By Stephanie Simpkin
Double Shot Espresso
The elderly woman, dressed in a black burka, only her eyes uncovered, approached the reception desk, her head bent, not making eye contact.
The man next to her, dressed head to toe in a white flowing Dishdasha.
“May I help you madam” enquired the receptionist?
She nodded, not looking up “please, could you tell me what time the shops reopen”, she said quietly, in heavy accented English.
“Five o’clock madam”.
Thank you she murmured, as she turned, she bumped into the man in the white robe.
She nodded at him in apology, her eyes diverted.
He bowed slightly, then he strode across the vast marble foyer, towards the huge glass doors to the street.
She walked slowly, her sandals beating the marble floor, passed the beautiful huge vases filled with exotic blooms, the strong perfume just discernible in the chilled air.
The doorman held open the heavy glass doors for her, “good afternoon madam, may I summon, a hotel limousine for you?”
She walked slowly pass him, shaking her head, leaning heavily on her cane.
The heat hit her, like a furnace, it took her breath away, she felt her skin scorching under the thick black garment.
The intense heat making her heart pound, sucking the oxygen from the air, the dusty empty street, shimmering, the boiling pavement burning through her sandals.
Somewhere a dog howled!
Sweat dripping down her face, between her breasts, her breath coming in rasps, her mouth parched.
She saw him, thirty yards ahead, his robes flapping, he raised his hand, a blacked out car, that had been crawling at the kerb, stopped, he looked round nonchalantly, he got in, the car sped away, sand flying.
Nothing moved!! Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, shuttered against the airless boiling afternoon heat, she quickened her pace, as she approached the junction, she heard a roar, she felt the pavement move beneath her feet, an almighty explosion, flames leaping over buildings, lumps of twisted metal scattering, people came running into the empty street, she slowed her pace.
In the middle of the road, the black car (what was left of it) some mutilated bodies lay yards away, burnt white material plastered, on to the road, dark stains of blood, debris everywhere.
She turned and walked slowly back the way she had come.
She went up to her room, entered the white marble bathroom, shedding her damp black robes, she unstrapped the gold and pearl 0.25 Berretta, from her thigh, the tiny spare tracking device tucked into the holster.
She stepped into the huge shower, her long blonde hair fanning her face, her firm body enjoying the luxury of the cascading cool water.
Donning a fine cotton kaftan, she lay upon the king-sized bed, (M will be impressed), the fourth most wanted man on the planet!! She said aloud to herself.
She immediately fell into a deep slumber. She awoke with a start, outside it was dark, she took in her surroundings, on the bedside table was a note.
The kids and I, have gone down to the Palm swimming pool, I tried wakening you, the Bond film was blaring, you kept going on about M?
PS I love this hotel!
She swung her legs off the bed, stood, and stretched languidly, her foot touched something on the cool marble, she bent down, a tiny tracking device!
She smiled, and went down to the pool.
About the author:
Stephanie Simpkin was considered stupid at school, leaving at fifteen. She was good at maths and loved reading, but later understood that she was in fact dyslexic.
Many decades further on she has just started writing stories, is one of the Woodbridge Writers, and is loving it.