CHAPTERNINE

BOILED, FRIED, or scrambled?” asked the bubbly twenty-something waitress.

“It's anyone's guess,” sighed John.

“Come again?” she asked, befuddled.

“Don't mind him,” said Mac. “He's in conflict.”

“Oh,” she said, staring blankly. “Why don't I give you all another minute.”

“Thanks,” said Mac.

The morning sun streamed in through the windows of the downtown diner. John was wishing he had his sunglasses as he stared at the moving shadow produced by the coffee cup he rotated on the table.

“You don't even know if anything's going to happen,” said Mac.

“It doesn't matter. Everyone is freaking out anyway.”

“Good time to test your skills.”

“Skills.” said John, gloomily. “Why does it feel as if you taught me the dog paddle and now I'm being thrown ...

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