kitchen-4Alfreda did have a plan, and Bill would learn it, but not for awhile. Meanwhile, Evelyn was waiting in her car when Bill came out the back door of the restaurant. Tommy was behind Bill as he left, like always. He closed and bolted the heavy, steel door.

Evelyn honked. Bill saw her pull up next to his car. His ass was dragging and he smelled like funk; all he wanted to do was go home.

“Hey, sweetie,” she said when Bill got into her car on the passenger side. She leaned over and kissed Bill. “You did great tonight,” she said. “We all made a small fortune.”

“We worked our butts off in the kitchen. I’d like to smack Lillian upside her head. All she wants to do is order. And we didn’t make but our meager pay.”

“Yeah, I know. But I got something for you if you want it.”

“I’ll bet you do. I’m real tired though.”

“Tomorrow is my last night.”

“I know.”

“Gonna miss you.”

“Me too.”

“Thanks for talking to Robert. I’m going to the place that gives Suburban its biggest competition.”

“Don’t mess with the cooks.”

Evelyn smiled. “I didn’t mess with you,” she said. “If you remember, you defended me and you were so naïve and sweet—you weren’t like anyone I’d ever met in any restaurant.”

“This wasn’t where I thought I’d end up. I thought I’d be a teacher, or a social worker or a probation officer. I never dreamed I’d be on probation and have a criminal record.”

“Life takes us where it takes us,” Evelyn said. “Anyway, in case there’s no time tomorrow, here’s my number and my address and my best friend’s number so you can call her and don’t have to worry about my boyfriend picking up. I hope we can still meet.”

“Me too.”

“Come on and follow me. We can have one last…”

“I smell like sour steak grease.”


The total was over six hundred covers that they did.  He found this out when he limped his tired self into Suburban East the next morning. That was more than two full turns for each dining room. Tommy was elated. Drenovis, who had come over to take the deposit and make sure they were set for the day, was smiling. He said something nasty to Bill, but it was in front of Henry Lee. Henry Lee told him to f–k himself and told Bill not pay the shithead any mind.

Mary was dragging her butt too, and Bea was sitting on her stool when Bill went over to get his third coffee.

“Come here,” Bea said.

Bill walked over to where she sat.  “What’s up?”

“Scratch my back.”  She unbuttoned two top buttons of her dress so Bill could reach inside.

Bill put his coffee down, reached in and started scratching.

“You’re getting another raise, you know.”

“I didn’t know.”

“Robert told me.”


Bea moved so Bill would get where she was itchy. “There, there,” she said. Then, “I need you to help me carry up some stuff.”

“Let’s do it now so I go help Henry Lee.”

Bea got up from her stool and buttoned up. Bill followed her down to the store room. Immediately they started gathering cans to go upstairs. When they had everything, Bea pulled Bill toward her. “I like it best in the morning,” she said. She reached down to touch him.

“We got a lot of work,” Bill said.

“We got a few minutes,” Bea said. “Scratch my other itch.”


Coming at the end of May 2017:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide