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So, we’ve had about a week to adjust to 2017, and that means I’ve got 51 weeks left to achieve my 2017 goals. So far, things are off to a solid start, and I’m excited about my ongoing and new projects. Of course, there will be lulls through the course of a year, but I’ve got a newer purpose, and better information and resources for attaining it.
One of my goals is to self-publish my two previously published anthology stories, “A Splash of Red,” which I previously serialized here, and the one I’m currently sharing. “Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local teenager with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event, and, several days later, was found, deceased.
From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.
A young woman awaiting her Monday morning commuter train is being watched by an ill-dressed man she doesn’t know. No one else seems to notice him.
A Shadow of Richness
His expression holds hope and wariness as he stares from behind his hair – long, but not unkempt. His jacket, pants, and shoes are threadbare from hard use, but have the look of quality.
His hands stay in his pockets, and he doesn’t meet my eyes. What needs to happen in a man’s life to break him this way? After an endless moment of silence amid the noise and the thronging all around us, he says, softly and simply, “But you won’t have any.” His voice is rough and deep – it sounds like he’s fighting a cold, or maybe bronchitis. Still, there’s a shadow of richness in it, and his words are precise and cultured, adding another layer to his mystery.
“I can get more at my office.”
Will the man take the coffee?
Will it be enough?
Will she get back to her Monday routine?
Any guesses you’d like to share?
“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and add it as my own self-published library.