TITLE: GHOST IN THE MACHINE
GENRE: Steampunk meets Cyberpunk Fantasy
Minnow chose the table for its view. She watched everyone, trying to find him. The color was fading from the late autumn streets yet the working drones and mindless shoppers still rushed back and forth. Dashing and blurring by, their movements could be broken down into a simple series of form, color, and data. Minnow rested her head against the window and stretched out her arms across the yellow speckled Formica table. The table's surface warped and curved underneath her pale skin; its edges cracked and peeled under her fingers. Running her hands across the warped bumps of the table, she inadvertently knocked over the salt. Its silver cap, dented and clogged, held back any spill. She felt like the salt, knocked on her side and broken.
"What's up today, chickadee? What can I get ya?" asked Dot, her usual waitress. Dot's eyes, bloodshot and a muddy blue, looked out of the window as she spoke to Minnow. "Wake up little girl. Ya can't sleep here. But I'll grab ya some coffee. Set you right up." She winked and rubbed her nose with her stylus.
"Any cherry pie today?" Minnow asked. "I'll check." Dot tapped her stylus on her menu pad. "You're in luck. Two slices left." She slung a brightly bleached coffee mug on the table towards Minnow, startling her. Minnow steadied its spin. The outside of the mug shined a gleaming white while the inside was stained with minuscule blackened cracks that snaked along its sides.