Heat traveled through the chipped cup, and into her cold hands. Black limp hair hung around Viktoria’s face hiding her features. She lifted the cup to her cracked lips. Gulping down the scalding liquid, Viktoria didn’t stop until every drop was gone.
Above her came the sound of gum popping. “Sugar, you want another cup of coffee?”
Viktoria head slowly rose to look up at the woman in her 50’s. The woman’s hair was a lovely vibrate Easter egg. The girl nodded and pushed her mug towards the edge of the table. Steam rose up from the mug as the black brew sloshed against the sides. Dragging the cup in front of her, Viktoria hovered over the cup ignoring the waitress. Viktoria sucked the coffee into her mouth through her teeth, and winched as it burned her taste buds. The coffee was black, and bitter from being brewed too long.
Gazes passed over Viktoria easily, never noting anything of circumstance. All around her was the signs of life. People talked among themselves while some of them devouring the food that came from behind the diner’s counter. The clock ticked down the hours, the minute hand finally making it 3:35 pm. A couple burst through the door, a woman with short spiky blonde hair and a man with short hair. The man was scarred from a severe chicken pocks. The woman was of medium build, with a happy-go lucky smile. The woman hung on the arm of the man. They laughed boisterously and wobbled on their feet as they dropped down into a booth.
Viktoria’s eyes followed the waitress who walked to the couple’s table. “Can I get you kids anything?”
The man’s arm wrapped around his companions jerked her up against him. “Heck yeah! We’re going to need coffee. I want steak cooked rare, and eggs. What do you want baby?”
The woman was laughing, and turned to kiss her companion’s cheek. “Coffee, with lots of sugar and cream. Oh, and a pancake stack.” The waitress nodded before walking off to give the order. The waitress returned placing cups in front of the couple, and pouring them a large helping of coffee. With a yellow smile, the waitress placed their food in front of them.
“Get you anything else, sugar?”
Viktoria’s head lifted from her empty cup of coffee, her eyes focusing on the name tag pinned the woman’s pink uniform. “Betty Joe, thank you.” Reaching out, Viktoria brushed her hand over the top of the waitresses. “But, I have everything I need…”
Betty Joe’s eyebrow lifted in confusion, her mouth hanging open the words hanging on her tongue.
A male voice shouted from the couples table, “HEY YOU! WAITRESS.”
Betty Joe turned away from Viktoria and stepped up to the table. “Can I help you sugar?”
“Yeah, what the heck is this shit?!” The man picked up his plate shoved it across the table at Betty Joe. “I thought I asked for rare. That ain’t rare. It’s freaking beef jerky. “ The man picked up the knife and stabbed his streak repeatedly.
Betty Joe said apologetically, “I’m sorry! I’ll get the cook to make another one for you.” Betty Joe stepped backwards, her foot landing on a plastic cup. The glass slammed forward forward hitting the woman in the knee. Betty Joe fell backwards her head slamming against the counter behind her. Betty Joe crumpled to the floor lying in a heap on the ground while blood oozed from the fatal wound on the back of her head. Viktoria wiggled out from the bench, and slipped her hands into her pocket. People moved forward hurrying towards Betty Joe’s body. “Someone call 911!” Easily, Viktoria moved around the group stepping out of the diner.
Betty Joe stepped you beside Viktoria. Her hands twisted around and around. The sound of her shoes squeaking as she hurried to catch up to Viktoria. “I’m dead, aren’t I?”
“Yes. You’re dead.”
Betty Joe stammering, “But…I…What are you?”
Viktoria turned to face the waitress, “What do you see?” Grey silver eyes gazed at Betty Joe, who starred off at the horizon.
A sigh of relief cascaded from Betty Joe’s lips, “It’s beautiful.” Betty Joe dropped her head looking down at herself. A transformation had taken place on the old woman. Her hair was long and cascaded down her back in a deep chestnut brown. Her wrinkles smoothed out, and the body that had been worn away by hardship and old age. “You’re an angel of death. Thank you. Thank you for taking me home.” Betty Joe took a step towards the image. “I’m….I’m going to sing now. I always wanted to sing.” Tears streamed down Betty Joe’s face, as she ran forward in her high heels towards the image of her heaven.
Viktoria’s eyes moved over Betty Joe’s heaven. “No. I’m no angel.” Bright lights flashed in big letters the name, Elizabeth Josephine. Jazz music came from the old Hollywood dance club. Betty Joe didn’t look back, as she slipped into the building, and once she did the heaven faded.
Viktoria shoved her hands deeper into her pocket, and stepped towards the road. She’d only stood there a few moments before a trucker pulled over. “Going my way?” Limp haired nodded up and down. Viktoria lifted herself up and slid into the cabin slamming the door shut. The onyx ring with its snake eating the stone reflected the light. Dark light cast a shadow on the bearded man sitting behind the wheel, illuminating the skeleton beneath the drivers face, and a clock counting down the minutes till his death.