The bell at the door rang again for what seemed like the thousandth time. Today, in particular, being a Sunday; families, groups of friends, couples, and any all seeking a meal with company, would go in and out of the little diner at the corner of First avenue and Main street. A busy atmosphere filled the little corner, bustling with the noises of the diner, having a few windows opened to let the spring breeze flitter through, and likewise, the scent of apple pies, coffee, pancakes, pizzas, and all the like would waft through the windows and double doors every time it swung opened to let people in or out.
The bright noon-sun shone on the glistening new maroon paint of the slanted roofing, the tiles that lined up like little warm brownies – like those displayed upon the shelves behind a glass case in the diner.
As people bustled past, in laughter, or chit-chat, no one failed to notice the ashen-face, and roughly dressed old man sitting not even three meters away from the ever swinging double doors. He was probably not even that old, but his demeanour – looking down onto the ground, unwilling to meet anyone's eyes – or his slightly lighted hair, and weathered complexion just presented it as such. It need not matter that everyone noticed the man, it was the fact that no one acknowledged him. Between the good business of the diner, and the great spring weather to be experienced that Sunday, no one really cared.
Every time that faithful little bell would ring, at the opening of the double doors for whatever reason, the man would shiver, and jump, taking on the appearance of being slightly shocked. This subtle shake would only last for no more than two seconds, and would go completely unnoticed to anyone who was only passing. To those who did notice, and so few had in the past, it was a rather strange sight, stranger than the very existence of the dishevelled, presumably homeless man on this particularly new, and popular bit of the town.
As noon passed, and afternoon approached, a loud, rather obnoxious growl of a motorcycle, akin to that of a rather small jet engine, could be heard down the main street, following this sound came the violent catcalls of the gang that was approaching. As if guided, and conditioned by a well practised drill, more than half of the diners start to file out of the double doors, the other half being the older locals who never seem to leave anyway. As usual, five glistening great bikes started to park parallel to the curb, at a slight angle as a motorcycle does when it is stood. The group of men, and a few women, walked as a group into the diner, pushing the double doors swiftly, making the little bell sound even more pronounced.
One man, a particularly large man, however, lagged behind. He slowly swung his great leg over his machine, jiggled his keys, and walked towards the diner. Almost a meter before reaching the doors, the great man stopped, turned to look at the homeless man on the curb, and started to walk slowly towards him.
"Here again, Old man!" bellowed the great biker. The smell of stale cigarette smoke and whiskey wafted from the man as he spoke in great tones, and yet not slur could be heard. The old man grunted his reply, and to his apparent surprise – apparent because of the slight twitch that over came him – the great man laughed.
The biker stopped his laughter, and slowed it to a chuckle, as his source of amusement continued to twitch. Taking out a metal lighter, and a red box of cigarettes, the biker had not noticed the slight change in the old man. The old man had reached his full height, getting up from the curb he had sat at all day, and his gaze was no longer to the ground. By the time the tipsy biker had lit his cigarette held between his lips, the old man's surprisingly strong hands had taken hold of his thick, sunburnt neck. As the biker choked, and sputtered in surprise, his newly lit cigarette falls to the ground and extinguishes into the drain. His face screws to a pained expression, and his mouth agape unable to even protest.
As he is lifted to the ground, the biker reached his right hand to a holster at the back of his pants, and clasped a fist around a hand of pistol that was kept there. Unnoticed by the old man, the biker brought the barrel of the gun towards his assaulter's left ribs, and pulled the trigger. The sound of gun shot echoed through the now limp old man, and reverberated through the now empty street, sending a frenzy of birds flying out from somewhere nearby in a flurry of wings and chirps.
The biker placed his gun back in his holster, straightened his shirt, felt for his tender neck, and walked towards the diner. Almost casually, he pushed on the double doors, making the little, faithful bell ring in its place. Although, this time, there was no old man to shiver and expect it, just the rustling spring breeze.