Au Péché Mignon

[Editor’s note: The author was afflicted at the time of writing with a pinched radial nerve, which has led to chronic pain in his right hand. As a result, he has left off his normal florid prose to write in the concise ‘telegraphic prose’ of the young Earnest Hemingway. We apologise for the inconvenience.]

[Editor’s other note: Originally posted in October, 2005. Copied to the Scriptorum because the author [sic] thinks it’s worth keeping.]

The café is a clean, well shaded place. The kind of place a man appreciates once he’s lived long enough to appreciate good, honest coffee. The kind of coffee picked by hand by the good, honest people of Tanna.

The cafe is named Au Péché Mignon. The man likes to call it the little sin. The kind of sin worth living for. The kind of sin people forget about when they are searching for something to die for. It is a good sin, the little sin. An honest sin.

The waitresses are both named Marie. They stand together at the end of their shift, waiting for the man to leave. Their dark faces take on a copper hue as the sun sets over the bay.

Marie, the younger one, says, ‘There he is. Just like yesterday.’

‘And every day,’ says Marie, the older one.

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