The Falling Drop Cafe - Long Macchiato
Saint Nicholas hung his open-face helmet on the handlebars of the black motorcycle he'd just parked in the bay reserved for God's invention.Â All the car bays in the sprawling car park were full, with others parked bumper to bumper on the verges.Â The secluded golf club was bursting at the seams, indicating a tournament was in progress.Â To the dismay of the saint, who'd been hoping for a restful skinny flat white coffee.
He'd almost missed the turn-off, flashing by along the tree-lined, country road.Â But out of the corner of his eye he'd read the billboard advertising the turnoff to the quaintly named: The Falling Drop CafÃ©.Â Thus, obviously, he hadn't been traveling at blinding speed, despite the wails of terror from his guardian angel riding on the back seat.Â At times, she was just like that â€“ it defied rational explanation!Â The saintly one was sure Ms Right would never scream.Â Perhaps cry a tad hysterically, but not scream, having absolute faith in the ability of the former gallant knight to charge along the open road.
But be that as it may, he'd braked hard and done a u-turn; and thankfully, the guardian angel merely whimpered brokenly.Â He steered into the turnoff without bothering to glance at the billboard, thus failing to notice the small lettering: under new ownership.
Having parked the motorbike, he trudged down the hedged garden path leading to the coffee establishment.Â His guardian angel remained with the bike, sprawled face down on the seat, recovering her composure.Â Consequently, Saint Nicholas followed the path alone.Â He rounded a corner and ambled across a broad lawn of manicured grass, passing empty tables and chairs and entered the cafÃ©.Â The only occupant was a young waitress, who smiled brightly at the somewhat jaded saint.Â She was dressed as a French maid, the costume always creating rather lascivious comments from clientele. Of course, not this time.
"You must be hot in that getup," she said affably, with the wave of the hand indicating his head-to-toe riding leathers. Â "Why don't you take your clothes off?"
Saint Nicholas was astounded.Â He was utterly gob smacked at being propositioned by the young hussy.Â French maid or not, one simply does not do that sort of thing to a saintly man.Â But then, to be fair, one had to make allowances for foreigners.Â Such often had a poor grasp of the English language.Â Perhaps the young lady was suggesting that he remove his motorcycle jacket.Â Anything else strongly suggested that the so-called coffee emporium was really a bordello.Â In which case, the golf club was merely a front for Roman orgies.Â And just where were the supposed golfers if they weren't hitting those silly white balls into roughs, sand traps and water courses?Â The mind boggled as to what they were doing on the greens.
"We have lockers out the back for clothes," said the young French whore, confirming the holy one's worst fears.Â "No need to be shy!" she added without a hint of an accent.
"My dear woman!" spluttered the saint, aghast.
"Oh!" she said, with an understanding look.Â "You think this is still a golf course."Â She shook her head.Â "Afraid not!Â It changed hands.Â This is now the Garden of Eden Naturist Club."
"Naturist Club, my dear young lady?"
"Nudist colony!" clarified the waitress.Â Her eyes twinkled.Â "You don't strike me as a prude," she added.Â "Being a bike rider and all.Â You're not, are you?"
The saint shook his head.Â Him, a prude?Â Most certainly not!Â He was an easy rider of the long and open roads.Â Freedom was stamped on his very soul.Â It was the fundamental essence of his saintly being.Â He was as one with the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the fish in â€¦.
"That's settled!" said the delightful young waitress.Â "You can slip out of your clothes while I fix your tea or coffee or whatever it is that you'd like to have."Â She giggled.Â "Except me!" she added teasingly.
Saint Nicholas cleared his throat.Â "Please, a mug of skinny flat white."
"I'm sure you're not," quipped the young woman, enjoying his discomfort.Â It was a welcome change from being made to feel like that by the risquÃ© comments often coming her way.Â "The change rooms are through that door out the back," she directedÂ "Then there's a side door leading to a very secluded courtyard, away from the prying eyes of the general public.Â "I'll bring your coffee there."
The freedom rider was trapped into complying.Â Hoisted by his own petard, so to speak.Â Why couldn't he keep his big mouth shut â€“ or at least, his head still!Â But now he had no choice but to take his clothes off.Â He simply couldn't have young maidens think that saints were prudes â€“ what would they teach their children?Â Thus he stripped in a change room, and nervously slunk out of the side door, taking his jacket to shield his unmentionables, which were a strictly private matter.
He chose to sit at a table under a large umbrella, well away from a pair of elderly men playing chess of the far side of the courtyard.Â They were fixated with the game, their eyes unwavering, and it was simply unthinkable for Saint Nicholas to interrupt them in any way.Â One had flowing white hair, the other man's was red and neatly cropped.Â There was little else to distinguish one from the other.Â The saint idly wondered who they were.Â He couldn't help but reflect on how clothes maketh the man â€“ the statement that apparel made about a person.Â Yet when all such clues were stripped away, how similar people were when all was laid bare.
"Where is everyone?" the saint asked, when the waitress brought him his coffee.
"Playing volley ball, swimming, horse riding ...." she replied, her voice trailing away to indicate a plethora of distractions.Â "It's â€¦." Â She struggled for the right word.Â "It's liberating to have fun with nothing on.Â Hassles just melt away."
"Then why are you clothed?"
"Too shy!" she said.Â "Besides, it's best to be clothed to meet first timers like you.Â There are lots of weirdos, and some come to gawk."
"My dear young woman," the saint quickly assured her, "I'm not one of those!"
"I can tell.Â Anyway, the President and his wife will be here in a few moments to check you out.Â I mentioned you to them.Â They'll welcome you when they've finished their showers."
Saint Nicholas toyed with the idea of slipping away unnoticed.Â But he'd mused too long on how the French maid's shyness imprisoned her; and then it was too late to bolt for his clothes in the change rooms.Â For a shapely brunette walked out of the side door and straight towards his table.Â She wore a sunny smile, and nothing else.Â Of course, the saint didn't want to gaze at her swaying breasts, but where else could he look without appearing to be a gawking pervert?
"Hi!" she said cheerfully, placing her glass of apple juice on the table, before leaning across to shake his hand.Â "How do you do.Â I'm Eve."
Her dangling breasts were uncomfortably close, but the saint rose to the occasion.Â "I'm Saint Nicholas!" he said, half rising to take her hand, and inadvertently grazed a splayed breast.Â "Oh, I beg your pardon," he spluttered, going beetroot red.
She laughed at his discomfort.Â "It seems all your Christmases have come at once."Â Her eyes sparkled merrily.Â "You're blushing!" she teased.
"Don't mind her!" said an athletic, dark-haired man, walking into the courtyard.Â He grinned.Â "She's a real temptress!Â Hi, I'm Adam, the number one here - President of the club!"
A long, faded scar on the man's rib cage caught the saint's eye â€“ which veered away from making contact with any other credentials.
Having shaken hands with the visitor, the man sat down.
A loud, exasperated exclamation from one of the chess players drew the table's attention.
"Peter and old Nick," whispered Eve, leaning over the table.
The saint squirmed uncomfortably at the temptation dangling in front of him.
"Nick is as slippery as a snake," hissed Eve.Â "But he always loses in the end.Â He doesn't like it, and has a real fiery temper."
The red headed man rose to his feet and swept the chess pieces from the board.Â Then he marched stiffly towards the side door, his glowing eyes staring straight ahead, ignoring everyone.Â Meanwhile, the other man began scribbling notes in a small ledger on the chess table.Â He was recording the winning and losing moves â€“ the right and wrong, and their impacts on the game.
Just then the French maid came out with a tall cup on a tray.Â "Your long macchiato, sir," she said politely to Adam, placing the cup on the table, and then withdrawing back into the emporium proper.
"I just love a long macchiato!" Eve said in a husky, insinuating voice, and once more dangling her big nipples across the table.Â "Is that what you've got?"
Saint Nicholas shook his head.Â "Skinny flat white!" he muttered, and he emptied his tepid mug in one big gulp.
Eve sighed.Â "I'll have to be content with apple juice."Â But, irrepressible, she winked at the saint. Â "Would you like me to show you the ropes?"
Nicholas declined politely.Â He didn't want her showing him the ropes or anything more than she already had.Â It was prudent to leave, and he stood up.
"Going already?" said Adam.Â "I'd intended to tell you everything you might want to know about us."Â He nodded towards Eve.Â "We thought we might tempt you to join us here in paradise."
Nicholas politely shook his head.Â He was not interested in the knowledge, and most certainly couldn't be tempted.Â Saying goodbye, he walked to the change rooms, got dressed and hastened back to the motorcycle.Â There his guardian angel stood grinning broadly but she wisely said nothing about Adam and Eve.Â Then with engine roaring, they sped out of the Garden of Eden.Â At the next coffee break, she casually remarked that Saint Peter and Old Nick had been playing for his soul â€“ the result inevitable.
Tales from the Divine Drop Cafes