Coffee Chronicles

WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Blast From the Past

So this week, we challenge you to step outside your blogging box and try something totally different:

  • If you normally write non-fiction, try fiction.
  • If you normally write fiction, try poetry.
  • If you normally post photos, try writing.
  • If you normally just write, try including photos. 

Need a little more guidance? Check out these post types, and pick one. Don’t opt for something that seems immediately doable; go with something you’ll have to work at a bit:

  • Stream-of-consciousness
  • Short fiction
  • A day in the life
  • Instructions on doing/making something
  • Top ten lists
  • An open letter
  • An explanation of a topic you know a lot about
  • A walk down memory lane
  • A rant
  • News/current event analysis
  • A book, movie, or music review

I’ve never written short fiction before. Although I keep a journal of all story ideas, I just didn’t follow through.

Well, challenge accepted. Here’s a short excerpt. As of press time, I have yet to determine how the story will go. 🙂


“WOULD you like another cup of coffee?”

She looked up from her book, a bit startled.

“Uhm, yes please.”

The lady gently lifted her cup from the table and started pouring the hot black concoction.

“You live around here?” the lady asked.

She smiled shyly.

“No. But I like it here. It’s cool and quiet.”

“Well, you’re welcome here anytime,” the lady said and headed back to the counter.

The coffee shop is small and almost inconspicuous. Neatly tucked between a large furniture warehouse and an old Spanish ancestral house, frequent customers refer to it as “the smaller Spanish house.” There are no shop signs that point to its existence so it gained followers by word of mouth. Cafe Viejo, it was called. Literally translated, it means old coffee – which is actually a reference to all the things old-fashioned in the cafe: the home grown coffee beans roasted in a wood-fired oven on the ground floor; the street where the shop itself stands – C. Briones St., one of the less popular streets in the Old Spanish Quarter; and the owner himself, a young entrepreneur who has an old soul and always yearned to bring back the days when life was simpler.

Cafe Viejo entertains its customers on the second level of the house, where the breeze frolics freely in and out of its large sliding windows. Her favorite spot was at a table near the window overlooking the street. When she’s not reading, she simply passes the time looking at the occasional passersby or watching the rows of old houses across the street and beyond. Sometimes, she dreams a little.

Today would have been a perfect time to dream. The sun was hotter than usual. The hours were ungodly. And the wind was whipping her hair across her face in a soft, steady lull. But today, she will not be alone.

“Is this seat taken?” a deep, manly voice startled her once again. It must be the coffee.

“Yes, I’m a…” she froze.

A tall, vaguely familiar gentleman with a plate of freshly-baked ensaymadas suddenly emerged beside her table. She must have been too distracted to notice.

She cleared her throat.

“Waiting for a friend,” she smiled.

He grinned, showing off the little dimples at the corner of his mouth.

“Compliments of Cafe Viejo, for being a loyal customer,” he said and neatly laid the plate on the table. Then he slid into the seat across her.

Slightly taken aback, she managed to mumble a little thank you before regaining her composure.

“I’m sorry, do I know you from somewhere?” she asked, instinctively looking at his shirt for a nameplate or anything that would reveal his identity.

He was wearing a navy blue polo shirt with the unmistakable green crocodile logo embroidered on the fabric, which told her he was not one of the servers.

“Anton,” he said as he extended his hand.

“Anton Diaz”

She gasped, her cheeks flooded with color.

The young entrepreneur.

“Mr. Diaz! Why, silly me,” she said apologetically and shook his hand.

His grip was firm, manly, and very sexy.

“Anton,” he insisted. “Mr. Diaz is so formal and makes me feel really old,” he added with a chuckle.

She laughed.

“I didn’t know you were in town,” she said.

“Nobody ever knows when. I just show up one day at the door and surprise them all. Nobody knows when I leave too,” he grinned boyishly.

Don’t you all, she thought distractedly, picked up an ensaymada, and took a small bite.

“How is it?” he asked.

”The cafe is in good hands. Your chef makes the most delicious treats and your baristas brew the best coffee.”

“I’m glad you like it here. I like a beautiful face bringing sunshine to my coffee shop,” he said softly.

Unsure how to respond, she simply smiled.

How long has he been here?   

She was about to open her mouth to say something when she saw him – the other guy.

He was standing by the door, scowling. He was obviously not pleased.

“Mike, hi!”

With long, huge strides, Mike walked towards the table.

Anton stood up, turned around, and extended his hand.

“Welcome to Cafe Viejo. I’m Anton, the owner of this place,” he said.

“Sorry, I’m late. Traffic’s bad,” he said, ignoring Anton.

“That’s fine. I haven’t been here that long,” she lied.

“Anton, thank you so much for these treats,” she said and smiled at Anton.

“Enjoy your afternoon,” he said and walked back to the counter.

She took her seat.

“Hi,” she said softly.

He was quiet. He was looking at her face, her hair, her eyes. Three years and she looks just the same.

“These ensaymadas are good,” she said, trying to break the awkward silence.

More silence.

Say something. Anything. Please.

She took her cup of coffee. It had gone cold but she took a sip anyway.

He was still looking at her intently. He wished the ground would just open and swallow him. It was his fault. He had no right to be mad. But his jealousy raged inside him.

“I don’t owe you an explanation,” she finally said, putting the cup down.

“I know,” he said curtly.

“He was just…trying to be friendly. I shouldn’t have reacted like that,” he added.

I mean, I don’t need to explain everything from three years ago. Why am I even here?

He reached out across the table to hold her hand.

She wasn’t paying attention. She was looking at a crowd of children playing patintero on the street.

“You know why I really love this place? Years have gone by but everything looks the same,” she said absentmindedly.

“They have stood the test of time,” he said and forced a weak smile.

“It’s merely an illusion. Nothing is the same,” she said sadly.

“Nothing ever is.”


2 responses to “Coffee Chronicles

  1. Pingback: Coffee Shop (Instrumental) | right beat radio·

  2. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge – 7 October | Joe's Musings·

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