Excerpt from The Last Breakfast
An excerpt from the new novella from David S. Grant, "The Last Breakfast":
-Are you going to do it?
-I'm not sure, I tell Ordel as I watch the ants marching in the corner.
-It won't hurt as much as you'd think, says Ordel, looking over his shoulder past the sign that reads SALLY'S DINER WELCOMES ALL RACES at the two girls sitting at the counter.
The girls are giggling and talking about iguanas. One thinks they are Cute and the other thinks Diseased. Ordel is eavesdropping on the conversation, looks over at me and says Diseased. The girls hear Ordel and they look back at us (in our booth) and continue giggling.
Saul is sitting next to the girls.
Our waitress approaches and we both order pancakes and potatoes.
We both look over at the counter where Saul sits and watch as he lights up a cigarette.
-This is the best way, you know, says Ordel, then adds Sometimes it hurts., sometimes it doesn't. He looks back at the girls. One is wearing a red sweater and green scarf and is looking back and smiling at Ordel, who looks back at me and says Most of the time, she won't feel a thing if you do it quickly.
-Quickly, I repeat Ordel and then say I don't know.
A Ramones song begins playing. Ordel is tapping his foot to the beat and nodding his head, off-beat. Our food arrives. Ordel douses his pancakes with maple syrup and devours them as I pick at my potatoes.
-You know, I had to do it once, confesses Ordel.
-Really? I say without lifting my head, still picking at my potatoes.
-Yeah. She saw it coming and tried to stop it, but… Ordel tails off.
I give an understanding nod and then the light above Ordel burns out, casting a ghoulish shadow onto him.
-It's not just a pinch, you know? Confirms Ordel.
At the counter, Saul orders coffee. The two girls are still giggling and glancing back at our booth. The girl in the red sweater who is drinking iced tea is looking at Ordel. Next to her, the girl in an orange trench coat, eating a burrito covered with guacamole, is looking at me and grins as our eyes meet. I quickly look down at our table and then over at Saul, who is receiving a refill of coffee and lighting another cigarette.
A song comes on that sounds like either Jimmy Buffet or Neil Diamond, but much more recent. Ordel attempts to tap his foot, but he is unable. Squinting his eyes, Ordel looks up at me. What type of music do you call this?
-I'm not sure. I eat a piece of potato and then say (with the potato half chewed in my mouth) I think it's Rock.
Ordel pulls out a small prescription bottle filled with orange pills (the same color as the trench coat) from his front shirt pocket, opens the container, and dumps five into his hand. Placing the five pills on the table, Ordel strategically buries the pills into his pancakes and then covers them with more syrup. He notices me looking and points to his face, says For my eyes, and then says This sounds a lot like Country, to me.
I swallow. Maybe. It's very difficult to categorize music, today. Saul gets up from his stool and walks over to our booth.
-I say it's Country, says Ordel as Saul approaches and stands for a moment. Saul stands at our table looking out the window. Not knowing what to do, we stare outside also, trying to figure out what he's looking at. We both look up at Saul who is still staring straight ahead and then saying Might rain. He pulls out a pack of Merit cigarettes, lights one and says Looks like rain.
-Yeah, says Ordel (glancing over at me). We both look up at Saul.
Saul looks down at me and then at Ordel and says So?
Ordel nods. And then Saul nods.
Saul reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a nine-millimeter glock, placing it on our table top, in plain view. Ordel looks at me and then down at the gun, so I quickly grab it, holding it under the table for a moment. The gun feels cold and is very heavy. I place the gun into the front of my pants.
Saul looks down at Ordel, who pulls out his prescription bottle, places two pills in his hand, and hands them to Saul. Saul walks back to the counter where he asks for another refill, pops the pills, and then lights a cigarette.
Ordel continues to glance back at the girl in the red sweater and then asks me Do you think I'm shady?
-Shady? What do you mean? I ask, trying to shift the gun to the right side.
He pauses to pick at a fresh scar on his neck and continues I had a girl, last night. Well. Not had her. She was at a bar.
-Yeah? I say, not really paying attention, continuing to fiddle with the gun. For a split second, I almost accidentally grab the trigger and then the gun shifts over to the right.
-She wouldn't go home with me because she said I looked Shady. Ordel shakes his head in disbelief.
-What? I fake.
-I know. Ordel stops and looks over at the corner where the ants are marching, then says It's black, ghetto stereotype...
Ordel can't finish as he waves his hands in the air and then grabs a napkin from the table so he can wipe excess syrup off his face.
Out the window, I see a bar with a blinking Samuel Adams neon sign. A man dressed in black walks into the bar and I wonder what he's going to order. As I stare across the street, I contemplate going over and having a beer with the man. Maybe he can help sort everything out.
Ordel's darkened face looks at me and he asks, again So, are you going to do it?
The music ends and the girls are no longer giggling.
Everything stops for a moment.
Ordel looks at me with tear filled eyes and then his head comes crashing down on the table.
A song on the jukebox that may or may not be Country begins.
Then the ants continue marching.
-I'm not sure. I say to no one in particular.
In sparse, unsparing prose, THE LAST BREAKFAST details forty-eight hours in the life of a disaffected and utterly amoral man. His plan is simple: murder his unfaithful wife. The complications being with a botched drug deal, the shooting of several policemen, and an ill fated border crossing into Tijuana with his pill popping partner Ordel.
To order go to: http://shop.1asecure.com/prod.cfm?ProdID=310560&StID=7794
(order through this site and receive a FREE $5.00 Visa Giftcard)
For more information on David S. Grant's writing go to: http://www.davidsgrant.com