I've written this fictional story from a prompt I received in a daily email from @shadowspub. The prompt is the phrase, “Out of Coffee.” Thanks for reading!
Coffee - For Elites Only?
It has been a very long time since Frank has had a cup of real coffee. Real coffee is just too damned expensive anymore for normal folks to buy. The most popular hot morning beverage normal people now drink in place of coffee, Schwinker’s Brew, is a blend of herbs and other ingredients meant to mimic the taste and energy-producing benefits of coffee and caffeine.
Coffee is so expensive now, due to the fact that eighty seven percent of the world’s coffee trees were wiped out over a decade ago. Insect pests, those most deadly to coffee trees, along with changes in climate, combined to do devastating damage to those lands and the coffee industry.
The Schwinker’s isn’t that bad for a pick-me-up drink to get one moving first thing in the morning, and a fine energy-producing blend of herbs it is. The flavor of Schwinker’s however, reminds absolutely no one of a real cup of “Joe.” Still, its blend of ingredients, being the most popular, is, as one might expect, a tightly-held secret.
Some people have tried transitioning to teas that contain high caffeine levels, but they aren’t as good as Schwinker’s Brew in providing that jolt of energy everyone wants in the morning, and then that recharge throughout the day.
Today is special, as Frank will be having a real, genuine cup of that black goodness he loves for the first time in nine years. By pure chance, he’d saved the life of the young daughter of one of the richest men in the world, the CEO of Vital Incorporated, four days before. She’d stepped onto a crosswalk without looking, and had Frank not grabbed her, she would have been hit and killed by a speeding car.
To show his heartfelt gratitude for what Frank had done, the CEO father invited Frank and a guest of Frank’s choosing, to come to his family’s home for breakfast with coffee - as much coffee as Frank and his guest would want.
Don’t get the idea that Frank’s some sort of down-on-his-luck nobody that doesn’t have two dimes to rub together. He’s a well-known businessman himself, with a wife and kids, and living the good life in Perdunty Cove, a lakeside subdivision featuring upscale homes. That day had started like any other.
Being that Frank has kids of his own, he was overcome with emotion that he’d managed to save the girl’s life, and he couldn’t stop saying, “Thank you God,” over and over. The twelve year-old girl, not realizing she’d almost been killed, had a confused, irritated, and somewhat embarrassed look on her face, likely due to all the attention focused upon her.
The CEO, Vic Talford, had a hard time identifying Frank as the man who’d saved his daughter’s life. After the girl was safe, Frank went on to conduct his business at city hall. No one had gotten his name. It came down to finding shots of the incident from traffic cameras. They found a clear shot of his face, and after locating him, everyone was thrilled as Vic personally thanked and extended the invitation to Frank.
Frank is taking Jean, his wife, with him as his guest, as she may love coffee even more than him, and she’s his best friend after all. Their first meeting had been at a coffee house fourteen years earlier when Frank had clumsily bumped into Jean and then apologized profusely. She thought he was funny… and more.
Jean hadn’t handled the coffee price rise very well, as she depended on the caffeine-fed energy more than Frank did. There had been some trouble when Frank had to put his foot down and stop buying the stuff, as it was beginning to cost them far too much money. The day Frank said, “The last of the coffee we will ever have is gone; we are officially out of coffee,” she had been completely devastated.
Both of them were somewhat nervous as Frank drove to the Talford home. Going to someone’s home for breakfast, especially the home of someone you don’t know very well, is kind of odd but both of them would do just about anything to have that coffee.
Frank rang the doorbell and Vic answered the door, inviting them inside, and then introduced them to his wife, Arlene and their special little girl, Carla, who gave Frank a big hug and thanked him for saving her. “Who, besides Carla, would like a hot cup of the best coffee on earth?” asked Vic. Jean, Frank and Arlene all replied, “Me - and black”
They all loved coffee so much they didn’t want to spoil the taste in any way by adding cream or sugar or a sweetener to it. Straight black coffee – that’s what they were craving. Drinking this coffee was similar to drinking a rare, vintage wine.
“Let’s just have a cup and a chat to get acquainted, and then we’ll have breakfast. Okay with everyone?” Vic asked. “Sounds great,” Frank replied, as Jean nodded her approval.
They talked about the schools; Carla attended a private school, while the children of Frank and Jean attended public school. They talked about differences between their neighborhoods and how their neighbors feel about things concerning the quality of life that most people are stuck with; a life without coffee, while they were enjoying some.
The breakfast, handled by the Talfords’ staff, offered a wide range of choices – they could have just about anything they wanted to have with their heavenly coffee.
After everyone had finished their meal, Vic stood up and said he’d like to speak with Frank alone, in his office. As the two men walked away together, Arlene said, “Vic is so grateful to Frank, as am I,” she said, “and Vic and I are intent on improving your lives as many ways as we can.”
“I’m sure that Frank doesn’t feel he should be rewarded for…” Arlene cut Jean off at that point, telling her, “Right now, Vic is telling Frank that he wants to merge Frank’s company into his corporation, and make Frank senior executive vice president of the corporation. Jean was dumbfounded by the news. "Can you guess what else you’re in for?" Jean was in shock and had no clue.
“You will be receiving deliveries of the same coffee you and Frank are having here this morning. The deliveries will occur on a weekly schedule. It’s included in the contract that Vic is offering to Frank. You and your wonderful husband will never, ever, be out of coffee again.”
Coffee - For Elites Only? © free-reign 2020
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