Beryl and Charlie sat in a busy cafe. I say busy, but it was a mere reflection of the place’s popularity a mere six months before. Now while there was a steady flow of customers through the door, most came in and ordered their drinks to take away.
That said, seating was still at a premium as the number of tables had been reduced to comply with government restrictions.
As they sipped their drinks, a well dressed young man entered and ordered a Black Americana at the counter. On receiving his drink and a Danish Twist, the man approached a table with four chairs, where another couple was seated.
“Sorry” the woman objected as he eyed an empty seat, “Social distancing.”
The man then turned towards the free chair at Beryl and Charlie’s table.
“Is this seat taken?” he asked in a friendly voice, with just the hint of a foreign accent.
“No, please have a seat,” Charlie replied.
The man nodded his thanks and sat, and then removed his mask to sip his drink.
“I’m Beryl, by the way, and this is Charlie.” Beryl said with a smile.
“I am Morte,” the man replied. “But people call me many things.”
Beryl looked at him with a slightly confused expression.
“Sorry, my English is not what I would hope. Please, here is my card.”
The man pulled a business card from the inner pocket of his black suit, on which in raised embossed type was the single word, Death.