I wrote this really short story (611 words) back in early 2000. I wrote this for myself back then, and only shared it with close friends and family. I haven’t reworked it at all, only fixing a few spelling mistakes.

I hate to say this, but since there are people who will claim things as their own unless I do, please note:

This story may not be re-posted, used reprinted, redistributed or others used other than “reading it directly from AdamDreece.com with credit This story may be linked to, Tweeted and referenced on Facebook, etc. but not be re-posted in whole or part on another site or in another medium without the explicit, written approval of Adam Dreece. Copyright 1992-2014 Adam Dreece, All Rights Reserved. You can email me if you want to do anything else with this.

And now for your enjoyment, En-guard by Adam Dreece from 2000.

The diner had been quite all morning. The locals were coming and going according to the sacred schedule and the special was two eggs over-easy with sausage on the side, as it was every Monday.

It was then that a tall, refined type gentleman came in with what must have been his wife and sat at one of the booths near the window. It was rare for such folk to come into our neck of the woods. While we were technically still part of the downtown, we were the infamous east side, where the technology and benefits of modern society were sorely lacking. People such as these folks only came in here for two reasons, they were either lost or looking for contraband. If it wasn’t obvious that the woman was his wife, there would have been a third option to consider.

“It’s not so bad,” said the lady, taking off her designer autumn jacket. “Look, they even have a healthy breakfast with wheat toast and fruit. This will be fine. Don’t worry Jack.”

Jack looked around, relaxing the knot in his stomach a bit. “Well, I suppose that if these people eat here all the time, then it should be fine. I’m really sorry Laura, I thought I knew where we were. I really need to get that global auto-mapper fixed in the car. Maybe we should just get a new car all together.”

“Jack, relax. It’s not that bad. Plus we can’t really afford a new car right now.”

“You’re right.”

It was then that Frany waltzed up to them and with her best east side drawl, asked, “Would you two like another or are you ready to order?”

“Um… honey?” Jack asked his wife, politely.

“I’m ready, go ahead,” she replied and ushered him ahead.

“Actually, I’m not sure what I want yet,” he replied awkwardly.

Frany looked at them both and then at the ceiling. It was always the exact same. Fancy folk never knew what they wanted. Though, she had noted that it didn’t seem to be any better for the men than the women. Frany was just thankful that these types of people weren’t able to be in government anymore. She couldn’t imagine what it was like back in the old days with yahoos like these running the place. Made her sick to her stomach.

“I’ll give you a couple of minutes,” Frany said mechanically and headed back to the counter.

A disheveled guy comes in. Jack thinks he’s drunk at this time in the morning.

He interrupts Frany when she is talking the order, Jack thinks it’s really rude and blurts that out.

“Movie stars don’t need manners, they are replaced with money and fame.” Smiles and goes back

Jack and Laura discuss whether or not he is an actor doing character research

“Who are you?”

“That is not a fair question to ask. Come now, you can figure that part out if I answer something else.”

“What movies were you in?”

“You, sir, are most unobservant I will have you.”

“Excuse me, but why are you insulting me?”

“Actors are overpaid egomaniacs”

“I’m not overpaid! I have so little ego that if it were made of cheese a mouse would surely starve on it.”

“You’re a nobody.”

“Does my pay or ego determine my value to society? Or does your narrow view of the world determine it? I think neither.”

He gets up, smiles slightly and storms off. No one else in the diner reacts.

“Who was that?”

“Our janitor,” Frany replied. “Does this all the time. He really makes you stop and think about things. Locals love him.”

The End

Want to read more of my old fiction? Go ahead.

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