Thursday, 19 May 2011

TOAST!

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I knew they were still out to get me.

I'd been on the run for a while now and I hadn't slept for much more than an occasional snatched moment in days. Wherever I went to ground, I knew that sooner or later they'd find me. Then just this morning I'd found this temporary refuge: a quiet back street cafe; it was a long way from all of the places where I knew they'd be looking for me. It was somewhere I could sit and relax, for a little while at least, before I started running again.

My eyelids were feeling heavy as I took a mouthful from my fifth cup of coffee. I needed the caffeine to stay awake, to stay alert. My life depended on it. Any time, even in the next few moments, an assassin could appear from nowhere and carry out his or her mission to terminate me. I'd taken so much trouble to evade them so far, but I was feeling so very tired.

I looked around the cafe. I was alone; the other tables were all unoccupied. I checked the door. It was closed, but I'd have felt a little easier if it'd had one of those bells over it that alerted the staff to new customers entering. As it was, I was so weary that anyone could come in and be on me before I'd even had a chance to get to my feet.

Maybe it was the fatigue that finally overcame me, or maybe it was that subconciously, I was ready to give up, but when I heard the voice behind me, I paused. I delayed my reaction. I still had one hand in my pocket holding onto my gun, ready for me to use it; I'd made sure of that, but for some reason I didn't pull it out and shoot when I heard those words.

"So, here you are, at last! Right! You're Toast!"

No, instead of standing, turning and disposing of the potential assassin, I just sat back in the chair and closed my eyes, surrendering to my certain fate.

It's a good thing that I did.

There was no gun shot to my head, no assassin's knife drawn across my throat.

When I opened my eyes, I saw the arm of the waitress stretching over from behind me, placing my breakfast on the table before me.

"Sorry it took so long. Can I get you some more coffee too?" she said.

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