Prompt Four

Man writing a check“She was a fat woman whose eating habits were dainty. There was a check for $13,612 in her purse, not made out to her, but, you know. She was good at figuring things out. Start with her hair.”

Her long brown hair was fixed high on her head in a messy bun. A few strands had fallen loose and now framed her round face. She wore a grey V-neck tee that barely covered her stomach, tight jeans with the button threatening to pop off at any moment, and grey New Balance sneakers. In one hand she held her purse close to her body and in the other a fork. She lifted another mouthful of salad to her lips and chewed slowly as her blue eyes scanned the café. She was supposed to meet someone there at noon but it was already 12:30. She did not even know what the guy looked like. All her boyfriend had told her was to deliver an envelope to a man who introduced himself as “Mac.” She had never seen her boyfriend act so strangely and wondered why he could not just meet “Mac” himself.

“It’s against the rules, babe,” he had told her, sliding an unaddressed envelope across the dinner table. “Just do this for me. Please?”

She had agreed but not without sneaking a peek at the envelope’s contents after her boyfriend went to bed. What was inside nearly made her pass out. A check for $13,612?! She and her boyfriend could barely afford rent. Where had he gotten so much money?

She tightened her grip on her purse, double-checking it was still in her possession. Where was “Mac”? She took another bite of her salad and looked at the front door when the bells hanging on it chimed. Stepping into the café was a tall, skinny man wearing a long black trench coat, a black fedora, and sunglasses. He looked around before meeting her gaze and walking in her direction. “Mac,” he said, looming over her. “You must be Mandy.” She nodded nervously and glanced around the café, taking note that everyone was staring at them. “I believe you have something for me.”

She returned her attention to “Mac” and nodded once more as she reached into her purse for the envelope. Her fingers closed around the paper but she hesitated. “What is this for?” she asked, finding her voice again.

“Your boyfriend owes my employer money and I’ve come to collect.”

“Who’s your employer? Why didn’t Eric tell me he owed someone so much money?”

“Mac” gave an exasperated sigh and held out his hand. “Listen, lady, I don’t have time for this. Just give me the goods and you can ask your man yourself.” Mandy frowned but pulled out the envelope. “Mac” immediately snatched it from her, removed his hat with a nod, and exited the café.

Mandy stared at the door, feeling everyone’s eyes still on her. Slowly she pushed back her chair, dumped the remains of her salad into the trash, and walked out. Eric was going to have a lot of explaining to do when he was done with work.


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