She pushed open the door and walked into the small café, her nose wrinkling in disgust as the stench of humans and their food and coffee assaulted her. She sat down on a barstool in the center of the café. She wanted everyone to see her. She was one that they would know and fear before long, whether they knew it was her or not.
Her seat was uncomfortable, the garish red leather was cracked, and the metal base was slightly rusted orange, like almost everything in the café. She wrinkled her nose again. This place didn’t feel comfortable to her.
“Can I get you anything?” asked a waitress as she looked up from the cash register.
She shook her head. “No. But I do have a question.”
The waitress nodded, waiting.
“I just moved here, and I need to find a place to stay. Do you know of any homes for sale?”
The waitress tapped her pen against her chin, thinking. “No, I can’t really…hold on a second, let me go ask Bethel a question.”
The waitress walked back into the kitchen, having a quick conversation with Bethel, while she still sat at the counter, ignoring the small talk and listening to the world outside the café. A truck rumbled down the highway, loud music blasting. The truck driver’s heart beat loud, but with an odd beat that came with a pack a day smoker. She closed her eyes, imagining the slightly addictive taste that he would have, nicotine strong enough in his system to make her temporarily feel the same high he did when he smoked.
The kitchen door swinging open jerked her a hundred miles back to the café as Bethel and the other waitress, Marge, walked back out.
“This is Bethel, she also doubles as the local real estate agent here. She works two jobs because her husband’s dead. He died in the war a few years back,” Marge added.
“What did you say your name was?” Bethel asked, cutting Marge off.
“Kevyn,” she said, her eyes fading back to their usual dusky gold instead of the silver-white that they were while she was tracking.
“Interesting name,” Bethel said. “So where are you from, Kevyn? You’ve got a bit of a fancy accent there.”
Kevyn smiled slightly, this would help put the two waitresses at ease. “I’m from somewhere far away,” she said.
“Trying to escape something, are you?” Marge asked. “Well, there’s no better place to escape than out here in Helen. Shoot, most maps don’t even have us on them. No one will look for you here.”
Kevyn nodded. “So Bethel, do you have a house for me to buy?”
Bethel nodded and wiped her hands on her apron. “Yeah, I got a few. But the price on some…”
“Price doesn’t matter to me,” Kevyn said quickly, the sound of all the heartbeats in the café becoming a deafening roar that only she could hear.
“Right,” Bethel said. “We can start looking now, if you’d like.”
Kevyn nodded. “Now is perfect.”
Bethel took off her apron and handed it to Marge, who set it on the slightly rusted counter. Bethel and Kevyn walked out, the door squeaking closed behind them.
Marge watched Kevyn as she walked away. “There’s something a little off about that girl. She better not cause no trouble around here, else she’ll get the whole town after her, and that ain’t something to brag about.”