The Gift

The clientele of Café Mozart, once young and fashionable, now in 1950 were worn; a retired couple, a student, and two old men making their coffees last. As Fleur wiped the countertop halfheartedly, a tired woman wearing dark, ragged clothing entered. Fleur served her coffee and a pastry, then stood watching the dark clouds move across the sky.

The woman came to the counter. She reached out to pass over money. Fleur noticed the tattoo. She remembered the roundup on the street; she’d done nothing – what was there to do? She pushed the money back – “Non, vous avez payé suffisamment.”

Jon Hunter: I am a Londoner, a recently retired teacher, who has been practicing writing for about two years. I am 60 years old. Website: