Cafe Conversations

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
The first of a series of short stories, looking at two central themes; smoking and death. This is by far the lightest of shorts I've written, essentially trying to find a light-hearted, humorous way to kill someone.

Submitted: July 26, 2008

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Submitted: July 26, 2008

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"...And that's when I decided that I was going to buy some geese, move to the middle of the city, and train them to chase those little yippy dogs that people feel the need to buy... I don't know, I guess the smaller the dog, the smaller the poop or something... This would explain why celebrities keep them in handbags… But hey, the smaller the dog, the less chance it has of outrunning a goose, right?" Looking up from her coffee, she noticed that not only were people looking at her as though she had just pulled out a pen and begun to playfully jab it in someone's eye, but that the adults sitting at the surrounding tables had moved so that any children present were as far away from her as possible without looking as though it were intentional.
"Well," she began addressing her coffee once more, "I guess it's about time I was off, my body isn't going to throw itself into traffic." She watched the people nearest to her shift uncomfortably, caught between the knowledge they should probably do something, given that she had just spent the past fifteen minutes explaining to her coffee all the events of the day that had led her to being in the food court and was clearly mentally imbalanced at best, and the instinct to stay as far away from the obviously crazy woman as possible, before they were either associated with her, or worse, forced into some kind of conversation.
She whistled to herself happily as she gathered her things and prepared to leave. The now weekly ritual of going into a local cafe or food court and spending time trying to make the other customers as uncomfortable as possible without actually being disruptive enough to be kicked out always put her in a good mood. One last glance around told her that all in all, over the past half an hour, she'd managed to persuade four people to find a quieter, less crazy-friendly locale. All in all, not too shabby, she thought, but I should've kept the part about finding it harder to fight the urges to dance naked through cemeteries...
Ah well, there's always next week, she grinned.
The sun reflected off the tall buildings of the city centre, making it impossible to face any direction other than inward without risking blindness. My kingdom for a magnifying glass... And a lump of sugar... she lamented as she crossed a line of ants heading into a bakery. She imagined them carrying out an assortment of buns and cakes, with raisins and colourful icing.
Waiting at an intersection, she dug out her mp3 player and set it to pick a song at random--it annoyed her that its software was designed to play her 'favourite' songs more often than any other, somewhat sucking the point out of setting it to random, but she'd long since resigned herself to living with it. For now. Humming along unnecessarily loudly and oh-so-unintentionally out of key, she lit up a cigarette, drawing frowns from those around her. She crossed the road slowly, basking in the backward glances the respectable people in suits were throwing her way, relishing in their failing respectable subtlety.
She continued on the four blocks to the corner shop that was seven blocks from her house, stopping to buy fish food and some other supplies. Ok, so... ten-fifty, plus another fifteen in my account. If I buy cat food, it means I can't afford strawberry milk... But if I don't get strawberry milk then I can afford the vanilla coffee beans... ...I could just skip the cat food, feed the fish, then feed the cat the fish, then microwave the strawberry milk... She imagined the look on the fish's face when it saw the cat's bowl and thought better of it. At the same time there were other, more gleeful voices chanting in the back of her mind, cigarettes-cigarettes-cigarettes-cigarettes... Cigarettes! Grabbing the cat food, she left, though not before appeasing the voices, and having her hopes of the woman behind the counter giving her too much change dashed cruelly.
The cat was sitting expectantly in the hall when she opened the door. "E-ehr?"
"Oh Supposedly, I had the worst thoughts about you today, you wouldn't believe me if I told you!" She replied, trying to take off her headphones, pull her keys from the door and set down her bag in one move. She succeeded. Almost. The cat gave her a look that questioned both why she was still waiting to feed it, and also why she was bothering to talk at all if it wouldn't believe her.
"Me-ehr." The cat stood impatiently.
"Yes, yes, I'm getting there. Geeze, I've half a mind to carry you around in a handbag--those things are a magnet for geese you know?!"
The cat snorted.
"Yeah well, I guess you had to be there," Dumping the groceries on the couch she started exaggeratedly rummaging through the bag, "I got you... Liver. Yes, well, I'm sure it'll be fine..?" She looked hopefully at the cat. The cat stared back. "Oh come on Supposedly, liver is good for you, chock-full of... liv...ing... blood? Yes, living blood. You know, it's the third biggest segment of the food pyramid for a reason, all the doctors say you should have eight to ten glasses of it a day, so it has to be good for you, and frankly, your diet has been shamefully low on... living blood." She sighed, shaking her head before jumping back into character "-So you'll eat it, you'll enjoy it, and I don't want to hear anything more about it."
The cat continued staring back.
My kingdom for some cat-nip... And a lump of sugar... She cracked open the tin. ...If I'd known owning a cat would be this taxing, I would've just had a baby. They're more fun to make, and easier to sell once you get bored...
Caught up in thoughts of a do-it-yourself baby kit and swap-meet, she fished around for a smoke. "Mmmm... Smoking." She grinned delightedly as she found her lighter, and made to light her cigarette, causing the stove-top she'd forgotten to turn off that morning to explode, taking the kitchen and half the lounge room with it, spraying debris throughout her backyard and into the neighbours.


© Copyright 2017 Novi Astley. All rights reserved.

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