I recieved an email this morning from Maggie, a co-worker and friend with her story as an attachment to the email. Thank's Maggie. The file was entitled "It was a quiet cold night" so I'm assuming that will be the title.
It was a Quiet Cold Night
It was a quiet cold night, so I decided to give all the girls the night off and work the dining room myself. I really wasn’t expecting much business. The wind started to howl and the snow was blowing harder and the temperature was dropping very quickly. Just as I was setting the last table and lighting the candles, a dark shadow fell over the doorway, and for just a second you could feel a strange glow in the room.
There stood a small man dressed in the oddest outfit I’d seen in a long time; an old pair of hip wader rain gear covered an old blue wool sweater, with and old tattered leather coat that went right to the floor. His mussed long hair was covered with an old yellow sow-western hat that was somewhat well used. I approached the strange little man and asked him if he’d like a table. Strangely enough, I felt sorry for the old guy, he looked like one of those old dogs that live in alleys and eat out of garbage cans. “A mutt of sorts,” I thought.
He politely said he would love a table near the fireplace if I had one, “I’m cold and tired and I’ve come a long way with nothing to eat,” he added.
I was kind of worried about him paying his bill, but I thought to myself, "Oh well, it’s cold and no one else is around, if nothing else he should be entertaining." I sat him at the table close to the fire and gave him a menu. “Would your care for a drink after your long trip,” I inquired.
“If you have a hot rum by chance, I would be eternally grateful Ma'am,” he said. So off to the lounge I went to see what we had in stock. The bartender was not busy. He had no one around either, because of the storm that was brewing, so I told him to give me a hot buttered rum in a tall cup.
“You have a customer? How do you manage to get them even in this storm?”
“It must be my charming personality,” I laughed. Then Frank and I both laughed, as he knew me all to well. Back to the dining room I went, expecting to see the old man reading his menu and ready to order, but I then saw the strangest thing! There, on the table, sat a strange little toy. It looked like a tugboat, made of plastic and metal, red and blue. The man just stared at it with a tear in his eye. So I quietly put his drink beside him, trying not to disturb him, but he must have been startled and his hand went to hide the little toy, he knocked over his wine glass and it broke as it hit the floor. “My fault”, I said, “I should have said something when I came to the table.”
He wiped his face and asked if he could order some nice hot soup, the seafood chowder would be nice with a piece of bread. “Oh good,” I thought. “Another cheap customer. No tips tonight.”
I headed into the kitchen to place his order, “Ruth, I need a bowl of soup, and I’ll get some bread, I have a cheap customer and that’s all he wants!”
“Yah of course, is there a bus tour in?” Ruth, my chef, said. She hated bus tours.
“No he’s all alone, in out of the cold. Maybe we’ll close early. When you get the soup, come have a coffee and a smoke, Frank’s all alone and we’ll have a sit.”
“I’m there,” announced Ruth.
I took the old man his soup, and again he was staring at the little toy. This time I made some noise as I approached the table so I would not to startle him. He graciously took his soup and I noticed he was finished his drink. “Another,” I asked, and he politely agreed he should have one more.
“Frank, I need another rum, when you’re not too busy,” I asked and he chuckled, as there was no one around and he was just drawing in his sketchpad as he often did. “Ruth’s coming, so grab her a coffee, and one for me and we’ll sit and wait for the old man to go.”
“Who made me the 'Coffee-bitch'? Can’t you see I’m really busy,” Frank said and laughed as he went to pour the coffees.
I took the man his drink and he sadly sat there eating his soup. I commented to Ruth and Frank that, “We’ll probably be buying this guy his supper and his drinks, cause he looks like he has no money, but it’s too cold to put anyone out.” We all agreed and carried on with our coffee and smoke.
The old man finished and stood up, he approached us with caution and asked to pay his bill, and could he borrow a smoke if we could spare one. Frank gave him a smoke and offered a light. The old man thanked him, but said he’d save the cigarette for later. I brought him his change from his bill and he thanked me again. I was thinking, “See, I was right, no money, no tips tonight.”
Out into the night he went as we all looked on, and you could see, by our expressions, we were all thinking the same thing, “Is he nuts? Going out in this weather?”
“Weird one,” I said to Ruth. “Scared of his own shadow.” I told her about the glass and the little toy boat.
“Takes all kinds and we sure get them all don’t we.” Ruth said.
We finished our coffee and decided to clean up and go home. So off to the table I went to clean. I noticed that the old man had not eaten his soup, and there in the middle of the bowl, was floating the little toy boat. Under the bowl was a note which said, “Thank You for not turning me away, although I was not dressed for your place, I needed to get warm and could not go any further without a rest.” And stapled to the note was a $1000.00 dollar bill.
To this day, I’ve never figured out who he was, but his little toy boat sits on the counter waiting for the day he comes along. We do get them all.
Great job Maggie!!
(but we'll see who'll get the coffee next time)
I've also recieved another story by Bud Weiser from Wtit: the Tape Radio Blog entitled "Kissing Kin" which can be read here
Thanks so much Bud, and yes it did 'tug' at my funny bone like I knew it would!
Shortly after I posted this, I recieved an email from Gale Martin from Gem-osphy, with her completed story entitled "Why Staplers are always found on Desks--A Morality Tale"
(Sorry Gale, I tried a direct link to the post but it didn't work, I hope you don't mind that I've posted the entire story here as well)
Why Staplers are always found on Desks--A Morality Tale
For years, Mr. and Mrs. Stapler had been trying to have a baby. They were too young to be denied one of life's greatest blessings. Alas, that is the hand they appeared to have been dealt by Mother Nature.
"A hand like a foot," Mr. Stapler once remarked on their misfortunes.
Finally, following years of fertility treatments (Mr. Stapler had a clogged nozzle, so to s peak), they had a little Tot of their own.
One day the Staplers decided to go boating. Apparently a fierce gale began blowing while the Staplers were on deck.
"Hold on, Tot!" Mr. Stapler cried. "Staple yourself to the starboard side, son!"
But the little Tot c ould only staple when his mom or dad tapped him on the head. He wasn't big enough or strong enough to staple himself into a hard wood. As he tried to press his little Tot-teeth into the bow, a huge gust of wind blew him overboard.
Poor Tot! He couldn't swim. His parents never took him to the YMCA for lessons like the Tape Dispensers. The Staplers could only watch as their little guy sank to the bottom of the water cooler where all the office supplies enjoyed water sports after hours.
It was the first and the last time that a water cooler was the topic of conversation around the water cooler. Because the Staplers and the Tape Dispensers gave up the water sports and resigned themselves to desk jobs.
And for the rest of their careers, all the Staplers' friends were mum on the subject and would have rather walked on broken glass than say something indelicate about their dearly departed Tot.
What's the moral of our story? If you lead a Tot to the water cooler, you better teach him how to swim.
See It 'n' Write It
Just write a small short story that includes the following four images in the story.
Three pictures of things, and an action.
These are the three images of 'tangible' things, I've selected for this round
I welcome anyone who wants to play with a creative writing diversion.
(Foxxfyrre style, that is!)