Friday, January 13, 2017

Free Fic: Tea and Cookies

I love to write about people having tea. So I keep imagining so many different scenarios where it happens. This is yet another one!


"The water will boil in just a minute." Janice, Kirk's mom, bustled around her kitchen. She fished cloth napkins from a drawer and a beautiful silver tea service strainer that nobody ever used because Janice bought tea in tea bags. She placed it gently on the table between her china cup and Kirk's. "There. That looks nice."

"Mom, it looks beautiful," Kirk agreed.

The table did look nice. Instead of the usual untidy mess of magazines, oil-stained placemats, half-opened mail, and various left-behind silverware there was a clean and open space. Only their two china cups, mismatched but both lovely, with cloth napkins, a silver spoon for each, and the tea strainer perched on the tabletop.

"Oh. I forgot the milk and sugar." Janice hoped to her feet again and began bustling around the kitchen. The moment she'd grabbed the sugar jar from the counter, the kettle began to whistle.

"I've got it." Kirk pulled the kettle from the burner. He searched for the teapot and found it neatly tucked away in the far cupboard. He also dug out the tea bags from the plastic container where they were stored.

"Thank you," his mom said as she sat down again.

He put teabags in the pot and poured in the hot water. "Do you have a timer?" he asked

She moved to jump up again and Kirk waved her down.

"I've got my phone." He pushed a few buttons. "How long?"

"Three minutes, I think?" She sighed. "Better make it four. I hate weak tea."

Kirk started the timer and sat down at the table. "It's been a while since we've had tea together."

"I know," she said. "But you texted me this time that you were stopping in to grab some of your old things, so I figured you could spare a few minutes to catch me up on what's going on with your life. FaceBook is nice. I like the photos. But it isn't everything."

"I only live fifteen minutes away," Kirk said. "I'm not that far."

Janice shrugged. "Sometimes close is just as far away as far." She stood up and rummaged in a nearby drawer, the lowest one that was slightly deeper than the others. She pulled out a package of cookies. "Look," she said. "Your favorite."

Kirk tilted his head. "Coconut macaroons. Mom, those are Joe's favorites!" Joe was his older brother, and the shining star of the family. He was off to law school after having earned a scholarship to his undergraduate university. Kirk was just starting to see the bills from his college education, and still didn't have a full time job with which to pay them. He was looking, but times were tough. It was just like his mom to get Joe's favorite cookies.

"What? No. I got yours." Janice looked at the package. "Wait a second." She went back to the drawer and exchanged packages. "Here we go." She showed the cookies off with a flourish.

Gingersnaps. Kirk smiled. "Thanks."

His phone buzzed, signaling the tea was done.

His mom clasped her hands together. "Now. I'll pour. Tell me everything that's been going on."

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