aka The Frazzled Mom
Yearning for a bite to eat, Karl drove into the off the grid local town. There were three cars at the grocers and two at the tourist shop. It was a busy day. He took in a cleansing breath before entering the diner. The place was empty. He’d just missed the lunch rush, which usually consisted of the local sheriff and a couple of farmers from down the road.
Slipping into a booth, Karl waved for the waitress to take his order: Coffee, two sugars, one cream, and the blue plate special: scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. He leaned back and stretched. It had turned out to be an eventful morning. He was famished. Nothing like exerting one’s power to work up an appetite.
When the waitress returned with his coffee, he took in the sight. She was a plain-looking woman, with a natural beauty about her. Not to mention, she was friendly. He smiled.
“It is,” she said and smiled back. “Hey, don’t I know you?”
He chuckled and feigned embarrassment. “No doubt you know me from a television program—”
“No, that ain’t it. Oh, I know! You come in here with a young girl. Cute little thing. Is she your daughter?”
He held back a grimace. Daughter? How dare she. “Is my food ready yet? I’m starving.” His curt tone ended any pleasantries.
“I’ll go and check,” the waitress replied, in a bit of a huff at being blown off. When she returned, the plate hit the table with a loud slap. She’d made her displeasure known.
Karl had emptied his plate in minutes. Satisfied and full, he leaned back again, lost in thought. What was he going to do now? It irked him that he wasn’t recognized here. No one in this bloody town knew him at all. His eyebrow slowly raised.
“No one knows me. Not here,” he murmured to himself.
Patting down the front of his coat, he located and removed a folded and bent postcard. It announced the yearly Sci Fi convention coming up in the city. It was the one he attended most often. Where everyone loved him and received him with standing ovations. Those were his true fans.
He turned the card over in his hand. It’d been a year already? What was he going to do without
Crissa? He felt a twinge in his heart. An emptiness he desperately needed to fill. This time, he didn’t need his manager. He’d go it alone. More freedom that way.
With a growing smile, he tossed a ten-dollar bill on the table and headed to the car. The city was East of this small town. Not a long drive, but enough of a distance. Determined, he drove off in the direction of the rising sun.