Chapter 25 of The Empty City

By Andrew Looney

Maria stood in the kitchen of the Saturn Cafe, filling 400 ml beakers with ceetea, which was stored in gleaming chrome pots. She gazed through the porthole-like window of the kitchen door, out at the table around which The Four sat, out at Dave. She sighed.

She had gone to great lengths to be assigned to the waitress station that included the table at which The Four usually sat. She had managed to arrange her schedule so that she worked at the times they usually came in. Whenever she thought they might be there, she wore the most tantalizing and intriguing clothing that she could find. But Dave never seemed to notice her, except to ask her about the Android Sisters.

If she could just get him alone, she thought, away from those other guys, maybe she could get to know him better. Unfortunately, whenever she saw them, they were playing that stupid game. But what could she expect, she told herself, The Saturn Cafe was, among other things, a place for people to play Icehouse. What she really needed to do, she finally decided, was to find them somewhere other than the Cafe.

She looked out at their table again, and they were gone.

Copyright © 1991 by Andrew Looney.

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