Whit – Chill (excerpt 1)

Whit Laumond held the door open for each of her four children. Those inside the neighborhood cafe and nearest the door sat and stood with cups of coffee warming their hands.

The cafe was full.

The chill of the morning shot through the door as if that air knew seconds provided the chance to curse the warmth inside. The people understood and even sympathized with the young woman holding the door open, but they mostly wished she’d hurry all them kids of her’s along and shut the damn door.

“Close the door,” a man said. He said it loud. Everyone heard. Whit ushered her kids in just the same.

In the cafe there were small round tables and even more small chairs and a few more people than chairs. Those who stood mimicked those who sat.

The floor added to the roasted aroma an undertone of settled wood and verbally protested each foot on its planks. The windows stretched off the irritable floor to touch the metal ceiling tiles and lined the wall like crooked pictures. Fragments of Mahogany mended the broken pieces of the building together like strong old bones. Whit noticed the layers of old but also that the people trusted the structure of this place. She trusted them. She used to be one of them–a child of the south and, specifically, of the beloved New Orleans.

Inside these walls, it was warm like spring and indeed bloomed beautiful things. Even so, Whit could feel a draft and pulled her coat tight.