Early Shift

It was 3:30am on a cold January morning, and Malcolm Mason burrowed further into his bed for two more minutes of warmth and stillness. Billie Holiday was welcoming heartache in with her raspy voice, the sound made slightly tinny by the old clock radio which had seen better days. The dial had been stuck on the Jazz station for years, but Malcolm didn’t know it: he never changed the station. He and Billie shared the last few moments of bed before he threw the scratchy green army blanket back and swung his feet to the floor. He wasn’t one to linger in the mornings, but Ms. Holiday was special. Having given her the respect due, he now mechanically flipped the warmer on the coffee pot as he made his way to the bathroom to shave. Yesterday’s warmed coffee would do just fine. Waste not.

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