an interesting spot he would sit, sip and read. Sometimes he would write when the mood took him.
The drive home took about an hour preceded by a short walk through the park.
Counting possums along the way was part of the ritual.
A long drive, late at night is not a hardship. There is time to think and opportunities to imagine.
At the end of the journey there would be excited fluffy white dogs and a warm bed.
Life was good.

14 thoughts on “Cafe.

    • Thanks for the comments. Succinct as usual. I almost didn’t post this one. It seemed so quiet and nothing exciting or ‘twisty’ happens but I read it again and I just liked it. Sometimes a gentle insight makes you think, besides, I wrote it in a cafe so it seemed appropriate.
      I hope your writing is going well, we miss reading your stories but we know it is in a good cause…… knock em dead.


  1. OK, maybe it’s just me (probably) but I misread the thing about counting possums. Thought you meant he was counting *dead* possums in the road on his drive home!!! (Were you?) It seemed to fit your sly style so I wasn’t sure but then I read the comments and re-thought the whole thing. Which is kinda sly, come to think of it… 😉


    • Thanks for the comments Lori. Considering my slightly twisted style I can see how you could see him counting dead possums on his way home. Sometimes my stories tread a very thin line between just enough information and not enough, and I’m not always skilful enough to know where that line is. In a way I’m glad that you filled in your own interpretation. Part of the reason that I try not to give too much information is that I trust my readers to fill in the ‘colours’ for themselves, and that has been my experience. You guys are very experienced readers and a lot of you are writers as well so it is an absolute pleasure to write for you.
      Possums are one of the few native Australian animals not to have been adversely effected by European settlement [invasion]. They thrive where their are humans and trees. So much so that they are a bit of a problem and a lot of the trees in the parks in Melbourne have to be protected with metal bands to stop them from climbing in, eating and damaging them. As soon as the sun goes down they come out of the trees looking for food. They are a little bit tame and people love to feed them. Amazingly they have achieved all this despite the fact that they don’t band together in packs and actually they don’t like each other much and will often get into a fight if they get too close to each other. Obviously they get together a bit during Spring as there are a lot of the little buggers. Counting them in this story was simply making them out in the dark and not mixing them up with and old chip packet…….. you don’t get points for a chip packet.


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