Edward Wayland – The Road Back 3

Edward’s return to work was a failure. Not only is he not needed, he is regarded as unreliable. His chances of a proper position in London have disappeared. Even in freedom, Smith continues to control him. In the absence of choice, Edward decides a cup of coffee might taste good.

Author’s note

How does one recover from the shattering of a dream? Does one retreat into the world of addiction? Does one brush off the lapels and move forward with a stiff upper lip? Is there a third option?

Special thanks to Nima Aghdaii for listening, taking an interesting and helping me greatly.

Look for more about Edward on Tuesday

The Best Coffee in the Galaxy

He stumbled to the street and tried to compose himself. He thought of number sequences which had always helped before. Be he had used those on the Isle of Skilly while Smith was working on him. The comfort of the numbers was lost. He headed to an alleyway and ducked in. The emotion rolled over him like a wave. Even in his freedom, Smith continued to take things from him. He sat against the sooted brick wall heaving sobs. He had nowhere to go anymore – his unreliable nature was now surely the talk of every reputable firm on London and in society circles.  He closed his eyes and drew shuddering breaths trying to calm himself.  He now understood the draw of opium dens. It would be nice at the moment to feel good or at least feel nothing. He pulled out a slip of paper with a shaking hand and found the address of “Du univers meilleur café, thé et pâtisseries[1].  As with all the best engineering firms, Chapman, Bressey and Dent was situated close to the University and so he walked in the direction of University Street.

The café door opened with the tinkling of bells he remembered from his University days only a year ago.  At the counter the proprietress stared at him for a moment and then said, “Mr. Wayland! What a pleasant surprise. A cup of tea? If I remember correctly.”

Edward stood for a moment and then said, “I have been told by a reliable source that you may have the best espresso in the galaxy. It seems bold, but she was quite certain.”

The proprietress said, “Very few in this town know coffee. Fewer still know the galaxy well enough to back that claim. But I like to believe it is that good. Certainly the croissants are.”

Edward smiled weakly and said, “Oh I think Millicent might have the necessary experience to back your claim. Anyway, I …I just need to think a bit. I’ll take whatever is good at that table by the window.”

The proprietress brightened and said, “If Millicent sent you, the first one is free. And my name is Abigail.” She held out her hand to shake. He looked at it, shook and said,” Edward…Edward Wayland…but then you knew that…sorry…just a bit scattered this morning.”

Abigail said, “I’ll make a double shot of cappuccino and that will wake you up. “ She moved to the barista and started preparations.

[1] The Best Coffee, Tea, and Pastries, in the Universe


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