Spells From the Grave: Part 1 by Ada Walker-Koh
The café is well lit and busy, with uni students sitting in the booths working, while the old ladies who come here every Friday sit knitting around a table. I like that I work at a café that has such a diverse bunch, it never fails to keep me entertained.
Gertrude, one of the ladies from table four, comes to order.
“Hi sweetie,” she says, her mouth wrinkling up at the corners in that old lady way.
“Hey Gertrude! Your usual?”
She nods and I start preparing her drink.
“How’s the knitting going?” I ask her.
She holds up what looks like a scarf, but it could also be a jumper. “It’s for my grandson.”
I know all of the names of Gertrude’s grandchildren, I’m proud to say. There’s Jerry, Tom, Angela, Kate and Leo.
“Here you go.” I hand her the drink and stand awkwardly at the register, my wings flapping behind me. I look down at my shirt and realise I’ve stained it with coffee. I’m trying to clean it under the tap when I hear a cough from behind me.
“Oh, shoot, sorry I’ll be one second,” I say as I finish mopping my shirt.
I turn around to face the man at the register.
“What would you like sir?” I ask him, trying to smile through my embarrassment.
“You choose.” He grins at me.
I look at what he’s wearing: a plaid shirt and jeans, with a fishing rod slung over his shoulder.
“Heading out to the lake?” I ask him.
He nods. “I came all the way from Below to try my luck at finding a sword.”
“Best of luck to you sir.” He’ll need it.
I’m convinced that there aren’t any swords at the bottom of the lake, it’s just a tourist trap. Me and my dad went fishing at the lake every weekend for two years and never found anything. We stopped when mum left.
I hand the man from Below his drink.
I love closing the café. It’s totally empty by the end of my shift, so I get to play my music super loud. I’m honestly surprised we haven’t had a noise complaint yet. As I dance around while mopping the floor, I start to sing a bit of the chorus from the song that’s playing from the café’s speakers.
“Cause I’m not your wallet baby…” This song is my favourite right now, by my favourite singer Rickshaw Hues. “Come back when you’ve got the coin, coin, coin.”
Suddenly, I hear a crash from outside.
“Hello?” I step outside cautiously, and I’m suddenly hit by the overwhelming stink of garbage. I hold my nose and creep over in the dark towards the bins. One of them is tipped over, with trash spilling onto the gravel. That’d be what made the sound then. I bend down to pick up the rubbish, when I notice something shining in the pile of garbage. It’s a coin. I put it in my pocket, planning to use it to buy an ice cream tomorrow, and continue picking up the rubbish.
I’m about to head back inside, to finish cleaning, when I hear a sound coming from the woods.
Read part 2 here: https://www.mywritersstudio.com.au/spells-from-the-grave-part-2/