Writer's Revenge

The coffee shop was a cacophony of noise and smell. Fresh baked pastries and burnt coffee. Small talk and blenders, stirred with the hissing of poured espresso and steamed milk. One wall was made of windows and low tables. A writer's workshop, with enough constancies of noise and things to be distracting but not so much that it couldn't be drowned out with a strong enough story.

It was here that I was writing. People filtered out until it was me and an empty, white, porcelain mug with coffee stains. I wrote. I loved and hated deadlines because they spurned me on when I felt no motivation, always the tension of the imperfections I would have loved to fix. When all was done being said, the sense of accomplishment was strong.

An old man sat down across from me; scowl permanently affixed to his visage.

I tried to smile at him, but no luck.

He growled, “Are you a writer?”

I looked down at my paper and at my pen and then explained, “Actually I'm a bad painter...so I just write about the paintings I want to paint.” He forgot his scowl, but only for a moment, “And impertinent! What do you write?” “Stories.” “Real stories or fake stories.” “Some of both.” “What do you write more of?” “Fake stories.” “Do you know what I think about writers like you?” “I bet you'll tell me.” “You are the most narcissistic kind of person.” “Oh?” I put my pen down and crossed one knee over the other. “I'm narcissistic?” “Yeah. You make up crap out of your head and just expect everyone to read it. And if people don't like your fake stories, your feelings get hurt.” “Hmm. I guess I could see your point. But at this time, I'm not taking stranger's opinions. I'll file yours away though and see if there's a time when I'm more interested. I can notify you at that time if you like.” “You're an idiot.” “No. I think you are, and do you know what I'm going to do about it?” “Nothing. You're going to do nothing,” he said crossing his arms. “Nope. Guess again.” His face changed from an angry scowl to a thoughtful one. “Throw your coffee at me?” “Nope, it's empty. But worse than that.” “I give up.” I leaned down, pulled my pen out and started writing, “I'm going to write a story,” I whispered. “What are you writing?” He asked and got up, hobbling over to my table. “About you.” “Well, that's good.” “Yeah, except it's fake story.” “What! No! Gimme that!” He was close enough to try to grab my paper from me but I was too quick. “And guess what else? I'm going to make you old and have a cane. And you're going to have an ugly scowl on your face!” “But that's not true at all!” He said, as he alternated from trying to catch me to using his cane to hit me. “This is a fake story, and you can't see your face. It's quite ugly.” “Come here you whippersnapper.” He said as he started to chase me around the coffee shop. The barista momentarily looked up from her texting and then aggressively ignored us.

“And I'm going to make you say things like whippersnapper and you'll get tired out after a minute of chasing me. And you'll be fat!” I spat at him. “And I'm going to use words like constancies and cacophony!” “Those aren't even words! Give me that paper! I try to take very good care of myself.” He said, wheezing, while putting most of his gargantuan weight on his cane. I still evaded him and said pointing to my head, “The story's up here! And they are words, they're just archaic.” “Wait, wait. This is America! I'll sue you!” “For what?” “Libel! Defamation! And things like it!” “You can't. I won't use your name, which is? “Cecil Fatbottom. And you?” “Did you say Cecil Fatbottom?” I asked writing it down. “No! Is that what you're writing! Argh!” He shouted in frustration. “I'll sue you! Watch me.” He said, proudly, sticking his chest out. “Actually I'm going to do something worse than all of that.” “What,” he said, sitting down, “Could possibly be worse than writing a story about me like that?” “I'm going to post in on my blog.” “Aiiee!” He screamed and shifted his weight enough that he fell on his back, and he wiggled his arms and legs like an overturned dung beetle. “Do you want to know the worst thing that I'm going to do?” I asked. He shook his head 'no,' looking for mercy where there was none. “I'm going to give the story a terrible ending. It's just going to—