The parking lot was gravel. The door to the kitchen area was open and I could see into the dishwashers area. A Hispanic male with a baseball cap on backwards was unloading a busboys cart. Yep. Things were getting back to normal. I stepped out of the cab and down onto the gravel. As I walked around the bed of the truck I yelled "Stay!" to the the dogs. They told me how much they liked that idea by barking their heads off. I had to tell Zane to leave his M-16 along with Woof in the cab but leave the window down like I had. I hoped someone would try and steal his M-16 or the truck itself. Then I wouldn't have to worry about feeding the dogs.
Inside was a surprise. We came in and there was a sign "Wait to be seated" The place was split with a bar running along one side semi shielded from the eaters by a waist high partition. A couple of tables were jammed in a corner next to the bar. The other side was all booths and tables. Most of them were taken. The food looked and smelled good. Very good. While I was checking the patrons plates they were checking us out. I was beginning to feel like a freak which always irritates the hell out of me when the hostess walked up to us and said "Table for two?" She seemed fine with how me and Zane looked but her eyes told me there wasn't much running inside either.
"No. We'll sit at the bar."
"Sorry sir. Minors are not allowed to sit at the bar. State law."
Can I sit at one of the tables by the bar?"
"Thank you Ma'am.
That produced a bright empty smile and she led us back to one of tables next to the bar. We sat down and I looked at the menu while Zane about broke his neck looking around. I nudged his menu closer to him and told him "Take a look. If they have pancakes you might want to eat them."
He opened the menu, looked at it for all of a second and quietly asked me "Is Woof going to be okay?"
"Sure kid. Woof is smart and has sharp teeth. He'll be fine. They have pancakes!"
He looked at me, He didn't seemed convinced about Woof or overjoyed about the pancakes. I mentally shrugged. He was getting pancakes. If he didn't eat them then I would.
Our waitress showed up. She was thin, pale, and looked very, very tired. Still she probably had more life in her asleep than the hostess did when she was awake and wired on caffeine.
"What can I get you to drink?"
I noticed she only smiled at Zane. Me? she looked through.
Zane was just staring at her like she was a being from another planet. I mean she wasn't bad looking but he was only nine years old. What the hell was up with him?
"Two Cokes please."
"Sorry sir. We only have Pepsi products."
Now it was my turn to stare at her. The unreality of what she had just said smacked me upside the head. For a second I felt lost. Totally disorientated. It didn't help that she was patiently waiting for me to answer.
The fact that I was the only one wearing armor struck me. I had seen holstered guns on the people eating but they were worn with regular clothes. Well, pretty much regular clothes. More regular, as in far more civilized looking than what I was wearing. Plus I bet I was the only one in town wearing a sword. Then I heard a cell phone ring. Yep. We had driven into a alternative universe.
"Did I just hear a cellphone ring?'
She finally looked at me. I saw a hint of a smile. "You just in from the Bad Lands?"
"Uh. I'm not sure."
She laughed. "I thought so."
Edited for clarity