Stories at Dusk
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by John Francis
Description: Short Stories A selection of short stories in the mystery/paranormal genre. In Goldman's Lunch, the central character hides a dark secret from his tormentors, while the torment in Last Stop is all too evident. The sinister killer in Game On is not what it seems as is the perfect murder in Finally. Would you trust the stranger in Click or the client in Revelations? Spare a thought for the embattled clairvoyant in Hierophant or the suffering employee in The Format. In Respite and other stories, how can we gauge reality?
eBook Publisher: ebooksonthe.net/ebooksonthe.net, 2008 ebook
eBookwise Release Date: August 2008
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [59 KB]
Reading time: 31-44 min.
In a fashionable suburb of a large European city an elderly man sat at a small table in a restaurant. The busy lunch hour peaked as office workers and the like peered around the door or queued inside the restaurant to wait for an available table. Nonplussed, the man slowly continued his main course disregarding his young nervous table companion.
She was a young businesswoman in her early thirties, who looked rather uneasy in having to share a table with a crusty old gentleman like himself. He inwardly laughed as he furtively viewed her behaviour. The woman reminded him of his last love before he married. His wife had long departed as he had adapted to the life of a widower with all the grace of a sage.
Just before two o' clock the restaurant started to empty as office workers finished their break. The young woman made some hurried additions to the mailbox of her mobile phone, adjusted her dress and departed. A waiter cleared the main course and the rest of the table. The old man ordered the fruit salad with the waiter providing his usual performance of bowing and thanking the customer whilst trying to balance a pile of plates. The waiter turned away, cleverly avoiding a departing customer who was oblivious to the traffic and disappeared through the swing doors leading to the kitchen.
After a few minutes the servile waiter appeared with the dessert leaving the old man alone in the restaurant. He spilt some of the dessert on his jacket sleeve. Looking around he walked to another table to use a clean napkin. At that point two well-dressed young men entered the restaurant. The old man returned to his table. The taller of the two visitors surveyed the tables and looked at the old man. His friend glanced at his colleague who advanced towards the table.
"Excuse me, this table's reserved."
Goldman continued to slowly eat his dessert.
"I say, this table's reserved."
The old stopped eating and stared at the dish of food.
"Look, this table's reserved."
The old man remained silent.
"Hey, are you fuckin' deaf or something? I've told you this table's reserved."
The old man wiped his mouth with the napkin.
"Where's the fuckin' waiter. There must be a waiter somewhere."
His friend walked to the swing doors and looked in the kitchen.
"There's no one here Jake."
"No one except this old fucker."
The assailant moved closer to the old man.
"Hey!" he yelled, "hey you fuckin' piece of old shit! This fuckin' table's reserved do ya hear me?"
The old man picked out a cherry with his spoon and deposited on a side plate. He never liked cherries.
"Are you fuckin' deaf or stupid or something?"
"Aw, leave it Jake."
"No, I'm gonna see this fucker out. Hey, you fuckin' old bastard look at me when I fuckin' talk to you, look at me!!"
The old man put down his spoon.
"I said fuckin' look at me you piece of shit. Where's ya fuckin' respect? Hey!"
The assailant turned to his friend.
"I tell you, some people are just shit you know, just shit. Shits like that should be wiped out. If I was running this country I'd make a few laws like any old shits over fifty who don't toe the line get a lethal injection."
"You could just shoot them," his friend chortled.