‘I’VE BEEN SITTING here for ages. What are you doing?’ said Will.

‘I’m on my way. Who is with you?’

‘No one, who would be?’

‘I can hear people,’ said Anna.

‘Well, you would, wouldn’t you? There are other customers. Do you think they open up just for me?’

‘It sounded like you had a girl there.’

‘A girl pushed her way past, is that what you mean?’

‘You said, “Sorry” in a sweet way.’

‘I’m losing my temper and won’t be so polite next time. If you take much longer, she’ll have finished her drink and come past me again.’ His wife, Anna, got the message.

The call ended, and Will breathed, ‘Bloody women.’

‘Sorry, I didn’t mean you.’

‘Girlfriend trouble?’ asked the girl opposite. She shook her jet-black locks free from ribbons and looked at his left hand, then directly at his sapphire eyes. ‘Not married?’

“Thailand’s Finest”, a new coffee shop in southern Thailand, catering for discerning English folk who had found a second home to meet and drink their favourite tipple, but with a difference.

Background chatter didn’t disturb Will’s determination. ‘Did you see the game last night…’

‘I hear Faberge has a new line.’

‘Yeah, but I can’t afford even Avon…’

The server girl, Patsy, in a too-small apron, collected empties.

‘Would you like another of Thailand’s Finest?’ she asked.

‘One for me, and how about you?’ said Will.

‘Thank you, kind sir.’

‘Are you a reporter?’

‘Why do you ask?’

‘Because all the other people in here are familiar to me. I would have noticed you.’

‘I’ve been recommended to sample the excellent local beverages here. I thought I’d try them.’

‘I see, do you have a business card?’

‘So, you don’t believe me?’

‘We need to be careful who witnesses our little delight.’

‘And what delight do you mean?’

Will clapped his hands; coffee cups, mugs and glasses were replaced on saucers or the tablecloth. All customers and staff turned and stared at the “new girl”.

‘Now, please tell us, who are you?’

‘I fancied a local brew of Thai coffee and was told this is the place to come.’

‘Really, can I ask, who advised you?’

‘Just some guy I was talking to.’

‘I see.’

The others inched closed, eyes glued to the newcomer’s head. They weren’t blinking. She swivelled her hips, her buttocks tightened and studied her new cup as if expecting a vision to appear on the smokey brown liquid.

‘Your card gives a name and a phone number but no job description or company details. Why?’

‘That is my name. I work for myself.’

‘Well, Miss or Mrs Angeline Stokes, you are in the wrong place and time. Am I clear?’

‘Oh, look, here comes your wife,’ Angeline said, closing her eyes, head in hands.

‘Ah, you know her, do you?’ The staff all moved that bit closer.

There was no place to move. The server opened the door and welcomed Anna to the seat next to Will.

A cloud of scented steam rose behind the counter, and the server poured another mug.

‘No need to get up, Anna, certainly not in your condition,’ Patsy said as she placed the hot coffee on the table.

Anna tucked the white dress under her legs, beaming at Angelina. ‘Hello, I thought you would come.’

‘Hello, Anna, please ask your husband to let me go.’

‘You asked about our baby. Well, here she is,’ Anna rubbed her lump.

There was a loud click at the front door, shutters dropped at the windows, and the light dimmed.

‘What are you doing? I want to go,’ said Angelina.

The sound of steaming and plops of drips of coffee filling a jug rang out.

Will looked up at two of the male customers and nodded. The men stood on either side of Angelina, gently lifting her under her armpits. ‘Let me go!’ she squealed as they moved her to a large trestle table and clamped her wrists to the cuffs under the wood. One of them placed a stool for her to sit on.

A large feather cushion puffed and patted in front of her breasts. ‘What are you doing?’ the prisoner asked.

Anna groaned as she stood, leaning forward and using her hands to push herself up. She moved to the table, arm on hip, and the server girl aided her until lying on the cushion.

Her flowing white robe was lifted to her hips, and she rubbed and patted her nine-month bulge.

Behind Angelina, the server was fiddling in the cutlery drawer, and she handed each guest a spoon. Angelina didn’t get one. She wasn’t going to complain.

Anna’s groaning got louder. Her husband clutched her hands, putting his spoon in his mouth. Blood crept between his lips. The razor-sharp edge nicked his mouth. Coffee was forgotten, and guests and staff circled the trestle. A man forced Angelina’s head down, and Anna clamped her teeth to Angelina’s prominent jugular vein. Her blood flowed, Angelina screamed, and the others licked their lips.

Anna arched her back. She sucked, panted and sweated. Angelina’s eyes swelled like boiled eggs, but she was silent. Anna sucked louder, as did her scream, as a bald and bloody head appeared between her legs. The child’s shoulders eased out. Fluids spilt, and the viewers gasped with joy.

Will released one of his wife’s hands as he removed the spoon from his mouth. He looked at each of his guests and nodded at them. Politely, they fought their urges until he moved first. He lept like a tiger feasting on a writhing boar. His spoon cut into his son’s soft skull, and Will licked his lips. Blood splattered his cheeks. The next spoon thrust dug deep into the boy’s thigh. Soon, spoons clinked together at all angles as they dug deeper for new flesh.

The server chewed and sucked on the umbilical cord, then handed a full spoon to Anna.

Angelina toppled from the table and was forgotten on the floor. The feast was the only important matter occupying the minds of the eaters.

All too soon, very little of the child was left. Any remains were dumped with Angeline’s. Wrapped in black plastic sacks, placed in bins in the back.

The door was unlocked, blinds lifted, and chatter recommenced.

‘Yeah, but we should have scored in the last minute…’

‘Maybe I’ll sample that perfume…’

Patsy took orders of Thai coffee accompanied by a small jug with a red liquid and sugar for those who weren’t sweet enough.


September 21, 2023 10:03

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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