The D&L Café is located in a backwater of the Altirer galaxy. Certain regulars frequent it, but few can even find it without the proper directions. On a good day, someone new finds the way there and the regulars are stirred from their usual routine and act as though they had acquired a purpose.
Recently, an ambassador from Malterere II happened by quite by accident. His Nimbo Type 1 ship malfunctioned nearby and he was seeking refreshment.
The ambassador was shown to a table on the side of the Café that has deep red walls and carpeting. At first he did not seem to mind, but eventually he spotted a table on the side that has pale blue walls and white tablecloths and requested to be moved.
Thus ensued a contest between the proprietors, Darcy and Lenore. They hardly needed an excuse, but this was a good one.
“I have my staff already prepared to serve him on this side”, snapped Darcy, rather childishly.
Lenore, always the diplomat but with an agenda of her own replied, “Surely you wouldn’t detain a guest, Darcy, especially one who wishes to be moved.”
Darcy stroked his shiny black mustache as he considered how he’d answer her. Someone from his side of the café called out “not gonna’ let the little lady walk over you are you Darcy?”
Emboldened by this remark, Darcy walked to the ambassador’s table and offered him a free drink.
Not to be outdone Lenore, assisted by some of her regulars began lighting candles on her side of the café. Even with the sunlight coming in, the candles flickered invitingly.
Once again the ambassador requested to be moved to the brighter side of the café. And again Darcy spoke to him and offered a free desert as well as chips for the gaming tables.
Pacified for the moment, the ambassador proceeded to enjoy his meal. However, halfway through the meal he suddenly seized his throat with both hands, made a strangling sound, and fell to the floor quite dead.
Quite satisfied with the entertainment, Darcy’s regulars carried the body away, teasing Darcy about not getting payment for the meal. Though as soon as they were gone, he pulled the ambassador’s wallet from his own pocket and extracted his own payment smiling devilishly.
Lenore and her regulars gathered in a circle and began to call out to the Father for mercy over the ambassador’s soul. They then discussed what they might do differently the next time.
Eventually those on Lenore’s side of the café returned to their own routine, as did the regulars on Darcy’s side.
The contest will be played out again the next time at the D&L Café.
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