Fiction, January Workshop, Short Stories, Writing Workshops

Writing Workshop: Coffee and Chivalry, Christopher’s Story

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.”

Coffee and Chivalry


This coffeehouse is a castle of memories I’d like to forget. The barista plays his jester’s tune, and the bitter coffee runs like hot oil from the keep. I sip my tea in solitude. It’s bitter but clean.

I hear my change jangle into the metal tip jar as the barista clown sings a thank you.  I am the strings echoing back in my whimper a “thank you”.  We could go on forever, a coda of eternal torture, but I blow on my tea, bend my knee, and flee.

Stepping into the concrete moat around the café, I no longer feel like the criminal. I feel like the King.  I place my tea confidently down on the wrought iron furniture and stamp my heels on the neighboring chair.  The elderly woman sitting next to me mumbles into her macchiato, but that just steels me.

I slide my table slowly, making the metal clank against the ground, like the sound of the great knights of the past waging war over honor. War over family. War over land! In my domain! But this is a war of love.  My heart pounds for battle, and pounds for her.

My green tea is a hearty ale to me.  It heartens my valor and builds my composure.  In my mind I hear bugles, trumpets, horns drowning out that jester at the register.  Even the traffic slows to a silence, as if there were no cars on the entire earth. I breathe in and smell wet, young spring.

There is my damsel in distress.  She rushes up the sidewalk while I shuffle my feet to lie flat on the ground. My armor is stronger than ever.  My blade is pulsing with a thirst for the greatest battle of all.  The battle for true love’s first glow to build into the blazing fire of passion, romance, intermittent embers flaring up with “I love you”s and (dare I say) “harder baby”s rising into the sky.

As I steady my wrought iron steed’s legs on the ground, I cough a little bit, and rub my hand through my beard.  She stands in front of me, with her apron- those damnable shackles of serfdom!- wrapped in her arm.  She slowly opens the door, as my eyes meet hers.

For a moment, I feel the squeak as my eye brow lifts like the visor from my helmet.  “M’lady, can I buy you a coffee?”

“Ew, fuck off.”

Thwarted again by the dark knight of ignorance.  He has his hand around her mind, but one day I shall wrench her from his grasp.  Not today though. Alas, fair maiden, I shall avenge your servitude to this beanery.

I whisper to myself and the now chuckling elderly woman, “I love you Jessica…”

The woman snorts.  “Her name is Julia!” She laughs, but little does she know I will be the victor and lord of this domain, and she will be pushed beyond my kingdom.

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