The Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop was a small hidden gem in a big city filled with even bigger corporations. Everyone who went there was a regular, or became a regular. Even though the prices may have been more than what the food chains charge, they could never beat the feeling of home that The Coffee Shop provided. The air was always filled with pleasant  good morning’s and hello’s. There was never a face without a smile.

Ronald owned one of those big corporations that could compete with The Coffee Shop. Even though his store was doing extremely well, it always bothered him that The Coffee Shop was full, and remained open. “This place doesn’t fit in here” was a constant thought in his head. One day he decided to pay a visit, to see what all the fuss was about.

When he opened the door, it was a whole new world to him. Everyone was welcome, even him. Everyone was smiling, even the employees. He couldn’t believe the sight laid before his eyes. Ronald walked up to the counter with a shocked glued to his mug.

“How long have you worked here?” he asked the barrista.

“15 years,” the older lady had happiness written on her face. “Can I get you something to drink?”

Ronald ignored her question, “How many unhappy customers have you had?”

None.”

Ronald stood there for a minute before saying anything further. He stook a step back and really looked hard at all of the people in the little shop. He finally ordered a black coffee and went and sat down.

He came back every day and asked the old lady the same question. Her answer was always none. Ronald sat and drank his black coffee every morning at the same time, and continued to watch the customers of the shop. Even when someone had received an order that was incorrect, they still came up to the counter contently, and politely asked for a new drink. On the 17th day of coming in the shop and ordering a black coffee, Ronald walked up to the old lady and asked her yet again how many unhappy customers the shop has had.

“One,” the old lady looked at Ronald’s face with a small frown, not because she was sad, but because she seemed to pity Ronald. “Is there anything I can do to bring some joy into your day?”

Ronald looked confused, until he realized that the unhappy customer was him. Ronald was in that shop looking for one person to be miserable, for one person to just yell because their drink wasn’t made right. This wasn’t that kind of place.

Ronald continued to go to The Coffee Shop every day and order a black coffee. Eventually when he came in the old lady had his coffee ready for him, sitting in a purple mug at his favourite seat. Ronald no longer asked the lady how many unhappy customers she had. He had become a part of the little shop, walking in and saying good morning to all the faces he recognized.

“It seems you’ve come to like this little shop. There’s no place that you’d rather be.” Margaret, which he learned was the old lady’s name, was always a warm and gentle face to see at such an early time in the morning.

Ronald looked at her, and a big grin crossed his face.

None.”

via Daily Prompt: None

Lilac Shield

Victoria works at a small diner just off of the highway in a small town in Ontario. The lunch and dinner hour are always steady, but other than that there isn’t much to do. She works in a scent free workplace, due to allergies of course. No nail polish of any kind is allowed. Her hands are cracked and dry from washing too often. She waits for 3 o’clock, staring at the minutes pass by.

At home she immediately showers. She washes all of the smells that have followed her home, reminding her of the miserable customers and the arrogant boss that she endures. They are not welcome here. She scrubs so hard that her skin turns beet red. As she emerges from the water, naked and clean, she takes a deep breath. She enhales the freedom that ends Monday morning.

Preparing for the night, Victoria glances at the colours of nail polish sitting on her vanity. A light purple catches her eye, and even though she’ll have to remove it Sunday evening, the hassle will be worth the feeling. She paints on her face, but feels that something is missing. She remembers a smell she used to love when she was a child that reminded Victoria of her mother. Searching the packed boxes of her mother’s things, she finds what she is looking for. A small bottle of lilac perfume sits in the palm of her hand. As she sprays it in the air, she feels safe. Spritzing herself, she feels protected. She is ready.

via Daily Prompt: Perfume

Beneath the Bridge

Shirley spent most of her days standing on the London Bridge, staring into the water and imagining what it would be like to drown. Only she needn’t imagine, because she felt it every single day. Just jump in the water, everything will be better if you just jump in the water. Knowing that slowly drifting away in the water would be less painful than living, she falls. Shirley feels the tips of her feet touch the sand, and she knows she’s hit the bottom. There is no turning back now, she tries to let go. But nothing happens. She never feels the panic set in. She never feels her lungs burning for the need of fresh air. Hovering at the bottom, she waits for the drowning to end. She deliberately gulps in the water, but her release never comes. Shirley stays there forever, becoming the lady beneath the bridge.

via Daily Prompt: Knackered

Under the Blanket

via Daily Prompt: Blanket

The gloom outside is depressing, Holden stares at the clouds and feels the humidity through the screen on his window. There won’t be any outdoor adventures for him today. The rain suddenly starts to pour, as if someone opened a tap in the sky. Suffocated by the walls of the house, Holden sets off to his bedroom planning to hide underneath his blankets. The darkness should bring him some comfort. As he approaches the bed, he can feel a warm breeze and hear the faint sound of music. He checks the window, but it is sealed shut. He lifts the blanket and can’t believe his eyes. He crawls underneath. When he emerges, Holden seems to be in an entirely different universe. The sun is so hot that he can feel his skin starting to burn after just a few minutes. He revels in the warmth that his basement bedroom could not bring him. People are dancing in the streets and playing music from speakers placed at every turn. Smiles are contagious, and Holden can’t help but wonder what that must be like. The corners of his mouth lift a little, and he feels uncomfortable because the sensation is so unfamiliar. There seems to be an endless variety of colours and people. There were colours he didn’t even know existed painted on all of the buildings and cars surrounding the streets. Even the gray pavement seemed brighter than the pavement outside his own window. All of the people seem ecstatic to be near one another. They embrace, regardless of their looks they all love each other. This is not like home. Holden basks in the feeling of being accepted by the tiny village underneath his blanket, and he never wishes to be uncovered.