1. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Ralph's side of the island.

    Past Contest Submissions CLOSED for contest #190 "Cold Coffee"

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by GingerCoffee, Apr 26, 2016.

    Short Story Contest # 190
    Submissions & Details Thread
    Theme: "Cold Coffee" courtesy of @GeoffreySmith

    Submissions will be open for 2 weeks.


    To enter the contest, post the story here in this thread. It will show up as an anonymous author.

    The contest is open to all writingforums.org members, newbies and the established alike. At the deadline I will link to this thread from the voting thread. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner. As always, the winner may PM me to request the theme of the subsequent contest if he/she wishes.

    Entries do not have to follow the themes explicitly, but off-topic entries may not be entered into the voting.

    Word limit: 500-3000 words
    Deadline for entries: Sunday the 8th of May, 2016 1600 (4:00 pm) US Pacific time.

    There is a 10% word-limit leniency at both ends of the scale. Please try to stick within the limit. Any piece outside of the suggested limit may not be entered into the voting.

    If we reach 20 entries, the maximum number of stories for any one contest, I will consider splitting the contest into two. Only one entry per contest per contestant is permitted.

    Try to make all your entries complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one and please try to stick to the topic. Any piece seemingly outside of the topic will be dealt with in a piece by piece basis to decide its legitimacy for the contest.

    A story entered into the contest may not be one that has been posted anywhere** on the internet, not just anywhere on this site. A story may not be posted for review until the contest ends, but authors may seek critiques after voting closes for the contest. Members may also not repost a story anywhere, or bring attention to the contest in any way, until the voting has closed.
    (**We tried one that had been posted for critique before entering but it defeated the anonymity so I've gone back to no stories perviously posted here in the forum.)

    PLEASE use this title format for all stories: Title bolded [word count in brackets]

    If there are any questions, please send me a PM (Conversation).

    After the voting ends, posting in the thread will re-open for comments.

    ***And thanks to even more long hours put in by our very special mod/member @Wreybies, winners are now awarded with olympic style medals displayed under their avatars.

    Be sure to preview your entry before you hit 'reply'.
    Check italics and bolding as sometimes the end code for bold or italics doesn't copy/paste affecting large stretches of text.
    If you need to fix the formatting, hit 'control a' to 'select all' and clear all bold and italics code. Then re-add it back in using the board's font controls before you hit 'post reply'. Watch those extra line spaces. PLEASE delete them directly from the post before hitting 'post reply'.

    The point of consistent titles and line spacing is to avoid having those things influence votes, sometimes for worse.

    Thanks, and good luck!
  2. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

    Jan 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Inner West Sydney, Australia
    "Cold Coffee"
    (Oops. @GingerCoffee can you delete this? I started writing and pressed enter accidentally. I don't think I can finish it right now.)
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  3. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

    May 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Virginia, United States
    Coffee's Cold [3,285 words] (edited: cut two paragraphs to fit limit)

    The headache came as soon as I opened my eyes. I groaned and rolled onto my stomach, pulling the pillow over my head to ward off the light streaming through the windows.

    “Remind me never to drink that much again,” I grumbled, but there was no answer. The room was quiet. I lifted the pillow and glanced to my right. The spot beside me was empty, the blankets tossed to the side. I sat up on my elbows. “Grant?”

    No response came.

    I yanked the blankets off and shimmied to the edge of the bed. The wood floor was cold against my feet. The door to the bathroom was closed. I knocked before pushing it open. “Grant?”

    No one was inside. I pulled the plush robe from the back of the door and slid into it, tying it around my waist as I descended the stairs. The storm door creaked as it opened. I turned just in time to see him enter, his face red from the rising heat outside. He smiled and waved the newspaper he'd retrieved from the lawn.

    “Good afternoon,” he said, pecking me forcefully on the forehead.

    “Aftern–?” I whipped my head to look at the clock. I groaned and rubbed my forehead, the sudden movement sending a stab of pain through my temples. The clock showed 11:31. I'd slept all morning.

    “Not feeling to hot, eh?” He dropped the paper on the kitchen counter and lifted his mug, holding it delicately by the handle.

    I didn't even dignify his question with a response. I crossed the kitchen and picked up my phone, where it lay charging by the door. No notifications. I frowned. “Have you heard from Jessa?”

    He took a drink of his coffee and grimaced as if he hadn't added enough sugar. The scowl remained as he set the mug down. “Why would I?”

    I shrugged, unease picking at my nerves, and walked up behind him. I pulled a mug from the cabinet. “She seemed upset last night.”

    “What else is new?” he murmured. Then he kissed me on the forehead and headed for the stairs. “I'm gonna take a shower.”

    After he'd gone, I loaded the Keurig and placed the mug beneath the spout before starting it to brew. His coffee still sat on the counter. I felt the side – cold.

    I poured it down the drain.


    It was well into the day before we received word about Jessa.

    Grant had just started the grill, a tray of raw chicken sitting on the stool beside him. A fresh pitcher of lemonade sat sweating on the patio table. The doorbell rang.

    I looked at Grant, but the confusion on his face made it clear he wasn't expecting company either. I set my drink on the table, making a jarring scratching noise as glass met glass. As soon as I stepped into the kitchen, the knocking started; soft at first, then louder, more forceful as it went unanswered.

    I peered back at Grant, who stood awkwardly over the grill, spatula in hand, watching the front door as if expecting it to break open at any moment. I swallowed hard and crossed into the living room.

    The knocking came again, rattling the china in the curio cabinet. The back door slid shut. Grant walked up behind me, his hand resting on my lower back. He nodded and guided me to the front door.

    Two figures stood beyond, one tall, one a head shorter. They knocked again, and I jumped. I lunged for the door and yanked it open, heart hammering in my chest. Both wore black suits and stern expressions. Neither spoke. They just looked at me.

    “Yes?” I asked and crossed my arms over my chest.

    The man in front glanced at his partner, exchanging a look I couldn't interpret. Then he spoke. “Mr. and Mrs. Pattan?”

    “Yes?” I said again, a chill passing through me.

    He tucked a notepad into his coat pocket. “I'm Detective Alton Reins. This is my partner, Jill Mendez. Do you know a Miss Jessa Dacy?”

    My breath caught in my throat. Grant squeezed my arm. The detectives stared at me, awaiting a response. But my mind had gone blank; all I could see were their eyes. Studying me. Weighing me. Judging me.

    “Please, come in,” Grant said behind me. He pushed the door open and slid to the side, pulling me with him. The detectives nodded and stepped inside.

    I sat on the sofa, feeling as stiff as the boards beneath me. But Grant looked like a crumpled piece of paper. He hunched over himself, head hung, knees pulled in tight, hand rubbing his beard. His eyes were clouded with worry.

    Detective Reins sat in the chair opposite us. Mendez stood off to the side, arms crossed, legs spread. An unreadable look masked her face as she watched us.

    Reins pulled the notebook from his pocket again and flipped through it. “How well did you know Miss Da–”

    “What's happened?” I said quickly. Reins looked up from his pad. Mendez looked over at him. Neither said a word.

    “What's happened?” I said again, my heart beating so hard I feared it may burst.

    Reins leaned forward in his seat. “What makes you think something happened, Mrs. Pattan?”

    I swallowed, my throat suddenly dry. “You said did,” I whispered. The threat of tears stung my eyes.

    Reins sighed heavily and rested his elbows on his knees. He dipped his head as he weighed his words. “Jessa was found in a ditch this morning just outside of Glendale. She'd been strangled to death.”

    A tortured cry ripped from my throat, but then Grant was there. He wrapped me in his arms, smoothing my hair as he rocked me. “Shhh,” he whispered, over and over, his voice tight as he fought his own tears. “Shh, it's alright.”

    But it wasn't alright. I knew it; Grant knew it; and we both knew the detectives knew it.

    Jessa was dead.

    Someone had murdered her.

    They barely gave us a moment to grieve before he started questioning us again. “How long did you know Miss Dacy?”

    Grant cleared his throat as he straightened, his arm still wrapped around my shoulders. He wiped a tear from his eye. “My whole life. Me and Jessa went to school together.”

    “And you knew her well?”

    Grant tottered as he struggled to find the right words. “I mean, yeah, I guess. We were close.”

    “Mhm.” Reins nodded and made a note in his pad. Then he looked up again, waving his pen as he spoke. “Do you know why she called you last night?”

    I shot a look at Grant, tears still streaming down my cheeks. Grant's eyes went wide. He stammered. “S-she didn't call me last night.”

    Reins glanced between the two of us, hesitating. “Your number was the last one listed on her log. Made at–” –he flipped through his pad– “three-thirty this morning. Ten seconds long. You saying you never got it?”

    Grant pulled his phone from his pocket, hands shaking so furiously he fumbled with his password twice before finally getting it right. His eyebrows came together in frustration as he looked through his call history. Then he threw it onto the coffee table and buried his face in his hands. I rubbed between his shoulder blades, feeling his heart hammering beneath my hand, his breath coming in long and deep.

    He finally pulled his hands away from his eyes, covering his mouth instead as he said, “My phone's been acting up. I've been meaning to get a new one, but...”

    The end of the sentence went unsaid.

    Grant looked between the two detectives. “If I had gotten her call…” He paused, swallowing, then started again, tapping the table with his finger. “If I'd gotten her call, would she still be alive?”

    “We can't know that,” Mendez said, shaking her head, sympathy in her eyes. “We don't even have a time of death yet. We were hoping you could tell us about her social life.”

    Grant nodded, eyes bloodshot, clearly beating himself up over the idea. If he was responsible for the death of his best friend, he'd never forgive himself. I rubbed his back again.

    “Yeah,” Grant said quietly. “Yeah, sure.”

    Reins flipped through his notepad again. “When was the last time you saw Ms. Dacy?”

    “Uh, last night!” Grant said, as if it was just dawning on him. They'd just seen her last night. Just over twelve hours ago, they'd been together, and she was fine. She was alive.


    “We, uh…” He paused again, shook his head as if trying to erase a thought, then started over. “We went to a baseball game–”

    “We?” Reins interrupted.

    “Me–” –he gestured at me– “–Sue, Jessa, Lauren, and Cameron.”

    Mendez flipped through her own notepad. “Lauren and Cameron McLean?”

    Grant nodded. “Yeah. They'd gotten a sitter, so we decided to go out. Wasn't hard scoring last minute tickets.”

    “Alright,” Reins said. “What happened at the game?”

    Grant looked confused, glancing between the two detectives again.

    “Did she meet anyone?” Reins suggested, gesturing wide. “Talk to anyone? Was she followed maybe?”

    “No,” Grant said quickly, glancing to me for confirmation. I shook my head. “No, nothing like that. She was always with someone. Didn't even go to the bathroom alone.”

    Reins nodded, making another note. “And what time did you leave?”

    “Well,” Grant chuckled sadly. “Me and Jessa left early. Baseball… It isn't really our thing. But Cameron wanted to go, so we did. But by the time the eighth inning hit, we were hot, tired, bored. So we walked back to the car to wait until the game was over. We…” He glanced between the detectives, then said sheepishly, “We had a cooler of beer in the car.”

    “Alright,” the detective said, never taking his eyes from Grant. “So you and Jessa went to the car at about…?”

    Grant looked at me. “Nine maybe? Ten?” I shrugged, which he copied. “I didn't look at the clock.”

    “Then what?”

    “Then…” Grant's eyebrows came together in thought. “Then the game was over. But Lauren and Cam, they weren't ready to go home. So we stopped at a bar downtown.”

    “Any problems there?” Reins asked, waving his pen between the two of us.

    Grant sighed heavily, his shoulders sagging. “I don't know, man. I wasn't attached to her all night.”

    If the statement bothered Reins, he didn't show it. He just jotted something down in his notebook before continuing. “Did you all leave together?”

    Now Grant really struggled. He shifted in his seat, head hung, eyes filling with guilt. Finally, he said, “No. She was upset. Kept yelling she wasn't ready to leave. Sue and I didn't want to deal with it, so we just left. Figured Lauren and Cam would take care of her.”

    But they didn't.

    Reins nodded, shifting forward in his chair. “What time did you two get home?”

    “About two.”

    “And you've been here ever since?”

    Grant paused. He stared at Reins, his jaw working. Whatever he saw there, he didn't like. “Yeah,” he spat, his anger building. “Yeah, we've been here ever since.”

    “And this morning?” Reins didn't even seem fazed by the change in Grant's tone. He simply looked back down at his notebook and made more notes. I had half a mind to rip it from his hand.

    Grant sat up straighter, hands forming fists on his knees. “I woke up, made coffee, got the paper, and took a shower. We've been lounging around – together – ever since.”

    Reins nodded. “What time did you wake up?”

    Grant shot to his feet so fast, I flinched. “Are you serious? My best friend just died, and you think we had something to do with it?”

    Mendez held up her hands in surrender, approaching Grant slowly. “We're not accusing you of anything. We just need to set a timeline.”

    “A timeline for what?” Grant shouted, face reddening with anger. He motioned towards me. “When we left Jessa last night, she was alive. That's all we know.”

    Mendez touched Grant on the shoulder. “Why don't we take a breather?” she said, gesturing towards the kitchen.

    Grant clenched his teeth, breath coming fast, staring at Reins as if he had more he wanted to say. But finally he turned and marched into the kitchen, Mendez close behind. The backdoor slid open quickly, hitting the end of it's track with a crash. When it slid closed, I sighed and buried my face into my hands.

    Reins didn't speak right away, and for that I was grateful. It was too much. Too much information. Jessa, murdered. And if we'd done maybe one thing differently… If we hadn't left her alone at the bar, if we had gotten Grant a new phone… Maybe she'd be alive.

    I tried hard to ignore the blame I felt and instead turned to look at Reins. “What now?”

    He sighed and tucked his notebook back into his pocket. “Now we interview Mr. and Mrs. McLean. See if they corroborate your story. Or if they have anything else to add.”

    I knew I should've been angered by the accusation – that Lauren and Cameron might not corroborate our story. But I wasn't. I couldn't be. I was still in shock. Too numb to process.

    “Your husband said she was upset.” He dragged out the last word, turning it into a question instead of a statement. “Do you know anything about that?”

    I flashed to the night before: Jessa and Grant in the corner of the bar, barely noticeable in the shadows. She was angry, her forehead wrinkled from scowling, her arms flailing as she yelled. Grant grabbed her by the arm and said something to her. But she ripped away from his grasp and walked away.

    I looked at Reins. “No.”


    “But we were just with her, Sue!” Even through the phone, I could hear the gut-wrenching sobs coming from Lauren.

    “I know,” I said, devoid of all emotion.

    “I knew we shouldn't have left her at the bar!”

    “It's not your fault,” I said, again lacking any kind of sympathy. I'd already gone through everything she was feeling. I couldn't feel it again. Not today.

    “But what if it was our fault?” she said, sniffling away her tears. “She told me she was having guy problems. What if he killed her? Wha–”

    “What do you mean, guy problems?” I asked. Jessa had never said anything to me about it. Or to Grant, which was unusual. They told each other everything. Grant peered at me over the top of a newspaper.

    “What?” he mouthed. I shook my head. Tell you later.

    “She didn't tell you?” Lauren said, and the surprise in her voice hurt me all the more. “Some guy she was dating.”

    “Did you know his name?”

    Grant stood, setting the paper down, and picked up his coffee cup. He held it tightly as he watched me with concern, his curiosity piqued.

    “No, she wouldn't tell me,” Lauren said, her voice thick with sadness. “Only that he was married.”

    “Mm,” Grant said suddenly, swallowing a mouthful of coffee before speaking. “Coffee's cold. Want a fresh cup?”

    Something inside me dropped.

    Coffee's cold.

    Blood pulsed in my ears. My hands and fingers started to go numb, legs trembling as adrenaline coursed through me.

    I saw Grant, leaving the baseball stadium with Jessa. She looked behind her, making sure he was following. She smiled.

    “Sue?” Lauren said.

    Then I saw them together in the parking lot, hair disheveled, cheeks red. Smiles plastered on both of their faces. It's the heat, I thought then.

    “Sue?” Grant said, stepping toward me.

    Then the bar. Jessa yelling, gesturing toward me – or toward the door, I thought at the time. Grant grabbing her and pulling her in the opposite direction.

    I dropped the phone. It hit the ground, but not even the sound of plastic shattering was enough to break through to me.

    Coffee's cold.

    I saw Grant, standing at kitchen counter this morning. Grimacing as he drank his cup of coffee.

    Then Detective Reins. Grant, speaking. “I woke up, made coffee, got the paper, took a shower.”

    Coffee's cold.

    “Sue?” Grant said, grabbing me by my shoulders. “Sue, what's wrong?”

    “Coffee's cold,” I murmured.


    My stupor broke. I raised my eyes to look into his. “Coffee's cold.”

    Grant's brows came together in confusion. “Yeah, that's what I said. So?”

    I ripped my arms from his grasp and stepped away. He stood there, his face not shocked, but concerned. For me? Or for himself?

    “You told Detective Reins that you woke up, made coffee, got the paper, and took a shower.”

    Grant paused, studying me. Weighing me. Judging me. “And?”

    I swallowed. “But the cup was cold. When you went to shower, the coffee was cold.” He stared at me, waiting for me to make a point. “If you had made it right before you got the paper, why was it cold?”

    His jaw snapped shut so fast, I heard his teeth click. He didn't speak.

    “You weren't getting the paper,” I said, pointing at him, my feet taking me another step away from him. Putting more distance between us. “Where were you, Grant?”

    Tell me you were just getting the paper, I thought. Please, just tell me. I'll believe you.

    But he didn't. He only sighed and hung his head, digging his hands into his pockets.

    My blood went cold. I struggled to pull in air. “You killed her,” I whispered, still pointing at him, unable to lower my hand. Tears filled my eyes. “You were sleeping with her. You killed her!”

    He rushed me. I turned and lunged for the door, but I wasn't fast enough. He grabbed me by the shoulders and flipped me around, slamming me against the door. He pinned me there, face inches from mine, breath hot against my skin.

    “She was being crazy, Sue!” he yelled. His face was twisted – deformed – rage battling desperation. “She showed up here early this morning, banging on the door, yelling about how it wasn't right! About how we couldn't lie to you any more!”

    I struggled against his grip, but he only held me tighter, thumbs digging into tender skin. A whimper escaped my lips.

    “She was going to break your heart, Sue!” he said, his voice almost pleading now, begging for me to understand. “If she'd have told you, it would've killed you!”

    So you killed her instead.

    He pushed away from me and rubbed his hands through his hair, visibly trying to calm down. But the rage refused to leave his eyes.

    Trembling, I reached down behind me and found the door handle. I turned it, slowly, watching as he paced the living room.

    “She was going to ruin everything!” He threw his hands up as he yelled, his face red with anger. An anger I had never seen before yesterday. An anger I didn't even know he was capable of. “What was I supposed to do, Sue?”

    I ripped the door open and ran. Heard him crash into it as he followed.

    A car parked at the curb. Reins and Mendez stepped out.

    I didn't even think – I just yelled. “He killed her! He killed Jessa, please help me!”

    I dove behind the car, trembling with fear, tears streaming down my face in rivers. The detectives shouted and pulled their guns, aimed at Grant.

    He stopped dead in his tracks. He took one look at me, smirked, then raised his hands above his head. Reins grabbed him by the shoulder and threw him face first into the grass.

    The cuffs clicked.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
    20oz likes this.
  4. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Don't worry about it, we can all just ignore it. It won't stop you from posting your finished story.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  5. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

    Jan 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Inner West Sydney, Australia
    I know. Just wanted to make it easier on everyone by it not being there and confusing them.
  6. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

    May 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Virginia, United States
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  7. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

    Jan 11, 2015
    Likes Received:

    Betty Baxter, and the Drunkening of the Way (2512)

    I smirk at the obliterated shuttle, it's charred and smoking remains still basking me in it's glowing space heat. Next to me the ambassador is gawking, his nice space business suit smoking and wrinkled. I take off my smoking space helmet, the shattered glass and warped frame falling apart as I remove it. I am not positive, but I think I might have a concussion. A space concussion.

    "They just don't make space shuttles like they used to." I wink at the ambassador. He looks at me like I am a crazy person.

    "Pardon me, ma'am..." He speaks calmly and politely through clenched teeth. "... But who are you?"

    "Betty Baxter..." I extend a smoking hand towards him. "... Spacegineer."

    "Why were you on our consulate ship?" He does not shake my hand. So rude.

    "Well..." I abandon the handshake and whip out the remains of a work order, doing my best do flatten it out on the chest of my burnt, once-green space suit. "... This shuttle was due for a quick mae check and engine replacement a few months ago, but..." I laugh a little, pointing at the order. "... Someone wrote the date wrong on the request. So..." I gesture at the wreck in front of us. "... Here we are."

    "Wait... that doesn't answer why you were on our ship."

    "Oh." I throw the request away. "I don't remember."

    "Augh, no!" The ambassador collapses in the snow. The ship has stopped smoldering, and I am struck by a cold realization. The planet we crashed on is a verdant paradise of lush greenery and bountiful oceans. We just happened to land on one of the poles.

    "Betty." At the familiar voice, I reach into my belt and pull out my wrench radio, patent pending.

    "Sup, Jethro." I respond to my friend, room mate, and all around best buddy.

    "The tacos are ready. You about home?"

    "Nah, I'm stuck on that goldie rocks planet the fleet's passing."

    "Hah, really? How'd you manage that?"

    "I'm not sure. I was on the trade mission ship prepping it for takeoff, maybe, and I must have fallen asleep. Or maybe I was trying to fix something. I dunno. I think I have some mild brain damage from the crash."

    "Want me to come get you? I got a pilot friend who's itching for an excuse to try some reentry tricks."

    "If you don't mind, I would really appreciate the help. Just don't tell the boss."

    "Got you covered. Later."

    "Later." I holster my wrench radio, the sobs of the ambassador growing louder.

    "Hey there!" I extend a smoking hand towards him. "Betty Baxter, Spacegineer."

    "You already said that!" He yells at me. So rude.

    "Oh." Yup. Definitely drain bramage. "Why are you still here, then?"

    "Where am I going to go, you ass!?" The rude man gestures frantically at the icy terrain around us.

    "I'll have to ask you to refrain from swearing at a lady, sir." I turn away from him and begin to take inventory of my tool belt. "I may be a blue collar grain slammage victim, but..." I begin to take inventory of my tool belt.

    "...But what?"

    "Oh." I turn to the strange man, smiling broadly. I love meeting new people. " Howdy, friend!" I extend a smoking hand towards him. "Betty Baxter, spacegineer."

    "We're dead." He says. So rude.

    "No were not, pal!" I gesture at the icy wasteland, which is actually more of a tundra now that think about it. "We just need to hunker down, buckle up, and fleep lfufflf."

    "What?" The Ambassador looks at me with his giant balloon head, right before it pops.

    "I flaid blfg." I reach up and caress the small dart stuck in my neck. Was that there earlier? That snowy ground sure is coming at me fast.


    Getting knocked out is pretty common for me, and passing out due to blood loss is a close second. My line of work causes me to experience quite a few dangerous injuries. So, when I say that I feel more funny than usual as I slowly regain my consciousness, know that it is coming from a position of experience.

    "She is the one." The speaker hiccups. "I can shmell it on her."

    "We shot her with a whole hotbourbon." Another hiccup. "And she's already awake. A feat not to be taken lightly."

    "So what if she killed a hotbourbon? I killed two the other day."

    "Her comrade died when he faced a hotbourbon, but she's already coming to."

    "Augh..." I lift my heavy, throbbing head. "Anyone get... the number of that." I try to look around, but my vision is still blurry. "...shuttle."

    "Greetings flying mouse, column of pillars."

    "Huh?" I shake my head again, the forms of three men slowing coming into focus. "Flying what?"

    "Choose your words carefully, outsider." One of the men approaches me, his body wrapped in a weird sort of skintight spandex suit, his breath absolutely rancid, his belly large and blobby. He has a funny hat on, with two little hoses leading to his mouth. "We do not yet trush your intentions on our planet." He hiccups as he finishes, sipping on one of the hoses next to his mouth.

    "Hey, brah." I glare at him, the description of his attire making me aware of the chilly breeze whipping across my exposed body. "Question: where are my clothes?"

    "You have not earned the right to wear a swillsuit, outsider." The second man approaches my underwear'ed form, his steps dragging and drunken.

    "Uh huh." I take note of my position on the cave wall, my hands tied above my head. "My daddy warned me about guys like you- Hey!" The first jerk has just stabbed me in the arm with a small finger needle, the device like a weird fingernail extender, or when your stupid brother makes one of those aluminum foil things to spit at you. I suddenly feel very energetic. "What was that?"

    "Caffeine!" All the creeps chant at once. "The mind killer."

    "Oka-a-ay, that's enough for me, thanks." My legs are not restrained. Mistake number one.

    "We are curious about how you will react to the maker's water, weird one-GURH!" I kick the third man in the crotch as he approaches, shutting up his chauvinistic mouth.

    "Quit that!" The second man whips out what looks like a knife, before I kick HIM in the groin. He falls on top of his friend. The last man draws his knife and flies at me, eyes wild, beer-belly protruding. I wait for him to swing before striking, timing my attack perfectly.

    "Handle that!" I yell with defiance as I kick him in the groin. His face twists, his body flies past me, his head 'thunking' stupidly on the wall I am tied to. The three men writhe on the ground, clutching at their jerky junk. "That's right, you let that soak in! This aint no Fifty Shades of the Colour out of Space! This is Snow Crash!"

    "Usul?" I look up to see three women entering the room through a door I did not notice. They are dressed like the men, in spandex clothes with weird hats, but are all really skinny and twitchy. "I heard talking, and saw talking, and then I heard-a-bunch-of-noise-so-here-I-am-to-see-what-By the maker!"

    "Uhm..." I pull on my binds. "I can explain. Can I explain? I can explain." I suddenly feel very anxious and jumpy.

    "You defeated three of the Meadmeluke while bound..." One of the women points at me, her eyes crazy and dilated. "... Clad only in... polka-dot undergarments?"

    "They're smiley faces, thank you very much!"

    "It was said that a weird one would fall from the sky!" The third woman walks right up to me, while the other two attend to the maimed men. "It was said she would come bearing warmth and word unknown to us."

    "Hey, you got some scissors or something?" I interject, tugging on my wrist bonds a little. "Or a knife, they all had knives, do-you-have-a-knife-I-need-a-knife." I cross my legs, trying to get some of my privacy back. How much caffeine was in that shot? "I-know-we're-all-girls-here-but-"

    "Are you cold?" The woman in my face asks, her eyes twitchy and deep. I would kick her in the groin, but... well, you know.

    "Yes, I am very cold." Then again, I seem to remember groin kicks being pretty painful. God, why is everyone moving so slow? "Where I am from it's usually a lot warmer, due to living so close to the plasma reactor-"

    "She fell from the sky on an orb of fire, the heat so intense it melted the white dunes!" Okay, so it's not just the men. These ladies are crazy, too.

    "What was intended with such wealth?" The questioner is right in my face.

    "Hehe, hey now..." I am starting to sweat now, from the caffeine, and my strange circumstances. " ...a flaming ship is pretty normal where I come from."

    "And she will come from a land of warm and plenty, knowing not the hardship of our land." The three women speaking all at once, one of the men mumbling despite his shattered testicles, is really really weird.

    "You girls are into the chanting too, huh?" I'm just gonna try it. What's another groin to kick, anyway?


    I am standing in a great hall, a cave of sorts, or maybe an igloo. I don't frickin' know. I look down from high atop a pedestal at a massive host of hundreds of spandex wearing weirdos. The center of the pillar is a huge bowl, a brownish, frothy liquid lapping against the sides. I sigh. A lot has happened since I kicked all those groins.

    "Betty Lowstrike, know as Buster to your tribe, user of the weird-way-fast-and-brave-and-good-" The spastic woman in front of me gestures broadly from beneath her massive robe, babbling crazily. "-user-of-the-low-grown-blown-homegrown-"

    "Yes!" I interrupt her, already tired of my time on this weird planet. I finally found some clothes and figured out how they fit, which apparently was a big deal to these weirdos, too. I had to find my own food too, but all the women here eat and drink nothing but hyper-potent coffee beans. The plants here are huge, and these dorks think they're gods, or something. They tried to make me use some giant hooks and listen to a weird, offbeat dubstep soundtrack while I foraged, but that's just stupid.

    My detailed knowledge of botany, an odd skill for an engineer I know, has elevated me to a position of power and influence. These weird, drunk, caffeinated people now enjoy more of their insane diet thanks to a few choice facts and tricks from my space knowledge, in addition to a few improvised farming machines I showed them how to make. They might have figured all this out themselves, if they weren't so hopped up on addictive substances all the time. They want to reward me now, and I regret helping them.

    "Today you will begin the Drunkening of the Way!" The woman screams at me.

    "Mhm." I look at the giant bowl, wary of it's fermented contents. "That sounds dumb." The men here eat and drink nothing but alcohol. Just. Booze. Let that soak in for a moment. No, really, forget the pun, let it soak into your mind. Let it wash over you like a stinking, annoying, belching, overflowing toilet. It's really exhausting.

    "No one has ever partaken of both the maker's water and the changed water, and survived."

    "The changed water." The host in the hall chants. A few men hiccup. The women are all tweaking out. Everyone in sipping on their stupid hats.

    "Woman can only see the fast, the spastic, and the outside!" The woman says dramatically. "While man can only be see the slow, the gradual, and the internal." She bends over, produces a small silver cup, and draws a large amount of the liquid.

    "You... must attempt to see both."

    "Yeah, that's a pretty narrow, binary, somewhat sexist worldview you are pushing-O-o-w-w!" I glare the weirdo who snuck up next to me and stabbed me in the arm with one of their weird finger needles. "Stop doing that!" He pulls out needle. "What was that? More caffeine?"

    "The one cannot leave the path!" The man burps.

    "Hey!" I whip out my spiceknife and press it to his groin, it's curved blade laced with enough Robusta extract to cause a space mammoth's heart to pop. "Don't mess with me, dude! I'm talking to someone."

    "Do not worry." The man hiccups. "Jusht some painkiller."

    "Oh..." I slug him in the groin with the handle. A spiceknife cannot be sheathed without emasculating someone. "Well, thank you."

    "Be warned!" The woman extends her hand out to me, her sleeve flapping dramatically. "If you do not maintain control of yourself, if you fall into a-"

    "Yeah yeah. Let's just get this over with." I snatch the stupid cup from her, shotgunning the thick drink quickly. It tastes bitter. I toss the cup aside. "What now? Do I have to give birth to a crazy, caffeine addicted baby, or something?"

    "That's disgusting." The woman scoffs at me. "Today was just a ceremony. First, you must quit caffeine. Once you are purged you will come here every day for a month, slowly becoming used to the drinking of the holy alcohol. Once you are ready, you will partake of both at once."

    "Good!" I am relieved, glad for some normal news. "That's good to hear. So long as I don't have just dive stupidly into some sort of maddening, mind altering, mind warping, mindscrew... Of the mind."

    "Just be ready... For ascension." I glare at the freaky woman.

    "What happens when I drink both?"

    "Oops." The man burps from his spot on the ground. "That syringe was caffeine."


    "Hey, buddy." I greet Jethro as he approaches my Godlike form. My segmented, ringed, giant, wormlike body ends in an enlarged, human head. I glare at him as he prostrates himself respectfully before my golden throne in reverence. The translucent tank in place around my divine, wormy essence only slightly obscures my magnificence. The nearby 'Bar-barista'kin' twitch at Jethro's every movement, sensing my agitation at his presence, as well as my elation.

    "You know, I'm always so surprised at what you can accomplish in ONE day if I leave you alone." Jethro can be pretty smarmy sometimes.

    "Spare me!" My voice bears the word of planet Brewn, the land of cold coffee. Jethro stands up, his every motion carrying a thousand unforeseen consequences, his every twitch changing his destiny. "Today has been a total nightmare."

    "So..." I can tell from his expression he is trying to keep from laughing. I respect him for at least not making fun of me outright. "You ready to come home and have a taco?"

    "A taco would be nice." I sigh, the Bar-barista'kin pouring more mind-altering, inhibition-shifting liquid into my tank. "I could use some less omniscient food."

    "I have to ask. What happened to you?" My answer to Jethro's question could lead us to a million possible roads, but only one response will guide us down the golden path.

    "The cold coffee must flow."

    The End
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  8. SilentDreamer

    SilentDreamer Member

    Nov 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Coffee, and the Art of Self-Involvement (870 words)

    Rubbing his face, two days of salt and pepper stubble covering his chin, he peeled open his red rimmed eyes. One hard night too many this time, his head pounding with each squawk of the alarm clock. Reaching out his hand to slap the off button, smacking everything but for a minute or two until he finally connected, he rolled over and out of bed.

    A shower would make him feel better, but it was unlikely he’d have time for one. Pulling on his cleanest pair of jeans, and a clean shirt, a comfortable pair of shoes. A quick run of his hand through his average length, sun highlighted brown hair, sliding a pair of sunglasses on top of his head to hold it still, and he was pretty much done.

    A brief lift of his chin, acknowledging one another in the street, words not necessary. A quick smile at the dishevelled homeless gentleman, a regular on his walk to his local café, as he dropped a few coins in his cup, an act repeated daily, an unspoken friendship between the two.

    Ordering his usual cup of coffee from the barista, he sat to wait for it to be made. The bustle of city life had started, flowing silently past the window, each person in a world of their own, unconnected, yet connected by more than just living in the same city as one another. Watching the different people walking past, he pondered the lives they led, the things they did, the secrets they held. His cup placed in front of him, he took a quick sip whilst still looking out the street-grimed window.

    A flash caught his eye. Looking around he realised that no-one else had noticed, too caught up in their own little worlds. Shouts from outside startled him to his feet.

    Mark! Where you going?” called the barista, as Mark raced out the door giving the barista a dismissive wave.

    “Hey! You! Stop it!” Mark yelled as he pushed his way through the foot traffic, racing across the road. The pitiful sobs of a small child reached out to him from the noise surrounding him, its mother’s eyes large with panic, a knife to her throat, as the thug demanded her purse.

    “But, it’s got his medicine in it. He’ll die without his medication” She whispered to the thug, the tip of his knife pricking into her neck.

    “Give me the damn purse woman, or I’ll slit your throat in front of your little boy” The little boy chose this moment to whimper louder. Mark held his finger to his lips, to make sure the little blonde haired boy didn’t give him away, as he crept up behind the knife wielding thug. Standing half a foot taller than the dark, dank haired teenager trying to be tough, Mark reached over his shoulder and grasped the wrist with the knife, his face close to the young man’s shoulder.

    “Listen here, punk, you’re going to drop that knife and back away from this young lady or I’m going to break your arm as we stand here.”

    “Shove off, old man” Mark snorted with derision at the thug as he applied pressure to the wrist he held. The squirming, squealing mass that became of the teenager told him he was pressing at just the right angle. Stepping back, the thug’s wrist still held at an awkward position forcing him to follow Mark’s movements, away from the intended victim, who knelt down to console her now screaming child.

    “I told you to drop the knife, punk. But did you listen? No.” With a small movement of his hand, a slight crack under the skin beneath his palm, and knife clattered to the ground, the thug screaming in pain. “Now, back off, and leave this young lady alone. I suggest you get that looked at, and stay in school - you aren’t any good at this game. Hear me?” The thug nodded in fear, running away as fast as his legs would carry him, holding his broken wrist gingerly as he ran.

    “Thank you, sir! You saved my life!” The young mother burbled, the shock of the situation setting in suddenly, “How can I repay you?”

    “It was my duty, ma’am. Please just stay safe, and look after this brave young man and yourself. You okay to go on your way, or would you like me to call someone?” She nodded, she was fine.
    “Thanks again, sir.”

    It was now that Mark looked around, and noticed that no-one else had stopped – not for the screaming child, not for the distressed woman, not for the obvious crime that was occurring. Everyone had walked on by, caught up in their own lives, oblivious to the happenings around them. He sighed. When had humanity become so self-involved?

    Rubbing his still throbbing head, he headed back across to the café. The young brunette barista smiled at him as he came back into the café, looking for his coffee. No one had taken his seat yet, his coffee still sitting waiting for him after all the commotion. He sat, and took another sip.

    “Damn it, after all that…it’s bloody cold!”
  9. dbesim

    dbesim Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Likes Received:
    London, UK
    The Coffee Shop (941 words)

    Alec sits down across the table from his mother having just bought himself a sixth cup of frappuccino which he progresses to sip slowly.

    'I'm glad you've joined me, mother,' he says with a twinkle in his eye.

    'Well you can never have enough coffee. Though you, son, seem to be having plenty of it!' As Alec sips he thinks to himself how wonderful it is to have a refreshing drink like this on a hot Summer's day. 'Have another buttered scone with your coffee, young man.'

    'No thanks, ma, I've had three already.'

    Mrs Dilder has ordered a pot of tea herself and bought a boxful of fresh scones from the counter to go with it. Alec has been alone reading the papers for some time before being joined by his mother. Now he has her company his day brightens up significantly. It's not all the time he gets to spend moments like this together with her since she is such a busy housewife. There always seems to be some chore or other for her to do at home.

    'Any news?' She asks Alec eyeing the papers. Alec gives the page a quick scan. 'Yes, there is something on the opera singer, Maria Bolecci. She is still reported missing.'

    'Young ladies like that really should not be disappearing. In my days ladies certainly knew where their place was. There was never none of this kind of news. But tell me something - ' Mrs Dilder says raising an eyebrow and spying the girl behind the counter, 'Why has this been your sixth frappuccino?'

    'No reason,' he says. 'It's a hot day and I'm just into coffee.'

    'That's not what my senses tell me,' she points a scone towards him before taking a bite. 'Mmm, these are delicious, you sure you don't want another?' Alec hesitates, 'Oh, alright then, I'll have one,' he picks up a scone and starts dipping into his fourth.

    'So are you sure it's not because of that pretty waitress behind the till there?' Alec turns crimson. 'Ah, I thought so,' says Mrs Dilder giggling. I certainly have an intuition about these things, she thinks to herself.

    'It's about time too, Alec,' she says. 'You know you're not getting any younger. It's time you started thinking about finding someone and settling down. Take that waitress over there...' she says, 'You need to find the pluck to just go up there and tell her. You can't let a good one slip away and I know how fussy you are.'

    'Alright I'll go and ask her then shall I?'

    'Yes indeed!' Says Mrs Dilder, 'And right away too! I don't have much time left myself and I want to see me some grandchildren before I leave this world.' Alec gets up and makes his way towards the counter again slowly. He doesn't have the courage and is uncomfortable with his mother watching. The pretty waitress looks up from behind the counter - 'Yes?' she asks.

    'I... um.. I...Can I have another frappuccino, please?'

    'Oh sure, sir,' she says. Her eyes are a little wide with astonishment as she gets his next cup ready. Alec spots his mother shaking her head at him.

    As Alec brings round his seventh frappuccino to the table he smiles sheepishly. She eyes him with an amused twinkle in her eye as he puts down his coffee. He doesn't, however, sit down. 'I need to use the toilet,' he says. 'Oh, I can't imagine why!' She jokes. He gives her a nudge on the shoulder and smiles.

    He makes his way back to the counter and asks the waitress directions to the toilet. She looks at him wide-eyed, 'It's just at the back of this shop,' she says, 'but you'll need the key to open the restroom door,' she says handing him over a key, 'bring it back promptly, though, because the spare key has gone missing.' Now what in the world has happened to the spare key?

    Alec heads to the back of the shop, he opens the door to the restroom and lets out a gasp. To the right side of the toilet a lady is crouched vomiting. Alec briefly wonders how she got in and then supposes she must have used the spare key that has gone missing.

    'Excuse me,' he says, 'let me help you.'

    'No, I don't need your help!' She says pushing him away. Alec puts his fingers through his hair not knowing what to do. He uses the loo regardless of her vomiting violently beside him.

    'Really? Peeing beside a vomiting woman? Is that what you call a gentleman?'

    Alec ignores her as he relieves himself and then buttons back his trousers. He notices the spare restroom key on the floor and picks it up. He then lifts the lady up and carries her out of the toilet as she kicks and squeals. He makes his way to the counter and gives the waitress both of the restroom keys. The waitress stares on in surprise as the lady kicks and squeals in his arms and a couple of alarmed customers at the coffee shop stop to look up.

    'Oh my, that's Maria Bolecci the famous opera singer that's been missing!' Someone shouts pointing a finger toward Alec and the squealing lady slung over his shoulder. Suddenly there is a commotion as she is taken off Alec's shoulder with a couple of people shouting, 'Good job, you!'

    Alec is surprised and casually walks back to where his mother is seated looking down at her tea.

    'You done well, son,' she says. 'You done well.'
  10. Darkbynight

    Darkbynight New Member

    Apr 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Morning Rush [1123 words]

    I brushed my hand through my dirty blonde hair, still mussed from sleep. As I ran the toothbrush through my mouth while counting down from 240, a habit instilled in me by my mother, I looked back into my bedroom, past the empty king sized bed which was still neatly made on one side, to the digital clock that read 6:37 AM. I had just over an hour to get Heather up and ready for school and head for work. Easy peasy.

    After taking care of my morning ablutions I headed straight for the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee and as I passed Heather’s door, I knocked lightly and called, “Time to get up, sweety, wakey wakey.” I knew she would continue snoozing so as I always did, I decided to give her 10 more minutes. After pouring my coffee and setting the mug on the counter, I went and booted up my laptop. I might as well work a little on the status report for one of my many weekly meetings.

    After several minutes of typing and clearing some email, I went to check on my 9 year old daughter again. I knocked, this time slightly louder. “Heather, honey. Time for breakfast, or you’ll be late for school.” I heard her shuffling the bed covers around inside but I knew little miss grumpy-in-the-mornings wouldn’t appreciate me coming in until she asked me to.

    I ruminated on how quickly she seemed to be growing up. Just last year, she wanted to be woken up every morning with a hug and a song, but now that she was ‘a big girl’ she would throw a fit when I didn’t give her her privacy. I was pretty sure she was emulating a character on TV. She was 9 after all, it seemed a little too soon to start acting like a teenager.

    I went back to the kitchen and started pulling a couple of dishes down from the cupboard and arranging them on the table. Then I found the opened box of fruity cereal and from the fridge, an almost empty carton of milk.
    Hmm, almost out of everything again. Time to hit the shops, if ever I can find the time.

    Luckily we had a nearly full pack of bread so I popped two pieces in the toaster and then went to peel a banana to cut into smaller pieces. After the table was set, I headed back to the bedroom with the big empty bed to get changed for work. On my way, I stopped outside Heather’s door and listened and since I could hear running water from her sink, I went to change.

    Work attire for the day consisted of a maroon skirt suit with a pair of two inch heels, a small gold bangle for my wrist and a small gold hoop for each ear. Women at my place of work were still encouraged to look their most feminine. I’d gladly had forgone the jewelry and light coating of makeup but banking was still very much an old boy’s club, and you had to do what you had to do to fit in.

    I looked at the time again, as I applied a light spritz of perfume. 7:21. Shit! “Sweety, do you need any help in there?” I yelled loud enough that my voice would carry into Heather’s room.
    “Moooom! Please come,” came the reply after a few seconds of silence. I sighed and my heart broke a little. I knew what was coming next.

    I walked to her door and knocked lightly and after a beat, a quiet voice came from behind the door. “Come in.” I opened the door slowly and looked at my girl. She was sitting on her bed, showered and dressed already, her head downcast slightly. I went to sit with her and pulled her into my lap and lightly encircled her waist with my arms.

    I didn’t need to say anything. She would pose the question she had posed almost every morning for the past two months, in her own time. It came faster than it usually did. I held out hope that this meant she was working through her sadness and confusion.

    “When is daddy coming home?” she asked in a small voice. There it was. I closed my eyes and kissed the top of her head. “He isn’t coming home sweety. He’s living with someone else now, remember? They have asked me to let you stay with them for some weekends. Is that something you would like?”

    Ahh yes, Matt’s new child bride has been all too eager to have Heather stay with them. Alright, that was unfair, she was only a decade younger than me, and it was really Matt that deserved my anger, not her. Not really. Well, a little of it maybe.

    Heather sniffed and I wiped away a solitary tear rolling down her cheek. I decided to try to change the subject. Bribery always seemed to work. “Hey, what do you say you and I visit the Zoo on Saturday, huh? You still like the penguins, right?” That at least got a small smile and a nod from my daughter.

    I set her on the floor and kissed her hair again. “Alright, then let’s go eat so you can be off to school. Do you have all of your things?” “Yeah mom,” she replied as the padded out of the bedroom door and down the hallway. I followed her slowly and as I closed the door, I glanced again through my bedroom door, at that big empty bed and then turned toward the kitchen.

    Heather was already seated, devouring her breakfast. At least her appetite had started returning. Just before I reached the kitchen counter, I remembered something I had gotten yesterday and went to my work desk and opened the top drawer. The text on the card I pulled out read ‘Ellen P. Manning, Child Psychologist’ with a phone number written underneath. I put in it my purse. Hearing what she had to say couldn’t hurt.

    I went back over to my daughter who was just finishing up. “Ready honey?” I asked. “Sure mom,” she answered and jumped down from the chair and bounded for the hallway to put on her jacket and shoes. I quickly stacked the dishes in the sink and then remembered my discarded coffee mug on the counter. I took an experimental sip. Uck. Stone cold. I poured the coffee down the drain and quickly rinsed the cup and then ran out to my car and my waiting daughter.

    I’ll stop by Starbucks on my way to work, I thought, as I buckled my seat belt, again.
  11. BruceA

    BruceA Active Member

    Feb 7, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Careful What You Wish For
    (1217 words)​

    The barista is a dead woman, or she soon will be. As she prepares his coffee, he sees a bug crawl out of her empty eye socket. It scuttles down her cheek, dislodging a piece of flesh. Rotting meat and bug fall with a plop into the coffee she now offers him.

    “Anything else?” she says, smiling. Or at least, Brett thinks she is smiling. It is hard to tell, what with the lower jaw hanging at that odd angle. Yes, he considers saying. Stop serving coffees for the minimum wage, and the occasional tip. Go and experience life: enjoy yourself, while you still can. Life is short. For some - for you - it’s shorter than you could possibly imagine.

    But he doesn’t say this. There is no point.

    “No, thank you,” Brett says, taking the coffee. He hands over a note, waves away the change. “Keep it,” he says.

    He sits at a table, in the corner. There is a mirror on the wall and by sitting with his back to the coffee shop he can use it to see what people really look like. What they look like right now, rather than how they will appear in exactly three hundred and seventy two days time. The woman who served him, he sees now, is an attractive twenty something. She looks healthy enough, no sign of illness. He wonders how she is going to die. By the state of her future self, it will be in the next six to nine months. A car accident, perhaps? A victim of a crime? Wrong person, in the wrong place. She glances over, catches his eye in the mirror, smiles. He looks away.

    He takes the wooden stick - a poor imitation of a spoon - and half-heartedly stirs the coffee. There is no bug, no decomposing piece of cheek, floating in the dark liquid. It doesn’t work like that. It was an illusion. He knows this. But he looks anyway.

    Brett doesn’t really believe in curses - although he acknowledges that part of him must do for it to work - but there is no other explanation he can find to better describe what happened, so he chooses to accept it.


    To be fair, when they first met, Divina said she was a witch. Brett laughed, spraying beer out of his mouth and nostrils.

    “It isn’t funny,” she said, her lower lip sticking out, the beginning of a pout enhancing her cuteness. “I’m a good witch. Although, if you cross me, you’ll regret it.” He stopped laughing, then. Not because he believed in her threat, but because it was obviously important to her, and, he realised, he really wanted to sleep with her.

    It took eight weeks of hard work (romancing not coming naturally to him, Brett experienced it as such) and tongue biting (her pseudo-hippy-pagan-occult beliefs irritated his scientific-sceptical-atheist brain) before he managed to get her into bed. Weeks became months became a year and he found love had replaced lust (or that’s what he told himself), and they were living together.

    One morning, a week before her twenty ninth birthday, he found her crying on the floor of the bathroom, a pregnancy test in her hand. Although Brett was shocked to see the test - he assumed she was taking precautions, and had no wish to be saddled with a child - he sat down next to her and took her in his arms. Divina sobbed salt water and mucus all over his clean shirt. It took fifteen minutes before he could understand what she was saying. It would have been her Grandma’s birthday, today, a week before her own, she said. Grandma had been a witch too (her head buried in his armpit, Divina would not have seen Brett rolling his eyes at those words). Before she died, twenty years ago, she told Divina she would find her love of her life, but would be alone and childless by the age of thirty. With a year and one week to go she was worried that the prophecy would come true.

    “I promise I will never leave you, my love, and we can try for a baby, if that’s what you want,” he said, checking his watch. He was late for work, and wondered if he had time to iron another shirt.

    Promises are easily broken, especially when temptation, dressed in a short skirt and low cut top, calling herself Eloise started work in Brett’s office, the very next day. Of course, Eloise wasn’t to know Brett had a girlfriend. Brett kept that information to himself, as he found divulging such facts tended to spoil his chances of sleeping with beautiful women.

    Brett finally told Divina he was leaving her, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, not for any other reason than he had been seen kissing an obviously pregnant Eloise by one of Divina’s girlfriends and was given an ultimatum: you tell her, or I will, you lying, cheating, little shit.

    Contrary to Brett’s expectations, Divina did not breakdown into a teary, snotty, begging, mess, nor did she shout, scream, punch or kick.

    She simply said, “You promised.”

    “That was a year ago!” he said, knowing, even as he said it, the excuse was weak to say the least.

    “One year, and one week,” Divina said.

    “I couldn’t predict what would happen. No one can see into the future, no one can see what will really happen a year and a week from now,” Brett said. And then he said the words, that would come to haunt him: “I wish I could, but I can’t.”

    Divina smiled.


    When she arrives Brett is still stirring his coffee. It is cold, now, and bitter tasting.

    It is ten years since he saw Divina last. He is single, and despite the loneliness of his situation, he survives. Eloise left him with a stinging face, the final straw a casual observation that she would still be a fat hog a long time after she’d given birth. He has had few dates, and no real relationships since. It is simply impossible to say the right things when you are looking at the image of what someone will look like in three hundred and seventy two days time. He is jobless, but he gets by, thanks to an inheritance: his mother dying, the only luck he has had recently. He lost his job, the same week Eloise threw him out, through unwise, and unkind, comments made to customers.

    Brett wants to be normal. Not just for his sake, not anymore. Brett is pleased that Eloise is with Paul - a kind, decent man - he treats Brett’s child as his own. But Brett would like to be a good father to his son.

    Brett is a better person, now, he admits to himself. A humbler person. A person who considers others feelings before his own. Most of the time.

    Brett is here to ask forgiveness, to ask for the curse to be lifted. When Divina sits down opposite him, the smile on her face as warm, and sweet, as his coffee, he isn’t surprised to see she looks no older than the day they met.
  12. Rob40

    Rob40 Active Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Cold Roast Surprise [870+/-]

    I parked around the corner, under the overhang of a weeping willow. It rained. I sat and sipped a Colombian roast that slowly cooled. I thought about Ralph Minor and his mother for a bit and smiled. Ralph would enjoy my gift. He couldn’t care less about his mother and I grew to understand it. He always complained about her and refused to hear anything she had to say about any subject. He was right. Ralph hasn’t heard from his dad in fifteen years. It was all her fault. He told everyone on his list about that.

    Ralph had great numbers of photographs online. I swiped through them on my phone. Birthdays and travels; nothing too far away but there wasn’t a bank account supporting distant trips to Italy or Egypt. He saved up for something like that once. He had a chance to do it too until his mother had to get a procedure done. That cost him all of it. I pondered that for a while. He was properly angry; nothing went right for him.

    Ralph wanted to go to school for anything that would garner a future. He thought about trade school for a good job in commercial welding but that required travel. Oil fields, construction sites or pipeline work. Big money for sure but his mother hated the idea. Who would guarantee her safety? She always told him how dangerous it is today. Break-ins were all over television and if Ralph wasn’t there at night, she would be all alone and vulnerable. I knew well Ralph’s issue with the claustrophobia that brewed with her insistence - my mother tried to pull the same trip with me but we came to an agreement. We're no longer on speaking terms.

    I knew Ralph's growing hate had reached its limit. Ralph met a girl – I can tell you her pictures are gorgeous – a very nice girl. She got him and he got her. They were into each other but she left him. I shook my head when that happened. How could she do that? He lived at home with his mom but that was no reason to up and leave him via the internet as she did. That’s okay, Ralph didn’t need her anyway. I kinda thought she was a bit weak like that.

    I stepped out of the car, avoiding muddy water running into the street. This neighborhood is silent but for fat rain drops falling from limbs and burbling gutter streams. I walked under the trees and down the sidewalk to Ralph’s house. Technically, it was still his mother’s for now. Ralph wouldn't be home until after six, but I knew it would be okay to come over early. His mom would be watching the Price Is Right from her favorite chair at this time of day; her husband’s chair he left behind. It smelled older than it was and Ralph tried to throw that chair out many times over. He complained about her TV habits on numerous posts.

    I wanted to do Ralph a favor because he deserved it. I saw how hard he worked at seasonal full-time labor jobs in the area. Other times he had a few part-time jobs with miserable bosses. His social media didn't hold back true feelings. That’s why I wanted to come over to pay a little visit. He needed help. I zipped up my city logo jacket and pulled down my hat. Today's rain is certainly chilly.

    My visit would help things be as right as this rain is today. I stepped up on the fake turf covered steps and rang the doorbell. Loud blips from the big prize wheel muted through the front door and I could hear the floor creaking as heavy steps made their way. A pinprick of light in the peep-hole flashed, a deadbolt clunked open and a door chain slid to unlock. The old oxidized doorknob rattled and the door opened to frame Mrs. Minor who stood with a plain expression.

    “Can I help you?” She said with a whining deviated septum.

    “Yes ma'am ,” I began, “Your son, Ralph, he called to have me look at your electric service. I'm Todd from City Electric.”

    I held out my hand in greeting and she reached out to shake it.

    I returned to my car and sipped on the now cold Colombian roast to reflect on my good deed of today. This particular visit went well. She was indeed weak and helpless as Ralph’s posts claimed. She gave a priceless look exactly as I imagined from Ralph’s pictures. When she shook my hand, I pulled her arm to me and that’s when I gave her the present of my brief nursing career - One very large air bubble pushed into a large vein inside that large, pudgy arm. She stumbled backward, falling to the ground in a mound. Once she stopped breathing beneath her unkempt mass of graying hair, I closed the door with a sleeve over my hand and walked away, around the corner, under the trees. I'm sure Ralph would be happy with my unannounced visit. I wonder what it would be like to talk with Ralph over coffee and finally meet the person I had been following on Facebook this whole time.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  13. yeybez

    yeybez Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Likes Received:
    In my happy place
    Ice Cold. (1584 words)

    I had always thought of myself as a good man. A family man. As I look back on these photos of me and shelly I see a happy couple, I treated her nice. From the moment I met her I knew she would change my life for ever. Somewhere along the line something went wrong, but I never thought 20 years would mean so little to her. That manipulative adulteress walking the streets on the search for the next father of my kids, lover of my wife while I’m out putting bread on her table so she can throw it up later and improve her figure. She did this. She is the one that killed our marriage.

    I never wanted things to go so far, god believe me, I didn’t. at least then someone would. When I found the texts, the steams of virtual kisses and suggestive wink emoji’s mocking me through the screen of my wife’s phone I bit my tongue and drowned my anger with double shots of gin. My beautiful flower had allowed another bug to pollinate her, to penetrate her. Her seductive scent graced another man’s pillow but it still graced mine, and for that I was thankful. I didn’t even confront her about it. Who was I, the lowly surf, to question this goddess as she spread the good word, her good grace. Spread her beauty, and her legs. Spread provocatively across her pedestal, so fucking special. Untouchable, to me anyway.

    After a while I reached my boiling point, my own thoughts of her unfaithfulness bounced around my mind, they enveloped my every thought and pushed it aside, beating down every internal discourse and making themselves all that was audible inside my head. They taunted me, they screamed. a chorus of thoughts echoing across my pounding skull in unison chanting something to the effect of “betrayal. Bitch. Liar.” I seethed, I crawled in my own skin. After the kids left this morning her and I sat at the breakfast table. Alone, with only my bellowing thoughts. She sat across from me, pushing her eggs around her plate with her fork. Scrambling them further. I took a sip of the coffee she made me moments earlier. Ice cold. Cold as the vacant stare she couldn’t even be bothered to direct at me. Cold as the treatment she gave me after 20 years of abused trust and false comradery. Though not false on my end. I was the doting puppy led on by its master to be paraded around like a circus chip, it’s poofy tail trimmed and domesticated to her approval while she made off with some boy-toy. I was the knight in shining armour who she had become bored of after that whole business with the dragon was since dealt with and she needed new exploits to excite her mind. And rouse her otherwise. I was the pathetic cuckold making excuses in my mind for a bratty little flower long since a weed in some other man’s garden.

    “Enough!” I slammed my hand on the table with this statement, unclear on wherever I was speaking to my wife or the increasingly aggressive narrative in my own head, eating away at me. My lip trembled as I forced out the words in the meekest voice ever spoken

    “who is Darren?

    Her vacant stare now deadlocked with my own eyes, in a staring match. She dropped her fork and allowed her eggs a brief resting period from being moved around the plate, she brushed the hair out of her eyes and with an unremorseful voice asked me

    “Do you really want to pull on that thread, honey?”

    she folded her arms, and her legs. Raised an eyebrow. My inner thoughts collectively picked up pitchforks and torches and set ablaze the monuments of our happy memories together, relics from a now toppled regime. Relics from the happiest marriage there ever was.

    “How could you do this to me? Didn’t the past 20 years mean anything to you?” I said my voice beginning to crack

    “don’t I mean anything to you?”

    but I already knew the answer without her having to respond, which was useful because she didn’t respond with anything more than an eye roll and a look that spoke “does it look like I give a damn?”. Tears were streaming from my face and the anger in my head spilling over into my physical form in shudders of rage flowing through my body like the crashing waves of a tsunami.

    “Answer me!” I smashed the table again

    “look me in the eye and answer me Shelly”

    “It’s over Greg, I want a divorce”.

    The words hissed from her tongue like venom, like bleach. As they dripped through my ears and into my blood stream my angry thoughts, the revolution in full swing, took a moment’s stunned silence. I had obsessively played these words over in my head for the past few days since I found those messages. Agonising over their hypothetical sting. This prep-work ill prepared me for the real thing and I let out a pained groan, in mourning for the beautiful rose that was once centre piece of my green garden. But those happy memories were now dead, the vapid and sex thirsty slut sitting before me was not my loving wife. Not the women who stood by my side 20 years ago and with a voice so sweet told me:

    “I do”.

    I picked up that sickly cold cup of coffee and felt it for a moment in my hand. Felt the cold porcelain surface and saw for one more time the cute little comic image displaying some pun about coffee… so innocent and sweet. Then…

    SMASH! Headshot. The blood gushed from a crack in her head as she fell backwards from her chair, spilling the eggs off her plate. The mug ricocheted from her skull and the cold coffee sprayed across the room like a fountain. Like a whale’s blowhole ejection. Like her beloved Darren’s ejaculation. I upturned the table, grabbed her from her bleach died locks and pummelled her face to a contorted mess of broken bone and blood.

    “how could you do this to me this shelly? I loved you, I fucking loved you!” I said tears streaming down my face and dripping to join the puddle of her blood on the floor in the final bonding of our fluids. After the fourth or fifth strike her pathetic wails became silent as she dropped out of consciousness. To hear her scream had been a comfort for me, her caustic smugness from across the dinner table had wounded me deeply, seeing how little she cared, but now her passive brooding was dead. I had killed it. And as for that selfish adulteress, the sunflower so quick to flip flop and point towards another shinier light source. I would kill her too. I beat her till my anger was drained, beat her until the sadism was drained from her. Beat her till I tired of it, grew bored of it. My hand cramped and I dropped her lifeless could-be-corpse to the ground my entire body shaking.

    I stood there silent for what could have been anything from 5 minutes to an hour. Staring into those eyes. Haunting eyes that dared not give away whether there was life behind them or not, leaving it to the imagination. My beautiful sun flower now all pressed and withered, her perfume petals laying in gloopy heap on the floor next to her. the stem unable or unwilling to bear the weight of a beast-trodden flower head, too ambitious and seductive for its own good. For its own survival. Her radiant rose scent mixed with the rancid metallic stench of blood and sweat. I brushed the hair from what was left of her face, made myself a cup of coffee and sat down by her side. Some shards of the shattered monuments of our happy memories had survived the day’s drama and I gazed over them as I sat giving the most thoughtful stare at nothing at all. The revolution in my mind had subsided. All that was left was a wasteland, like a damaged warzone my mind was void of anything at all. Shrapnel shredded streets lay path to the broken bottom halves of monuments to the sweet rose bud once held in such high esteem here. Metaphorical tumbleweeds floated along the empty passageways of my thoughts as in the last surviving skyscraper a board met to debate the options of jail time or suicide. I didn’t drink much of my coffee, I let it go cold and poured it down the sink. Work began calling asking me where I was, when I was coming in. I opted instead, rather sentimentally, for a final viewing of the more physical monuments of our dead marriage. Dead because I killed it.

    So here I am, looking over the photos of me and shelly together. We’re even smiling in some of them. I notice her baby bump, the baby, the kids. What have I done? I’ll never see them again no matter what happens, I blow myself away and they’re gone. I turn myself in and they’re gone, out of my reach. And their mother… if she’s still alive she’s in a bad state, though I doubt she is. All this pain so she could bang some twinkie. And I’m just sat here going through these photos. Thinking what a good man I’ve been.
    Ignite2015 likes this.
  14. Mocheo Timo

    Mocheo Timo Active Member

    Apr 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    World of Bob
    Warm Beer & Cold Coffee [1855]

    The door made a quick bell’s ring as I came in. Mark, my colleague, followed. I looked at the spacious restaurant wondering firstly, why it needed a bell in the door, and secondly, where to seat. There were various sofa-like seats spread throughout the restaurant, with a station in the middle which was probably the kitchen. Equality was the rule; none of the seats differed in aspects of colour, position, or shape.

    “Let’s seat over there.” Mark said, pointing to a seat not so close to the door or the kitchen.

    “Wherever man. I’m starving.” I replied.

    The place was surprisingly empty for lunchtime. Two seats in front of us, there sat a man with a young boy who was making an entire mess out of his burger. On a seat to their right, there was a grey-haired woman with short-cropped hair and dark-brimmed glasses. There was also a fat woman and a couple of love birds, who disappeared from our sight as we headed over to our chosen seat.

    “This place looks awful!” Mark said, careful not to be heard by anyone but me.

    “I hope the food is nice.” I said in agreement.

    A ridiculous, green sign hung from the ceiling attached by a string, swinging annoyingly by the wind – “Joe & Sons’ Snacks and Restaurant”, it read. Although shabby, the seat was comfortable, reason which – added by our hunger – made us stay there for lunch.

    “What time is it now?” Mark asked.

    “Twelve-thirty.” I said looking at my watch. “We got half-an-hour.”

    “Hello. Welcome to Joe’s.” A pretty brunette said as she handed out menus to us. Her lustrous hair was tied in a pony tail. Her rosy lips which smiled amiably marked her graceful visage with glowing youth.

    “My name’s Elise”, she said, “I’ll soon be back to collect your orders.” We watched as she returned to the kitchen station.

    “A beauty, ain’t she?” Said Mark, clearly checking out her behind.

    I unconsciously straightened my tie and my shirt collar, but nodded in agreement.

    “C’mon Rivers. You should totally ask her out.” He always called me by my family name when he insisted me on doing something.

    “I am married. Don’t ever forget that.” I replied amiably, despite the tone of warning in my voice.

    “You’re no fun.” He said, turning his attention to the menu. I did the same.

    The plate pictures had fading colours. The options weren’t that many either. Sandwiches/burgers, wings, or platters. Platters, I decided. Alfredo pasta, steak, or mashed potatoes – no fish. I looked at the sole picture in the platter section: mashed potatoes, mushroom sauce, and peas – “The Grand Potato”, it read.

    Before I realized, Elise was back. Her friendly eyes looking at us; her fingers attached to a tablet with paper and pen.

    “Are you gentleman ready to order?” She asked politely.

    “Steak platter and a beer.” Mark said.

    “Two.” I said, showing two fingers to emphasise my will. “The Grand Potato, with another beer.”

    “Thank you.” She said stretching out lean, snowy fingers with bright-red nail polish to take our menus back. “If you need anything else, just call me.”

    Mark – seated opposite to me, so that he faced the kitchen – watched the girl once more. I couldn’t help but wonder how such a lovely girl would end up in a shabby place like Joe’s & Sons.

    “We need to finish things with that client..., Johnsons, I think he was called.” “God. Do you have to talk about work?” Mark said, still looking at the kitchen.

    “That’s why breaks are made. So we take a breath from those tedious sales. Who gives a damn about Indian cars anyways?”

    Mark was right. Our job was tedious. We were both sales managers for a Tata automotive company in Durban, South Africa. The sales were good though, and despite the small size of the cars many people were requesting them.

    “Fine. Talk about whatever you want. Women, nightlife, rugby, I’m all ears.” He was a great fan of rugby, so I knew I had caught his attention. There was a moment of silence, as if he was really deciding to talk about the Shark’s latest win.

    “You know what Imma talk about? Imma talk about you! What happened man? You’ve changed. Work gets so much into your head, that’s all you think about lately. No fun, no nothing. It’s almost as if you’ve lost it. You don’t know how to live anymore.”

    It hit me like a surgical needle to the heart. Mark was not wrong. Before two years ago, I was a man full of dreams. I thought about marrying the girl I loved, getting a house, starting a family..., being happy. Now I had all of this. I married. I got a house. I practically started a family – although I had no children yet. But everything had become so methodical lately. Just like the very seat of that very restaurant I was in – all shabby, nothing special.

    A heavy silence fell in between us. As if aware of what was going on, Elise came in perfect timing with our beers, mashed potato, and steak – acrobatically carrying everything in both arms with aesthetical grace.

    “Enjoy.” She said, as she carefully placed the items on top of the table and left.

    I took a sip of the beer.

    “Not cool.” I said.

    “It’s the truth, Martin. If you can’t handle, it’s fine. But it’s the truth.”

    “No. Not that. The beer. The beer’s not cool.”

    He took a sip himself, and let out an expression of derision.

    We returned to our silent veils and started forking our food, aware that we ought to be back at work anytime soon.

    Suddenly, there was a ring in the door. Probably not the first since the time we had come in, but the first we heard and heeded.

    “EVERYBODY DOWN!” A man in balaclava screamed, waving a pistol in the air. Another shorter one followed. He was clad in similar incognito clothing, and also had a pistol of his own. A woman shrieked in the background. A crashing wave of tension flooded through the restaurant doors.

    “I want y’all to get under the tables, place your cellphones, wallets and all everything on top, and stay down with your hands over your heads.” The balaclava man said with difficult English. We all clearly understood his tyrannical commands though.

    I was very frantic. For some reason, after carefully obeying the instructions, I looked around to see if the others had done likewise. I wasn’t necessarily feeling compassionate, but I was desperately looking for a sign of hope. A sign anywhere that I would still live for years with my dear wife, my work, my friends...

    Mark was under the table, right in front of me; his eyes were closed, and his expression just as terrified as mine.

    “Stay calm and we wull not shoot.” The tyrant said. Nothing but his footsteps was heard as he walked around the restaurant, apparently collecting the possessions left on top of the tables.

    Sluuuuuuuuurrrr. A clear, slurping sound echoed.

    “Cold.” A grave, woman’s voice said.

    My heartbeat drummed in incredible speed. My forehead became moist with sweat. I looked around frantically, trying to find the source of that voice.

    Shluuuuuuurrr. Another sip.

    “Indeed. It is cold.” The voice said again.

    My speeding heart froze. It froze as if I were about to face death. Except that, who was facing death was not me, but someone else. Under a table to the right of two seats in front of us, I saw black stiletto heels in crossed legs. The seating position slightly revealed white stockings; the rest was covered by a long grey dress. It was the source of the voice.

    “Hey you!” A boyish, adolescent voice exclaimed. “What you think you’re doing? You heard the man. Put your wallet away and get under the table.”

    No reply.

    “Hey! I’m talking to you.” I saw the young man’s lower body as he walked past my table. I used the distraction to change my crouching position to get a better view of the scene. It was the grey-haired woman. She had a stern, composed expression and held her dark-brimmed glasses on the tip of her nose. She held out a white, china cup and moved it slightly, examining the dark liquid it contained.

    “Insolence. This is insolence.” She said addressing no one in particular.

    “Just do as you are told!” The young man said, flexing his voice in an irregular tone.

    “A mere cup of coffee. And they fail to get it right. Huh. This is surely the last straw.” The woman said.

    The young man continued to approach her, so that my view was blocked. A gun cocked.

    “GET DOWN!” He screamed. “I’M GOING TO SHOOT YOU! I SWEAR.” His tone was desperate, as if he was about to break out in tears himself. I could not believe any of it. The woman was clearly risking herself for... for... a cup of coffee?

    “What is goin’ on heer?” The man in balaclava said.

    “The lady. She won’t get down. Don’t you see?”

    “You deaf? Can’t you see you’ll call up the whole neighbourhood screamin’ like that?” He said, rebuking not the woman, but his companion.

    There was the sound of liquid being poured on the floor.

    “Cold. Such insolence must not be tolerated.” The woman said. There was some commotion which followed, as if the balaclava man was about to jump on top of the woman and forcefully bring her down.

    “He’s going to kill her.” I thought. “That woman will die right in front of me.” I could see it coming. The young man was still blocking my sight, so I couldn’t understand what was going on. Was she being attacked? Were they pointing a gun at her? The sound of breaking glass echoed loudly. Shards of white china spattered just about everywhere, some even reaching our table. “It’s over”. I thought. “She’s done for”.

    But then I saw the woman violently dropping to the ground, splashing a pool of dark liquid which stained her grey robes – cold coffee. On her stern expression, a smirk.

    I finally closed my eyes. Hoping to live. Reluctant to see, but hearing all that followed.


    The criminals had wiped everyone’s possessions and were about to leave, but were confronted by a gang of policemen who suddenly barged in inside the restaurant. The stolen goods were returned. The two men, arrested. Elise humbly approached Mark and me, apologizing, claiming that our bill was erased, and that future discounts could be negotiated. Mark would hear none of it though.

    Apparently, the grey-haired woman had distracted the criminals, so that the policemen got to the scene in time. But I will never know whether she did it in purpose. The events of that day flashed continuously in my mind, filling it, shaping it.

    So much so, that one month later I saw myself unconsciously returning to the crime scene. The building was deserted, the windows barred, the door locked. A single sign hung in the glass – Opening soon, Shirley’s Coffee Shop.
  15. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributor Contributor

    Feb 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    Preditor - [3000 words / Mature theme]

    “How about her?” Dave asked, nodding at a blond girl walking past with a margarita in her hand and a penis-shaped balloon.

    “Not bad. Too tall for my tastes,” Peter answered.

    “You’re too picky.”

    They both drank in synchronicity as they watched the crowd moving around the nightclub like agitated bees. A swarm of matching sorority girls walked by, they were all wearing skimpy black dresses and heels.

    “How about one of them?”

    Peter only grunted. They were way too young. He was already feeling like a dirty old man in these crowds. He really needed to move out of this piss-assed college town. It had been over a year since he’d been able to snag a coed. He wasn’t sure if she had been too drunk to really notice he was in his thirties. The next morning she obviously wanted him out of her apartment as quickly as possible.

    Peter yawned. It was getting late. He had gotten up at 5:30 to drop his stupid kid back off at her mother’s house. At least he didn’t need to deal with her for the whole weekend.

    A wobbly drunk girl pushed her way next to him so she could order a drink. Dave and Peter eyed each other. This was more Peter’s style. About 5’ 6”, maybe a buck forty and most of it hung on her chest. She waved as the bartender flashed by. Missy was shorthanded tonight and didn’t bother acknowledging the girl.

    “Strawberry dac…,” her voice trailed off as she realized she wasn’t being served.

    Peter leaned over to her.

    “I’ll get you a drink if you marry me.”

    She looked him over, “That sounds…”

    The music started up again and the rest of her reply was drowned out. Peter didn’t think his bait worked. Oh well. Move on to the next little fish. He turned back around and faced the crowd. Leaned his back against the bar.

    Lights flashing, music blasting, college kids thrashing in a variety of bad dance moves. The college boys were the most entertaining. One kid was dancing himself across the floor and Peter watched as the kid made his move. He nudged Dave and nodded. They both observed as he started grinding into a girl’s backside. She was dancing with her own herd of coeds. The girl took it well for about three seconds. Then danced herself closer to her friends. Sorry kid. You gotta learn how to break one out of the pack.

    Then he saw her, the perfect target. She was just coming in and looked like she was hanging onto the right side of her twenties. She had maybe another year before she would start lying about her age. But she was gorgeous. He wasn’t the only one to notice her. She stood out in the crowded mass. Eyes both male and female followed her as she crossed the dance floor and approached the bar. She was petite, but her presence was large. Peter wasn’t quite sure why she stood out, except that maybe it was because she was the only one wearing all white. It made her image contrast against the darkened crowd. It was more than the dress. Blood red lips against a milky pale face with long black hair. Dave pushed against his arm.

    “What?” He didn’t take his eyes off her, he couldn’t.

    “I said, you had better move fast with her,”

    Dave had to shout over the music, but Peter heard and went into shark mode. He waved at Missy through the crowded bar. He had been a regular here for years. Missy responded quickly.

    “You ready for another Pete?”

    Peter gestured over at the goddess. Missy knew the drill. She would take care of the woman, put it on his tab and put in a good word for him.

    Peter and Dave both watched as Missy took her order and gave her the lines. Aphrodite looked over at them as Missy made the drink. A bloody mary. Then she said something else to Missy. Must have been an additional drink order because Missy poured her a shot off the Top Shelf rack. Looked like whiskey. Peter never cared about the so-called “good stuff”, it was all alcohol to him.

    The nymph drank the shot quickly while watching Peter. When she was finished, her eyes moved up and down his body and Peter could feel those eyes like massaging fingers against his skin.

    He quivered.

    She glided over to him carrying her drink. Dave made himself scarce.

    “Hello,” her voice carried over the music, and it was a music all its own.

    “Marry Me.”

    She smiled, always a good sign.

    “Sorry. Been there. Done that. Even bought the t-shirt.”

    “Then maybe just the honeymoon.”

    She laughed. He shivered.

    “You don’t waste time do you?”

    “I only take my time when it’s needed.”

    She laughed again and the sound cut through the club and pierced his chest.

    “Ohhh,” she said, “You are good at this.”

    He shrugged and held out his hand, “Peter.”

    “Lilith, but most people call me Lilly.”

    She put her hand out for a polite shake. He grasped it instead and kissed the back of it.

    She laughed again, “I haven’t had someone do that to me in years.”

    “What else haven’t you done in years?”

    “Lots of things.”

    Peter wanted to take her right on the bar. They left together twenty minutes later.

    There had been a few kisses in the club but when the taxi got going… so did they. The driver didn’t appreciate it, but Peter gave him an extra twenty as a tip when they got out in front of her place. One of Peter’s rules - Never take a one night stand back to your own place unless there’s no alternative. The clingy ones can be tough to get rid of.

    It was a three-story walk-up, but she lived on the second floor. They were stopping for enthusiastic necking every few steps until they made it inside her apartment. Peter’s excitement kept growing but it was after 1am, and he could feel exhaustion settling in. He wasn’t able to party all night anymore.

    They entered her apartment and she flicked a switch. Lights came on. He looked around the place. It was eerily clean. White walls, white furniture, very open and modern. Looked like a model home.

    She pulled his arm, “Come on,” and led him into a sunken seating area with a couch. She pulled him down on top of her and they sank into the cushions; embraced, lips locked together. He waited several minutes before he started to explore with his hands. Women responded badly to anything too fast. They could act like skittish deer if you weren’t careful handling them. His hands made their way to caressing her breasts, and she responded with excited noises. Her own hands moved along his legs. First his outer thigh and then over to the inner thigh. Slowly moving upward as they continued kissing.

    Peter’s mind started to wander. He began remembering his first time as a teenager. Jessie had been another beauty. He had driven her home from a party one night. Took a detour down a dirt road fifteen miles from home. Told her to, “Take care of him or she could walk home.” Jessie had been good at it. He wondered if it was her first time also.

    Peter noticed the kissing had stopped. He opened his eyes. Lilly was looking at him with a smirk on her face.


    “I think you were starting to fade on me there.”

    Had he? Peter wasn’t sure. He didn’t think he had fallen asleep. He remembered thinking about Jessie and then… then what?

    “Sorry. I had an early day.”

    “You think coffee would help?”

    “Sure,” Maybe it would give him some time to get the alcohol out of his system.

    They sat up and then Lilly wandered off to the kitchen. Peter leaned his head back and got comfortable looking around the place. It was strange, so minimalistic. No TV. There was a bookshelf with a few modern art objects. A white pyramid, a sculpture of a hand sticking a middle finger up, a twisted chrome thing. There was also a statue of a white horse.

    A white horse. Diane had a white horse. Diane with the curly blond hair and the most amazing tongue. She had been impressive. Diane was the perfect combination. A wannabe professional dancer and dumb as a box of rocks. The things that girl could do with her body. And the equipment! Where did he ever put that...


    Peter opened his eyes.

    “Heeeeeey.” her voice came from the kitchen.

    “Sorry. Yes?”

    “How do you like your coffee.”

    Peter smiled. He loved a good straight line.

    “I like my coffee like I like my women.”

    Lilly poked her head back into the room, “and how’s that?”

    “Hot, sweet, and with a fair trade agreement.”

    She laughed and went back into the kitchen.

    “And cream if you have it.”

    “Sorry. You already made your choice. Need to find a way to include cream in that line next time.”

    “I’ve tried. It either comes out sounding racist or gay.”

    Laughter floated into the room.

    “Well... I like my coffee the same way as I like my men.”

    She came back into the room with a mug for him.

    “How’s that?”

    “Hmmm… I’ll have to think up something.”

    He took the cup and drank. The nectar of the gods.

    “Not having any?”

    “I will. Can I get you anything else?”

    Just your tits up against me, “No, this is fine. The tequila is wearing off.”

    She joined him on the couch as he drank. Sitting close and massaging his neck. It felt wonderful. He drank some more then lolled his head down allowing her to dig into his muscles with her fingertips. The tension melted from his body.

    God, Cindy was wonderful at this. How did she ever get so good at giving massages? She should have gone to school for it and gotten licensed. It would be a better college job than waitressing. Stupid bitch was afraid of being hit on. What was that girl’s problem anyway? Three dates and no sex? Ridiculous. Well… enough alcohol took care of that problem. Then she acted all violated the next morning. Please. What had she expected?

    “Don’t drop it.”

    Peter felt the tug at his hands as the mug was removed. He opened his eyes again.

    “Wow. Sorry. I didn’t realize… “ he trailed off.

    “That’s okay. I didn’t want coffee spilled on the carpet.”

    I’d like to spill all over you, “Maybe I should go.”

    “Don’t be silly. You can sleep here. If you fall asleep during… it won’t bruise my ego.”

    She handed the coffee back to him and stood up.

    “Come on sleepy.”

    She walked him to a bedroom. When she turned the lights on a white cat flashed past them out of the room. He looked back up and saw more white. Plain bed with a white canopy, white bedspread, made neatly with white sheets and pillow covers.

    “You really have a thing for white don’t you.”

    “Yup. Climb in and get comfortable.”

    “Going somewhere?”

    “Gonna get my own drink. Bathroom’s through that door.” She pointed.

    She picked up a remote and used it to dim the lights down to a barely glowing ember. Peter used the bathroom. When he got back he undressed to his shorts and slid into bed. Lilly came back and set a glass down on the nightstand. On a coaster of course. He watched her slip out of her dress. The light may have been dim, but he could make out her form in the glow. She turned around to hang her dress up, and the shadows made her look strange for a moment. Like the way someone will look very different if you look at them with a light shining from below.

    When she turned back, he could see her smile. She made a sensual production of removing her bra. Then climbed in next to him. Where do women learn how to do that? Do their mother’s teach them or something? Maybe that’s what they all learned when the boys and girls got separated in health class for a week in junior high.

    She climbed on top of him and started kissing him again. The lips. The neck. The ears. Some tongue action was made on the ears and Peter shook with pleasure. His hands started moving over her back and down to squeeze her ass. He wandered under her panties and continued squeezing. She began rocking back and forth pushing her pelvis into his groin. He was so hard he could burst. The kissing continued until he could wait no more. He rolled over taking her under him as he moved. Then he removed her panties as she helped with her own gyrations.

    She was shaved. Yes! Peter loved women who were shaved. It wasn’t only for the visual effect, he thought they tasted better that way. Peter wanted to taste her. Lilly moved to remove the last of his clothes putting herself back on top of him.

    A few more passionate kisses. Hands moving. Exploring. Peter flipped himself around letting her stay on top as she buried her crotch into his face. It was wonderful. Peter had always loved this the most. Lilly was rocking back and forth as his tongue explored her. He could spend hours like this. The mixture of his saliva and her juice all over his face had him filled with excitement. To Peter, oral sex was better than fucking. If both people knew what they were doing.

    Nothing was worse than a woman who complained about giving oral sex. He chuckled to himself thinking back to Susan. Susan was one of the few women that aggressively went after him instead of the other-way-around. Peter hadn’t even been attracted to her. She had a nice body… But-her-face. Meh. He was in a dry spell and decided to date her anyway. For all of four dates. They had fucked after the second and third date. But he soon realized she was one to just lay there. On the forth he tried to go down on her and she objected. She was Catholic! She wouldn’t have any of that nasty stuff. Right… Catholic, but pre-marital sex and birth control wasn’t an issue. That was the end of that relationship. He had fucked her one last time and…

    “Don’t stop!”

    Peter realized he his tongue had stopped doing its job. He went back to work. Taking large sweeping lashes up and down her lips as she ground herself into his face. She leaned forward and started tongue movements. Teasing at first around his thighs and across his balls. Then she took him into her mouth. They rocked. Her mouth moved up and down. His tongue explored, finding her clit and focusing closely on it. Sucking at it. Then licking. His nose was right in her ass, and the musk of her body was an aphrodisiac all by itself. He could hear her moans as she sucked at him.

    She began rocking incredibly fast, and it seemed to get wilder and more extended with each move. She kept taking his entire cock in her mouth, he could feel her mouth push against his pelvis. She wasn’t cheating by using a hand to cover the last few inches the way most women did. And her tongue kept swirling over and over as she moved. Did this chick have a six-inch tongue? God, she was amazing!

    But the rocking continued to get more exaggerated. With each stroke it felt like she was moving higher but she never let him get out her mouth completely. She was sucking right back to the head and then back down, but still. Her crotch started quivering and vibrating as he continued to suck and lick. Then she came in violent, sharp, jolts pushing at his face and driving his head down deep into the bedding.

    She never stopped her own attentions. It was the most intense blow job he had ever been given. Her entire head and back moved with each stroke continuing to grind herself into him. Every time she came back up Peter thought he was going to come out her mouth, but he never did. He didn’t know how she was doing it. It was like she had sucked him until he was stretching.

    And stretching and stretching. Something was definitely wrong. Her entire body was flexing up down with each stroke. Her body had to be moving up to a sitting up position. Peter wasn’t small but he would need to be two feet long for this to make sense. He tried to move his head out from under her but when he did, her thighs clamped down hard on him. She continued. Now she was thrashing wildly up and down with each stroke. It stopped being enjoyable. He started to feel pain.

    Peter tried pushing, grasping, even clawing at her. Her pelvis moved so she was sitting on his chest and throat. The pumping up and down never stopped. He was stretching more and more each time. Then he noticed her body. There were white wisps of smoke coming off her buttocks and back. What the hell was she? Peter didn’t know and didn’t care. He wanted this thing off of him. But he was pinned, choking and she seemed to be getting larger.

    His eyes darted around the room looking for something he could reach. Something! Anything! There was nothing. He exploded and gurgled a scream. Not with passion this time but something else. The thing on top of him was devouring him.

    The last thing he saw was the iced coffee she had set on the nightstand.

    His last thought, “I like my coffee the way I like my men.” Cold.
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  16. GeoffreySmith

    GeoffreySmith Member

    Feb 7, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Coffee To Go [531]

    “Hi. What can I do for you?” A short man asked from behind the register of the small coffee shop.

    “I’d like an iced coffee. Large please,” Luke said.

    “Milk and sugar OK?” The employee asked.

    “Yes please.”

    The man turned and began making Luke’s coffee, grabbing a cup and an ice scoop.

    “Iced huh?” Somebody asked from beside Luke.

    Luke turned toward the voice. A man with a scruffy beard and a pair of bushy eyebrows sat a few seats down the bar and looked at him.

    Luke smiled. “Yes.”

    The man nodded slowly.

    “I guess, I don’t like to sip my coffee,” Luke added slyly, a grin spreading across his face.

    The man nodded again and raised a tired eyebrow. He had deep wrinkles tracing his eyes and mouth. His large, wrinkled hands cupped a blue steaming mug. Thick veins traced along his fingers to his wrists.

    “I’ve had a cup of cold coffee before,” the man said. “Didn’t particularly like it.”

    Luke turned back to him. “Well it’s not cold-- it’s iced.”

    The man smiled. “They aren’t the same?”


    “Ice seems cold. Cold coffee,” the man smiled again.

    “I see you have hot coffee,” Luke said.

    “That’s right.”

    “You have to sip it.”

    The man nodded. “It’s hot.”

    “Well, I want to drink my coffee quick. And I have a long drive to work. I want it in the car.”

    The man checked his small leather watch that hid beneath the sleeve of his freshly ironed shirt. “It’s not even seven yet, son. You have work?” He raised an eyebrow.

    Luke nodded.

    “Early riser, huh?” The man asked.

    Luke rubbed his prickly cheeks. “Yeah.”

    The man nodded slowly and looked around the small, silent shop.

    “It must not be that early. You’re up,” Luke noted.

    “I’m an old man, boy. I’ve been waking up this early my whole life. It’s in my blood” The man brought the mug to his lips and drank.

    “I’m trying to get there,” Luke said, smiling.

    The man looked down and thoughtfully traced circles on the shiny blue mug.

    “Large iced coffee for Luck!” The employee said from behind the counter, breaking the pair’s conversation.

    “Oh it’s Luke,” Luke said, smiling and retrieving his drink.

    The employee shrugged apologetically and retreated into a pair of doors that opened into the kitchen.

    Luke, his drink in hand, turned toward the door and walked by the man who silently sat facing the softly humming coffee bean roaster.

    “Enjoy your cold coffee,” the man said.

    “Alright,” Luke said, smiling politely.

    “Take some time. Sip some of it if you can,” the man said as he whirled his remaining coffee in slow circles.

    Luke turned and faced the man. “You might be right, but I’m late.”

    “We couldn’t have that,” the man said, turning from Luke.

    The man rubbed his calloused hand on the side of the smooth ceramic mug. Luke swung the door open and let in a gust of cold wind.

    “I guess I don’t know much,” the old man said aloud to the silent, empty room, “I always drank my coffee hot.”
  17. Kata_Misashi

    Kata_Misashi Active Member

    Aug 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Coffee Conundrum
    (691 words)
    "Test Number: 327." A tanned skin female wearing a white lab coat and a form-fitting bodysuit sighed. "Come on, baby. Work please."

    Standing within a techno-filled room, she held a rubber ball at hand; rolling it lightly in her palm. A moment past as she then tossed it forward. "Beginning 'Chrono Distortion'... Now!"

    Tapping at watch-like device upon her wrist, the balls forward momentum slowed as white trails of energy spun around it; the orb returning back to the inventor.

    "The affected time and area seems stable. Now if I can just-" She held out her hand.

    As the ball approached, its form began to twist and shift; much to her dismay. "No, no! Hold together!"

    Without warning, the ball then retook its shape and fell back into her grasp; the white energy dispersing.

    "Yes!" She smiled. "A... small miscalculation, but at least I didn't lose it to; Gaia knows, where this time. Leona: One, Time: Zero."

    Heading back to her computer, she brought up her logs and began typing away. "After eleven months of research and countless trials and errors... 'not to mention the purchases of many rubber balls'... I, Professor Arron, have made a breakthrough in the wonders of time manipulation. Further testing is required however."

    Sitting back, Leona took a moment to gaze at the time upon her computer. "It's nearly noon. Another all-nighter. Drone Number: 50!"

    With the sound of whirling filling the air, a small helicopter-like drone flew up to hover next to her; causally glancing toward it. "Protocol: 'Coffee'."

    Flying off, Leona yawned and threw her coat back upon her computer chair. "Maybe, Shiki is right. I need to get some sleep every now and then."

    Within a minute, the drone flew back towards her; a mug placed within its central compartment.

    "Bahh! Who needs sleep when you can drink it off?" Taking the mug. "Thank you, Number 50."

    Taking a swig, Leona grunted and spat the drink back into the cup; eyeing the liquid. "Why... is this... 'cold'?"

    Looking to the drone, she calmly placed the cup back within it. "Let's try that again. Drone Number: 50. Commence Protocol: 'FRESH Coffee'."

    Once again the drone flew off.

    Leona sat back and stared at the ceiling; lightly grumbling. "I can hear Shiki laughing now."

    Flying back up to her, the drone presented the mug yet again; Leona slowly taking it.

    Taking a small sip, she glared at the mug. "What The- Again!? Number 50! What are you doing!?"

    The drone hovered lowly ashamed. Rubbing her temples she sighed. "You're dismissed, 50."

    Getting up from her computer, Leona made her way to the kitchen. "If you want something done right..."

    Passing her counter and fridge; she stood before the culprit. A average coffee maker that looked out of place to the various contraptions within her house.

    Pressing the brew button, she waited as the machine stirred and poured out a batch into the pot; taking it and pouring it into a new mug.

    Leona closed her eyes and placed the mug down. "Cheap piece of- Spewing out cold coffee. Drone's 74 and 75! Run a diagnostic check of.. the... 'coffee maker'."

    Quickly, two drones flew up and circled the device; humming lowly.

    "Can understand how to shift time but can't make a simple cup of coffee. Shiki would be laughing his scales off." Leona thought.

    A beep from her watch-like device sounded off; text appearing upon it.

    "Diagnostic complete and... wh-WHAT!? What do you mean no problems were found!? Then Why Is It Giving Me Cold Coffee!?" Leona yelled.

    A moment past as more text appeared upon her watch; Leona blinking and slapping her forehead. "You have got to be joking..."

    Turning to the coffee maker, she placed her hand upon the top of the machine and pressed a button.

    "How was I suppose to know this thing could make ice coffee, too? Who even turned it to ice coffee in the first place!?"

    "Umm..." A voice speaking out from behind her; a humanoid iguana trying his best not to smile. "I did. I like ice coffee."

    "Course you did, Shiki." Leona grumbled. "Stop touching my stuff."
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  18. Masterspeler

    Masterspeler Active Member

    Oct 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Cold Coffee [630]

    Diners. Places where happy reunions with old sweet hearts, family dinners or broken promises converge. Everyone has been in one, or seen on in a movie. You know the type. Stainless steel, neon lights, and a cheery waitress that calls you “Hun.” Speaking of which, here’s my coffee.

    I remember the first time I came to a diner. It was for coffee at two a.m. A bunch of high-schoolers out on their own, after the first of us got his license. Those were some odd days. Countless cups of coffee, no food ordered and the eternally frustrated waitress that knew not to expect the greatest tip.

    But I could go on about diners for a spell. My mind drifts as I look down at the sheen on the surface of my coffee. Wasn’t it hot just a moment ago? Where did that intoxicating steam go?

    Just like that diner on Route Seventeen. You know the one. The famous one. A movie star in its own right. Now just the odd truck that pulls in. Burnt out neon lights. Even the name is missing a letter. But it’s still standing and doing business, even in its rough—far from the glory days—shape.

    I should take a sip of my coffee. When did this happen? The mug is cold, yet not a single sip stain around the edge of the off-white porcelain. I can’t even detect a hint of the smell. I should call the waitress and te—

    Hotel California plays on the little radio at the counter. I always stop a moment and listen to it when it plays. It’s such a beautiful song, so sad, but I can never resist swaying lightly. Nobody bats an eyelash at the empty booth, save for me. Bobbing my head, singing quietly to myself, off key, a word here, a hum there.

    Such a lovely face, such a lovely face…

    Another truck pulls in, hissing as its parking brake engages. The tired old trucker adjusts his cap and comes in. I chuckle to myself as I caress the ear of the mug, hearing that familiar entrance bell jingle that so many diners have. He greets another truck at the counter, patting him on the back, asking something about his chicken lights and logbooks.

    I quickly fade away from them as I stare out the window. My fingers tracing along the mug. The now ice cold mug. It’s almost making me think of winter. It’s still cold outside, yet spring should be here. That rebirth started, but I just watch the birds fly around in and out of bare branches, sprinkled with tiny buds of future leaves.

    You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.

    The song plays, with me swaying in my seat still. I should get going, even if I really don’t have anywhere to go. Nowhere at all. Well, maybe one last place.

    I look down, and my coffee is old. Stale and old. Reminds me of someone. Green mold congeals along the inside surface of the mug. It looks like my coffee isn’t going nowhere either. It was so inviting, warm, seductive and mysterious. I sigh. I should go, but I can’t bring myself to stand.

    I sigh, and close my eyes. Slumping in the booth, just like my poor untouched liquid companion. You could have been so great. Satisfying, fulfilling. What happened to you? When did things go so cold and stale?

    One last time, I look at my coffee. My coffee. Eyes closed, I grow weak. Just like the molecules inside the black liquid, so do I, stop completely. Stopped completely while the world keeps spinning around. Life goes on as usual after a stale untouched coffee is tossed.

    “Will that be all, Hun?”
  19. marshipan

    marshipan Active Member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Cold Fingers [1,212 words]

    My fingers were numb from the cold while my arms shook their disapproval. Panic bubbled in my stomach, squickening my heart beat and breathing. The fear was crawling up my throat and things were going dim. Possession is no fun. I felt my consciousness growing weak as a dark presence was filling my body. My mind sensed it's death and adrenaline burned into my body, giving feeling back to my arms and legs.

    “Get the fuck out,” I growled. Hysterical laughing played in my head and an image began to emerge. A large, ancient field with long grass and dark gray skies approaching. Beside me a dead tree stood with light bark and twisting branches. On the other side of me a spotted hyena stood. It's mouth cracked open and a hundred painfully sharp teeth smiled at me. Hysterical laughing came out from behind it's teeth. I couldn't move, or didn't want to. It was hard to tell. The hyena's mouth stretched open, growing impossibly large while hyena overall grew taller. It began leaning towards me, over my head, and swallowed me whole.

    I woke up with gusto—sitting up straight in my desk chair and breathing hard. My neck ached. I rubbed it and shrunk down in the chair. My hand slid across the wood desk like a snail and latched on the mug handle. I pulled it a little closer and took a peak inside. The display was none other than fucking disgusting. Five to ten dead roaches belly up, little antenna smeared on the inside wall, bobbing around a bloated bulge of mold. My throat tightened and I held my breath until I'd pushed the mug to the farthest corner of my desk. The filmy memory lingered a moment before it was disgusted with itself for existing and gave my mind relief.

    I shrugged out of the chair and went to the bookshelf. Herbology, anthropology, gardening, and psychology books populated the shelves. One corner of a shelf housed an ornate silver music box and a handful of thumb drives. I opened the music box and no melody played. I fumbled with the bag inside until I had a joint in my mouth. The match flared as I lit the end. The smoke was harsh and I coughed while headed to the bathroom. My long purple hair had reached the state where no amount of staging could distract from it's need to be washed. What used to be thick cat eye makeup was smeared around my green eyes. My paper pale skin was still clear, as always.

    “I wish my ass was as clear as my face,” I grumbled. I pulled a few more hits of the joint before cupping my hand over it and mumbling a little old English. The embers went cold immediately and stopped burning. I giggled a little, thought of the hyena, and stopped. My spirit animal attempting to consume me was ominous. Though I hadn't really made up my mind on if it was a particularly bad thing. Which just goes to show the state of mind.

    After showering and getting ready, I walked to the bakery—backpack and broom in hand. I walked up to the counter and placed a canned salted caramel coffee down.

    “One of those mini rainbow sprinkle donuts too, please.”

    I set down in my favorite oversized upholstered chair, set my goods down and booted up my laptop. I chomped veraciously on the tiny doughnut while I waited for “The Importance of Scent in Potion Making” to load.

    “You're a real witch, aren't you?” My head snapped up, doughnut pieces flying about. I smiled on instinct at the early thirties man in business casual. “The cute black shirt and skirt could just be faux witch fashion, but this,” he reached towards my broom and the smile drained from my face. His fingers wrapped around the polished wooden handle as I said, “not a good idea.” A mile lite up his eyes while holding my broom. He was about to say something when the broom decided to zap him.

    “Ahh, fuck!” The broom dropped.

    “I told you it wasn't a good idea.” I began chugging the canned coffee. His tense gaze wandered to my chest and brightened back up. I found the crumpled used joint from before and lit it. Then a silverback gorilla opened the bakery door like a true English gentleman. Well, I guess I've completely lost it. Then everyone else started scrambling out of the way and picking up their phones to record the beast. Oh, I brightened a little, still sane today I guess. My admirer had vanished to some corner while the gorilla scanned the room. It then saw me and lost all civility—beating on it's chest and yelling. There is something hard wired in me to hate loud noises. It was guttural and so very loud that my ears physically hurt. The espresso cups chattered on their saucers and I chewed up and swallowed my joint before I realized what I was doing. I started coughing and some sense came over me. My shaking hands darted frantically inside my backup, retrieving my honey mesquite wand--darkened by age with a knot a couple inches from the end. The gorilla's fangs dripped frothy saliva. It stopped bellowing and looked at me. There was human intelligence in it's eyes.

    “So,” I laughed nervously,” you sent a zoo animal to do you're dirty.” I was disgusted a witch had enslaved this animal, but sounded a little more scared shitless than utterly disgusted.

    A female voice drifted out of the animal's mouth. “I've come to kill you, Hyena.” I felt the depths of my soul stir and a calm intensity swirl around me. “We'll always hunt you down. Every reincarnation.” The voice was hateful. Then, the gorilla began charging me. It's massive size hurling towards me stopped my heart while I noticed how soft the gorilla's fur looked on end. I had few precious seconds. My wand came up before I knew what I was going to do and I noticed my fingers felt ice cold, nearly numb. A large smile cracked my face in half.

    “FLAM!” The old english came out like the word was made of poison. My voice felt powerful, and also annoyed. The word meant nothing to me. I started to hear the hysterical laughter of my spirit animal. Except, I realized, it was coming from me. Pure adrenaline exploded over my body as I laughed harder. A bright white and green light burst from the tip of my wand.

    “Hunt me,” I screamed over the roar of power,” and I'll just kill you!” My laughter rung my ears as the energy light funneled towards the beast. Anger burned the gorilla's eyes as the spell hit. A flash and all that remained was a pile of ash where the beast had been. I smiled and a part of me protested inside, said I should be concerned about the power I just displayed, about the hyena taking over. I hushed the voice and picked up my broom. A handful of spectators where huddled in the corners with smart phones turned towards me.

    “Uhh,” I searched for an explanation. “I should probably lay off the caffeine, haha.”

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