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I’m running a few hours earlier than I was last week, so there’s a chance I might get this posted with a few hours of Saturday to spare. There’s also a chance I’ll get around to see a few of the other posters today...now that I’ve finished my NaNoWriMo draft, and made some headway on the next batch of homeschool paperwork, due on December 15.
Of course, that’s not going to happen if I don’t get on with it, so here goes!
“Monday Morning Coffee” is a story that’s been with me longer than my oldest child has. It began, in its earliest form, when I was only sixteen, and there was a compelling news story that fired my sense of empathy and imagination, together. A teenaged boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event, and, several days later, was found, deceased.
From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.
I’m not quite sure what to classify this story; any ideas and impressions you have, I’d love to hear them!
A young woman is waiting for her Monday morning train and musing about the disconnection of the people around her. As she prepares to sip her coffee, she realizes that she’s being watched by a man she doesn’t know.
Like An Accusation
He's huddled into an unlined windbreaker, with the slightly bewildered look of someone who doesn't quite know how his life turned out this way. I watch him, covertly, between passing bodies. There's a battered duffel bag between his feet, and the knees of his light trousers are torn around their fraying patches.
Suddenly, my warm cloak feels too tight, like an accusation. What right do I have to be warmly dressed, while he sits in clothing a season and a half too light for the weather? To be tasting this sweet hot steam, when he's cold and without? Goodness and warmth – something he probably needs a lot more than I do.
Three teenaged girls pass between us, each holding a hot drink in one hand, and a pastry in the other.
Who is the watcher?
Is this man dangerous?
Does he want something from her?
What about the girls?
Come back next week and learn more!
“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and add it as my own self-published library.
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