Excerpt for Heartville's Menu by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Copyright © 2017 Smashwords, Inc. All rights reserved - Wolf Sherman. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronically, electrostatic magnetic tape or mechanically; including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author. Although this is a fictional work, some locations, organisations and events are factual. The characters and times in the story line are fictional - therefore, all resemblances to actual people present or past are purely coincidental.

Heartville's Menu



Synopsis



Café, Eatery or Bistro... On the whole, their brightly-lit, colourfully flashing 'welcome-signs' serve as modern samples of sometimes age-old delectable processes kept secret, to keep hungry choosy patrons returning for more, and as often as possible. No two are alike in character, and each one boasts the domination of generous portions of their delightful secretly guarded home-made gravies, choice selection of appetisers, and unforgettable tempting desserts. Whatever it is that magnetises us towards them, they just prepare it better... And of course, then there are the heart-warming hosts... the 'other' ingredient to a mouthwatering experience, that keeps us going back...

Prologue



While the blinding yellow-and-red pulsing neon signs were fast pulling peckish families away from the main road through Heartville, with their 'Two for the price of one' - 'Saturday Dinner Specials!' and 'Upsize Now - And Win! - A handful of starving locals and one or two peckish out-of-towners, who were 'just passing through', who were not the 'cheap franchised food in a box' - 'get a toy with your burger' - or 'just fried chips' - supporters. These connoisseurs, seldom bothered even a stare in the direction of these so-called modern dinnertime marvels. Actually, come to think of it, it was normally, much like tonight...

The day Before...



"Well they could do better. The place is worth nothing as it is".



*** *** ***



Earlier...



"What the hell was that!?" Victoria was rudely awakened from her slumber as the car swerved off the road onto the loosely gravelled shoulder of a sharp bend in road - and back into its lane again. Just in front of them - the bright red brake light of a motor cycle that almost scratched passed them; lit up. The rain was back - she noticed, and peppered the slow-driving vehicle's roof and windscreen faster than the hypnotic repetitive sweeping sound of the windscreen wipers could keep up with.



"Sorry for that. Stones that were flung up from the shoulder of the road. Sorry angel". John apologised, while shaking his head at the biker who just skimmed past the vehicle ahead.



"What?"



"Bloody biker! I had the hazard lights on for two kilometres to show him to slow down, then eventually pulled into the emergency lane to allow him to pass. Reckless devil! And that, in this weather..."



"Road Sign: Heartville's Diner 200 meters ahead".



"Mom... Dad... you're not serious...!? The ravenous and most annoyed 13-year old Bertrand twins exclaimed from the dimmer comfort of back seat, that had been blanketed in a blueish haze - as their mobile phones advertised their shocked expressions. Their luxurious rental SUV had just paused their holiday trip, by clicking its indicator as it slowed down. It unexpectedly pulled off from the saturated main road and onto the loose crackling gravel, which was indiscriminately spaded out to cover some deeper potholes, and had decorated the small unmarked dirt parking area. Ahead of them through the pouring rain, the vehicle lights touched down on what appeared a dire looking establishment. Even in the rain it was obvious that it could do with a bit more than mere TLC. A single faint globe hung precariously from a knotted extension cord - snaking tightly against the long peels of old paint that had divorced from the ceiling, and disappearing over the top frame of a window left ajar. The desperate dust-laden globe had been competing almost unsuccessfully with the dark, and in desperate morse-coded flickers - aided by a loose connection, attempted to light-up an unevenly screwed-down chalked sign, on a worn wooden post near the front door- "Heartville's Diner".




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