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Coffee shop rendezvous - A Flash Fiction Tale

Updated on September 4, 2015
Nadine May profile image

Nadine joined Kima Global Publishers in 2001. She loves creative writing and has written short stories about her own novel characters.

Source

Flash fiction challenge

Instead of starting my usual workday by opening emails and correspondence, I promised myself to join Chris Mills's flash fiction challenge by following his below rules:

No longer than 1,000 words

  • Drama
  • Including a walking cane
  • Involving a coffee shop

This is my flash fiction attempt to his challenge.

Source

Treetops - Coffee shop

Finally her navigator found the coffee shop where she was to meet her Facebook friend for the first time. She had been on a shopping spree buying gifts for her family since nine o’clock that morning, among other things buying a walking cane for her dad’s collection. She had been brought up in a family of hikers.

“Gosh my feet are killing me.” Carla mumbled under her breath as she walked three steps up towards the wooden happy doors with brass door handles so low, they were fit for a five year old. The coffee shop was packed.

“Table for two?” A tall black man asked. His big grin greeted her like a flashlight due to the brilliance of his while teeth against his dark copper skin tone.

“Yes if that is possible. I’m supposed to meet someone.”

“If you wouldn’t mind waiting for just a second, I think I can find you just the place.”

He left her standing close to a large palm tree that had a wooden bench build around its thick trunk. No wonder Chris spoke so highly about this coffee shop. The decor was most unusual, as if you were high up in a tree house.

She wondered what Chris was like. All she knew was that he had a great sense of humor, loved hiking, science fiction movies and held a part time job as a camera man in a TV studio.

Source
Source

More people arrived and a tall woman had to bend really low to open the door. She wondered why the door handle was at a child’s height. Looking around the cosy interior with its wooden beams past the many occupied tables, similar happy-doors with low brass handles were clearly part of the decor, all leading onto a wooden deck.

Next to one of the happy doors there was a rack full of walking canes which made her recall Chris telling her that the treetop coffee shop was a hiker’s paradise.

“There you are, please will you follow me.” The same waiter was clutching a leather bound menu, which made her wonder about the price of a cappuccino.

He led her to a small round table with two chairs snug against the wall.

“The gentleman who I am to meet might ask for me. He said you know him, his name is Chris.”

“Oh yes we surely do. Can I bring you something to drink in the meantime?”

She was somewhat surprised at the way he replied, but shrugged it off and ordered a cappuccino.

Source

She and Chris had been Facebook friends for a year before they started to chat through Facebook messenger. According to his Facebook profile he was the same age as her and single. They had both shared photos on Facebook; she with her hiking family and Chris had one photo with a dog taken from the back by someone else. They shared many links on various topics, mostly to do with alternative living conditions. Chris knew all about living off the grid. He also shared the many hiking trails he had been on but she had to admit that her own interest was more to do with animation, since that was her work; creating animation scripts for an advertising firm.

She was still single at age thirty two, maybe because she was just below 5 foot tall. Most men she had dated towered over her, so she had always felt intimidated. She had been born into a family with several members who were midgets. She did not have the genetic disorder that dwarfs have, but she had hated being called a midget by her past boyfriends. She was almost 5 feet tall!

“Can I bring you anything else?” The waiter asked serving her cappuccino. She knew she was early; Chris might still be at work.

“I’ll be fine just now, maybe later. Chris said he might be held up, but I would rather wait before ordering lunch. Please leave the menu in the mean time.”

The menu would give her an idea about the lunch prices. She had rather over spent this month and would have to be careful. She had no idea what Chris was like and who would take care of the bill.

There was a commotion when a large group of hikers arrived. A dwarf couple led them in. They were clearly the leaders of the hiking group. Most of them dropped their walking canes in the racks.

At that moment she spotted Chris. She recognized him by his longish hair. He was a taller than the dwarf couple, but not as tall as the rest of the group.

“You must be Carla, you look so much more beautiful than any of your photos! "

She got up from her seat so they could hug each other. He was just a head taller than her. The glint in his eyes told her that he was just as pleased as she was about their body height.

Mom, dad, may I introduce you to Carla, the girl I chat to every day on Facebook?

His parents were the dwarf couple who owned the treetop coffee shop. Now she understood the low level of the happy door handles....

word count 938

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    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 23 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks Mel your comment was appreciated.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California

      Highly captivating short piece. Beautifully written.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 23 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for your comment and you now remind me to post the photos that I promised to you. Time just flies

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 23 months ago from South Africa

      A very charming story! And so there is indeed a lid for every pot :)

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 24 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your comment Frank

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      a well paced, detailed and amazing story, you took that challenge head on and nailed it!

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 24 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you for that very nice compliment Brian.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 24 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      No it is never to late! Write your short story and post the link onto the forum list.

    • B Brian Hill profile image

      B Brian Hill 24 months ago

      Well-formed and engaging story. I enjoyed it very much. Flowing, clear and mysterious. Very skillfully written!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 24 months ago from Texas

      This is so sweet Nadine. I think I am going to like this challenge. I hope I am not to late to get in on it.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 24 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you Nell for reading my short story challenge.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 24 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Many thanks Dianna I appreciate your comment. Sorry to be so late replying Ive been off line

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Wwell done Nadine, you got me there with the low doors. But what a lovely story! totally different, which makes it a great read!

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for reading my short story Ann.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your comment about the challenge.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks Randy

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for reading my short story Alicia.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Genna so nice of you to read my short internet romance.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you Larry for stopping buy to read my short story

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks manatita44 I still have not seen an emails from you?

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you Shauna for your kind words.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Any story setting in a coffee shop gets my attention! It is a hub of interesting activity, good choice! This was a sweet romantic tale. I loved the door handle clue.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What a nice twist! Loved the romance and the addition of the video, too!

      My daughter had a teacher in middle school who is one of the shortest women in the world and has been profiled in films. She is an awesome drama teacher and teaches the kids to just get over the differences and look through to the inner person.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow Eric no, better let your wife not read it! 30 min away from us within a resort they have happy doors with low handles. One day I have to ask the owner why these door handles are so low. It has always intrigued me.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Glad you liked reading my ( as Jodah calls it) a feel good story.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Jodah I also experienced that my comments did not appear, but later they did? Some glitch? I like your 'feel good' comment.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for reading my short story Ruby. I found out that several hub writers are 5 foot or even less!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Well done, Nadine, for a refreshingly different story. I didn't 'twig' until right at the end regarding the door handles, though you gave us the hint!

      It does make us wonder if the relationship blossomed but the signs are hopeful. Lovely story and a great response to Chris' challenge.

      Ann

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Nadine...You surely made this challenge look very easy and entertaining! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Great imaginative work!. Flash Fiction is a lot harder than it looks!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Fine response to the challenge, Nadine. :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a sweet story containing a lovely element of romance and happiness. Thanks for sharing it, Nadine.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I liked this well-written story for several reasons...the budding romance between two people who met online, and it turned out quite well; the description of the coffee shop and its unusual setting; and the mystery of the handle. Well done, Nadine. :-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderfully done, Nadine.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow thanks alan for your input about Queen Vic and others. I've made a note of the movie.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      This one to me is very cute and sweet, Nadine. Excellent contribution!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      This is a beautiful little story, Nadine! No pun intended. I could clearly see the coffee shop built around a tree. How intriguing it would be to relax with a cup of coffee and a delicious meal in that setting!

      You did a nice job of meeting Chris' challenge. Love the modern-day Facebook touch.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for your compliment. Glad it made you smile....yes... very predictable!

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Yes Will I'm a sucker for romance. Thanks for reading...

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What happened to them? Well they married had a bunch of kids and lived happy ever after!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic story. I would really like to visit that coffee shop.

      But please do not tell my wife that 4'10" is short.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      What a lovely story! Very original and compassionate. I joy to read this Saturday morning.

      Loved the door handles that led us to the surprise ending!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hmm..I did comment on this Nadine (when there were no other comments in fact) but it hasn't shown up. This was a true feel good tale. I loved it.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Charming story. I liked your detailed description of the interior of the coffee shop.The low level of the door handles were a mystery until the conclusion. Well done! I can relate with Carla, 5 foot one, me too. Hee.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Interesting variation on the theme with a canny story line and a surprise ending.

      Queen Vic was under 5'. Just about everyone in her own family towered over her. My third landlady at Scarborough was under 5' as well, and by no means dwarfish. Just short. Her brother who came to stay once was around my height, just under 5'-10".

      Ever see the film 'Time Bandits'? That took a comic look at the theme, using lots of tall actors to contrast with the stars of the film - a ten-year old boy and a posse of dwarves who pass through gaps in time - such as Ralph Richardson, Sean Connery, John Cleese and David Warner amongst others (God, Agamemnon, Robin Hood and Evil in that order. Well worth seeing if you missed it).

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Nadine May

      A charming story, quite delightful. I think I read it all the while wearing a little smile on my face and I think you did a great job on the challenge. Well done.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your comments on my flash fiction assignment! It was a fun challenge and now I have to catch up with the work I was suppose to do before the weekend, but It was fun.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ah! Mystery solved! Well done, Nadine, and complete with a budding romance!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Oh...My niece who died a few weeks ago was four ten or four 11...she would have welcomed the low handles on the doors.

      Sweet story....of course now I wonder ...what happened between Chris and our heroine?

      Angels are headed your way this morning ps

      shared g+ tweeted

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Nadine, You had me wondering through the whole story how the low level of the door handles would be resolved. This is a delightful story of two people who are truly compatible. The breadth and height of that compatibility becomes evident at the end. Thank you for this heartwarming story that is a wonderful addition to our collection in this challenge. Thanks for participating, Nadine.