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January 9, 2018

20 Days of Chill: Hot beverages - fiction

20 Days of Chill
Today's prompt is hot beverages.' Another mermaid story which is unrelated to the previous one. I'm not even sure why mermaids have been in my writing but they are.

After a long day of being yelled at and running back and forth between cubicles, Edward heads to his favorite cafe and buys a cup of hot chocolate. He picks a table far from the old man reading a thick book and the giggling teenage girls and their phones. He places the cup onto the table, sits down on the leather seats and pulls the strap of his bag over his head and places the bag beside him. He pulls the lid off the cup and takes in the scent of chocolate. But then he notices something is floating in the brown liquid and it is definitely not marshmallows as he did not ordered them. He glances around the room, at the old man and the teenage girls but none of them are playing any attention to him.

Looking down at the brown liquid again, Edward tries to rationalize what he is seeing but even after he rubs his eyes a few times, the tiny mermaid is still there. She waves at him with a smile. But Edward refuses to believe in such things. Mermaids aren't real and if they are, they would never be inside his cup of hot chocolate. But there she is again waving at him like an old friend. He replaces the lid. Edward have enough. He stands up, picks up his bag and swings the straps over his shoulder, and he proceeds to leave. But a man in a yellow uniform almost shouts,"Hey, bus your own table."

Edward gives the man a tiny grin. He turns back to the table and picks up the cup but the man has already turned away and he is now dragging his mop and bucket toward the back of the cafe.

Edward removes the lid and peers into the cup. Half of the hot chocolate is gone. The mermaid however, is still there. She waves at him again. Edward tightens his lips and presses the lid onto the cup. No way does he want anything to do with this creature whether she is real or not. He walks pass a trash bin and drops the cup in and walks outside.

The cold wind hits his face and body. He turns around to fasten his coat. There he sees that the trash bins are being removed. But the man with the yellow uniform has yet to reach the bin near the door where Edward had dropped the cup. He turns away. It wasn't real, he tells himself. There's no mermaid in that cup.

He takes a few steps but then turns around and reenters the cafe. He pulls the cup out and runs out the door. He looks inside the cup but finds there is very little hot chocolate but the mermaid is still there. She smiles at him almost shyly. Edward tightens his grip on the cup.

At home, he places the cup on his desk. After a show, he checks the cup. It is empty except for the mermaid. She sits there at the bottom with her head down. Edward sighs and wishes she is not there or that he can't see her. But as he tips the cups sideways slowly, the  mermaid walks out with two legs. Her long hair which drops to her knees hides most of her.

Edward is sure he has seen a tail but the mermaid does not have one now. Edward pulls up a chair and sits in front of the desk. "Hello," he says quietly with his head close to her.

"Hello," the mermaid says in a tiny voice. "My is is Ellsy. What is your name?"

"Mine's Edward," Edward replies. But then he asks the stupid question that he knows he doesn't need to ask. "Are you a mermaid?"

Ellsy nods her head. "Yes."

"What do you want? You have ruined hot chocolate for me. I can never..." He stops. "You can't stay here."

"Why not?" Ellsy asks.

"Because...because I don't like company."


"Do I need a reason?" Edward scoffs.

Ellsy nods her head but then shakes it. "But I really want to stay just for a few days."

Edward sighs. "Alright, you can stay here a bit but in a couple of days, you have to leave, understand?"

Ellsy nods her head. "Yes, I understand." She grins widely.

Edward tries not to smile even though he does feel a tickle of joy from having her there.

For more '20 days of chill' visit A 'lil HooHaa.
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