Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Prompt: Architect barista

“Order up for Karen!”

I held my hand at the edge of the counter and waited for the cup to slide across the smooth surface and slow to a gentle bump against my palm. Stephen was a master from brew to cinnamon dusting. I looked down to see the design. Tree branches brushed against the whipped cream, barest whispers of winter’s cold, and on one perched a chickadee, tail high, breast puffed out, beak open to sing.

“You’re a genius,” I smiled up at him, but he had already turned away to the next cup. I sipped my coffee and watched.

After awhile, Stephen glanced my way. “What’s on your mind, Karen?”

“Come back to work.” I set my empty cup on the counter with a thunk.

Stephen didn’t flinch. He waited two more seconds before he flicked off the milk frother, then picked up a syrup bottle. As he tilted it to pour, he glanced at me again. “Sorry, Karen, I can’t. You know that.”

I slapped my hand on the counter, but the brief satisfaction I felt at breaking his imperturbable calm and making him jerk the bottle was quickly overcome by guilt when I saw the shadow in his eyes.

Stephen had suffered more than most of us. Lost more than most of us. He designed them all. The towers that fell.

Dogs in House

“Can’t Find My Way Home”

Time writing
~20 minutes

May word count


  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, new text Ch13a (I'll renumber them later)

    Time: ~40min

  2. Really liking the chickadee in the image.