A challenge to write a story which includes the words: a teacher - grizzled - crime of passion - restaurant - magic beans
He sat at his favourite table by the window. He could see the waves lapping the shore and people and dogs strolling past. It was a sunny spring day.
"Are you ready to order?" Asked a young waitress wearing a black apron.
Ben glanced at the menu.
"Could I have a jacket potato with beans and cheese. And a large cappuccino."
Ben resumed staring out of the window. He loved this part of the world - he'd always come here on Summer holidays with his parents when he was a child.
He looked up when he heard a baby grumbling at the next table. Her mother was trying to feed her a rusk but she was having none of it. She moaned and grizzled some more, pushing the biscuit away with a scowl.
"I give up." Said the mum, to no-one in particular.
Then she caught Ben's eye.
"Do you have any?" She asked.
"Me... on no. Well, that is, I have a class-full of them, but none of my own."
"Oh, you're a teacher." She smiled. "That must be hard work. What year do you teach?"
"Year 8. They are great kids but sometimes I just want to..."
"I know exactly what you mean," she replied, taking a knife out of the grumpy baby's hand. "So, how come you're not in class now?"
"Oh, well... I'm actually off sick at the moment. With stress. I came here for a break; I'm not local."
"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to pry." She replied.
"No problem. I'm here for two weeks and I've been to this restaurant a few times now. I love the view." He said.
"Yes, it's good isn't it?" She was now trying to feed the baby a bottle, to no avail. She gave up and enjoyed her panini instead.
"Here you are sir." The waitress placed his lunch and coffee on the table. "Enjoy."
"Thank you." Ben tucked into the meal. It was delicious.
An old couple entered the restaurant and sat at a table next to his.
"Enjoying your lunch?" Asked the man.
"Yes thanks." Ben replied.
"Good. Those are magic beans, you know."
"Sorry?" Asked Ben.
"Magic beans. This is the place that Doris and I came to on our first date. We both had jackets with beans too. And they obviously worked because she fell madly in love with me and here we are today celebrating our 10th anniversary."
"Oh wow. congratulations!" Grinned Ben.
Doris said "Maybe you'll fall in love too. Are you single?"
"Oh, yes. Yes I am - currently. I was recently divorced."
"Oh I'm sorry to hear that dear. I lost my first husband to cancer. But good things can happen when you least expect." She gazed into her husband's eyes.
Ben noticed that they were still holding hands.
The waitress asked for their order and they also went for jackets with cheese and beans.
"And two glasses of your finest red wine please Miss." Asked the gentleman.
Ben finished his meal and took out his book. One good thing about being signed off was that he didn't have to think about work. He could sit and read his novel all day.
He ordered another cappuccino.
The elderly couple started their meal and clinked wine glasses.
Doris' wine glass broke and red liquid ran dramatically down her arm and onto her blouse.
"Are you ok?" Asked Ben, jumping up and mopping up some of the wine with a napkin.
"I am fine thank you dear," she replied.
Her shirt was ruined. It looked like she'd been stabbed.
"I suppose you could call it a crime of passion." Laughed her husband.
The waitress ran over with wipes and offered the couple a free meal, which they accepted.
Drama over, Ben returned to his book. He sipped his coffee and glanced at the view again. The sun was dancing over the waves and the seagulls shrieked at each other.
Today was a good day.