Tag Archives: coffee

Too Big of a Decision

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He followed them into the coffee shop but didn’t even like coffee. He just thought the girls were cute and was tired of weekends with no plans.

“What can I get you?”

It took him a moment to realize the barista was talking to him, so he froze. He hadn’t thought this through. It was all about the girls.

“Um…a cup of tea, please.” He didn’t exactly love tea, either.

“What kind?”

Shit, there were kinds? He was lost. The barista tapped his foot, then pointed to a list on the wall. Breakfast? Oolong? What the heck is oolong? What does that even mean? Ginger tea? What the hell?

“Uh…plain?” he replied.

“Size?”

“Medium?”

“We have 16 ounce and 24 ounce.”

Shit. “16 ounce, please.”

The man made the tea and handed it to him.

“Fresh lemon?”

The girls were gone.

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.

 

Coffee and Passion

Photograph by Tracy Zhang. Her blog can be found here. Model is Betsy from RazorBlonde.

This was supposed to be the biggest event of her life so far. Her first exhibit. Press practically drooling over her work. People stepping on each other to be the first to congratulate her. And yet the hollowness continued to consume her even in the face of possible fame.

More effort went into this day than any other. She’d been at the gallery before the sun started its shift, and still wore the striped shirt she’d thrown on as she stumbled out of her studio apartment. Coffee sustained her, passion kept her going when the former failed her, and the culminating moment was upon her before she knew it as the crowd gathered and whispered and praised her photographs.

She walked down the aisle between walls covered in her work, black and white photographs of people, some looking at her as she passed, some looking away, as hands kept patting her on the back, tapping her shoulder, asking question after question that she answered in a daze.

Why hadn’t he shown up? Could he really stand her up on such a momentous occasion?

Ignoring the questions and deflecting the fans onto her agent and the gallery owner, Belle headed outside to the loading dock behind the gallery for a moment of respite.

She leaned against the brick wall, recently painted white, and thought back to the last year. She’d been to every single one of his events, large or small, dressed as beautiful and elegant as she could just to impress him and his clients. She’d given up a lot for him, and maybe this was the final sign that he wasn’t the one .

Her head rested against the cold brick as her ring scraped against the wall, waking her up from a melancholy daze. She stood away from the wall as if an alarm went off, checked her makeup in the reflection of her nearby car’s side mirror, grabbed the simple black dress hanging in the back seat and went back inside, ready to face the crowd, the fans, and the possibility of future fame.

Shift

Jon gripped the gear shift, moved it, and the engine revved as they picked up speed.

“Huh?  What do you think?”

Kate was gripping the handle on the door, and her wide eyes weren’t blinking.

“Maybe you should slow down a little?”

He shifted again and slowed down, knowing he was pushing his luck.

“I just wanted you to see how fast it could go on these back roads.”

“I’m impressed, okay?  Speed doesn’t exactly turn me on when I feel like I’m going to die.”

She opened up her laptop again, and returned to working on her film in Final Cut Pro. He looked over as she kept trying different key combinations.

“It’s Shift and Z, hun.  Shift-Z brings the whole timeline into view.  That’s what you’re trying to do, right?”

“Yeah, thanks.  I always forget,” she said, hitting the buttons and seeing the whole image shrink down.

“Good call!”

He smiled and slowed down for a red light.

“Hey, what time is it? I could go for a coffee.”

She looked at the little clock in the top right corner of her laptop. “2 A.M. We still have a few more hours of driving ahead of us. Maybe it’s a good idea.”

He pulled in to the Wawa parking lot and unbuckled his belt. “Coming?”

“No way. Have you ever seen the people who work the graveyard shift in there? Creepy.  I’ll be fine right here.”

“Okay,” he said, slamming the door too hard and startling her. She gave him a look as he smiled at her through the windshield.

Inside there was a solitary worker at the register who awkwardly kept shifting his weight from one foot to the other, obviously tired of standing.  John poured himself a coffee, added sugar, and placed a lid on top.  He paid and went back to the car.

“Hey hun,” he said, climbing into the car, “Did you—” He saw that she had fallen asleep, so he closed her laptop and moved it to the back seat.  He started the car and pulled out into the road a little too fast.

After a few turns, the road stretched out in front of him in a straight line, and after a quick look to make sure she was still asleep, he shifted gears again, speeding up.  He smiled and kept driving that way when all of a sudden a deer ran out into the road, leading him to turn the wheel hard, and at the same time the momentum shifted Kate so violently that she was startled out of her sleep just in time to watch Jon complete the 360 he just did with the car.

“Whoa, did you see that?” he asked her.

“Jon, we need to talk,” she said.

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.