Just a little something that I was typing up to get some writing exercise done. This is probably part one in a mini series. Enjoy! Critique is always appreciated.
Diana Winters was the Common Grounds Café’s new barista, and she apparently didn’t look like the type who could keep up with the daily onslaught of caffeine-deprived customers. At least, that was what her coworker Colin said when she showed up for her first shift.
“You don’t look like the type who can keep up with the daily onslaught of caffeine-deprived customers.” He snapped his gum between every word.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, glancing at her apron and slip-resistant shoes. “I’m wearing the uniform correctly, right?”
“It’s not the uniform.” Colin blew a large, pink bubble. It’s pop made Diana jump. “You look too… nice.”
He shrugged and angled his thin torso toward the front doors. Already there were silhouettes and shadows of people huddled in the dim lighting of the early autumn morning, all waiting for their first caffeine fix of the day. The opening manager, Michael, was slowly unlocking the doors. As he opened them, Diana heard Colin say, “You’ll see.”
Diana’s eyes widened as Michael was nearly crushed behind the door when the crowd surged over the threshold. Customers formed a loose line in front of Diana’s register and five of them began ordering at once. Colin tapped Diana’s arm, snapping her out of her stupor, as the customers cut each other off and began to grudgingly form a proper line.
The woman who won the honor of being first in line raised a thin drawn-on eyebrow at Diana. “Large skinny mocha latte with three extra shots of espresso.” A credit card was shoved in Diana’s face.
“Of course,” Diana said, her eyes glancing at her screen and touching the options to correspond with the woman’s order. Her register mirrored the order screen behind her, and she heard Colin moving around the containers of cups and flavored syrups to fulfill the order. “That’ll be six dollars and seventy-five—“
The woman dropped the credit card on the counter. “Whatever.”
Diana swiped the card through the register and the woman snatched it back. Before Diana could ask if the customer had wanted her receipt, the woman walked over to the end of the counter to wait for her drink, all while staring at her cell phone. Impressively, the woman didn’t bump into any tables or chairs.
“Medium mocha-caramel iced coffee, light on the ice.” A five-dollar bill and a couple of ones fluttered onto the counter. Diana hadn’t even caught a glimpse of the man’s face before he followed after the first customer to wait for his drink.
“Large French vanilla—“
“Um, please, hold on a minute,” Diana said to the third customer while she desperately tried to remember the second customer’s order to input it into the register. She ignored the man’s sigh and the nausea in her stomach as she hovered over the flavor options.
A larger hand deftly tapped the mocha button and the caramel syrup option, swiftly finishing the order. Colin snapped his gum again as he tossed out the receipt that had printed, and he grabbed the medium-sized cup to start processing the second order.
Diana took a deep breath and, with the words, “May I take your order?” ready on her lips, glanced up at the third customer. She blinked and stared at the translucent yellow wings protruding from the young man’s back.
“You ready yet?” the man asked.
“Oh, yes, I’m sorry,” Diana said. “Thank you for waiting—“
“Large French vanilla coffee, cream, extra sugar.”
Diana did her best to keep up with his rapid words, marveling at the sight of his wings. She snuck glances at him while he was waiting for his drink and, judging by the familiar nod that Colin and the customer exchanged, he was not a new customer to Common Grounds.
Although her mother warned her about getting a job in an establishment situated on the Dimensional Crossroads – for who knew what kind of strange creatures passed through the realms of time and space – this was precisely the reason as to why Diana joined the café’s team. Diana wanted to meet extraordinary folk, and Common Grounds was the place to do so. Nestled in the center of the Dimensional Crossroads, Common Grounds was where all sorts of people, races, and creatures stopped for a cup of coffee as they passed through the area.
After all, that was where Common Grounds Café had gotten its name.