Ok this will probably take a while to get going. For a while the names will all be screwed up and I'll probably say 'I' a few times because I'm now used to doing Seth in a first person perspective.


This is just something Imthrew together at the spur of the moment so it probably aint worth flaming it cos I'm not atached to it to care.


Jim stared into his coffee absently, and he doodled on the back off the bill with his pen. He didn't know what it was: it could be a black coffe but then it had the spiral of milk in it where he'd just poured it in. It looked just like a cadbury chocolate front cover.

He got his little plastic spoon and stired it. There. Now it was just plain ordinary coffee: not black and not black with milk swirling in it, but just coffee.

He remembered somewhere that you never put milk in after the coffee in. It scalded the milk or something. All tasted the same to him though.

Why had he never drunk tea? Not once in my life had he drunk tea, never. And it was an English drink, right? And he was english...well, made in England. He decide that he would try tea for the first time in his life and called the waitress over. She was an woman of middle-age, though she looked much older; her crumpled dress and untidy hair and cigarete-ravaged features adding years to her. Her face looked like it had once been pretty, but years off working in a run-down diner on such a desolate stretch of road had wasted her and now only a memory remained.

He ordered a drink and was met with the same flat, grating voice, the same wiff of smoke and yellow , rotting teeth. After a while the tea came, uncerimoniously dumped next to his tea with all the delivery of a metal bar to the head. A lot of it slopped over the plastic table and made a brown mark. What was left was enough to ensure that he had a terrible taste in his mouth for the rest of the day, didn't sleep for yet another night, and never drank tea again.

Returning to staring into his coffee, like Notradamus staring into a silver bowl of water, he found it was now too cold to drink. Before it had been too hot, now it was too cold. Sod's law. He ordered another. The waitress gave him a funny, almost angry look, as she took his order. He tried to smile pleasantly but he'd never got the hang of that, and the woman backed off. People had a way off backing off when he smiled.

People had a way off backing off when he did anything, he thought sadly. He didn't have many friends.

He hummed a little tune untill the ladie came back. Her name was Julie, it said so on her shirt. Why did they make waitresses wear those? Red and white stripped ones-a pattern that you only saw on circus tents. If he owned a restaurant then his waitresses would wear whatever they damn well wanted, or wet, clinging T-shirts, or...nothing.

He smirked into the table.

"Here's your coffee," said Julie. A sorry roll up now dangled between her teeth."You Jim?"

"Yes," Jim said, through my smirk.

"There's a phone call for you."

He blinked. "For me? How do they know I'm here?"

Julie's response to this was to drop cigarette ash in his drink.

He got up and crossed the diner. Keen eyes sweeped the rows of plastic chairs they'd crammed into the place but there was no one else. No person could have given away his position, unless Julie ratted me out. She looked like the sort of person to do that...

Dont get paranoid. Julie wouldn't do anything like that. She doesn't know you, doesn't know what you are.

The phone was old like everything else in this place. I took the old fashioned reciever and held it to my ear.

"Hello?" he said, quickly found it was the wrong way up and he was talking into the earpiece. "Hello?" he repeated the right way up.

"Hey, Jimmy." The voice had all the natural energy and bounce of a young child. Anybody who didn't know this man would have thought him innocent. But Jim knew this man and I knew he hadn't done a single inocent thing since he was 5 years old. I became instantly suspicious of this man; he held the reciever farther away from my ear incase his treacle words tried to infect him. Once again, his eyes scanned the diner but they found nothing. Then they turned to the car park. In the dying suns light the white desert sands ran blood red. There stood his truck, old reliable, filled to the brim with illegal cigarrettes for driving over the border. It stood empty and it stood alone. The car park was as deserted as the diner.

"How did you get this number?"

The voice laughed. At him most likely. "Is that any way to treat an old friend?"

"We were never friends."

"I know shit-brain. Thats the whole damn joke." The voice was so calm and innoxious it took him a second to catch up to the meaning.

"How did you get this number?"

"I dont think you need to know that right now, Jim."

"Well then, what do you want?" He tried very hard to hide his emotions, like this other man could, but he was no good at it and somehow the hatred and loathing got into his words.

"Well..."- he sounded as if he had all the time in the world- "first I would like to ask what the hell did you think you were doing trying to escape from me, man? I thought you of all people would've known better than to mess with me. Buuuuuut thats all in the past now. Secondly, I need a favour doing."

The silence could have been sliced open.

"Whats in it for me?"

"Your life, Jim. Your life. If you dont do this for me then I will be forced to kill you-"

"You couldn't kill me, Carlos."

"Really? Is that so? My, my, you ARE as stupid as I thought."- suddenly the voice took on a harsh tone, hissing like that off a snake- "You have no idea how many times I could have killed you, Jim, over the last year. You dont have a clue how often we've sat outside your Hotel room, with a little, red-laser dot traveling over your face, wondering if we should kill you now, or if maybe you could be off any use to us later on. It's a very good thing that you are a usefull man because I do not forgive deserters very well. Oh, and incase your wondering there is a sniper watching you right now so dont try and do anything smart. Oh, hiding behind the counter? That wasn't smart, Jim."

With a hiss of ripping air and a tiny ping, a glass bottle of ketchup that stood on the counter behind which he now crouched exploded. Jim ducked instinctively. His heart was pounding again, like it always used to.

"If you dont do what we want then I can kill you any time, any where. If you do this then you need never worry about me again. I'll leave you alone and you can go away and be a, a double glazing salesman for all I care."

"Fuck you, Carl." he hissed.

"Such wit. Well I will leave it to you. Should you wish to undertake my mission then you may drive a half-mile down the road. Soon you will see a hut. Go in there and you'll have all the information you need. If you decide not to take this, if you turn left when you leave this gas station, if you drive past the hut, then you will die. I will leave this up to you. goodbye."

With a click and a buzz, the phone fell silent. Jim stood. Once again, on a simple wim from Carlos, his old life had ended and was to be discarded, along with his name. Sighing, he left the diner, crossed the golden sands with little more than a single glance to his side to where the sniper could've hidden, and pulled open the door of his truck.