Earth Bound by J. Zakour and Vanelle LeBlanc

Earth BoundGive Val advice on what to do next at the end of this episode!

What came before: Val found the perfect diner to work in and now she waits for the manager so that she can convince him to hire her.

Episode 3

Val had time to wait. After all she needed to learn as much as she could about these people. What better way than to sit and eat with them?

Carmen tapped her foot, “Come on Honey I’m busy, what will you have?”

“It all looks so amazing!” Val said glancing at the menu. “I will have the pancakes, sausage, eggs and coffee please…”

Carmen jotted down Val’s order. “How do you want those eggs?”

“Cooked please….”

Carmen rolled her eyes. “Ha ha, way too busy for jokes, honey…”

Val took a deep breath. She made a mistake there. She smiled. “Sorry, I need a job so I’m a little nervous… I tried covering it up with humor.”

Carmen gave her a kind smile. “Yeah, I know how that goes. Hope you’re not a comedian cause well that wasn’t all that funny. Just kind of sad…”

Val shook her head. “No, I’m a waitress. Hence the reason I would like to speak to Zeke when he is free.”

Carmen sighed. “I’ll send Zeke over to talk with you when he gets a break. But for now… eggs?”

Val glanced at the menu again: scrambled, fried, sunny side up, over easy… So many choices. “Please just bring me whatever your favorite is!”

Carmen smiled. “Scrambled it is. I’ll pop in this order and be back with a cup of Joe…”

Val cringed. “Oh gross, I wanted coffee…”

Carmen laughed as she walked away. “Let’s hope you’re a better waitress than comedian…”

“What’s your status?” Amber demanded through Val’s telepathic device. “Have you secured employment yet?”

Val didn’t answer.

“Respond I know you can hear me!” Amber thought to Val.

Val rolled her eyes. “Amber, I’m working on it. You are distracting me. Let me do my job. Right now the diner is very busy…”

“So?” Amber thought back. ‘They are primitive. Manipulate them.”

“I’m here to learn not control.” Val protested.

She heard a mental sigh from Amber. “Whatever! I expect some results soon!”

Carmen came back and poured Val a cup of coffee. “You looked worried.”

Val looked up at her. “Sorry, I just really need a job.” She took a sip of coffee. Her eyes popped open. “This stuff is great!”

Carmen smiled. “Yeah, Zeke even makes a great pot of coffee.” She glanced at him and looked back at Val. “You wouldn’t know it to look at him but the man has skills in the kitchen.” She paused. “Plus he’s a decent boss. I’ll send him over and have him talk to you, asap. God knows we could use some help around here…”

“Thank you,” Val said, her face lighting up. “Yes that would be great! For now I will just soak in this wonderful atmosphere.”

Carmen looked at her, she shrugged. “Honey, I like you. You’re different.”

“You have no idea”, Val told her.

“I’ll be back with your grub in a few…” Carmen said walking away.

Val took another sip of this wonderful coffee. She inhaled deeply taking in all the smells of the place, a strange mix of burning fat, grease and many scents humans put on their bodies to cover their natural scents.  

A few moments later Carmen came back and placed a plate of food in front of Val. “Enjoy dear. I talked to Zeke and he’ll stop over when he can.”

“Thanks Carmen.” Val looked down at the food on her plate. She licked her lips. She couldn’t decide what to try first, the golden brown discs, the strips of pig meat or the fluffy yellow eggs. She went with the meat. It smelled the best. Val savored each bite. Yes, these humans knew what they were doing.

A big stocky guy plopped down on the seat next to Val.His scent was strong and not pleasant and Val now understood why most humans cover their scent. He pulled out his phone. He leaned sideways, bumping into Val without either noticing or caring, “Yeah, been up all night! Yeah, partied pretty hard. Now I’m in some dive. What you up to man?” he said far louder than he needed to.

The big man lifted his elbow, brushing it against Val. Val dropped her fork on the plate. Still the man seemed indifferent.
This serial is now completely reader-driven. Give Val advice on what to do next in the Comments section below or if reading in email click on the Comments button.

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6 responses

  1. Maybe something along the line of her mentally making the rude guy think/believe he suddenly no longer has any clothes on, & only in his mind, the rest of the customers are laughing at him?

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  2. From the description in the story I presume that they are eating at a counter and since Val would be trying to leave a good impression for Zeke I would suggest that Val move one seat down.

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  3. This is tricky. For most human women the instinct to be confrontational has long been muted by the fear of being assaulted. So if it was an average person I’d say change your seat, or say something to the manager. However, this is Val and she’s still learning the ways of the Earthlings. She may try verbal confrontation (“Excuse me sir, please stop leaning on me) and see how that goes. Or… You’ve indicated she has an ability to mentally push so I say a gentle push, knocking him out of his seat, would be a good option.

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