- (no subject)
- March 3rd, 2009
The alarm went off sharply at 10:00. After several moments of denial, Grayson reached over and shut the alarm off. For the briefest of moments he considered shirking the responsibilities of the day and returning to the dream that was quickly fading from memory.
With a groan Grayson rolled out of bed and stumbled to the shower. The hot water heater had died earlier that week, and the empty threats had only earned him empty promises from the landlord. The cold water across his chest elicited a gasp of air. Now fully awake, Grayson quickly scrubbed down and jumped out of the shower, shivering as he toweled off in the cold air. Wrapping his towel around him.
He committed to the daily ritual of shaving, brushing, plucking and detailing that allowed him to walk among decent society. With one final splash of cold water, he studied himself for a moment, ensuring that his morning routine had been aptly administered.
Breakfast consisted of granola in yogurt, as the eggs had gone bad. Between bites of yogurt, he jotted down items on the back of an advertisement for Chinese take-out: a half dozen eggs, a half gallon of milk, a loaf of bread (wheat unless something else was on sale) peanut butter, baby spinach, chicken breasts and a bag of frozen broccoli. He contemplated checked his pantry, double-checking he hadn't missed anything.
He dressed himself in the required clothing for a man of his stature. His black khaki's were comfortable yet still presentable. He pulled his dress shirt off the hanger, frowning at the wrinkles in it. He mentally chastised himself for forgetting to iron the shirt, and moved to where he kept the ironing board. While the iron heated he grabbed his slip-free black boots from the closet and put them on. Moving back to the ironing board, he deftly swept the iron across the front and back of the shirt until it was presentable, if not perfect. The final button in place, he grabbed the keys from the table and walked out the door, locking up after himself.
Work was a brisk 20 minute walk from home, and Grayson made it to the restaurant with a few minutes to spare. The morning staff flashed a smile of gratitude before ducking into the back. The dining room was empty, with only a few regulars scattered haphazardly across several tables. At the counter things were slightly busier, with a line long enough to keep the kitchen staff hustling but not long enough to frustrate the woman at the end of the line.
The woman absent-mindedly fingered the latch on her purse as she watched the other customers from behind a pair of sunglasses. Grayson noted that her modest business suit was custom tailored and fit her body in a flattering yet modest fashion. Her hair was up in the standard boardroom bun. Grayson turned to the back to prepare himself for the morning when he heard the chimes on the door ring.
Grayson turned to see an elderly man walking through the door. Seeing that the morning waitress had already all but left, he greeted the old man.
"Good morning sir, a table for how many?"
"Just one." The old man said. His shirt was starched and pressed, reminding Grayson of his own shoddy looking shirt. The old man wore a tan suit with a brown belt and matching brown shoes. An embroidered bird of prey prepared to strike from the man's breast pocket. In the old man's hand he held an older fedora, possibly as old as Grayson.
Grayson sat the man at a table by the window. "Anything to drink while you decide what to have, sir?"
The old man picked up the menu. "Just a coffee with 2 sugars."
Grayson disappeared into the kitchen area to prepare the coffee. Bringing it out, he saw the woman from the line approach his customer.
The old man eyed the woman. "Tabitha, I see your father has finally gotten you into the family business."
The woman smiled. "Yes, sadly the days of running the world eventually must come to an end. These days they don't have me doing anything more than running errands and getting take-out for lunch."
Richard returned her smile, though the nose down. "I'm sure you'll find a way to move up the company ladder sooner or later." The old man's smile widened. " Why, I remember when I was your age it seemed that someone was always losing their head over there. It didn't take your father more than a few years to rise to a senior position over there."
Tabitha's eyes flashed murder, though the smile never left her lips. "I appreciate your faith in me, Richard. Anyway, I must get back to the office. Wouldn't want Solomon's Rueban to get soggy."
"How is Solomon these days, Tabitha?"
"He's well enough. He actually wished for me to give you a note from him. I was going to come by your place later on today." Tabitha began to balance the bags of food as she dug through her purse, pulling out a sealed envelope.
"Quite convinient you stopping in like this."
"Yes, my father had a feeling you might be here. It was his idea for me to come here for lunch."
"So like Raphael to kill two birds with one stone."
Tabitha laughed. "Tell me about it, I can't count how many times he used my birthdays as business meetings. Good day to you Richard."
The woman Tabitha walked to the door and stepped out. Grayson, waiting until his customer had finished his conversation, brought the coffee to the old man. The old man opened the evelope, and with a start jumped to his feet. Grayson was able to read on the note as he placed the coffee on the table.
The note read: The Truce Is Over.
Then the car outside the window exploded. Grayson was knocked off his feet into a flash of red and orange before everything went black.