This is the beginning of a longer story I am going to write just for fun. I don't want to tip my hand as regards to the plot. Suffice it to say, it will be a playful combination of the ordinary and the extraordinary. I am still developing the plot, background, and character profiles, but I want it to unfold spontaneously, every morning, as I drink my coffee. Hopefully we will not approach a dead end.
Jess poured herself a cup of coffee, admired the steam with her large brown eyes. I offered her cream, sugar, and she nodded "no." She had finally mastered that gesture.
We sat there in silence for a long while, then. I nervously spun sugar packets. She sipped from white china.
The diner was a mess, but it was a classic dive: long, ovoid, shiny-metal encased with so many booths and a long, polished counter. It had just opened for the morning, and the sun was still rising. And so, we were the first customers. We could hear the percolators bubbling finished, the cook scraping the griddle behind the swinging doors, the waitress responding to chiming text messages at the cash machine.
Jess finished her coffee. She hadn't slept for two straight days now. I knew this. But she showed no signs of wear. She was like that. At least on the surface. The only indication of the mental and emotional burden she secretly bore could be glimpsed in her eyes, and only if you knew where to look.
"Another coffee, honey?" the waitress asked. She popped her gum.
Jess looked at me hard. She couldn't speak our language, and so she expected me to respond. She said something in my mind, and so I translated: "Yeah, and I'll have one too," I said. "Cream, sugar."
"You kids want anything to eat?" the waitress asked.
Jess looked at me. She was confused. She pursed her lips.
She wants to know if you want any food, I flashed into her mind. Anything to eat. Jess's eyes grew wide then. She smiled and rubbed her hands together:
Tell the serving wench we will have two suckling pigs stewed in honey and fresh butter; a duck stuffed with apples and walnuts, basted in the oil of roasted meroc's horns; four double-loaves of bright bread threaded with summer root; a bowl of raisins soaked in sweet-wine and mixed with the paste of eel eggs, for spreading; and a large tureen filled with the broth of twenty fire stones. Fire stones are good for the gut.
I rolled my eyes.
They don't have any of that.