Fire hydrant


Lydia spun around on the heel of one foot laying the order ticket of the young girl on the counter behind her.

"One caramel macchiato with oat milk," she said reaching into the fridge. She brought out a large tetrapak of plant milk before turning back to the queue of customers.

"What can I get for you, Sir?"

The eyes of the man flicked to the menu behind her head, scanning the options one by one. His skin was pitted and rough.

"A large cappuccino," he said. "Please."

"One large cappuccino. Anything else for you today?"

The man shook his head his toupee slipping a little to the side. He patted it with his hand pushing it back into place with his fingers. He patted it again and cleared his throat. A flush of pale pink seeped across his cheeks. Lydia smiled at the man. She waited as he fumbled in his coin purse for change. He counted out three pounds and seventy-five pence in careful amounts of twenty pence pieces. When he'd finished Lydia picked up each coin counting as she went.

"Great, thank you. And that's five pence change. Your drink will be at the end."

The man lifted his shoulders in a shrug as he walked forward. Maureen sidled over to Lydia whispering in her ear.

"He's a creep. Have you seen his hair? I don't know why you serve him."

Lydia frowned. She caught the eye of the man and smiled.

A brisk sharp breeze blew in as the door opened. Outside a man tried to grab at his hat but the wind caught the brim and tossed it into the cafe through the open door along with a small collection of crisp brown leaves.

The man bent down to pick up the hat lying on the floor of the cafe. Another gust of wind made his toupee quiver. The man stood up with a start and knocked hot coffee out of the hand of the young girl standing in front of him. The door slammed shut and the man began to mop at the spilt coffee with the hat he gripped in his hand.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.