Tag Archives: coffee shop

18 Miles of Books

He approached her.

“Look, we have the same book.”

She looked at the book in his hand and nodded. “Is this the part where we realize we have all these things in common and then fall in love, like we’re in some romantic comedy?”

His smile flickered but he regained his composure.

“I know you saw me with it and picked it up.”

She frowned. “I did not.”

“Mhmm. Next you’re going to tell me Eggers is your favorite author and you’ve read all his books and love him. And it will be a lie.”

“I HAVE read all of his books. This is a gift for a friend.”

“Mine too.”

She wrinkled her nose at him and then cracked a smile. “Of all the bookstores in all the world, you had to walk into mine. And bug me.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Oh, this is your bookstore? You must be wealthy. I’ve heard there are over sixteen miles of books here.”

“Eighteen. But who’s counting?”

He laughed and she cracked a smile.

“You’re kind of a wise ass, aren’t you?”

She fidgeted with her book and scraped the ground with the tip of her left Puma. “Maybe a little.”

“I like that.”

She reached into her bag to look for something.

“Oh I didn’t ask for your number yet.”

“That’s fine,” she said as she pulled out a copy of an old Jacques Cousteau book. “I wasn’t offering. I am planning on going to the park to read my book.”

His eyebrows raised again and his face gained a look of surprise. “You won’t believe this but –“ he reached into his messenger bag and pulled out a different but just as worn Cousteau book.

Now she looked surprised but tried to hide it by picking up a random vintage book from a nearby shelf.

“Ever read this one?”

“Nope. Is it good?”

“Quite.”

“Maybe you could read it to me in bed tonight.”

An older woman who was clearly eavesdropping from across the aisle dropped her book and shuffled away, mumbling to herself.

“Why sir, how forward of you!” she said with a giggle.

His smile started to grow as well. “Well…I was just…er…” he started cracking up and her face broke out into laughter as well. She fell to the floor, shaking with giggles as he collected himself and offered her a hand.

“Had enough of this little game?” she asked him as she accepted his hand and stood.

“Sure. You laughed first though,” he said as he pulled her to her feet.

“No way! It was totally you!”

She looked into his eyes and gave him a quick peck on the lips.

“Let’s go home.”

 

Take a Kindness…Leave a Kindness

He couldn’t help it – the little red mailbox had the flag up, signifying he had mail. It hadn’t been up when he left the table in his favorite little coffee shop to grab a book from his car, had it? He couldn’t remember. He looked around with curiosity, then took a sip of his mango tea from the heavy blue mug.

The red mailbox had Take a kindness…leave a kindness scribbled in black Sharpie on the door. He opened it and found a small notepad with a happy little robot on it. He flipped through, reading each handwritten thought, until he turned to the final page that said “You never know. Right now someone could be looking your way and thinking That could totally be my soul mate.”

He looked up and saw an adorably cute girl with short blond hair smiling at him. She waved.

Special thanks to my favorite coffee shop, Burlap and Bean, for the inspiration.

Flash Fiction Published!

I’m proud to announce a collection of my stories was published in a lovely publication called The Fifteenth Dame Lisbet Throckmorton Anthology:


Click the image to order the book on Amazon. It was an honor to be selected with such beautiful stories and talented writers.

My collection are a bunch of short flash fiction pieces that take place in a coffee shop. There are two sections, Despair and Hope, some of the stories continuing from the Despair section to the Hope section. I’m really excited! Here are a few example flashes:

She removes her hood, as directed.  He wants to see her eyes as she ends it.  She sighs and takes a sip of tea.  He spins his mug of coffee on the saucer, noticing the tiny cracks in the glaze.

~

From above, all that could be seen was two people calmly reading.

From below, all that could be seen was a serious, ongoing foot war.

~

It was their first date, blind at that, and conversation was fairly smooth.  But he knew it would all work out because as she ate her giant marshmallow square, she broke a piece off, rolled it into a bite-sized, mouth-appropriate ball in the palms of her hands, and carefully regarded it between her finger and thumb before popping it into her mouth.

~

She loved sipping the hot rooibos tea but regretted her decision to sit inside on such a nice, clear night.  She looked out the window with an air of regret, but lacked the initiative to move.

 

The Realistic Optimist

She sat down at the table and     automatically lifted the mug of coffee towards her face, analyzed it, then sniffed it.

“I’m sure it’s fine,” he said with a snicker.  “Why do you always think it’s going to be wrong?”

She took off her hoodie and draped it over the chair behind her.  “Because they rarely, if ever, get it  exactly how I order it.”

“So negative for an optimist!”

“Let’s just say I’m a realistic optimist and leave it at that.”  She stirred the coffee and took another sniff.  “I think there’s too much cinnamon.”

He laughed.  “No such thing.”

“As too much cinnamon?” she asked with a smile.

“No, jerk.  As a realistic optimist.”

“Sure there is.”

“Optimists are dreamers by nature.  A person claiming to be a realistic optimist is just an undercover pessimist, trying to figure out why optimists are so optimistic, what makes them tick, why they think there will be a happy ending regardless of how things are in the present.”

“Nah,” she said, swatting his idea away from the table.  “I’m a dreamer who hopes for the best, but prepares for the worst.”

“An optimist wouldn’t prepare for the worst.  He or she would just know that either the best will happen, or they will take something from the bad event, no matter what it is, that will make them a better person.”

She sighed and took a sip.  “Hmmm…I was right, too much cinnamon, not enough milk.”  She put it down and pushed it away from her and towards him.

He reached over and grabbed the cup, walked to the self-serve table, and added some milk.  He sipped it, added a little more, and returned.

“It still has too much cinnamon, I’ll bet you,” she said.  He handed it to her and she sipped it, said nothing, and put it down, this time on the table right in front of her.  He smiled.

Photograph and some dialogue by Jessica Brookins.

Tall Nonfat Chai

“Tall nonfat chai.”

She gets up from her table, leaving behind her light blue hoodie with the millions of folds that remember the shape of her seated body.  She takes the drink from the counter with both hands, raises it to her lips and sips, returns, comfortably lowering into the hug that her hoodie kept waiting.  She picks up her book, Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy, gently removes the Belle and Sebastian bookmark that held her spot for her, and begins reading.  Her flip-flops drop to the floor one at a time as she playfully dangles her feet in the air.  A cool breeze hits them as the door opens.

He puts down his brown messenger bag and walks to the counter.  A moment later he returns, hikes up his pants a little, and sits, opening the bag.  He pulls out a worn copy of Perks of Being a Wallflower, wrinkled almost as much as her hoodie moments earlier.  The bright green cover has so many folds that it looks coated in white stripes.

Someone yells, “Tall chai!” and he gets up, leaving behind his belongings and a lonely brown hoodie similarly crinkled.   He returns with the drink and a napkin.  As he picks up his book to read, a bookmark falls out.

It gently floats around and lands by the girl’s bare foot.  She feels the current of air, ever placid, against her foot and looks down.  She picks it up, recognizing the Mario Brothers theme and the many worn lines of age and use.

“Thanks.”

She looks up and he’s standing at her table, waiting…

“It’s really old.”

She hands him the obvious treasure from his childhood.

“Thanks.”

He waits for a second then goes back to his table.

He reads.

She reads.

He reads.

She reads.

They read.