By S. Mubashir Noor
“Sir, could you repeat that?” The female voice on the phone asked.
“Are you deaf?” Mr. Holliday said. Without caffeine his patience wore thin every passing second.
“I said there’s a huge fire. F-I-R-E. The old warehouse downtown. There was enough fabric here to burn Ipoh twice over.”
“Okay, okay, got it. First responders will be there in ten minutes. Tell everyone to stay calm. And you are?”
Mr. Holliday considered the question.
“I am a champion. The Chinpo Coffee champion.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Holliday sat in an open-air eatery tapping a Morse code on his temple. He wanted to tear out the throbbing vein and chop it into pieces so his head would stop pounding. His body spasmed and ached from the lack of coffee — Chinpo Coffee. There was none at home. None at the supermarket. And now he was at his third cafe of the morning hoping someone, anyone still had a spoonful of the magic powder left.
Should he start invading nearby houses next? Some paranoid old lady must have a pack or two stashed about. Why did bad luck have to follow him around like a tomcat in heat?