Briley| The café, part 1

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"Dear Diary," Briley whispered, "how frustrating is this? It's nearly 4 'o' clock in the afternoon and I overslept." She stubbed her finger on her denim clad thigh as if she had a pen and was making a full stop. She whispered even more softly, leaning her forehead against the café window, "the man on the phone said to be here by 4 and to wait for the call. I don't know what that entails, but, if I want to move on to the inauguration I have to pass this task-whatever it is."

"So here I am," she said quietly, her lips barely moving, "sitting in the back of the café. This has to be my dairy entry for today. By the way, I had that freaky dream again--but...this time a woman was in it. I don't know what that means either. I don't know what any of this means."

For a moment she sat with her clenched fist on her knee. A small voice inside her was saying stop whining and get with the program. You've been chosen for the storm trails for a reason.

Briley took a deep breath and let it out through her nose. She tapped her fingers in an off beat staccato rhythm atop the glossy wooden table with the chipping edges. Frayed, just like her nerves.  She turned her Pokémon phone over and slid her index finger across it, illuminating the screen and the time popped up. 3:57pm. Almost.

Giggles to her left made her turn her head in the same direction. Two girls that looked like they'd dipped their hair in a gallon of peroxide then sprinkled themselves in just a dash of entitlement were openly eyeing Briley then proceeding to snicker behind their dainty hands.

Briley was well aware that she stood out among her peers, what with her long braided and beaded hair, pierced nose and eyebrows, her too dark clothes, her dramatic eyeliner smeared grey eyes and her affinity for boots--she basically looked like the personification of a Tim Burton character.

"Take a picture, it'll last longer," Briley called out and yanked the hood of her jacket over her head.

The girls just laughed some more and turned back to their gaggle of imbecilic friends, probably sipping some pumpkin spice nonsense.

"Bitches." Briley muttered, turning back to the window.

Just then the alarm went off on her phone, indicating that it was officially 4pm.

Electricity zinged up her spine and she sat up as her phone begun to ring.

Unknown Caller splayed across the screen.

Briley picked it up on the second ring, her throat dry as a desert all of a sudden.


"Good afternoon, Ms. Hinton! We are glad to see your dedication." The voice said breezily.

"Am I the only one being tested for my dedication?" Briley asked, her eyes bouncing around the emptying café as if a passerby would accidently pick up on the conversation. "I thought I was already in."

"You are indeed a finalist. This is a mini challenge just for you and one other contestant sited right outside the café. You may choose to not take it-and if that's the case then a car will take you to the inauguration where the others are...but if you do take the mini challenge and succeed, we will credit $1000 dollars to your account." The voice said, the tone light as day as if they were discussing the weather, and not what Briley guessed were illegal transactions.

"There's another finalist? Here? Now?" Briley made to stand up--

"Sit down, Ms Hinton." The voice demanded in a warning monotone, the friendliness from moments before gone. "All will be reviewed in due time. Now do you agree to take the challenge?"

An uneasy feeling infringed upon Briley, she tapped her fingers on the table. Raprap-tap-tap.

Jaw and resolve hardened Briley answered, "what do I have to do?"

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