Monday, 18 January 2016

The Chapel Cafe

In the Good Mothers Club my heroine, Alice Plummer, stumbles across the Chapel Cafe, while there she meets other troubled mothers with whom she shares dark secrets and disturbing tales. this is a description of her first venture into the establishment.

'It certainly was worth the walk. The Chapel Café was my dream coffee shop; it boasted a polished wooden floor, tall and colourful stained glass windows featuring motifs of a heart, an anchor and a cross, thick round wooden tables, red velvet cushioned armchairs and the kind of intricate carved wood and stone features you would hope to find in an old church. I walked up to the coffee counter to order a drink; there was no queue and only the minimal conversational murmur coming from the other customers. Looking around further I noticed something else unusual about the café, it was a gadget free zone: no laptops, no mobiles, not even a kindle or an ipod. I took my mobile phone out of my pocket, switched it off and put it back into my bag.
‘Um, regular, no, medium, latte please,’ I heard myself saying, I obviously intended to stay for a while.
‘You’re here for the Good Mothers Club,’ the barista was a young, intense man dressed in black and white. He had fine, strong features and clear eyes that seemed to stare into the heart of me.
‘Am I?’ I asked.
‘They’re at the back.’ The barista nodded to the back of the chapel, to a slightly raised area, I guessed that that was where the altar used to be. There stood an oval table, around which sat an array of brightly coloured women. At the head of the table sat a pretty, young woman in pale grey with a white headdress, a nun. She smiled at me with such a warm generous smile that I smiled back.
With my freshly made Latte in my hand I headed over to the table of women, taking in more details of the other customers as I went. There was an unkempt young man in an Edward Munch ‘The Scream’ t-shirt, a group of business men in suits, teenage Goths, an older couple, an elegant 1950s style starlet, a couple of disheveled high school students and a group of international tourists, from various remote corners of the world.
There were two vacant spaces at the table, one next to the nun and one opposite her. I made my way past a woman in blue, who was having an intense conversation with the woman in red who sat by her side, in order to sit in the vacant seat nearest the nun.
‘Hello, come to make up the numbers,’ smiled an attractive, bubbly woman, dressed in a big, bold, mauve dress, as I sat down opposite her, ‘You’re just in time, the meeting starts at six.’
I glanced at my watch, six o’clock, and then I looked at the nun, she began speaking and the small conversations that were taking place around the table died down.'

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