A Traditional Gallaetha Breakfast


“Here.” Izzy dropped the plate on Layla’s table, the bang struck her headache like a gong.

Layla’s mouth flooded at the breakfast sandwich on her plate. Sausages, bacon, a fried egg, and a tomato–to ward off scurvy.

“Izzy, you’re a lifesaver. I think I love you.” Layla fluttered her eyelashes at Izzy in what she thought was a flirtacious way, but after a whole bottle of whiskey last night it probably looked more like she had a bug in her eye.

“And I think I already have a girlfriend.”

“And I’m straight, but we can make it work. I’m open minded.” Layla took a sip of her coffee.

“I’ll open your mind up with a .45 slug in a minute.”

“A minute’s loads of time,” Layla said. “Seriously, thanks.”

Izzy rolled her eyes and went to the three suits at the next table. All of whom were wearing sunglasses indoors. Instead of judging them, Layla saluted their foresight. She wished she had something to cut the light in here, those overhead lights were cooking her brain.

Other than the three suits, Gator’s Bar and Grill was empty this early in the day. This was fine by Layla, it gave her some peace to kill her hangover before the job this afternoon. Supposedly, she was due to head over to Issolar with one of the Fleming Falls Crew’s heavy hitters, and Layla wanted to make a good first impression.

She’d only drank the bottle of whiskey the night before because she couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t exactly meet new people without a good four hours in the sack, could she?

Layla had only taken one bite of her breakfast sandwich when one of the suits uncoiled from his table. Layla clocked the 9mm in his waistband and stood up with him. As he went for his gun, so did she.

He was slower. Most were.

“This is a rob–” The guy probed the empty holster at his waist while Layla jammed the gun in his face. His two buddies were still sitting and struggled to unholster their own weapons. Layla swallowed her breakfast and backed off until she could cover all three with the same gun.

“Too early in the morning for this, boys,” Layla said.

“I’d get outta here if I were you, lads,” Izzy took out her washcloth and wiped their table. “You really don’t want to interrupt that one while she’s eating. Also, I have a gun around here somewhere too.”

“It’s a .45,” Layla added. “It takes her a minute to get it out, but that’d make her a minute faster than you clowns.”

The suits looked at each other behind their sunglasses. Men were funny about getting shown up by a lady, some of them didn’t take it as serious as they should. Layla was thinking she might have to crack one of them in the nose to whip them along. She almost resented it when the two remaining suits slid out of their booth to leave.

Layla stepped aside to let them pass. The three of them hurried out without another word. Layla kept them covered until they were out the door.

“And I’m keepin’ the gun!” Layla twirled it around her finger and planted it on the table next to her breakfast sandwich.

Izzy stuffed the wash cloth back inside her belt and nodded at Layla. “Next time you come in your first drink’s on the house, L.”

“Just the first one? Next time I’ll just let them rob you.”

A ghost of a smile played on Izzy’s lips as she left Layla to her breakfast.

— Matt Holland 26/02/18

(This story is part of the Gallaetha series, you can learn more about it here or buy the novels here)

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