Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Another excerpt from "When" ...
Speaker One and Speaker Two sat at a little round cafe table in the middle of a noisy chain restaurant and bar. The waitress came.
Speaker One: The special.
Speaker Two: The same.
She: Will it be the same then?
Both speakers: Of course, what else?
When She returned, She brought blackened catfish, baked potato and mixed vegetables for Speaker One and placed it on the table. In front of Speaker Two, She placed barbecued chicken wings, celery and sauce, and french fries.  Voilá, She said.
Both speakers: See? The special. The same.
The bartender, He, shouted to the other patrons to rise, circle their table, and applaud.
Speaker Two: No illusions here.
Speaker One: Thank you, all. Thank you. Enjoy our meal.
Both got up from the table and exited the restaurant.
Images of them eating remained.

What else now? He asked.
The museum, She said.
They rode the subway.
In their car, Speaker One sat at one end, Speaker Two at the other. They texted each other, oblivious to others aboard..
She intercepted the messages and displayed them on the train's windows, invisible to the two. Occasional lights in the dark subway tunnel flickered behind.
Speaker One's message: "They're on board with us."
Speaker Two's message: "How can you tell?"
Speaker One's message: "Our car is decoupled, we're coasting."
Speaker Two's message: "Wait ... we're pulling into the station."
Speaker One's message: "That means when the train pulls out, we'll be left behind."
Speaker Two's message: "No problem, this is our stop. "
Others on the car observed the interplay of messages, looked at who might be transmitting them, and headed for the doors. The doors opened. They all exited and turned to look at the car. The doors closed. The car left the station with the rest of the train.
"What the hell was that?" a subway patron asked, angered. "I got off, but this ain't my friggin' stop!"
Others turned looking for someone to blame. Speaker One and Two stepped on the escalator. Halfway up, it stopped.
Speaker One: "We'll have to walk the rest of the way."
The escalator started again.
Speaker Two: "No we won't"
The angry man shouted. "It was those two!" Others turned to look. Just then another train pulled into the station. "Forget it," one of the others said. "Here's another ride. There's always another one."

 © 2014 Wes Rehberg

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