Wings of a Raven, chapter 7. “ Kissing crust and Obambulate”.
Chapter seven from book one in my near future sci-fi book universe, 2028AD.
“Did you murder the world today too?”.
The waitress found herself looking with a puzzled expression at the man standing in front of her. “Say what? I don’t think I heard you”.
“Oh, I am sorry, I meant your coffee. You know that pick me up morning coffee you make, it is good enough to die for”.
“Starting the day right here, together with the ever growing line waiting patiently every breakfast, it´s not just the coffee tho I am sure. It´s you. This place, for some reason people are drawn here, like a moth to a flame. And it is like nothing I ever have seen elsewhere, you got it, girl. I don’t know what exactly it is that you got, or what it is that you put in that coffee, but you do have it, and ever since you moved here, taking over this old place, people just keep lining up”.
She laughed a bit.
Suddenly feeling a tad bit shy and self-aware, a light laughter escaped her.
“So, are you saying that my coffee and good looks are capable of murdering the world? Thank you, but, I would much prefer the world to be alive and improving, while well, still drinking my coffee, of course”.
“Just a figure of speech, my dear. On the contrary, you make the world a bit more alive every damn morning, your morning smile, the fresh scent of your coffee that flood my senses as I open the door, the world would just not be the same without you to start the day for it”.
“Now that I can live with, thank you and have a pleasant rest of your day”
She replied to each and every customer with a genuine little smile, as she at times looked down to survey their purchases and other on going activities in her shop and life on the lush bezel less screen on her Lenovo Yoga Pro Book 10 that was propped up on the counter. Her customer’s phones and smart gadgets already communicating with her coffee shops ecosystem, picking up the needed data from each customer to differentiate each individual’s purchases and needs together with the inventory and services which communicated their own attributes and changes.
She loved these new hands-off payment and services systems, no money exchanging physical places, no dreadful booking to do, no receipts, no delays and no manual signing or labor needed at all, the entire system already knew who he was even tho she did not until she looked down and could see his first name, and the amount of the cup he had filled were priced accordingly to how much he had actually purchased.
Weight and all accounted for, and the purchase and books were all taken care of the same second he actually picked it up.
She didn’t even need the line of people, or herself for that matter, people could just buy their things and walk right out of the cafe, but she liked it, being here and talking to the people, it gave it sort of a human touch from another era. And it gave her own life a nice and pleasant continuity and human exposure.
And so, when she looked back up the man had already taken a paper cup of locally sustainable water and fresh apples, picked up his coffee to go and headed back out on the street after picking a handful of additional fresh strawberries from her ever fresh, organic growing, all year round strawberry fridges.
[ the wall, a tsunami at the crossroads of the universe.]
Like magic, she glanced down just in time to see her system correcting the amount he had paid and in total 8 little strawberries ended up being paid for as well.
She loved it!.
As the door closed behind him with its characteristic nonexisting sound, the silence fell like a wooly smith wrapped fully over the entire room. Like as if someone had plugged her ears full of cotton candy, soundproofed cotton candy and a blanket of pure black wrapped around it all.
No more customers, no sounds, no lingering line of people waiting to order a cup o joe on their way to work, or on their way from work, perhaps they were waiting for their lover or best friend to finish shopping or whatever these busy bees were doing.
Perhaps they had just left their secret Tinder lover and now wanted to take a break before heading back home to their husband or wife, their girlfriend or boyfriend(s).
She often wondered about the lives of her daily customers.
Where they happy on the inside? Like she was. Or did they just pretend, like a little leafy mantis, hiding in plain sight, masqueraded to face the world with a mask of hardened pretending to shelter the softness of their mind, heart, and soul.
And now, as it so often did when the calm conquered the moment. The exhaustion of everyday life washed over her pretty being.
When the silence fell and nothing more was piling up, the exhaustion became apparent.
As she often did in these situations, she made herself a big black and in silence she sat down, looking out at the street on the other side of the window, the world parading by her beautiful eyes that were seeing, yet not focused on anything as the thoughts sprinted by the insides of the vibrant always busy like a bee maze that was her own gorgeous mind.
See the devil in I
The words of Slipknot broke through her paralyzed, almost meditative state when the old radio buzzed back to life for a few seconds, sending a jolt of surprise through her at the sudden outburst, but the moment passed and the room was once more silent and muted.
She looked at the radio with raised eyebrows and her expression changed to a puzzled mix of disbelief and wonder.
“Wow, little old radio, something truly odd is going on with you, are you sure that you are feeling all ok, or do I need to take you to the radio doctor?”,
She smiled at the hilarious realization that she just caught herself talking to an old vintage radio.
Floating by in that cup of soundproof cotton candy she proceeded to finish up her day, cleaning the café, wiping and polishing the tables and counter, emptying the leftover coffee and watering the real plants and flowers that she insisted on keeping disconnected from the smartness of her shop.
To her it was well worth the manual effort of caring for those flowers, real greens brightened the day and mind like fake plastics never could.
They brought health to body and mind and she truly enjoyed caring for them.
4 0 minutes after she had started to close down for the day she looked over her shoulder at the photographs and old books that she had carefully selected and sparingly used to give her café that hard to find romantic and homey feeling that posh interior designers would kill to bottle up and sell to their luxury customers.
She could make a killing doing that if she wanted, but no, this peaceful little life and café, that was exactly what she craved.
The entrance door locked behind her as she stepped out on the walkway and sensing that her phone had left the room, the door locked itself like it always did.
And inside most of the lightning shut down as well, only leaving two led lamps half dimmed in the panorama window and as she headed down the walkway, the heating in the café lowered itself to preserve some needed energy as the Tesla batteries went from recharging to actually powering the place, piggybacking on the solar panels from the streets and the roof, the thermal ground heating and the windows and air itself.
High up, sitting above in one of the trees that paraded the empty street, a black bird lay its head on the side in that peculiar and quite alien looking way that seemed like it once where crafted and given birth inside the pages of a H.P Lovecraft horror tale before it somehow managed to break its unnatural chains and tore itself out off the confinement of the books pages, materializing in the flesh, a being from another world, that now, made real in our realm, roamed free in this world too.
And if you could, for an hour or two, see nothing but these ravenous birds.
To shut out everything else around you.
To feel and hear them, to soar the sky on feathered wings and sense them, to experience the world as they see and feel it.
Then I know, that the ancient Viking tales of Hugin and Munin would not just tingle your senses, but take the shape of profound truth as you rediscovered the bond to our oldest brothers in the hunt, the dark feathered Ravens and prowling, grey wolves that had hunted with us so long ago.
Oh, the prey beneath our claws and teeth’s, the blood and pulsing strength and adrenaline. Our bond and shared meal that you would sense, feel and witness. It would all come calling if you could just see it, the world as it actually is.
The birds dark, raven eyes tracked the petite and, might I admit, very pretty little girl walking down below, her ginger hair flowing long and free, light on feet and lost in her thought of the bread she would try to bake tonight.
“Kissing crust”, that´s what she would call it if her chosen few approved of its flavor and consistency.
She smiled a sensuous smile in her caramel chocolate colored eyes and sultry lips, at the duality of that name, kissing crust indeed, once her lover came over to help her bake.
And in an outburst of energy and joy she did a sudden hand stance flip as she passed by a puddle of water and two vivid autumn leaves floating so serenely upon the water
Inside the coffee shop, just for a brief second the texture on the windows seemed to change to the left, as if a single atom had decided it had been positioned out of place, and as the structure of the window seemed to alter position, the radio, once more sparked to life, repeating that odd broadcast from the middle of the day. Word by word it was the exact same thing, like a vibrating hum from yesterday that refused to go to bed and kept on playing inside your head.
“A canvas tent, close flapped and secure was erected and inside the tent a fire started…Fitting a big canvas affair that had the appearance of a diver’s helmet on the head of “Big Chief” Mason, a full-blooded Indian from the Walpole Reservation, Canada, Charles P. Salan, then sent the Indian under the flaps into the smoke filled tent. The smoke was thick enough to strangle an elephant, but Mason lingered around in the suffocating atmosphere for a full twenty minutes. He came out of the tent ‘as good as new’”.
The sound faded away and outside, the night and city once more lay dead silent. And the windows once again looked the same way they always did, a perfect memory waiting to be remembered once again.
Buy and own my book
( or wait for the next chapter to appear here on my ‘Beyond2c’ magazine.)