Sunday, June 26, 2005

Coffee is the Best Medicine...
A Serial...
The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop...

I had writer's block. I tried everything: word lists, going for a walk--you name it--I tried it. Still nothing. When I walked into the Java Junkie, my mind was in the sorriest state imaginable. The shop, with its giant neon coffee cup on the roof cut through the fog of  my mind with its glare and drew me to it from two blocks away. Yes, surely a jolt of caffeine would break this writer's block. I walked in and rich brown coffee aromas drifted up my nostrils offering a promise of instant gratification if I just ordered one cup.

I edged in at the counter, although a table would have been nice for a person in my moody condition. To be antisocial would have felt good, very good; but no tables were available. Brushing toast crumbs aside with the back of my hand, I surveyed the place. It was hopping. How annoying! For a girl in my condition, noise and laughter denied me my right to be miserable. I sipped my coffee alone.

In a while I needed the restroom and rose to make my way to the back, where a crude cardboard sign marked the way with an arrow. It looked like the handiwork of a five-year old, and not a talented one at that.

The tiny room was a one-person affair, smelling of urine. A cruddy layer of grime coated the sink and yellow stains swirled on the walls inside the toilet bowl. I needed the facilities badly or I would never have gone in there at all. I squatted and did my business and had proceeded to wash my hands when as I reached for a towel, something white on top of the holder caught my eye. I wiped my hands on rough brown paper and next made a grab at the white item. I lifted it down.

A small white envelope rested in my palm. Turning it over, I saw it was not sealed. How snoopy would I be? I could put it back where I had found it and get out of the raunchy restroom; or I could open it, read it, and  then put it back.

Well, what's that old saying about curiosity killing something? Of course, I opened it! It was a note. The paper was clean and white. It seemed out of place. Red handwriting like a roller coaster scrawled up and down, small letters then large...the message filled the entire sheet.

It read simply, "Help! I think someone is trying to kill me!"  Well, maybe life isn't so boring after all.

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

to be continued


  1. You have my interest. I cant eat or drink in a place that has a dirty restroom.

  2. You've begun an intriguing tale that I'll be following! A coffee-shop with one bathroom?! What are they thinking? :o)