A wide-hipped waitress stormed from the kitchen half-dragging, half-carrying this piece of board, which looked like an old countertop from its single, odd rounded corner.
My first time in the café, I looked up from the novel chapter I was writing on a word doc and sat quietly, following her with my eyes since none of the other patrons took notice of the trails of dark smoke seeping from her ears.
With a loud huff and even louder groan, she hoisted the board against a pierced metal support. While balancing it on a single raised knee with more grace than I expected, she yanked power cables from the wall beside her, rummaged in the depths of her apron pocket, and withdrew a hammer and nails.
Strings of expletives swirled around the room, and more than one steamy cup upset. Customers looked up from their laptops and notebooks, dumbfounded and grumbling.
Even when the customers demanded free refills, she remained undeterred from her mission and drove home four nails with fierce precision. She extracted a piece of chalk from the expansive pocket, and with hard strokes and teeth-grating screeches, she scrawled her message. After her final flourish, she offered a saccharin smile and sashayed behind the counter as if she enjoyed pulling their wi-fi connection.
White-rimmed pupils shot daggers my way, and I inched my laptop closed in empathy…and fear of her black smoke.
Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.