Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fiction: Yes Captain


         Nora watched him get ready for the day through a crack in the doorway. Everything he needed for the day was laid out on the glass top of his bureau—tie, glasses, watch, cufflinks, phone, wallet. He put each one to use, working left to right. He didn't hurry, but wasted no time. She had never known a man who took such care getting dressed. She stiffled a giggle and wondered if he put his accessories away right to left.
         When he was nearly finished, Nora hurried down to the kitchen. She had already set the table with his Wall Street Journal folded in thirds on top of his New York Times, which was folded in half. She placed an ironed linen napkin to the left of his bone china cup, ready to be filled with black French-pressed coffee when he sat down.
         One her first day, Nora let his egg cook for twenty seconds longer than necessary. He noticed and without raising his voice, made it clear that three minutes was his expectation and she would follow his instructions to the letter from then on. She did. His needs were no more than anyone else she had ever worked for, just more specific. Her pay, however, was the best it had ever been—well worth meeting his exacting standards.
         Nora brought out his breakfast tray with his (perfect three minute) egg and his one-cup serving of Capt'n Crunch in milk. It was the one glimmer of whimsy in his otherwise severe existence. He nodded in acknowledgement and opened the Times and Nora returned to the kitchen. Moments later she heard the china cup clatter in its saucer and the chair legs scraping the hardwood floor. When she looked, he was gone.
         The newspaper lay on the floor. A photo on the front page showed an shapely blond wearing a slinky dress and high black boots. The headline read, “Espionage Suspect Flees to Cuba”.

        I'm linking up this week with the Trifecta challenge which offered the word "crack" as our prompt and with Write at the Merge which gave us a wonderful photograph of men's accessories and the iconic Nancy Sinatra song, "These Boots were Made for Walkin'" for inspiration.