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Two re-fills and a cookie

The 24/7 diner

By Samuel MoorePublished 3 years ago 8 min read

Frost hanging in the night air. Tall trees groan as the wind slips between them.

They talk of many things in the way that all trees’ do, and only trees can understand.

Tonight they speak of the time before. Before the odd and loud creatures tore down family members and put down these odd dark lines on the ground.

There is an clearing among these trees. Seemingly a road leading to nowhere and in the middle of this road stands a building that is both the most important and inconsequential building in the world.

It’s a building that is open every day of the year.

Marley’s Diner.

What makes this place so special?

Currently there is a man sat at the counter. He always wears a black suit, brown leather shoes and a pale blue tie.

“Yeah I’ve sold just about everything.” Mr. Daley is speaking with all the charm of the perfect salesman.

“I sold air-con all over, Texas and then headed north to sell heating units.” He speaks with such pride. Slightly over-weight but for a life on the road, he has remained in relatively good shape.

“Right now,” Mr. Daley continues to speak as the man in the suit is eating. “I’m heading east… well, I think I am. Got a little lost. God thing I found this place.”

He raised his mug, signaling to the woman behind the counter for a re-fill of coffee.

She is a young looking woman but speaks with age. Like a woman taken out of time from the 1940’s.

She brings a pot of hot coffee to Mr. Daley and pours slowly with a friendly smile.

Daley says to the waitress. “Best coffee in the area right?”

The waitress winks while keeping her smile.

“My new friend here.” He says while nodding his head towards the man in the suit. “He doesn’t say much.”

The waitress - Jenny, looks into the suited man’s eyes. “No. Metti lost his voice in Pompeii.”

Daley learned back. “You were in Pompeii!?” He says with a growing smile. “Fan of history I see.”

Metti has been eating a cheese burger. He pauses for a moment to look at the salesman, shaking his head slowly he makes a hand gesture to, Jenny. A signal for the bill.

Mr. Daley turns to the doors for a moment. There was a cold feeling from his. Cold but soothing.

By the time he turns back, Metti has gone. And empty plat and cup are all that suggest he was ever there.

Jenny looks slightly different. Almost as if she is a twin instead of the woman who had stood there just moments ago.

Daley looks down at his watch.


He looks up at the waitress. “How long have I been here?” he asks.

Jenny scratches here ear and thinks for a moment. “About three days I think. Didn’t you come in with, Danny?”

Mr. Daley looks down. There is something just out of sight in his memory. “Yes.” He says slowly and uncharacteristically quietly. “Danny… How did we get here again?”

“Danny said you had a problem with your car. He brought you here to wait for her.” Jenny says.

The door burst open at the hands of a tall muscular man. Dark skin, bright eyes, his clothes looked like they were traditional Indian and his silver and gold jewelry draped over him.

Jenny shouts out. “Damn it, Nesh! I told you a millions times, be gentle with those doors. I spend more on fixing stuff you break more than keeping the lights on!”

Nesh smiles wide like a young child being cheeky. “Sorry, Jenny.” He says. “I’m a little excited today.”

He heads to the counter.

Jenny puts her hand up and yells. “Stop! Ganesha, you know you’re not to sit up here. Sit in a booth. I can’t keep replacing the stools.”

Nesh lets out a bellowing laugh. “Okay okay. Just a tea. Ashokasundari will be here soon. We are going on a trip.”

Nesh sat with a thud.

As Jenny brings a tea set over to, Nesh, he looks at Mr. Daley sat at the counter.

“He seems a bit lost, Jenny.” Nesh says.

Jenny nods. “He is waiting for her.” She replied.


Jenny nods with a smile.

“She doesn’t often do the job in person. I wonder why.”

At that moment, a family come through the door.

“Hey guys.” Jenny says. “Take a seat anywhere, I’ll be with you soon.”

The mother, father and two children make their way a booth. They have been driving for a while. They kids are tired and hungry, the mother has a single tear in her eyes and the father has the look about him. The look of morning.

Ganesha leaned into Jenny and whispers. “She won’t be far behind them?”

Jenny looks at her watch.


Then Jenny shakes her head. “No.” She replies. “Muerte has already been to them.”

Jack is an accountant. He has a passion for fishing, football and while he would never admit it, he’s always like a good rom-com.

His wife, Juliet, has a small side business. She creates pictures using cross stitch and sells them for a nice little bonus.

Both come from a small town. They met in college and while they have had a few bumps in the road, their marriage has always been strong.

Jack junior- or JJ is about a year away from hitting his teenage years while his younger brother, David, is old enough to know they will never see their grandfather again.

Jack hangs picks up the menus. “I wonder what’s in the kitchen at this time.” He says to his wife.

She replies. “I’m fine with something small. Feels like we’ve been on that road forever.”

Jenny comes to the table with a tray. There are two glasses of orange squash, two coffee cups, one small pot of cream and some biscuits.

“Our kitchen is always open folks. But these will help while the ovens warm.” She says.

Mr. Daley is starting to remember that he has forgotten something. Was I going somewhere? He asks himself. I don’t remember coming here… just being here.”

“Hello Shane.” A woman says as she sits next to him.

“Oh… err.. Hello. And how are you?” He asks.

There is something very familiar about the young woman sat next to him but he can’t quite put his finger on it.

Her blond hair is in a bob. There are silver and black streaks running through it. Her eyes are dark. So very dark but she wears a warm smile with a demeanor you expect to see around close friends and family.

He replies. “I am well. Thank you, Shane. I’m sorry I kept you waiting.”

Mr. Daley leans back. “I am waiting for you?”

The woman leans into him for a moment and with a wink says, “Everyone is waiting for me.”

She looks to the waitress as she walks back to the counter. “Coffee when you are ready, Jen.”

The woman turns back to Mr. Daley. “I hope you don’t mind if I have a drink before we go. Best coffee this side of the sun.”

“Errmm… yeah sure.” The bravado of the sales man has gone now. Mr. Daley feels slightly unnerved by the familiar woman. “Sorry.” He says. “We are going somewhere?”

The woman nods but her eyes are fixed on the dark liquid as it fills her cup.

Jenny asks. “Are they going to be okay?” and points to the family at the other end of the diner.

The woman breaks her gaze and looks over her shoulder. “Yeah. They will be fine for years to come. Though maybe don’t give Jack the burger.”

Mr. Daley speaks in a quiet voice. “I know you…”

The woman smiles at him.

Mr. Daley looks at his empty mug. “Why don’t I remember?”

“Well.” Says the woman as she smells the fresh coffee. “You took a nasty hit to the head. Mephistopheles told me you almost talked his ear off.” She laughs and takes a small mouthful.

“The guy in the suit? Who doesn’t speak?” he asks. “And this? This is like some… some… some…”

The woman cuts in. “This is a diner. Open 24/7 - even on Christmas.”

Shane Daley reaches down to where his ring would sit just a few years ago. “Is this really it?” he asks.

The woman smiles. “Barb had the same look on her face.”

“Barb?” His eyes slowly start to fill with water.

“She was an amazing woman wasn’t she.”

Daley nodded.

They speak of stories as the salesman’s fear starts to fade. He tell the woman stories that she has already heard. But she listens with a smile and laughs as if she has never heard them before.

Two re-fills and a cookies later, Mr. Shane Arthur Daley leaves the diner that never shuts. He leaves with a woman who has gone by many names. Tonight she has gone by, Muerte. Shane has tears in his eyes and Muerte - well, she has the stars.


About the Creator

Samuel Moore

Love to write and have more than a few opinions

Social media handle; Bamgibson30

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