Coffee with Kid
By Maz McCoy
“This is some fancy saloon!” Kid looked around as they entered Arbuckles to find a few tables and chairs arranged next to sofas and comfortable looking armchairs.
“It’s not a saloon,” Maz explained, heading for the counter. A girl with a green apron approached them, somewhat surprised to see a cowboy, complete with hat and gun, saunter up.
“Can I help you?”
“I’ll have a tall latte and a skinny, blueberry muffin.” Maz turned to Kid. “What d’you want?”
“They got whiskey?”
“They don’t serve alcohol.”
“Sheesh.” Kid looked around at the weird art work on the walls. “What kind of place is this?”
“It’s a coffee shop. I told you.”
“Ain’t like no coffee shop I’ve ever been in.”
She patted his arm.
“So, do you want something?”
“Guess I’ll have coffee.”
The girl in the apron smiled.
“What sort?” Her pen was poised over her pad.
“The sort that comes in a cup.”
“What d’you call me?”
“It comes in a mug,” the girl explained, quickly and the cowboy relaxed.
“Coffee in a mug then.”
“What sort of mug?”
“No, what sort of coffee?”
“What sort you got?”
The girl pointed to the list on the wall. Kid read the words but was none the wiser.
“D’you want a mocha, cappuccino, latte, or frappacino?”
“D’you speak English?” Kid began to wonder.
“Yes.” The girl saw the confusion in the man’s blue eyes. She tried to be helpful. “Tell me what the coffee you usually drink is like.”
Kid thought about it but didn’t think he could use those words to describe Heyes’ coffee to this young lady.
“Not frappacino then.”
“I like it strong.”
“You probably have an Americano.”
“I noticed. Americano it is.” She wrote down his order, then looked up. “D’you want an extra shot?”
“No honey, I’ll hit it in one!”
The author smiled and the poor girl looked confused.
“Is that to go?”
“Where will you be drinking it?”
“From the mug.” Kid glanced at Maz. Was the girl weird? They never asked questions like this in a saloon. Maz stepped forward.
“We’ll have it here.”
The girl seemed to understand. She looked back at Kid.
“Anything to eat, sir?”
Kid looked at the array of food in the glass cabinet.
“What’s that?” He pointed.
“A skinny, blueberry muffin.”
“Don’t look too skinny to me. And that?”
Whatever that was.
“Expensive stuff huh?” Kid shook his head. “Sheesh, don’t you have any real food?”
“Would you like a roll?”
Kid’s eyes opened wide.
“I could butter a bun for you.”
“Miss, I don’t think…” He looked to the author for help. He whispered in Maz’s ear. “She ain’t butterin’ my buns!”
“Maybe we should share a crumpet?” Maz suggested, wickedly. “Or do you fancy an iced finger?”
“This one of them places with a back room?”
Maz laughed and shook her head before turning back to the girl.
“We’ll just have two of the muffins, thanks.” Maz opened her purse.
“This is on me.” Kid reached into his vest pocket and pulled out some coins.
The girl rung up their order then looked at the screen and told him the total. Kid turned to Maz.
“What’s that in American?”
Maz calculated the amount in her head and told him.
“WHAT?” Kid looked from the girl to Maz and back again. “For coffee? And they made me give up robbin’ people!”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got it. They don’t take foreign currency anyway.”
“My money ain’t foreign!”
Maz paid then led the way to a table and sat down. She took a notebook and pen from her bag. Kid, seated with his back to the wall, facing the door, studied the other customers. There was a young couple staring lovingly into each others’ eyes over their coffees, a young mother with a baby and a man tapping like crazy on one of those computer things, like Maz had back at her house. Kid looked at Maz as she scribbled on the notepad.
“You writin’ about me and Heyes?”
“Who gets hurt this time?”
“I’m not sure,” Maz mused. “What do you think?”
“I’ve been shot and knifed…Maybe he should suffer for a while. Keeps him quiet.”
“Where is he anyway?”
“Saw a store back there sellin’ nothin’ but books. We won’t see him for days.”
“Should I shoot him or hit him on the head with something?”
“He went off a cliff last time, right?”
“Hmm. Shoot him. Or maybe he could tangle with another mountain lion; one that leaves really old tracks.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
“Do I get the girl?”
Maz looked at him over her reading glasses. Kid swallowed. Sheesh he was only asking.
“I’ll take that as a no.”
The girl in the green apron arrived with their coffees and muffins. She smiled at Kid as she placed them on the table and he winked at her. Maz kicked him in the shin.
“I only winked at her.”
Maz fixed him with a gaze.
“Drink your coffee before I let Elizabeth Darkly finally have her way with you.”
Kid looked horrified.
“Don’t tempt me, Kid. Don’t tempt me.”