A Story Inspired By Writer's Block Coffee
Suzanne Gochenouer, of TransformationalEditor.com, submitted this Writer's Block Coffee-inspired story as a testament to how much she enjoyed the coffee. What stories will you write after a cup (or three)? There's only one way to find out.
Writer's Block Coffee Hourby Suzanne Gochenouer
The knock at my door came just as the coffee-maker splashed its last drop of goodness into the glass pot. I hurried to pour a mugful before I answered. The first rich, smooth sip danced across my taste buds. Hello, mouth. Wake up, brain.
"Hey, Writer. Heard you had some new brand of joe you're tryin' out. Thought I'd give you a hand with that." Detective Mack Hawkshaw strolled through the door. Inconvenient timing. As usual.
"How do you always know when the coffee's ready, Hawk?" There was no use denying him a taste. He could wait around forever for an invitation, and had in the past. It was like he lived on my front porch just waiting for the energizing aroma of my first pot to waft through the open windows.
"It's what I do, Writer." He knew where the mugs hung out. I left him to serve himself. Which he did.
I was already turning toward the door when the clack of high-heels crossed my porch. Where Hawkshaw went, his secretary Marlene Ministre soon followed. I'm sure she's in love with her boss. And of course, he's oblivious.
"Oh, good morning, Writer." Marlene's hungry gaze focused on something–someone–over my shoulder. "I wondered if you knew where I could find Mack? I mean Mr. Hawkshaw." She blushed prettily.
"Lucky for you, Marlene, he's right where he always is when the coffee's fresh."
"Hey, doll," he called to her, "you might as well come in and have a cup." He shoved the mug he'd poured for himself across the counter and reached for a clean one.
She hurried past me.
I watched the neighbor's teen take a shortcut across my lawn as Marlene scolded, "This is nearly cold. I'll pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes."
"Shouldn't you be on your way to school, Kaylee?" I had to ask so I could tell Mr. and Mrs. Juve that I did. Her parents had this thing about me corrupting their daughter. Just because I loaned her romance novels from my shelves. It was just better all-around if I could tell them I did my adult duty in chivvying the girl to finish high school.
"No school today, Writer. Can I hang out? I promise I won't badger you to write a new YA novel. I'll just sit and . . . Wow, what smells so fantastic?"
Before I could stop her, Kaylee slid past me and into the kitchen. "Mornin' Mr. Hawkshaw. That's a pretty dress, Miss Marlene. I love vintage stuff like that." She shook her head when Hawk lifted a mug and an eyebrow. "No thanks, I'll have three-fourths coffee, one-fourth milk over ice. It's kinda an iced reverse cappuccino, except without the useless foam and the expense." The teen opened my cabinet and grabbed her favorite insulated tumbler.
I almost got my front door closed before the bank president, David Jefferson Grand IV, showed up with the local belle clinging to his arm. Samantha Peach was all over that man ever since her mama told her she was praying Samantha would get married before their fortune ran dry. I wondered if David—no one ever called him Dave, at least not a second time—knew what was at stake in this courtship.
He stuck his foot between the door and jamb. Well, one couldn't crush the local money man's foot and ask for a business loan the following day. I swung the door wide again.
"Samantha. And David. How refreshing to see you so early in the morning." Whoops. Big mistake. The southern belle shot me a furious look for my faux pas in calling attention to their joint arrival at the crack of dawn. Well, at the crack of almost waking up to a mug of rich, smooth coffee. They followed their noses into the kitchen, just as I'd been trying to do for the past ten minutes.
I felt a moment of smug satisfaction when David insisted on taking his coffee black and iced. I knew for a fact that Samantha went on a three-day bawling jag–what my grandmother used to call a conniption fit—when David told her he hated sweet ice tea. What's a southern gal to do with a man with such bad taste? I was pretty sure she'd have her revenge in spades once she got a ring on her finger.
Samantha, of course, drank her coffee with cream. So much cream I had to wonder if she shouldn't just request a splash of coffee in her cream. My preferred ratio was exactly the opposite. I guess it's all in the drinker's perspective.
It looked like everyone had their caffeine of choice, so I reached for the mug I'd abandoned on the counter.
Samantha inhaled dramatically, almost choking on her coffee. Every eye in my kitchen, except mine, stared toward the hallway. I closed my eyes. Could this morning get any more challenging?
"There better be something left in that pot for me." Joe's voice was deep and husky. I knew when I turned to face him he'd have that dreamy unshaven thing going on. I just hoped he was wearing jeans.
Ignoring the snickers and whispers from my (uninvited, I reminded myself) guests, I turned to face him. Okay, the shirtless thing worked too. Maybe too well. Samantha demanded an introduction to "this handsome gentleman I don't believe we know."
"Everyone, this is Joe Noir. Joe, everyone." I could hear the gossip at Sheila Marie's House of Hair and Travel Agency now. I made my preemptive strike. "We were working late last night. Really late. I guess we both fell asleep."
Hawk poured the last of my new coffee brew into a mug and handed it to Joe. "Noir."
"Hawk," Joe replied.
Okay, the two of them were acquainted. I'd wonder how later.
"Okay, everyone. I know I have a very busy day ahead. I imagine all of you do as well, but you'll be getting busy somewhere other than here. It's been almost nice," I glared at my mug of cold coffee, "but it's time for you all to go. I'll give each of you a call real soon."
"Can't I just . . . ." I held up my hand and cut off whatever Kaylee was about to ask. She stalked out the door as if I'd insulted her.
Holding the door wide open, I made a sweeping gesture to everyone else. Samantha leaned in for an air kiss and whispered, "If you get tired of that hunk of hotness, you know where I am." To which I whispered back, "In bed with the richest man in town." She dragged David down the walk like her shoes were on fire.
Hawkshaw strolled out the door with Marlene hurrying behind, hoping to catch a ride with her dream boss.
I sighed with relief. Coffee hogs. My first sip of cold coffee surprised me. It had the same enticing flavor as my hurried first sip.
A soft breath blew across the back of my neck. "I'm going to need a little comfort to make this perfect, babe."
I grabbed the Southern Comfort from its hiding place in the broom closet. (I was leaving nothing to chance. First they hog my coffee. Tomorrow my whiskey.) "I'm beginning to think you only stick around for my great coffee, Noir." I started a new pot.
He tipped a splash of whiskey into his mug, considered for a moment, and added a second shot. His face was a portrait of satisfaction as he sipped. Joe turned for the door.
"Where do you think you're going? I'm not finished with you, Noir."
"My, my, M.Y. Writer, I hope that's as wicked as you make it sound." Joe's grin was as dangerous as his life.
Sneaking a mug of coffee from the still-brewing pot, I turned my attention to what I was about to do to Joe. I sauntered to my desk, sank into the chair. Fingers poised over the keyboard I replied, "I don't know. Tell me what you like."
Joe Noir invaded my space. Was I ever ready for him.
"Babe. Dark alleys, small diners, big guns . . ."