Breakfast, 1921, Fernand Leger via Magpie Tales
"Care for some more coffee, hon?" said the waitress, her fangs shining in the blood-orange light streaming through the smeary plate glass of the diner window. Hobson blinked hard, swallowing a lump of dread that the coffee hadn't dislodged from his throat. The waitress smiled, or so he thought, but it didn't reach the eyes of green-gold brilliance set into the silver fur of her ruff and muzzle. Hobson stared at her, eyes watering a little, and tried to convince himself he was not looking at or having a conversation with a wolf.
He corrected himself. It wasn't a wolf. It was a woman's body with the head of a wolf. A very attractive wolf-woman, or was it woman-wolf, the curves of which he had not failed to notice when had stumbled into the Sip 'N' Chew for his morning usual. "Damnit, when did Roxy start with the wolf head?" he thought, frantically trying to respond to her before she got pissed and walked off, leaving no coffee. His mouth opened and closed like a fish cast up out of the tide line. Roxy stared at him, eye arching up in annoyance.
"Uh...eh...more coffee, I guess, Roxy. And what happened to your head?" he sputtered.
Roxy leaned over to pour him another cup, inadvertently gapping her blouse and giving Hobson an eyeful of what he considered to be an ample bosom. He gulped. Those almond eyes of hers bore into him, and he swore he caught a whiff of musky scent, like warm fur in sunlight.
"Whaddya mean, what happened to my head? My head is fine. Just had my hair cut two days ago, that's all. Jesus, Hobbsy, if you aren't going to finish your eggs, at least go home and sleep it off. Come back when you get some manners."
Roxy spun on a comfortably soled heel to amble back to the counter. Hobson watched her hips sway, feeling a tiny surge of lust, but then shook his head violently in an effort to clear his eyes while holding them tightly shut. Eggs. He forgot he had been eating eggs. He lowered his head, afraid to open his eyes, but cracking them all the same.
His breakfast was nearly gone. Only a small crescent of orangey-yellow eggs lay on the edge of the plate. He recalled it was an omelet he had ordered, instead of the usual scrambled eggs. A few flecks of ragged mushroom bits lay embedded in the crescent. Hobson was puzzled; he didn't especially like mushrooms.
The conversation swirling around him dipped into a lull. Hobson felt a prickling sensation at the base of his neck, that weird feeling like he was being stared at. Which in this case turned out to be correct. Looking up, he saw Roxy standing in the swinging doors leading to the rear kitchen. Her wolf mouth was open, tongue lolling a bit as she talked in low tones with Jake, the fire-plug shaped morning cook in the diner. Roxy was glancing over at Hobson, tilting her head little in his direction. Jake was nodding his head, the shiny black beak dipping up and down as he nodded to something Roxy said. Jake's beady black eyes were looking Hobson over.
The painter nearly fainted. "Raven head, raven head, Jake has a raven head..." the words began looping around in Hobson's head in a maniacal chorus. He must have made a sound, because the other patrons in the diner were all staring to gawk and stare, their faces a menagerie. Hobson stood up, the colors in his head breaking over him in a rainbow wave, and he began to twitch and laugh. The diner swirled around him. As he pitched forward, grabbing his chest, he watched the little crescent of egg coming up fast to meet his face. Just before his chin crashed into the plate, he wondered just what kind of mushrooms were in that omelet he had eaten.
Hobson hit the table, bounced, and fell out of the booth. He landed on his back, shaking and laughing his way into unconsciousness. The last thing Roxy heard him say was "I can see myself before I see myself, and after I see myself, past and future its all in one..."