short stories

A Wee Quiet Coffee – A Short Story

Have a wee read at my first bash at a short story written entirely in Scots dialect! If you’re not Scottish, reading this one might be a bit tricky. Enjoy!

Sa I’m oan ma way tae meet Midgie thu day. I should proberly explain ma good friend’s unfortunate nickname by informing ye that he wis named after thu midgie, y’know the beastie, due tae how irritating he is, how he makes folk’s skin crawl, y’know? He hus a tendency tae dae yer nut rite in. A hink it wis his maw that started thu nickname.

We’re meetin in Central. Midgie ae ways wants tae meet there cause he likes people watching. He likes sittin at that wee coffee bit under the big clock so he can stare at folk. Weirdo, man.

Mind you, I get where he’s comin fae. I don’t people watch but I like listening tae folk, ken. I’m kinna fascinated wae the way folk talk. Thu way they stress certain words n where they huv inflections. I hink it can tell ye a lot aboot somebody.

I’m walking doon Buchanan Street thu noo and it is baw chankin. Whit a pie a um, walking oot thu hoose wae just ma tracky on.

Ma phone buzzes in ma pockit. It’s a text fae thu man himsel.

mate, where are ye? yer ae ways late. did naebody teach ye how tae tell the time ya spoon?

Just as am replying, I start sniggerin. It’s funny how ye read texts in yer heed in the voice ae the person that’s talking tae ye, int it? A bet yer dain it rite noo. Imaginin whit kinda accent a huv. Dae a huv a high pitched voice like Joe Pesci in gidfellas or dae a huv a deep, scary wan like Darth Vader? Who kens? Ye’ll huv tae decide fur yersel.

Sa a make it tae the wee café in Central and get a black coffee. Thu usual lassie’s serving me. She’s goat dead long rid hair but she’s nice, ken. For a ginger anyway. Might ask her oot wan day. Take her oot, treat her nice y’know. Maybe take her tae pizza hut, really push thu boat oot. As long as she dusny order a puddin and leave a hole in ma wallet, we’ll be jammin.

Christ, here he is. Finally! Whit took ye sa long? We’ve goat work tae dae, Midgie says tae me as a sit doon.

I’m here noo, calm yer knickers. Sa whit’s happenin? I asks him.

While you’ve been stoating aboot like a dafty, av awready acquired a target for thu day’s business, he tells me.

Smashin. Rite, point em oot, I says.

Midgie nods over tae a guy across the station. He’s a chubby guy wae a suit, shiny shoes n a big silver watch. He’s hoddin a paper, wan ae they big broadsheet numbers. His suit’s wan ae they pin stripe wans. Who does this spanner hink he is? Al Capone or somehin? Am huvin a flashback tae watching the untouchables. Christ, whit a crap film that wis.

Thu guy’s got a briefcase anaw. Gads.

A watch um fur a minute. He stands up fae his seat tae look at the screens and a see his wallet hingin oot his back pockit.

A study um but before I know it, he’s clocked me. A looks away and sip ma coffee. A minute later, a looks up and he clocks me again. Christ, he must be paranoid. I canny think why.

This time, he gets up n starts walking oor. Midgie geez me a look as if tae say, calm yer jets.

Can I help you, boys? Chubby briefcase says.

Excuse me? I says.

Well, I couldn’t help but notice you two staring at me. Do we have a problem? He says.

I am very sorry, sir. My friend and I have just came here for a quiet coffee. We don’t want any trouble. I merely looked in your direction because you look like someone I know. I don’t have my spectacles with me, you see. That’s why I kept looking over to see if you were who I thought, I says tae um.

He’s taken aback. Aw shocked, ken. Surprised that scum like me can actually string a sentence thugether.

Chubby briefcase pauses fur a wee minute.

You seem a little on edge, sir. Is everything alright? Midgie asks um.

Oh, eh, yes. Everything’s fine. I’m just a little frustrated because my train back to London Euston has been delayed and I really need to get home to the wife bec- he starts chuckling.

You don’t need to hear about my problems. I’m sorry, he says.

He apologies again, shakes oor hons and waddes away.

Maybes ye’ll be able tae tell thu time better noo, Midgie says.

Eh? I says.

He reaches intae his sleeve and wips oot chubby’s rolex. A know aboot rolexs, I’m no a complete troglodyte. That yin’s goat tae be worth like five hunner squid.

How did ye manage that? I says tae Midgie.

Awk, it was practically hingin aff his wrist, he says and tosses it tae me.

A looks oor at chubby briefcase n he’s just tried tae check the time. On his watch. That isny there.

Before he hus a chance tae get up oot his seat, me and Midgie are hawf way up Buchanan Street.

So, thu moral ae this tale, boys n gurls, is: ye should never judge scum by its trackies. Noo, we may huv ripped aff this guy, I’ll gee ye that. But he shouldny huv assumed that’s whit we wur gonny dae, that’s discrimination.

We go tae uni, y’know. Bet chubby briefcase widny huv expected that. I study Business Management and Midgie’s gonny be a Chemical Engineer. We can be smart guys when we want tae be.

A sometimes hink us Scots huv split personalities. I huv Doogie: the scummy, trackie-wearing, joint-smoking occasional thief and Douglas: the respectable, highly accomplished, hardworking university student who has high hopes for the future.

We aw huv different ways a acting. We’ve aw goat a different part tae play.

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