So, just cream, right? : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine

So, just cream, right?

fiction by Marc Munroe Dion

Jack Dupont, in khaki pants and a hairy gray tweed sport coat, was waiting patiently to give his coffee order. His red-and-green plaid wool necktie was pulled tight until not a sliver of fabric showed between tie knot and freshly shaven neck, and his shoes were shined until they caught the light. It was the week before Christmas in Mill River, Mass., the collapsing former factory town where Dupont worked as a newspaper reporter.
“I’ll have a large half-decaf hazelnut iced vanilla swirl with an espresso shot, whipped cream and six sugars. Melt the sugar,” the woman in front of him said, hitching at the New England Patriots pajama pants she was wearing.
The clerk, whose nametag said she was “Tyais,” made the woman’s coffee, fast.
And Dupont, who had spent the morning in court, shuffled forward.
“Small black, no sugar,” he said.
“So, just cream, right?” Tyais said to him.
Thirty minutes later, Dupont was walking into the newsroom of the Mill River Standard Times, a 127-year-old daily newspaper that had once run a headline reading, “Only Rain Can End Drought.”
Dupont had spent the morning covering the arraignment of Mill River City Councilor Ray LeDoux, who had been caught with six illegal poker machines in the back room of a seven-stool diner he owned.
“I dunno,” LeDoux had told Dupont, when asked where he got the machines. “Some guy came around, sold ’em to me.”
“Why don’t you just say you found ’em in the street?” Dupont said to LeDoux, walking away, tucking his notebook in the back pocket of his khakis and reaching into the inside pocket of his gray tweed sport coat for a half-smoked bulldog pipe.
Dupont wrote the story with the unlit pipe in his mouth. As soon as he had written the first paragraph, he sent it to the online editor for posting on the paper’s cluttered, ad-riddled, slow-to-load website. Then he tweeted the first paragraph and posted it on a Facebook page the paper required him to have.

Read the rest of the story by subscribing to Pipes and tobaccos magazine or the online digital edition.

Tags: ,

Category: Other Stories, Winter 2015

About cstanion: View author profile.

Comments are closed.