A PRIVATE CONVERSATION IN THE COFFEE SHOP
Without wasting a second, Phoebe walked the few steps to the coffee shop and pulled on the door. It was locked. The lights were on, and Sammy was cleaning the grill behind the counter. She rapped on the glass, and Ellie came into view and opened the door.
“Gotta talk to Sammy,” said Phoebe. “I’m glad you’re still here.” She walked over to the counter. “Hey Sammy, I need two minutes.”
“Shoot,” he said.
“You know, Sammy, sometimes I feel like I’m your partner, just in the way we do things, and what we’re trying to do.”
He stopped cleaning and turned to face her. “Go on, I’m listening.”
“Well, I need to talk over some things with you, but it’s a little sketchy where the information comes from.”
“I’ve got a couple of cups of coffee left,” Sammy replied. “Let’s sit down for this one.” He thanked Ellie and sent her home, and brought two mugs to a table. “I want to know,” he said, “about anything important to me, no matter where the information comes from.”
“Okay,” began Phoebe. “Here are a couple of questions. What if you knew that the police were going to inspect this place during Friday’s concert, looking for problems of all sorts. Maybe fire code violations, over-crowding, permits… whatever. How prepared would you be? Or maybe you’d like to cancel or postpone the concert to avoid a trap of some kind? What do you think?”
“Hmm…” He smiled at her. His old face looked pale and tired, but his eyes danced with interest. “Well! You’ve become a key player in a hurry. Wasn’t it just a month ago you had nothing to do? We’ve both done a few things since then…”
“I’m trying,” said Phoebe.
“All right then, let’s get down to business. It’s not as if I haven’t thought about these problems. This week alone I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on lighting and electricity. Some of that’s fire code stuff. And I know we were over capacity last week. Ninety-five people is all we’re allowed, and I’m sure we broke, oh… say a hundred and ten. Maybe we need staff on security detail for this concert. We could use your help.”
“Yes, I’m in,” replied Phoebe. “So… you aren’t interested in canceling or putting it off?”
“No, I’m not. I’m old. The only thing I fear is not doing my best these last years, and then regretting it when it’s too late. I’ve got nothing to lose except giving up. Let them defeat me, but I’m not going to crawl away without a fight. I know we could all do a much better job with this world, and there’s no other time to try than now. It’s all I’ve got.”
“Okay!” exclaimed Phoebe. “I’m in this with you. We’re partners, and right now I’ve got some suggestions. Call my Dad’s lawyer, Mr. Wyndaman. He lives over in Half Moon somewhere. Find out every little thing they could use to harass you.”
Sammy stared at her. “Now I’m getting a clearer picture. You mean some real enemies are going to try to shut us down, even to the point of framing us. Is that it?”
Phoebe looked him in the eye. “Yes,” she said.
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
A Private Conversation In The Coffee Shop illustration
by Carlos Uribe
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!