Writing Prompt 001


Write a story in which a broken coffee maker has a huge impact on the world around it.

I met her on a cold, hopeless autumn day when I thought my world had ended.

I work on Wall Street, I should clarify that to:

“I worked on Wall Street for the past 10 miserable years. It was a never ending game of stocks and quotes and figures. I had become the fall guy for some half-hearted billionaire’s son, and that was that: My career was over.”

It all flashed before my eyes. I contemplated how far the fall from my penthouse suite above the highest point of the Upper East Side of NYC was. I could jump, right?

My time of death would be 2:32 p.m. at 432 Park Avenue, and that would be that. I’d have some dedication by my only sister that still had anything to do with me about how much she loved and missed me, but even she had lost touch in the recent months with a new baby and husband to look after.

Something drew me to that coffee shop.

My heart thudded faster as I turned the corner, and then I caught a glimpse of something. It was a hopeful shimmer that maybe my world had not ended. Perhaps it was destiny that drew me to the coffee shop, or perhaps just a mistake created by something much smarter than I.

She skidded to a halt but quickened her pace as she hugged her coat tighter around her skinny frame. It was a navy blue trench coat that stopped just above the knee, showing off her porcelain legs in a pair of tiny nude heels. She was breathtaking, even from afar I could see that. She pulled a door open and stepped inside. I took a deep breath racing across a street where a sign had just flashed for most people to stop walking, but for me I couldn’t stop walking because something had forced me to keep going.

There was very little in life that made my heart beat fast.

On this occasion I could only think of three things including her: The day I had my first interview with the New York Stock Exchange to become the youngest Financial Operations Examiner, and the day I had ran away from my Midwestern home to pursue bigger dreams in New York.

This would be the third time in my life that I had ever been afraid of something. I was not drawn by emotional security or attachment to other people. I was drawn to be the best in a competitive market of intellectual properties. I was made for bigger, better things and did not deem my time worthy enough to spend it chasing hopeless romantic fantasies.

I opened the door into the netherworld that I had long since forgotten. I had my first kiss at 14 with a girl on the back of a yellow, worn-down school bus with torn brown leather seats and gum on top of the ceiling. There were no idealizations from that first kiss of what love might be.

I stepped into the aromatic cafe filled with the noises of New York’s finest intellectual souls congregating and tapping away at new-age typewriters. The writers, the thinkers and the coffee collided creating an air about the place that was absolute in that moment. I stood behind the girl that I had chased into this once forsaken place.

“Coffee black.” She whispered breathlessly.
She dug around in her pocket for change, and she hit her hand against her forehead because no clanking echoed inside. She incessantly dug to the empty pit that was the bottom of her pocket with no gleeful return.

“My money must have fallen in my rush over.” She said in an impeccable accent. I stepped in front of her and offered the cashier a crisp five dollar bill.

“My treat.” I said. She flashed a smile and looked downward.

“Thank you.” She replied. “I owe you.”

“Would you like anything?” The young cashier with short auburn hair and painted black lips asked. She pushed her bangs out of her face as she tapped her pen against a gray notepad.

“Coffee black.” I announced, and the woman with the piercing green eyes and fiery red hair smiled up at me knowingly.

“You know,” She began. “They say only psychopaths drink black coffee.”

“Do they?” I said squeamishly. “I don’t think I’ve heard that one before.”

“There was a study in Austria,” She began. “It found that people who preferred bitter notes in foods scored higher on personality tests that assessed personalities that were dark, psychopathic, narcissistic and sadistic… I’m studying psychology.” She concluded blushing.

The walls began to shake and move around us, and I grabbed onto her for stability. She looked up with fearful eyes.

“Is this it?” She questioned. “Is this the end, my dearest friend?”

The explosions grew closer and closer. I knew then that there would be no coffee for us ever again, but to experience this closeness just once was all that I needed. It grew brighter then and the smell of black coffee lingered and beckoned, finally it engulfed us together into the sweet, rich darkness once more.

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