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The woman they called Jane was sitting in the Calico Café on fifth street waiting for the man they called Derik. She had frequented this café many times before, but usually not at 10:00.
Derik was her son. She had gotten a letter yesterday from him, saying he was coming home. He’d also written that he would be there at 9. But, she didn’t mine waiting, not for her boy.
Jane sat there, sipping her coffee. It tasted good, but the café had run out of sugar, which she tended to pour in. On the stools (painted a bright red) two truckers, fresh in town, jawed it up talking about who had the prettiest doll-face waiting at home for them. Jane looked at them, disgusted.
A man came in wearing a hunting jacket. It was obvious to Jane he was from out of town. He went up to Mr. Malan, café owner, cashier, server, and just about everything else you could be, and ordered all the money in the cashbox. The hunter brandished, quite ironically, a small pistol.
Mr. Malan took it in stride. “Would you like that with decaf?” Mr. Malan was not known for being nervous.
The man looked startled. As Jane got up and walked to him, he stammered, “What did… I’m waving a gun at you. Where do you get off?”
“I’ve got protection, shall we say.”
Jane winked at Mr. Malan and pulled a knife out of her purse. Her dress whispered across the floor as she stabbed the man in the hand. The gun fell out of his hand clinked on the ground without firing. The man screamed, high-pitched and scared. She pulled the knife out and brought it to his throat. “Stop moving.” She ordered in a slight southern accent.
The man did, and as a bonus, stopped screaming.
“Good.” Jane giggled, much like a schoolgirl who had found a new toy.
“What are you going to do to him?” Mr. Malan asked, a hint of a laugh in his voice.
“Oh you know, nothing too bad. Maybe cut a finger or two. I’ve heard that they sell organs well to the hospital.”
The man whimpered. He was not joining into the fun any time soon. Also, his blood was spilling on the ground.
“How about we let him go?”
“If you insist” Jane took the knife from the man’s throat. “How about you leave, Mr. Hunter, and never come back? That good?”
The man hurried to the door, and disappeared.
The truckers looked on in awe. She took the knife and gun and put them in her purse. She winked at the men and asked for a cloth. Mr. Malan complied and she wiped up the blood.
Jane gave the men a winning smile and went back to her table. She took the coffee and started sipping it once again, waiting for Derik to get there.
When Derik got there five minutes later, he immediately saw his mother. She was looking a little frail, but otherwise okay. He didn’t hear the two men on the bright red stools talking about “that crazy lady.” He did not see the man wink at him. He did not see the red stain on the floor. He only saw his mother.