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Leave Me Alone
written by: Mark Kuglin
The Do Drop Inn Diner had been— for the most part— a peaceful place for Tom Wilkins. He was the only customer and he sat on his stool, sipping his coffee, quietly reading. He was deeply absorbed in his book when he suddenly became aware of Alice — his waitress — without looking up.
Her cheap perfume had announced her impending approach and assaulted his nostrils. And for the third time that morning, he found himself hoping she would just refill his coffee and leave. But once again, she found it necessary to speak.
“What are you reading?” Alice asked.
“It's none of your business!” Tom snapped back. “Leave me alone!”
“You don't have to be so rude,” Alice indignantly replied.
“How am I being rude?” Tom shouted back. “I’m trying to read and you keep interrupting me.”
Upon hearing their shouts, the cook raced from the kitchen with a knife in his hand.
“What the hell is going on out here?” he demanded.
Instantly realizing he hadn't heard the exact exchange--and knowing all too well he was insanely jealous, Alice decided to get even. She pointed at Tom and indignantly said, “He grabbed my butt.”
Upon hearing this, and enraged beyond reason, the cook let out a loud bellow then savagely attacked Tom — killing him instantly.
Momentarily stunned, by the gory spectacle she herself had created, Alice quickly left the diner and called the police.
Processing the crime scene took several hours and the two assigned C.S.I. technicians worked methodically. Upon reaching Tom’s table, one of the techs picked up the book he had been reading. He was in the process of bagging it when he suddenly blurted out, “Now that's really wicked.”
“What is?” his partner asked.
“The book he was reading”
“Why?… What's it called?”
“The Tragedy of Solitude.”