It was a brisk morning as Trina put the key into the lock. She unlocked the door and opened the blinds. The slow sun was rising above the beautiful gleaming water.

"I love the early mornings here." She whispered. She gazed out at the water when it dawned on her. "I need to start cleaning."

She took a rag and began to wipe down the counter. When it sparkled, she went to the oven and started them up. She loaded the cookies and began to bake them. That's when she heard a customer. Trina walked to the entrance to see an old, tether woman.

"Can I have some milk please?" She asked.

"You have money right?" Trina asked.

"I don't.....but I can do something as payment." She perked up a bit.

"What is that?" Trina asked.

"I can read your palm." She reached over and grabbed Trina's hand. She began to go over the creases and mutter to herself. "I'm glad I came just in time."

"Why?" Trina asked.

"You are about to host a diamond in the ruff. Do not turn him away. He will become king of the pirates and you will be rewarded handsomely for inspiring him to become so great." She breather for air. "Keep an eye out for him and give him what he needs, or your business will die and you will be just like him..."

Despite Trina's doubt, she felt compelled to listen. She took out a glass and poured some milk. She plopped it on the bar and kept going about with the cleaning. She went back to the ovens to get the cookies, but when she returned the old lady was gone. She looked around and found no trace of her. She gave a sigh and put the cookies in the basket.

A little later on, a man came in. He ordered a small glass of milk and sat there with a paper. He just sat there read his paper, sipping his milk. Though she detested those people, she couldn't deny them business when it was so slow. When he was finally finished with his paper, he downed his milk and left. Within seconds, a kid came in. He was dirty and obviously suffered from fatigue.

The Diamond in the Ruff

"What will you have?" Trina asked him.

"A glass of milk."


"Yes, large."

"Is that all?"

"Are there biscuits?"

"No, vanilla wafers."

"Well, vanilla wafers."

Trina went back to get the cookies and milk. She returned with them and felt the boys uneasiness.

She looked at him with sad eyes, wondering why he was how he was. She knew now for sure that he was the diamond in the ruff that the woman spoke of. She stared at him, when she saw a tear run down his face. She walked over to him, placing a comforting arm around him.

"Cry, son, cry..."

And that he did. He sat there and cried and cried. Trina didn't know what to do except comfort him as he cried. When he ran out of food, she got him more. Then he began to stop.

"Thank you very much, ma'am: goodbye..."

"Goodbye, son."

He walked out the door as Trina felt the wind blwoing from the sea. She went back to her counter and sat down.

"The old woman was right..." She muttered. "But how?"

Years passed as she did the same routine over and over. She never thought about the boy again....until that one cold night. Trina was close to closing time as she got more and more antsy to leave. When the time finally came, she walked over to the door and began to close the blinds when the door flew open. A man walked in, looking like royalty.

"Sorry, we are closed." She said. "Come back tomorrow at sunrise."

"You don't remember me do you?" He asked her.

"Many people come in here, it's hard to remember everyone." She closed the other blind and walked over to the man.

"I was in here many years ago, sitting in that seat crying..." He said.

Trina dropped the plate she was holding as it broke on the floor. She walked back over to him and looked at him closer. His eyes were the same as the boys. That day when her whole life was decided.

"I have come here because I owe you." He whispered. He snapped his fingers and the door burst open. Two very large men walked in, both carrying a side of a chest. "This is a quarter of the quarter I owe you. When you need the rest, ask any pirate to come get me and I will see to it to deliver it personally."

He bowed and then began to walk away. Trina was stunned. She walked over to the chest and opened it, revealing thousands of gold pieces. She ran her hand through them, speechless.

Is this all a dream?