28 Nov

Grenshaw and the Monster 6

Grenshaw didn’t sleep well that night. He was a little anxious about stopping at the Marigold Café in the morning to deliver the plastic mug. And since he hadn’t heard from Tommy after their little meeting the previous day, he didn’t know what to expect when he got to the café.

He got up, perused the place for mice, gathered his things, and left.

Traffic was light, as usual; it was early enough that the air was relatively free of floating ads, and the city was quiet. Grenshaw used to love the early morning hours. He remembered once when his father had taken him down to the water to watch the sun rise over the far shore and cast its light upon the skyline. “Each day brings a new decision,” he had said. That was right before the Revolution.

Funny. Grenshaw hadn’t thought of that day for 20 years.

As he was searching his mind for more details of that strange morning long ago, he turned onto 3rd Avenue. Up ahead, he could see the café, and as he got closer, he could make out a small figure in blue walking away from the small diner. It was the same individual he’d seen at the antiques shop.

He accelerated toward the place, hoping to catch up to the mysterious creature, who had turned a corner, out of sight. He sped right past the Marigold towards the intersection, but he could see nothing when he peered down the alley.

Grenshaw doubled back toward the café and hopped off his bike. “Were you just talking to that person in blue?”

The chef squinted at him. “Oh, mornin’, chief,” he smiled. “I knew you’d be back.”

“I’m sorry. Impolite of me. Good morning.”

“You’re referring to the little guy?”

“Yes.”

“Calls himself Troll. He was a bit upset.”

“Troll?” Strange name, Grenshaw thought.

“Yep.”

“And why was he upset?”

“Well, I used to get my orange juice from him, but now I’m gettin’ it from some other company.”

“He was your supplier?”

“Supplier,” the chef repeated. “Is that what a supplier is?”

“Yes.”

The chef looked like he was figuring something out. “Say, chief, you know a lot about this kind of stuff. What is it you do?”

“Um.” Grenshaw wasn’t sure if he should be revealing his identity as the Marigold Café’s new supplier. “My father worked in plastics.”

“That so?”

“Oh, speaking of which” – Grenshaw got out the plastic mug, happy to change the subject – “here’s a replacement mug for the one you gave me yesterday.”

“Well how about that.” The chef held up the plastic relic. “That’s real nice, chief. Say, you want another orange juice today? Price reduced.”

“Price reduced?”

“Yep. I like to pass the savings on to the customers, you know?”

Grenshaw furrowed his brow.

“Not the way your pa would have run things, is it?”

Grenshaw didn’t answer.

to be continued . . .

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