Sunday 24 March 2019

Leaving a Tip

By Richard Hough

cold coffee

A lady in her mid seventies, with thoughtful eyes, sits staring out of the window of the coffee shop. The loneliness in her heart is almost tangible as she reflects on an issue known only to her.
She is dressed in a hooded, beige overcoat which was only recently hanging on the rails of one of the better stores. Clearly feeling the cold of a blustery, February morning, she has the buttons done up to her neck around which is tied a blue and white scarf.
Black leather gloves conceal her hands which I imagine to be smooth to match her face, the only exposed skin on view. Loose fitting trousers match her gloves in colour though her tan shoes seem a little out of place.
Next to her chair is a concession to her age. The walking frame is triangular in shape with one side removed to enable access to the handles. There is a wheel on each on the three points.
Finishing off her small coffee, she reaches into her black handbag and pulls out what appears to be a pistol. When the waiter approaches to begin clearing the table, she raises the gun and fires it once at the cake cabinet. As the waiter dives to the floor the old lady mutters “bloody shoddy service!” and replaces the revolver into her bag.
She edges gingerly forwards from her seat and manoeuvres herself into the walking frame, unable to fully straighten her back. With a huge effort, she shuffles out into the cold air and slowly disappears.

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