Clues in the Diner

Numbers were safe. I counted my steps, my heart beat, things I passed, groups of people at the park.

I walked to my favorite diner. I liked it because they played good music and had interesting people walk in. The waitresses all wore retro uniforms of red. There were 6 of them tonight. I sat in my usual booth and ordered my usual burger.

My basket of food arrived. It was a yellow plastic waffle patterned basket. I could see 28 holes on my side. The yellow was too bright, though. It turned my appetite off. I waved at the waitress. “Could you get me a red basket?” I begged, turning green a little as I handed it to her. She looked at me like I was crazy. But she took it.

As it left my hand, something flashed into my brain. Dietz Lake. Cabin. 43.
Where did that come from? 43? Was that the cabin number?

By the time the waitress had returned with my red basket, I was ready to ask her. “That’s up in Carbine county, Hon.” She walked away even more perplexed. I would owe her a bigger tip than usual.

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