All January Writing Workshop stories were written in 15 minutes, the writer inspired by the following prompt: “This coffee house is a castle of memories I’d like to forget with the barista playing his jester’s tune, the bitter coffee like hot oil from the keep while I sip my tea in solitude.”
The coffeehouse. A place I’ve been spending most of my 20’s. As a scholar, I’d come here oft to study and cozy up to the crackling fireplace.
My favorite days were Thursdays. The regulars — at this point anyone who showed up more than once a week — would saddle up to the microphone for a chance to serenade the (nearly) empty room. Most of the time it was the baristas switching on and off the bar and the spoitlight as no one else showed enough interest to get up there themselves. Twas intriguing… as if they worked there simply to be admired for their craft once a week; like jesters in the king’s court earning their keep by entertaining the masses. Nobles, sometimes the occasional commoner, would throw their gold coins at the “entertainment” while drowning out the mediocrity of the swill they tried to pass as coffee. It’s what kept the lights on, I suppose.
Then there was me — the “witch” from out of town who spend her evenings by the fire yet couldn’t name a single face. Was I above them? Too important to learn? No. I was just temporary. Despite my constant appearances i would be gone whence my craft was learned. Although I didn’t know a single name, I sure knew enough about their personal lives.
The main barista — tall, a bit disheveled looking, but on purpose — brought a new groupie with him every week. It made sense, really, as the only songs he knew were “Wonderwall” and “Yellow” so once was enough to hear his entire repertoire. The other, a short ginger girl sang originals, but sand mostly to herself as she was too soft. It’s like she was afraid her lyrics would get her sent to the stocks.
The jesters performed for the nobles every week. Same time. Same routine. Wonderwall, Yellow, whispered originals. Sometimes I think of them in my daily life outside my studies and sigh to myself. They’re stuck in their routine, and I suppose I’m stuck in mine, too. After all, without their stories I wouldn’t have one of my own. I’d just be the witch from out of town sipping her chamomile.