Mac’s Diner at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue in Parkerville served two functions. First, it served the best waffles within a thousand miles. Second, it was the town’s unofficial meeting hall. The mayor rubbed elbows with the baker, the pastor gossiped with the post master; all within the confines of red cushioned booths.
That restaurant was typically full of laughter brought on by inside jokes that had been repeated a thousand times before.
Not this day. Outside, a flag sat at half mast. Inside, diners ate in silence, unable to speak. One of their own had fallen, and no one knew what to do about it. Aside from taking solace in buttered waffles.
Chimes at the door alerted patrons that a new comer had arrived. Forks were dropped and heads turned to see who the new diner was; most were disappointed to see who it was.
“Oh, alright,” said Jenkins Brown as he watched a dozen faces turn away from him, “I get it. You all miss our town’s great thane. Blame me all you want. I don’t regret a thing.” Silverware against porcelain was the only sound given in response.
Chimes sounded once more. Jenkins skipped the waffles.