Mary shambled into the Word-of-the-Day Café. Her walk was a grumpy affectation. She felt fine, but she resented being expected to haul herself all the way into town over the mayor’s failures.
“Mary,” Jonas greeted her warmly, even enthusiastically, ignoring glares from the rest of the congregants who had been waiting for up to a half an hour and who considered themselves Very Busy Individuals.
Mary also ignored the assembled crowd, although she belted out an announcement to Jonas plenty loud enough for them to hear. “I’d like to make it clear that I am here under protest.”
“I’m aware of that, my dear. I took the liberty of adding your protest to the agenda.” As he flickered his eyes at Heather, who was seated at the expanse of tables that formed a makeshift dais. She expertly snatched a piece of paper from a wide spread of them and brought it to Jonas. “You see?” he explained, holding out the agenda for Mary to see. “Your protest was noted, and your motivations sympathized with, and we agreed to express our heartiest thanks to you for attending anyway.”
“I didn’t realize the meeting would start without me.”
“And never would it,” Jonas assured her. “I simply hope to be able to facilitate the process. If you care for refreshments, I’ve ordered a vegan pizza.” Again on cue, Heather wordlessly but cheerfully delivered a plate with two slices. Her smile didn’t fade even though Mary declined to take the burden from her; she even kept her grin as Jonas took a slice and inserted it into Mary’s mouth. Mary chewed twice, made a face, and spat it out on Heather’s forehead.
“Goddess, that’s disgusting,” she declared.
“Of course it is,” Jonas replied. “It’s vegan pizza.”
“Wayne used to make a delicious vegan pizza.”
Jonas cut her off. “Yes, but Wayne never worked here. Shall we?”
Quickie lunchtime post today. This exchange will happen well into The Clean Hippie Murders, sometime after there have been enough murders to be clearly plural and when the town is meeting to determine what to do.