Saturday 12 October 2019

Death After Dinner

by Jerry Guarino  

coffee and donut

Tony and his wife Heather drove up to the border from Washington State to Canada, getting into the shortest line.  This customs delay was usually less than an hour, only a minor inconvenience, but worth it for a weekend in this pristine country, far from the crazy political climate in the United States.  Vancouver was clean, with friendly people and virtually no crime.  At least none they had ever seen before.
            As they crossed the barren plains toward the city, sunlight bathed the skyline and mountains, like silver slices of heaven coming to Earth.  Snow covered the top half of the glistening mountains.  As they got closer, they saw the Burrard Inlet, surrounding this peninsula, water as blue as the Caribbean, but so much colder.  Tony was so happy to be here.
            “I can’t believe this is only a few hours from our home.  Look at all the natural beauty.”
            “I can’t believe you haven’t stopped at Tim Horton’s for a donut yet.”
            “There’s one near our hotel sweetheart.  You know it’s one of my favorites.”
            After a tiring day of sightseeing; Stanley Park, the Granville Island Market and Gastown,  Tony and Heather went back to the hotel to freshen up before going out to dinner.  A hot tub in their room made for a restful pause before going out.
            “Tony, let’s not stay out too late.  I’d like to get a good night sleep before tomorrow.”
            “Yes dear.  We did too much today.  But I made a reservation at a great Italian restaurant.”
“What a wonderful meal Tony.  It reminded me of our trip to Italy.”
“Yes, sweetheart.  Even the ambiance was perfect.”
Heather put her arm around Tony.  “I’m bushed.  Let’s head back to the hotel.”
“Just one more to do, dear.”  Tony led his wife towards a Tim Horton’s donut shop.
“Tony, you’re incorrigible.  After that elegant dinner?”
Tony took her hand as they walked into the back entrance to the famous Canadian donut shop.”
“Well, I guess I can get a coffee.”
Tony held the door and Heather walked in.  It was quiet.  Maybe the store was closing.  Then, suddenly, gun shots shocked the couple into fear.  They dove under one of the tables and held each other.  Tony whispered to his wife.
“I love you Heather.”
“Is this how it ends Tony?”
More gunshots and the chaos of hostages being threatened.  The couple could see the police positioning outside the front window.
“Put down your weapons and come out.  You’re surrounded.”
“Move back or we shoot a hostage,” said the gunman.
The police threw a tear gas canister into the store as everyone scrambled.  Tony and Heather were trapped.
“Cut.  That’s a take.  Well done everyone.  That was perfect.”
Heather realized that this was a movie scene.  The tear gas was fake and the bad guys were high fiving with the hostages.  A producer came over to Tony and Heather.
“Are you two all right?  How did you get in here?”
 “We just came in for a donut, through the back door.”
The director came over.  “That was great.  Would you mind signing a release?  Your reactions really added to the scene.  We could compensate you at union rates.”
Tony and Heather smiled.  “This was an experience.  How about a dozen donuts and coffee?”
Tony and Heather walked back to their hotel.  Tony put Heather’s hand on his chest.
“My heart is still racing.  All I want to do is get into the hot tub to calm down and then get to sleep.”
Heather had other thoughts.  “I’m too excited Tony.  I have a better idea.”  She whispered something into his ear.
It turned out that a near death experience was a real turn on for Heather.
“O, Canada!”

About the author 

 Jerry Guarino’s short stories have been published by dozens of magazines in the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain. His latest book, "The Best of Café Stories", is available on and as a Kindle eBook. Please visit his website at

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