Eddy’s Diner sat on a hill top next to the highway about a mile from Marsfield, the only proper settlement on that stretch of land for over 200 miles. With the highway and the deep gorge of Mt. Curtin at the front and dense pine forests at the back, the diner seemed weirdly out of place. It was started by Macy’s father, a war veteran, and had ended up in Macy’s hands after his death. On days it would be full of hungry travelers while on some it would be deserted like a haunted mansion. A modest diner, the only things fancy in it was the karaoke machine which Macy’s father had bought after a windfall from one of his policies.
It was a chilly November night, almost closing time when two men had walked into the diner. There was something strange about them. Though Macy was not able to put her finger on it, the demeanor of these men appeared suspicious from the word go. But she was alone and her only help Charlie had left for the day. So off she went to waitress for the two.
“Hello Fellas…I’m Macy and I’ll be your server for today” she said with a pad and pen in her hand offering the guys a menu each when they settled in their booth.
“Hamburgers, club sandwiches, fried eggs, bacon and milkshakes.. Two of each” said the larger guy among the two while the other looked away towards his phone the whole time.
So off went Macy and returned after a while with the order which the two devoured animatedly as though they hadn’t eaten for quite a while.
"So where do we go next Mac” asked the smaller fellow while munching on his fries and bacon. He looked to be in his mid-twenties, auburn-haired and had a very distinct slouch that made it difficult to not notice him. He wore a fur jacket and judging by his stubble he appeared to have been on the move for some time.
“We’ll put up for the night here in a motel and then move towards the Mexican border. I know a guy he’ll help us get through. And relax you look too worried Dough! Don’t want people to be suspecting anything, do you?” said the larger guy. He looked older, probably in his mid-forties and wore a dark brown jacket with a baseball cap. But what caught your attention was a scar mark on his left cheek. Army or conman? Well it was hard to say.
As they remained engaged eating and talking with each other, Macy kept an eye at them. Her sixth sense told her that there was something definitely wrong about them. She disappeared to the kitchen for a minute or two and came back with her father’s gun incase she’d need it.
There were only two cars parked outside Eddy’s diner as Casey drove in. With keys still in the ignition, she sat there looking at the window. Two guys sat there eating and chatting. One was larger than the other and appeared to do most of the talking. Her hair was tied up in a bun with not a single hair out of place; dressed in a red sweater, jeans and running shoes she was at the edge of her seat waiting for her next move.
This was Casey’s first year as the town’s sheriff. And as much as she wanted to nab goons and runaways; she was overcome by a bout of fear and nervousness. She had arrived outside the Diner after receiving Macy’s call which the latter appeared to have made from her kitchen in a hush-hush voice. Casey had taken the picture of the fellows in question and sent it across to her deputy to find out if there was a BOLO out for these folks.
A part of her wanted to not do anything and just let these men eat and leave her peaceful town. But Macy’s apprehensions on the phone had managed to pull her down there. If not anything else atleast she would be parked there just till they were out of sight and Macy was out of harm’s way, if she was in any!
‘Maybe it’s nothing! Macy is anyways most paranoid one in town! ‘ she thought.
She messaged Macy nevertheless that she was outside and she needn't worry.
Just at that moment her phone buzzed. It was her deputy on the line.
“Yes Lionel” she said and heard for a while what her deputy had to say.
“Un huh … Alright then!” saying that she shut the ignition and walked out of the car making her way towards the Diner.
“Casey” said Macy as she saw her walk through the door and heaved a sigh of relief. Leaving her father’s gun under the counter, she moved towards Casey as though she hadn’t seen her for ages.
“Relax woman! I’m not your husband.” said Casey as he made her way to the counter and ordered a milkshake.
“So are you going to arrest them or not” whispered Macy as she prepared the milkshake.
“For what? For freaking you out with their looks?” winked Casey.
“Look at them. There is certainly something wrong with them!” exclaimed Macy trying to conceal her excitement while Mac looked towards them for a moment.
“I sent Lionel their shots and he came back with nada! I can’t arrest everyone who freaks you out now, can I?” she smiled as she sipped her strawberry milkshake.
Just then Mac gestured towards Macy for the cheque.
“Go on Macy. Don’t worry I have my gun right here.” teased Casey.
Macy reluctantly walked with the bill which Mac cleared and with a generous tip too. Then both he and Dough hurried out of the diner, got into their car and drove away.
Macy heaved a sigh of relief but still felt her stomach turn at seeing those guys leave.
“Happy now? Since you dragged me down here for nothing I guess you own me a burger!” laughed Casey.
“Coming right up” Macy said and went back into the kitchen thinking that she probably was reading too much into it.
“Casey” shouted Lionel as he rushed through the door, panting and almost tripping over a table or two.
“Easy there! What’s got into you Deputy?” smiled Casey.
“Boss those men, where are they?” he asked while looking around. Though he had an inkling that they must have already left as there was no car other than the Sherriff’s and Macy’s outside.
“They’re gone but what’s this all about.” Casey asked as she could feel her throat go dry. She knew something was wrong from the way Lionel appeared and his questions.
“I called you again..” he said when she interrupted him saying that she didn’t get a call. But when she looked around for her phone it was not here.
“I must have left it in the car!” she exclaimed.
“When I got no reply I rushed here” he said and appeared dejected.
“What is it?” Casey said hoping that it was some petty thing, hoping that she hadn’t left some crooks slip away from under her.
“Moments after I told you there is nothing on them, we received a fresh BOLO and you won’t believe it but it was them.”
Casey felt the ground slip away from beneath her. Macy stood behind her with the plate of burger in her hand, her eyes open wide and her mouth like a tunnel through which a train could pass through.
Lionel continued “These men are from Dodridge County and are suspected to be responsible for the brutal murders of a certain Weaver Family committed last night.”
“Damn it!” frowned Casey.
“I told you!” murmured Macy as she thanked God that she wasn’t another victim of those men.
With those words they stood there flabbergasted for a while after which Casey made a call to the Sherriff of the town next to theirs. She informed him that these men were probably headed his way and also provided their car-make and number.
“That lady seemed shady pops” said Dough as they drove away from the diner.
“She was the Sherriff you fool” came Mac’s reply.
“What the!!” Dough seemed tongue-tied thinking how close they were to getting arrested.
“Her car, It was a Sherriff’s car. I knew it the moment she came and parked outside. But I don’t think she has anything on us yet or else we would have been driving the other way round and that too in handcuffs son. Ofcourse, I would have killed her and that lame waitress first! But we would soon need to dump this car.” he said and burst out laughing as they pushed the accelerator towards their next halt.