‘What are you doing?’ Gordon glared through the kitchen hatch, pupils shrunk to the size of pinheads under the bright strip lighting.
With his paunch, a slick of greasy black hair over his bald scalp and a face permanently scrunched by ill-temper, he wasn’t a good looking man. Dorothy tried not to judge books by covers, but she knew Gordon’s ‘contents’ and it matched his cover exactly.
She rolled up onto the balls of her feet then back down to her heels. ‘Exercises. Doctor says I’ve got to do them twice a day.’
Leaning through the hatch, his surprisingly delicate hands resting on the frame, Gordon resembled a curious guinea pig peering from its cage. Dorothy suppressed a smile at the thought.
‘Do ‘em on your own time,’ he said. ‘Serve table three. He’s waiting.’
Heels clicking the floor tiles, Dorothy looked around the near empty café. Of the twelve tables, eleven were empty, their cutlery, condiments and serviette holders all filled and neatly arranged. Only table three was occupied and that by a lone man wearing a quaintly old fashioned trilby and grey pin stripe suit, a cerise carnation springing from his lapel.
‘He’s still reading the menu,’ said Dorothy.
Gordon scowled, lips parting to show rodential yellow incisors. ‘Stop being so bone-bloody-idle and serve.’
How long had she worked in this dump? Fourteen years? Fifteen? And nothing in return but varicose veins that resembled the Nile Delta and plantar fasciitis crucifying her feet. Nothing to go home to but a rented flat above a newsagent and a stray cat she called Nobody that might deign to visit, but only if the old lady next door hadn’t been to the fishmonger that day.
The order pad was in Dorothy’s hand and she was halfway to table three before she had time to tell Gordon what he could do with his spatula.
‘Are you ready to place your order?’
Feels like an opening, doesn’t it? Where do you think the story should go next? Answers on a postcard (or in the comments box) please.