Wednesday, March 28, 2007
New Beginning 248
If days were trains, this one would have been lying on its side at the bottom of a ravine. If the old man holding up the line at Yuri’s checkpoint wouldn’t shut up and pay his fee, she thought, it’d take an act of God to stop her from shoving his frilly collar down his throat.
Morning sunlight peered through the cracks of the old checkpoint booth -- a cutaway shack the size of an outhouse, without the comfort of a seat. Yuri struggled to keep the semblance of a smile on her face as the queue built up to the horizon.
"That's forty percent more than last week!” The man glowered. “Does the dear king of the Aya need a new palace? Or perhaps one for his dog?"
"Sir: I have no influence over the pricing policy," Yuri mumbled. “Just like the last five times you complained.”
"Getting snippy with the customers, eh?" The old man sneered and then expertly disemboweled her. There'll be less of that, he thought, now that the king of the Aya has employed the services of the Guild of Ruthless Secret Shoppers.
Opening: Karen.....Continuation: Paul Penna