Altitude Adjustment

“Thank you, thank you,” Max repeated as he continued to shake her hand, “Now sit everyone, let’s have some food and drink!” he motioned to the open seats at the table. Max was clearly a native, but his accented English was pretty damn impeccable, Sam thought. 

Sam eyed the table with wary enthusiasm. The surroundings for their little lunch were luxuriant by her standards. There were smartly dressed Mokummers seated at the other tables drinking sophisticated wines and beers. The corner café across the street from which the waiters and waitresses darted like ants looked sanguine amid the drab shops that flanked it on either side. They’d be sitting near the abutment of a bridge under which boats meandered and over which bicycles whizzed. The table sat betwixt another table and a scrappy elm tree, which had burst through the cobblestone path.  

There was just one tiny issue that tugged at Sam—the table seemed perilously close the edge of the canal. If one was to shift his (or her) chair a bit too far the wrong way, there was no barrier whatsoever preventing him (or her) from plunging into the water. She noticed that Max was sitting on the canal side, she vowed to sit next to him, one chair removed from the canal. 

But before she could commandeer her preferred chair, Sid pulled out the chair across from Max and motioned with his hand, “The lady gets the view.” 

She smiled nervously at him and sat down. 

All the men nodded in approval. 

She briefly peered over the edge at a boat moored below them, then quickly fixed her eyes on Max, who was directly across from her. He’probably and expert at not falling into canals, she thought. 


Excerpt from All or Nothing Girl, the forthcoming novella from Blake Charles Donley

 

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