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The Ham Sandwich of Destiny

by Kat Beyer

The day the evil shaman came to the café, Matt could feel her before she walked in the door. The coffee beans were nervous. Being a good shaman himself he began to place protections on the counter—but then she was there, and there was nothing to be done—she was after his soul. Already she was clouding his senses. There was no time. There was no thought. He spotted a croque Monsieur on the order counter. In one breath he sent his soul into the layers of ham and cheese. He could grab it in a moment. She would never suspect.

He turned to face her. They dueled silently. Perhaps no one suspected, not even the Socialist reading the Wall Street Journal.

"Can I help you?" He asked, while searching the Over-Soul for her name.

"Double decaf nonfat latte, please," she replied (definitely an evil shaman). It's too late for you to seek my name, you fool!

"For here or to go?" I will never let you have my soul! Who orders decaf espresso?

"For here, I think," she said, smiling. Me! I’m evil! And you are too weak—I will find it and feed upon it!

"Great. That'll be up in just a minute at the counter over there." NEVER!

But suddenly he felt teeth sinking into him. He whirled around, her change still in his hand, and saw a girl sitting by the creamer counter. He was too late! She had taken the first bite of the sandwich that held his soul. He stared at her until she looked up, and then found himself swimming in the Over-Soul of her eyes.

"Never mind, I'll get it to go,” said the shaman behind him. He didn't want to stop looking at the girl, but he dragged himself around to face his nemesis. Foiled, but not for long, said her eyes.

"Change the decaf latte to go!" He called to the barista, who called back, "On it!"

He handed her her change, putting a small curse on the dime as he did so.

"Thanks," she said.

Matt walked out from behind the counter and sat down across from the girl with the sandwich. At the door, the shaman laughed.

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