September 27, 2021 by Patrick Starks
Everything I had witnessed thus far was like being on the backseat of a roller coaster ride. My ankle still ached from the fall through the floor. And the unusual cat that perched up on my shoulder I could’ve sworn I was allergic to. My body itched all over just by the thought of it, and sneezing was becoming to be a norm. But regardless of the many things that made me uncomfortable that day, getting the answers to what I sought was far more important than any doctor’s visit, and well… it was apparent that Shayna had held them all.
“Oh, excuse me for my manners Gavin, this little ball of joy is France’s. She has been with me longer than what she should’ve been. I was thinking I was going to lose her years ago, but as the saying goes, cats have seven lives. Although, I’m pretty sure that this one used her’s up already,” said Shayna, rambling on.
“Just stop! Don’t say another word… It’s already enough that I fucked up my ankle but listening to you ramble on is just not the icing on the cake. Why are you here and what does any of this have to do with me?” I shouted.
“Well, that’s different…” said Shayna with a shocked look on her face.
The black cat purred into my ears softly. Kind of reminded me of when my ex-girlfriend did that to me one night in bed, but to be honest that was a little more awkward than the moment I was facing now. Like, I could tell she practiced it a lot and she didn’t even have a cat to begin with.
“What’s so different?” I asked.
“Well… France’s doesn’t like many people… but there she is snuggled up on your shoulder as if you two have been friends forever. Then again…”
Shayna paused. She ran out of the light and back into the dark, all while me and France’s waited for her return. Again, there would be rambling, followed by even more coffee beans being spilt on the floor, so much to the point I could’ve slipped and possibly hurt my other ankle if I wasn’t careful.
Not long after Shayna came back out with a book, but this time different from the previous one she held. In it were what I believe to be pictures of her family. Although, there would be only one picture that she would point to. The only one that mattered.
A golden tear shed down the side of Shayna’s face, like water spilt on a freshly painted yellow Painting.
“You really don’t know about Edita do you?” asked Shayna.
“You mean the woman in the book? No, I can’t say I do, but she does remind me of someone in my past. It’s mostly all just a blur though. But hey, you still didn’t answer my question. What the hell is going on?”
Frances then jumped down from my shoulder and stood silently beside Shayna.
“Edita is your mother Gavin… She was my baby sister…”
Only more tears would shed down Shayna’s face after that.
“No, that’s not possible… I mean, I’ve never met you before in my life until I walked into Big Pete’s this morning. Besides I was orphaned and raised by another family. They weren’t the best, but it was still something. Still, I never heard of the name Edita until you told me.”
“This I already know child. And I have known it longer than my heart could handle. But everything I said is the truth. How could a young man like you know? You were just so young and innocent then,” sighed Shayna.
“So, what you’re saying is that you are actually my aunt?”
“Yes. Me and Frances have been watching you for a long time Gavin. I should have kept you for myself, but again, you were just too young and fragile for me to keep up with. After your mother was murdered, I just couldn’t look at you. You reminded me so much of her,” said Shayna, with her head shamefully buried in her chest.
I was speechless. None of it made any sense. The coffee, my mother’s murdering, the abandoning. Why? How could Shayna have been so heartless? I went through so much hell through the orphanages. No one knows that feeling like I do. It’s like being in a full litter of pups, but everyone picks around you. And at the end you get stuck with the family that gives two shits about you, only to say that they had some form of responsibility in their lives. Fucking posers. And well, yeah, it felt just like that.
“Why? Why now?” I shouted, with my ankle building up the frustration to stand.
Shayna remained silent, followed by the sad purrs of Frances.
“We were afraid… You didn’t see what that man did to your mother. And all over sone goddamn coffee…. Sheriff Bilberry said it was one of the worse cases that he’d done.
“What happened? Please! Tell me! I need to know!”
Shayna then pulled up two old rocking chairs and brewed us both a fresh batch of coffee. Shayna struggled to take a sip, for her hands couldn’t stop shaking with guilt.
“Well, if you must know… Your mother was killed by a mad man. Someone who was obsessed with her. Someone you could call a fatal attraction. Your mother had some of the nest coffee in town. No, it was the best. And well, that mad man had come to her shop every day asking for the same cup of coffee; a caramel latte with just a little whip cream, sprinkled with shaved chocolate, and a dash of peppermint syrup. No one knew who this man’s name was except for Edita, but she never mentioned it to me for whatever reason. The man always sat in the back of the coffee shop. All black clothing and as quiet as a church mouse. I believe that’s why your father at the time was so distant at the end with your mother. I suspect that he believed there was some sort of scandal going on, but that just wasn’t my sister.”
“Did they ever catch the man… I mean why would he do such a thing?”
“Isn’t it obvious… The man wanted power, which was what Edita had. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. All coffee shops were supposed to be equal, but somehow people just kept going to your mothers. And what was in this book was what helped her do such. She’d never been the normal type of gal. Although, I didn’t realize how different she was after she was killed. I dug all around in her room to find any clue that would bring me some clarity on what could’ve happened between her and that strange man, and it was then when I found this book for the first time. When I opened it, the first page would have a letter taped to it.”
The Letter said:
We have both known each other for quite some time now but I wanted to be honest about my pursuance of you. It is not what you think. You see, I have a wife, as well two kids and things haven’t been easy for us. It’s already enough that my wife thinks I am running around on her, as I assume your husband suspects of you, but that is not us. We just have a common passion for coffee. But I guess what I am trying to say is that I am a desperate man looking for anyway to keep my kids fed and my somewhat beloved wife off my back. I only got close to you to get a hold of that book. I mean, if I could just have it for a few days or even weeks, imagine the riches I could make. Hell! We could be business partners and make double. I’m sorry that I had to break it down to you like this, but I must have that book, with or without your consent.
The decision is yours.
After I’d heard Shayna read the letter, I really didn’t know what to think. That man… It just put chills down my spine hearing about him. He sounded familiar. Like, I could’ve sworn that I just met him just an hour ago, but no one really came to mind. Most, importantly how did we not know that he was still after the book if the cops never caught him.
“How do you know that the man isn’t still around? What if he’s still coming for that book.?” I asked.
Shayna closed the book and sighed once more.
“Well, the thing is that I don’t know. That’s the reason this has always been my hiding place. As for the coffee shop, well, that just always felt like a safe place. Then again, with all the shootings that have been going on lately, I doubt that anywhere is safe. Usually, a cop would suspect a criminal would eventually show up at the same scene he created a crime. However, me and you both know that that man whoever he is, is no average murderer.”
From the hole that I’d fallen through, a navy-blue hair tie fell. Shayna without any thought at all would take a few steps back shaking in fear.
“Gavin, come here. Get away from there,” she said, but before I could, a mysterious person would fall right after.
“All of these years of hide and go seek, and I’ve finally found you. You know I’ve held onto your sister’s hair tie for quite some time now. Still smells like her you know,” said the person, pulling the hair tie across their nostrils like a perverted man sniffing through women’s underwear.
The person was completely covered in black. So much black that it would make Batman quit his day or should I say night job as the dark knight. Hell, it would’ve probably made the crows outside thing he was the god crow or something like that, but you get the point. The man was like night but not the day.
While Shayna continued to take a few more steps back, the person would reveal themselves into the same light that she’d once did. Me and Shayna
“Gary…” I paused
“No, it can’t be!” shouted Shayna.
“Oh, but it can be me sweetheart,” said Gary with the smile of the devil.
“I should’ve known it was you. I felt it and still I didn’t let my intuition aid me,” said Shayna with sadness in her voice.
Gary was inpatient. He took another step closer and this time expecting there to be a book in his hand.
“Give me the book witch or I’ll have to do to you what I did with your sister,” he said.
From his coat pocket Gary pulled out a knife that was big enough to make Rambo put his away. The blade was shiny, and from the ceiling the light flickered off it like diamonds do. On one side of the blade, you could see Gary’s eyes filled with hatred, and on the other side of the blade you could see the fear of the victim he was about to do his worst on.
“I’ll never give you that book. You don’t deserve it. You’re a terrible husband and father to your family, as well a fucking murderer!” shouted Shayna.
From the looks of Gary expression, he’d grown tired and annoyed of Shayna’s attitude. But who could blame her? I was fucking pissed myself for how such a person could leave a child motherless and embrace it with no guilt at all, yet so much excitement and joy it seemed. It was disgusting.
Nevertheless, Gary without any further thought lunged after Shayna like a cat hunting a mouse. But how ironic that Gary didn’t know that he’d actually be the mouse. Deep in the corner of the room France’s would jump on Gary’s back clawing him the best way she knew how to. Although she was a small cat, she definitely was no push over. In fact, I’d never seen a cat do what she was doing then.
“Get off of me! Get this fucking thing off of me!” shouted Gary, swinging his blade all around the room like a blind mad man.
Gary had slashed his blade all around the room, almost hitting Shayna in the throat had she not been quick enough to move out of the way.
“Get him Frances!” she shouted.
Gary swung his blade a few more times in the air and then backed himself up against a wall where Frances would be crushed.
Gary laughed as he watched Shayna’s cat struggle to get back on to its feet. Thankfully, he’d done nothing else to Frances after that. Instead, he’d continue making his way over to Shayna, prepared to do anything necessary.
“I won’t ask again! Give me the book!” shouted Gary holding his knife to Shayna’s throat.
“Okay, okay, here take it…”
“No! Don’t do it!”
“Shut it boy! Or you will be like that smelly cat over there. Oh wait, I’m already too late aren’t I,” laughed Gary
It pissed me off even more, but the son of bitch was right. My ankle was still pretty fucked up at the time, so there wasn’t much that I could do but just pathetically sit there and watch. France’s was literally the last card we had to pull in our hands. It was all over.
“Yes… Yes! At last, I finally have it! I haven’t even opened it and I can already feel the power bestowed in it. I feel like I am being reborn again. So many ideas, yet so little time. I must move fast. I will make my family proud,” said Gary, making his way up the stairs to the secret door in the basement.
Before we could do anything else about it, Gary would be gone just by the snap of the fingers.
“This isn’t good…,” said Shayna
“What’s he going to do with it?”
Shayna eyes looked gloomed and tired. I could tell she was just over all the chaos that had been going on for so long. And the fact that Frances still wasn’t getting up didn’t help the situation anymore.
“That evil man, that Gary… Well, he will do as he’d always planned to do. He will use the book to create an empire. All coffee shops will shut down and all that will be left is his own. In the city of Seattle, we all agreed that we would never let this happen as it only stripped people from their options and choices. But it appears what your mother managed to do sparked some interest in Gary’s goals for his family.”
“Then we have to go after him! We can’t just let him do this, especially what he did to my mom, your sister, what he did to Frances. I won’t let him get away with this!”
“Well, there’s only one way to get Gary to turn his eyes back to us,” said Shayna, with a smile of relief.
“We will need to talk to his wife, but before we do that, we need some help. We will need Big Pete.”
“Wait…. What? Why does Big Pete need to be involved? It’s too dangerous, plus he has a coffee shop to run.”
Shayna shook her head, as she now cradled Frances in her arms like a baby. She was still alive but not all that well.
“You still don’t know who Big Pete is do you? Does he not favor someone?” asked Shayna, surprised.
“Favor someone… I’m not sure what you’re talking about?”
“Ahh, nevermind. Let’s just get out of here. I knew I should’ve had this place burned to the ground after your mother was taken from us, but I just couldn’t let it go, but I think it’s time to finally say goodbye… Do you think you can get by with that ankle of yours?”
“Not really its sill a bit busted up.”
Shayna then walked over to a closet and pulled out two old crutches.
“Okay then, no need to worry take these. I don’t really need them anymore.”
“Wow, thank you.”
“No need to thank me yet kiddo. Thank me when we do what the cops should’ve done a long time ago and git rid of that bastard of a man Gary.”
After that me and Shayna were off to Big Petes, and then Gary’s wife wherever she was. It was all still nothing but craziness but at the end what person wouldn’t want to unravel the secrets of their life they never knew. The way I see it, the more I can get clarity of my past the more I can focus on my present and my future.
Stay tuned for Part 3!
Thanks for reading everyone, hope you all enjoyed 🙂