Who Killed the Lisping Barista of the Epiphany Café?
The Lisping Barista Says Yeth
By outward appearances, it looked like a perfectly ordinary coffee shop; not the kind where killers get their lattes. Nor the sort from your parents’ generation where the buxom waitress calls you honey and the mobsters plot their crimes; but of the class purveying expensive whipped concoctions, hip baristas, and scribes arrayed at tabletops, heads down into their manuscripts. A place where no one knows your name, but they’ll watch your laptop when you have to go. Please don’t imagine it was a chain. It was one of a kind. It could be anywhere, but you could never open one anywhere else. It was in the perfect location, in the enchanted town of Kenilworth, within the ordinary state of Connecticut.
By the end of the summer, an attractive young woman would be dead, her body dismembered; her killer, one of the regulars. It all began when she astonishingly said yes to a geeky guy.
The young woman was the conductor of the espresso machine, standing where she always stood when the Geeky Guy approached her. She was a craftsman of crushed beans, an artisan of whipped milk, a master of macchiato; and she crushed, whipped, and mastered our hearts. Women and men, we arranged our laptops so we could peer over and watch. She was a clash of artistry and awkwardness, bangles and chains, purity and piercings. She had enough tattoos so that, if you knew the language, you could read her life. By means of the cuts on her arms, you could see right into her and know she was in pain. You would just want to take care of her, but there was a counter in the way. The closest you would get would be the tip jar, which overflowed. But then the Geeky Guy, who no one expected, rose up, went forth, and asked her out on a date. He suggested coffee, which didn’t seem bizarre till later, and she said, so that we all could hear, yes.
To be precise, with her pierced tongue, it sounded more like, “Yeth.” That’s why I call her the Lisping Barista.
Who Killed the Lisping Barista of the Epiphany Café? is now available in it’s entirety in paperback and on Kindle.