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Cafe -- Fiction Writers Group Flash Fiction 6/26/2020

This week's 300-word flash fiction prompt reminded me of an old song. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to guess which one. Here is the prompt:


Brandelein opened early, as usual. The other businesses in the village waited until the tourists stirred from their beds, but she made a promise to herself ten years ago and she insisted on keeping that promise.

This day was another anniversary of the last time she saw him. Each day one summer, Brandelein unlocked her café to find him sitting quietly in the same chair, having seemingly materialized out of the mist. All summer, she served him the same breakfast: black coffee pressed at the table, a hot croissant, and her best homemade orange preserves.

It took a week to learn his name. Rather than being off-putting, she found his taciturn, thoughtful demeanor strangely attractive as it added a note of mystery to her otherwise mundane existence. Her hints at a relationship outside the café, though, were always met with a small smile and a slight shake of the head.

Then, one night he was sitting in his spot when she locked up to go home, alone as always. She stopped, speechless, but her surprise turned to hope, then anticipation when he stood and held out his hand. Transfixed, she took it and they strolled hand-in-hand to her apartment. When she awoke the next morning, he had vanished as mysteriously as he had appeared. But, spread on his pillow was a Spanish silver chain and locket. Inscribed inside was, “Wait for me.” And she had, for ten full years.

As she had each morning, her fingers found the locket suspended on its chain about her neck before placing the coffee press and fresh croissant on a tray. Her heart thumped in her chest as she crossed the café to the front window, afraid to look but also afraid not to. Setting the tray down, she drew back the curtain.

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