Fish Hooks Cafe

Kath is an MFA student at Brigham Young University studying fiction. She loves all things romance. You can find her on Twitter at @kath_richards_

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction
A rainy weekend was a rarity in Clarence. For most of the year, the sun was relentless in its barrage on the town, reflecting off the green surface of the man-made lake and the otherwise arid landscape. By this time of day, Sadie, halfway through her shift at Fish Hooks Cafe, would usually be reaching over chattering customers’ heads to pull the cords to release the blinds—sorry about that, ‘scuse me, let’s get that damn light out of your eye.
Today, though, the sun was eaten up by the gray clouds that blanketed the sky and the restaurant was filled only with the humming of appliances and the crooning of Glen Campbell from the stereo.
The lake beyond the cafe’s large front windows was mostly empty of passing boats, save for a few locals that were glad to have some quiet, even if they needed a coat and hat. With her extra time, Sadie worked on scrubbing a long-time sticky spot on the cafe’s formica counter-top.
“Why do people even come to this town?” her coworker Megan asked on a sigh.
Sadie looked up from the fruitless scrubbing.
When Megan didn’t say anything else, Sadie cleared her throat, realizing that the question wasn’t rhetorical. Most of Megan’s questions were rhetorical.
“Well,” Sadie started, throwing the towel back into her bussing bucket, “if the decor is any indicator, I would say they come to this town because they like fishing.”
Megan huffed and leaned both elbows on the counter behind her. She looked every bit as confident and apathetic as she had in high school. They’d despised each other then. Sadie was too smart, Megan too cruel, and the pair of them were always arguing about something, but here they were now. Both working at Fish Hooks five years later.
The fight had gone out of both of them. Maybe it was all the hours they had to spend together, the forced proximity of this town, the fact that despite leaving this place in a flurry of sports scholarships and anticipated success, Megan still wound up back in Clarence and Sadie never said a thing about it.