Coffee shop rendezvous - A Flash Fiction Tale
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
- Including a walking cane
- Involving a coffee shop
This is my flash fiction attempt to his challenge.
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.
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.
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