Through the Eyes of Madness Part One "Prologue"
By: David K. Montoya

A combination of soft chatter and the song Don't Stand So Close To Me echoed through a small poorly lit diner. A smell of coffee and freshly cooked bacon permeated though the building, which appeared to have been untouched since it was constructed in the 1950s. The old faded yellow walled seemed to glow as the neon lights that hung down illuminated them, but behind the counter was a newer—perhaps from the 1970s—stainless steel grill.

The night painted the windows black as a handful of local patrons sat in old worn red leather seats while each indulged in their early morning routines. For some it is as simple as a cup of coffee and the morning's newspaper, while for others if a full breakfast before being rushed off to a job they perhaps do not care very much for.

Many would had felt the day incomplete without their morning visit to the little diner.

Although the sunrise was still hours away, many people inside had already began their day which in turn had created a social hangout—many of today's people have Facebook or Twitter—but for the customers the diner was their equivalent to social media, where everyone knows your name employee or otherwise.

For Laura Graves, the relationship with her customers had become very personal over the years. After years of service, she knew each of their names, memorized their individual routines, and needs. This of course insured her a heft tip at the end of her service, but for her it was more a matter of pride. She was the best waitress there at the diner, and, she knew it.

Laura was the oldest of three girls, she was the first child that left home once she graduated high school. Shortly after she arrived in the city, the owner of the diner hired her for seasonal work, but had worked at the diner ever since.

At the time Laura didn't care what her career choice was, as long as it was not in the small country town were she came from. That was when she was eighteen, now in her mid-twenties, and worked the seven to three night shift. It was in order to allow her to have her days open for college classes so to find a better paying job.

"C'mon three o'clock," Laura mumbled to herself while she eyeballed a small metallic clock that hung over the ancient front counter.

The clock slowly ticked bye as the tired waitress made her rounds through the diner for the day. She cleaned each table, stacked the dishes on one arm and then, snatched up a tip with her other hand. After seven years of waitressing, it was more of an organized art form, then just running around multitasking.

As she began to wipe down her final table, she noticed a cold chill which whipped by her. "Someone must've left the door open again."

Laura glanced toward the door and saw a man walk into the diner. It was not one of her regulars, and he stood out, wearing nicer clothes than most of the people wore that went to visit there. So she decided to let another waitress serve him—after all, it was almost three o'clock—it wasn't her job to serve everyone that walked through the door.

With a few quick passes with a damp washcloth the old linoleum table top glistened, and was ready for the next patron's meal. Laura noticed as she turned away from the table that the man who walked in a few moments ago continued to wait for service, but looked away because she told her self she was tired and wanted to get some sleep before class at nine.

Laura walked away from the freshly cleaned table and headed toward the back to gather her things, as she did so her eyes unintentionally locked with the guy who waited to be served.

"Shit," Laura said under her breath. There was something about his eyes, they appeared to be gray and called out to her. They reminded her of beautiful eye of a wolf, and for a split moment she was lost to everything around her until that man smiled softly.

"I'm sorry, I did not mean to stare," Laura said with unease. She crossed over to where the man sat, and pulled out a pad nervously. "Can I take your order?"

The man fixed his gaze on her, at a closer look it was clear that his eyes were more of a light hazel then a gray, but still made her think of eyes of wolves. Tracy felt herself begin to slip away in his eyes, again, until he said: "No apologies necessary, my dear, I'm quite used to it by now."

His smile grew as he looked in the direction of her note pad, "I might be wrong in my assumption, but don't you need a pen to take my order?"

Laura glanced down at the note pad and noticed that there was no pen attached.

"Uh," was all Laura could utter while frantically she searched for her pen.

Without a word said, the man politely points to his head and in turn Laura raised her hand to the side of her head to find her missing pen.

"Oh." She stammered, removing the pen from her hair.

The man with the Hazel eyes chuckled.

"Okay then," Laura said as she adjusted her composure. "What can I get you?"

"Well, let me see," he said with his face buried in a menu, "What do you have that is vegetarian?"

"Around this place," Laura asked with a playful laugh.

The man with the Hazel eyes smiled once again and shrugged his shoulders.

"We have grilled cheese sandwiches," she thought aloud, "wait, do vegetarians eat cheese?"

"You're thinking of vegans. I myself enjoy a good creamy cheese. In fact, I think I'll have a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee," the Hazel eyed man said before he looked up from a menu.

"You got it, one grilled cheese and coffee coming up," she said flipping her note pad closed. Another thought struck her, "Oh. How do you want your coffee?"

"I got a feeling it's gonna be a long day, so let make it black."

"Got'cha. What do you do for a living... If you don't mind me asking?"

"I'm not really allowed to say, it's hush, hush, but let's just say I work with the public."

"Are you like a secret agent," Laura asked excitedly. "Like James Bond?"

"Well, I'm more like Batman, if I had to describe it," he said with an amuse chuckle.

"Okay, well, your secret is safe with me." She said. "Let me go get this cooking for ya."

"My thanks."

Laura carried a large smile as she walked back toward the counter. Normally, she was not so flirty, but it was something about the man with the Hazel eyes which struck her fancy. Perhaps it was his eyes, or perhaps it was because he was older—she always had a thing for older men.

"I need a hot gold on wheat and a cup of mud," she called out while placing the ticket on a spinner.

"Got it, Tracey." The Cook responded.

She looked up at the clock and it was five minutes until shift end. "Harry, can you have Roe serve up that order? I don't want to miss my bus home."

"No problem, Tracey, you have a good night." The Cook replied while flipping the grilled cheese sandwich on the steaming grill in front of him.

"Okay, thank you. I'll let him know that someone'll be serving him instead of me."

With that, Laura walked back over to the man with the Hazel eye, who she found thumbing through his smart phone. The waitress stood there and wondered about her current guest, what was his name, what did he do for a living, did he live far from there—those sort of things. At first, she did not bother to say anything, it was when he glanced up from his small screen that the silence was broken.

"How can I help you miss," he said with a click of his phone which powered off the screen.

Her cheeks turned red with embarrassment.

"Oh my gosh, I totally zoned out," Traced attempted to explain. "It's time for me to call it a day and go home and get some sleep... I feel like a moron."

The man with Hazel eyes gave her another smile, she could not tell if it was out of amusement or sympathy, Laura figured it was the ladder choice.

"Again, no need for apologies, my dear. At the end of my shift, I become quite zombiefied as well." He said. "Now was there something you were going to tell me before you got sidetracked, my dear?"

She felt her cheeks get warmer from what felt like never-ending embarrassment. "Yes, yes sir. My shift ends in a few minutes and one of the other waitresses will be completing your order."

"Well, that is a shame," the man said with a hint of disappointment in his voice. "Well, thank you for your excellent service."

He reached behind, grabbed his wallet and handed he a ten dollar bill. "Here you go my dear."

She stared at the ten dollar bill for a moment completely perplexed. "I don't understand?"

"You've done most of the work, why should the other lady get you tip." He explained.

"Thank you, that's very kind of you," Laura said while she placed the ten dollar bill in her pocket.

With that, the man temperately removed him self from the conversation as he folded up his wallet and placed it back in pants, once he was situated the man with Hazel eyes looked up with an endearing expression and said: "You deserved it, and sometimes good things happen to good people."

To Be continued...


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