| RoYds Part 21 - Living Dangerously
The Myna Bird Café was a small, overcrowded café on the inside market that served excellent, wholesome food at prices most locals could afford. A talking Myna bird sat in a large cage placed in one of the corners and contributed in his unique way to the eccentric and somewhat avant-garde atmosphere.
The café had always been a special place for Elizabeth to visit. The tea always tasted delicious and the buttered, toasted teacake filled and satisfied an empty place within her that sometimes only food could reach.
“May I sit down?”
Before the words had been spoken she had known that they were coming. Without looking up, she stirred the tea and wiped her fingers upon a paper napkin.
“Keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding love...” sang the happy Myna bird, hopping along to the song playing on the radio.
“Of course.” She had already planned what she would say when this moment came.
RoYds veteran and one of Whituth’s longest residents, Lady Mabel Theawicke, pulled the chair to one side. Elizabeth asked the approaching waitress for another tea cup and giving into temptation ordered a second toasted teacake.
“I’m living dangerously today,” she remarked sarcastically to the grey lady who was now sitting facing her.
Lady Mabel chuckled. “Why? What's so different about today?”
The waitress arrived with the extra cup and Elizabeth poured tea for Lady Mabel before speaking, “I hadn’t realised...” she said hesitantly, having been thrown slightly by her discovery.
“Realised what?” asked Lady Mabel.
“That you can’t read me the way I can you.”
Lady Mabel was slightly annoyed with the young woman’s superior attitude. “At times, you are more like your grandfather, Billy Lawrence, than you realise! I may be unable to read you but I like to think that I understand you a little more than perhaps you give me credit for.”
The toasted teacake arrived and Elizabeth cut it into quarters. “If you don’t mind, I would like to eat this while it's still warm. Is there something you wanted to say?” Elizabeth bit into the delicious buttery bread.
“Should I waste my breath -– if I had any?” Lady Mabel asked sharply.
Elizabeth put the teacake down and took a sip of tea. “All right, I will make it easy for both of us, shall I? I’m staying. Today, tomorrow and possibly for -– ever.”
“Ever is such a long time, you may not always feel so adamant. Time has a way of making you see things differently,” Lady Mabel stated matter-of-factly.
“You cut me open...” sang the Myna bird, climbing the bars of his cage.
Lady Mabel stood up and, lowering her face to meet Elizabeth's, she whispered icily, “Even death is no escape for some of us.”
Elizabeth shivered and the Myna bird screeched wildly as it frantically threw itself against the bars of the cage.
Elizabeth looked out of the side window of the café and studied the dark clouds forming in the sky above. Perhaps she had just enough time to make it to RoYds before the rain came? She decided to risk it. Grabbing her black leather handbag she ran over to the corner and retrieved her precious red coat from the coat stand. Hurriedly, fastening the belt of the coat, she furtively glanced over to take yet another look at the weather and caught her reflection in the window glass. The deep cherry colour of the wool really suited her.
Just as Elizabeth crossed Cotton Row and turned the corner into Market Street, the rain began coming down in buckets. She ran past the overcrowded doorway of the Whituth Co-op and scooted into the nearest available doorway on the opposite side of the road a few shops down. Damn! The last thing she wanted was to get wet! One of the lapels had already begun to curl upwards and she smoothed it down in exasperation.
Elizabeth watched as a young American serviceman darted across the road to join her.
“Excuse me, Ma’am. You wouldn’t happen to know what movie is playing at the Regal tonight, would you?”
She shook her head. “No idea, sorry.”
“Don’t you like movies?”
“Yes, sometimes.” She couldn’t help smiling. The young officer had movie star looks and a pleasant way about him.
“But you don’t get to go out much, right? How about going with me to watch one right this minute?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t.” She concentrated on flatting the rebellious lapel. The young man removed his hat and bent down towards her. She caught the scent of cologne as he grinned cheekily up at her.
“OK. Dancing! How about dancing? You like dancing, right?”
He wasn’t much younger than her. In fact, he could have been about the same age or even older. His jet black hair and copper-hued skin gave him an exotic look. She smiled back at him sheepishly.
“Look -– I'm very flattered, but I’m not going to the movies or dancing with you or anyone else. Not tonight or any other night for that matter.”
He looked hurt at her answer and standing straight hung his head slightly to one side adopting an exaggeratedly sad expression.
“Aww... There’s no need to be like that lady... I was only looking for a bit of company before I fly out tomorrow, that’s all.”
Elizabeth laughed, rolled her eyes playfully and said, “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to be short. Look, why don’t you call in at the Halfway House, the pub across the road? I’m sure you will find some company there.”
The officer shook his head and then stared at her with solemn black eyes. “Lady, I thought you would understand... I kinda got the feeling that you... Oh, never mind. I must have been mistaken! Sorry I troubled you, Ma’am.”
He made to step out of the doorway and Elizabeth spontaneously reached out and touched his arm. “Just one moment please. What do you think you misunderstood? What did you mean when you said that?"
He looked sideways at her before re-entering the shelter of the doorway and half-smiled.
“You’re going to laugh at me, lady... But... I know I’m going to die tomorrow. I woke up this morning and death let me know he was going to pay me a visit. I've always known things before they happen... It's something that’s been with me all my life.”
Tears pricked Elizabeth’s eyes as she closed them for a split second and saw a vision of him trapped inside a burning aircraft. Opening them again, she nodded and smiled softly at him.
“And you thought I would understand?”
“Yeah, lady. You know he’s coming for me too, don’t you? I saw it in your eyes...”
“What’s your name?” Elizabeth enquired gently.
“Sivanesan. Most of my friends call me Siva. You can call me Siva if you like,” he grinned broadly.
“Well, Siva, all that happened a long time ago now...”
Labels: Elizabeth, Present Day, Refuge of Delayed Souls, Web Fiction
|posted by Miladysa @ 00:01
this is so so cool!
well i must learn dancing :P
haan.. I see, for this only you asked.
Hey I'm done reading all parts today till this one :D
Really nice with a different tone and the way it travels across times and spaces kinda makes it more spooky ;) Thrilling experience to read and I do imagine the visuals...
would not miss the upcoming episodes..
Ghosty - Do you remember you said you wanted to be a Ghost in the story - I think you wanted to be a mad professor? Somehow that didn't quite fit into the storyline - so, here you are - dashing with movie star looks! The nearest to a spaceship I could get was the plane :)
Glad you liked it!
Princess - Yes - this was why :)
You read everything in one sitting? WoW! Thank you. Looks like I have gained a new reader too :)
Ooo! I love the new icy dynamic between Elizabeth and Lady Mabel! The myna bird adds such a cool Hitchcock-ish feel to it -- and my favorite is when the grey lady goes to leave and the bird freaks. Great line: “Should I waste my breath -– if I had any?” Lady Mabel asked sharply. Ha!!
The next section is my favorite of your styles -- how the ones who've moved on drift into the story and we get the sense that their "lives" are so normal despite being dead. And the way Elizabeth is so compassionate to them and what she sees/reads is wonderful. Reminds me of my Nana. :) Those last lines of yours!! Love them!
read it again, im feeling so happy. and honored. hugs Milady.
gonna read the whole series this weekend, again.
I hope he does not die, does he? He seems so full of vim , vigor and dance-
For some strange reason I know stuff about myna birds but I can't remember what. this rings some dim gong of memory.
Home now for buttered teacake! toasted, of course.
Melissa - Would you believe that cafe and bird really existed once? I used to visit them when I was a child. You could say, that the bird in the story is the ghost of the one I used to know... or is that too far fetched to believe? :)
Ghosty - "gonna read the whole series this weekend, again."
Great news :)
Jannie - I hate to break it to you like this but Siva in the story... well... brace yourself - he's already dead! He just didn't realise it... :(
Bimbimbie said :
I love picturing all your characters and the Myna bird in the Myna Cafe is a gem of a chantoosie, those lines have hit written all over 'em ;)
...“Keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding love...” sang the happy Myna bird, hopping along to the song playing on the radio.
“You cut me open...” sang the Myna bird, climbing the bars of his cage.
I just re-read the sizzling car scene again ;)
What an intriguing chapter... Can't wait to read more!
"Can't wait to read more!" That's what I want to read Vesper - that's what I love to read LOL
The Myna bird screeching "keep on bleeding love" & "cut me open" is a brilliant touch. Got a feeling I'm going to be feeling real sorry for Siva. This is a WOW! story!
I wouldn't waste you breath worrying about Siva, Howie - he's already dead;P
& Thank you once again - you make my day with your comments :)