“Year that trembled and reel’d beneath me.” Walt Whitman
Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our word prompt is nasty, an unappetizing word if you ask me. My six year old Snickerdoodle used it recently in describing something, and I said, “Can you think of another word for that?” He substituted disgusting. Now I’d like to do the same, but unfortunately nasty is our word prompt this week. Woe is me. Anyway, today’s snippet is from a paranormal vintage romance set in the 1950s. Last week you met the heroine, Hannah Ross. Today you get introduced to the hero, Tate Larkin. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.
Blasting its farewell whistle, the train chugged down the tracks, around the curve marking the edge of town, and out of sight. Brushing rock dust from his nose, Tate tossed the duffel bag over his shoulder and headed across the brick roadway. The sign on the window of the Main Street Café boasted Real Home Cooking. A meal would hit the spot, and he needed black coffee in the worst way.
A man in a short sleeve shirt stepped out of the post office, off the sidewalk, and headed toward a pole where a mail sack hung on a hook. His friendly eyes flicked up and down and then met Tate’s. “Welcome home, son.”
Startled for a moment at the wording, Tate realized the man spoke in general terms. There was no way he could know Tate’s identity or that he had lived in this town as a kid. He nodded. “Thank you, sir.” He glanced down the row of old buildings. Everything looked about the same as he remembered– post office, dry goods store, and down on the end, the drugstore and two story hotel.
The front door jingled as he opened it. The café sported square tables and a low counter with squat stools covered with bright red seats. Tantalizing aromas met him at the front door and hugged around him like old memories. The place was over half full, with more diners coming in as the lunch hour approached. The door jingled again twice before he made it to a stool. Plunking his duffel on the floor, Tate gave the hand chalked wall menu a run down. It bragged that today’s special was the best chicken and rice perleau ever tasted.
He warmed to the smile of the well-seasoned waitress. “Welcome, soldier. Can I get you some coffee?”
“Thanks. You sure can.” He turned over the sturdy white cup, placing it upright on the saucer.
Her name tag said Meg. She poured the dark, aromatic liquid. “I saw you get off the train. Back from overseas?”
“Nasty business over there. You look like you could use something good from the kitchen.”
I hope you enjoyed reading how Tate Larkin rolled into town. Thanks so much for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.