CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 89

Jeremy Frost edges thinking of the afternoon it had been taken in Grand Central Station. A soft clinking told her Ahmed was already in the mess tent, the smell of coffee blowing with the sand as she unbuckled the fly flap and faced the day. What she wouldn’t give for one of her father’s blueberry pancakes right now she thought as stepping over guy ropes she ducked into the tent to find Simon seated at the trestle table, mulishly eyeing his tin mug. “Good morning Sim,” she said sliding along the bench opposite. “You look pissed already, what’s up?” “Bloody genny’s down again. Raja’s working on her now. No point collecting otherwise. Shit I hate this place,” he said, and thumping his mug down glanced up at Gemma. “How come you look clean and well rested after a night like that?” “Good dreams,” she grinned. “If you hate it so much why do you keep coming back?” she asked the prematurely wrinkled face across the plank table. “Someone has to,” he muttered. “Hey Ahmed, any more of the black stuff my friend, before we start another hellish day?” Gemma watched as Ahmed shuffled over with a battered tin pot of freshly brewed coffee, his bare feet tracing their passage across the sand. “Salam Ahmed,” she greeted the wizened man in his grey jelaba, darker at the hem where grime had become part of the fabric. “Sabah el kheer, Dokor Gemma,” he replied, his words whistling through the gaps in his teeth, gums exposed in a vivid pink slash. 89