“What can we brew for you today?” Lizzie asked with a friendly smile.
“Behold!” the customer cried, “though bitterness pours out in a flood, the frothing tide of plenty shall yet uplift the soul.”
“Whole milk latte,” Lizzie replied, entering the order into the register. “Anything else?”
“Know ye, all are born to covet and crave; only they that surrender avarice shall find true joy in life’s gifts.”
An understanding nod. “That will be $3.84.”
Caleb was a regular who spent a few days each week prophesying on the opposite corner of the intersection. He held out a five dollar bill saying, “The hand that offers coin and the hand that receives, both are servants to the hunger of profit.”
“You really can’t turn it off, can you?”
“Nay . . . er, no.”
She shrugged, holding out his change. “Your drink will be ready shortly.”
Coins scattered across the counter. Caleb gripped Lizzie’s wrist tightly. Eyes unfocused, voice haggard, he spoke. “Love hearkens on invisible wings. Truth spoken plainly cuts with a razor’s edge. Truth hidden is a not mercy but slow poison. Answer.”
The counter vibrated. Caleb collapsed. Someone screamed. Lizzie stood petrified, staring at her phone. Her boyfriend was calling.
* * *
Story by Gregory M. Fox