27 February 2015
The Strange Diner
As Kendran lifted the hood, steam came hissing in a great cloud. Even through the haze, he could easily make out the huge, black crack in his radiator. The smell of half-burned engine oil filled his nostrils. Silently, he returned to the driver’s seat, gathered his few belongings, and began walking down the road.
The sun poured down on his heat stricken face, making his dark complexion take a reddish glow. The heat was extreme, and it probably didn’t help that he was in the desert. No matter how difficult his journey proved to be, Kendran knew that he had to make it. He had come too far to quit now. Try to look at the bright side, he told himself sarcastically.
His spirit soon lit up as he saw a rundown diner called “Paula and Edie’s” just a mile up ahead. He walked as rapidly as his weak body permitted him. Every second proved itself to be a struggle for him to keep standing. His legs were shaking and his dry mouth thirsted for just a sip of cool water. As he found himself in the entrance of the gas station, his knees buckled and the last thing he felt was a hard impact as he fainted onto the hard tile.
His eyes slowly opened as his head was in extreme pain, it was almost like someone had taken a hammer and drilled it into his brain. His mind was throbbing as he tried to make out the surroundings around him. There was a rather large and elderly woman to his right with a very concerned expression. She wore a pink dress with a white apron, which seemed to be some sort of waitress uniform. Also, in that direction, was a tough looking guy, probably in his thirties,
wearing a flannel shirt and faded jeans. Painfully, Kendran turned his head to face the left. There was another man who looked to be in his mid-forties. He had a small beard and was slightly overweight. Right next him was a young girl with a loose ponytail and she was wearing the same attire as the elderly women. Each of these individuals were glancing down at him with worried and hesitant looks, which was completely understandable as he did just burst through the doors and faint.
The old women spoke with a soft voice, “You okay, honey?’ Not comprehending his current situation, Kendran quickly tried to get up from the table, which they had apparently placed him on, while he was unconscious. Seeing this painful effort, the man in the flannel helped Kendran onto his feet. “You guys got water?” Kendran asked, obviously not trying to sound elegant. The old woman hurriedly ran towards the kitchen and disappeared.
The man in his thirties seated Kendran in a surprisingly comfortable chair while everyone else, obviously disinterested, minded their own business, “So, what’s your name?” the man asked. Kendran hesitated, unsure of what he should say, What if I’m already on the news, he thought, Naw, they probably don’t care enough. “Kendran,” he stated. “Not too many Kendrans around here,” he said with a smile, showing off his good nature, “Mines John, so…what exactly is going on with you? It’s not every day we see a new face around here, especially not one who collapses right when he arrives.” The waitress arrived and placed a glass of water on the table.
Without saying a word, Kendran grasped the cup and chugged down the cold liquid. “Well, I might as well leave the whole jug,” she said laughing.
After sufficing his thirst with water, Kendran asked, “Hey, there a bathroom ‘round here?” “Yeah,” John replied, “Over there.” Kendran walked in the direction in which he had
been given. When he entered, he looked at his face in the mirror. Man I am a mess! Kendran’s lips were completely chapped and dry. They were peeling some blood was dripping from his mouth. His face and clothes were also covered in red dirt and his long, dark hair was a jumbled mess. Plainly, he looked gross, and even Kendran was disturbed by his own appearance.
Embarrassed that others had seen him this way, Kendran sprayed some water over his face, cleared out the