Serial Story Intro: Tales from the Café

I’ve been thinking for a long time that I should share tiny flash fiction stories about where I work. There’s a lot of great characters–both for good and for ill–and I’ve often been told that I should write about them. Obviously, for legal reasons, names of people/places/food items will be changed to not point a direct finger and who or what I’m talking about. And since I work 4-6 days a week, I should have no trouble coming up with new material for you every Friday. 🙂 For now, have a brief introduction to the character who will be your narrator.

I glanced at the car’s clock as I shifted it into park. 10:50. Good, I had a few moments until the beginning of my shift. With a sigh, I pulled down my visor and peered into the tiny mirror. My hair was a disaster, but if I pulled my fingers through the mess of copper I called my hair a few times and tied it back into a ponytail, it’d be acceptable enough. Nice that it’s long enough to do that now. The dark circles that seemed to live under my eyes had finally started fading after a few decent nights’ sleep, and the rest was hidden behind my glasses–something I’d been using to my advantage since high school.

Grabbing my apron, I got out of the car and headed into the cafe, hitting the lock button on my key fob as I walked. The weather had finally decided to act like autumn, and I pulled up my coat’s collar against the wind. There weren’t that many cars in the parking lot, which either signified an incredibly slow day, or the calm before the storm. Given the time, it could go either way.

I pushed open the door, hearing the chime on the edge sound. The young woman at the counter–one of my managers, Zoe–looked up and smiled. “Morning, Hunter.”

“Hey, Zo. How’s it been?” I walked around the counter and she stepped out of the way so I could clock in.

“Slow.” She rolled her shoulders, pushing a lock of dark hair back behind her ear. “You missed the one real excitement of the day.”

“Uh oh, that sounds like fun. What happened?” I leaned back against the counter. Mocha Time specialized in coffee, but we did food throughout the day–pretty good food, if I did say so myself. Between the two, we always had some pretty good stories about something someone had did, no matter what the day.

“So, we ran out of teaspoons.” This wasn’t uncommon; we didn’t have many, so if it was at all busy with coffee drinkers, we’d run out quickly. “Autumn didn’t want to just hand this lady her coffee with a wooden stirrer, and the demitasse spoons just feel too small. So all we had left were the soup spoons. Sure, they’re big but we figured it would be okay.” Her eyes widened as she gestured a negative with her arms. “No. Absolutely not. She lost her shit. She demanded to see a manager, freaked out at Autumn, threatened all manner of nonsense…” Whit shook her head. “I don’t even know.”

My eyes were wide. “You’re joking.”

“I wish I was.”

“What did you do?” I put a hand over my mouth.

“I told her that we didn’t have a clean teaspoon to give her, I apologized profusely, and we moved on.” She shrugged. “There’s not really much else we could have done.”

“I guess.” I shook my head, tying my apron in place. “You’re right, I really did miss all the fun.”

“It’ll be fun enough now that you’re here.” She grinned at me, and I flashed a smile back. The door chimed and both of us turned to face it.

“Good morning, welcome to Mocha Time.”


2 thoughts on “Serial Story Intro: Tales from the Café

    1. I try to keep the essence of creative non-fiction as my guiding rule here: true stories, told well. I try to keep them accurate, but if a slight bending makes the story flow better without changing the core of the truth, then let it be bent.

      Also, a few of my coworkers have been told about the blog and my idea to write the stories, and they all seem to be amused. A couple have offered to give their own stories! But of course, if at any point the management/my coworkers/someone takes umbrage with the series, I’ll take it down. I do try to keep these impersonal for that very reason, but.

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