FF - The glued coffee cup handle.

Fast Fiction is fiction written fast. The object is to get your brain thinking about a given subject without interference from “reason”. Go for the 30 minute time limit.

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FF - The glued coffee cup handle.

Postby JillStar » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:43 pm

jillstar wrote: Fast Fiction is just that... fiction written fast. Please visit What is FAST FICTION for more information.

Look at the subject for today's Fast Fiction at the end of this post... once you have the slightest beginning to your story… begin to write. Don't stop to ponder the meaning behind your writing or try to "fix" it so it's perfect... just write.

If you want to include your Fast Fiction finished product on WordTrip, simply add it to this thread. We would love it!

REMINDER: Please keep your stories PG13 if posted on the site. If you want a critique after you are complete, please consider using your writing group for help in that area or send a PM to one of us.

... try to stick to the 30 minutes time limit but feel free to take longer... ready, set... WRITE!

SUBJECT: The glued coffee cup handle.
Last edited by JillStar on Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JillStar » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:00 pm

How about... "Broken Again"?

I haven't had the time nor the inspiration nor the memory to do Fast Fiction Friday for the last two weeks (which, I believe includes today).

If I think of something that just can't wait until next Friday, I will add it!!
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Postby Mlou » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:12 pm

Okay. :D It's been slow everywhere. Nobody's reading the poetry threads either, try as I'm doing, to keep them alive. *sigh*
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Postby JillStar » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:25 pm

It must be the downfall of WT health causing some deep sighs of not wanting to participate. I can't really expect others to participate here if I don't offer up new challenges each Friday. But... in defence of myself... there are plenty for people to view from months before now!!
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Postby Daniel » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:50 pm

I wish I'd be awake 24/7! This week has been particularly vertiginous. It rained most of the time and, as always happens to me when it rains: I wasn't able to stay home, got wet and sneezed a lot. Children began school, friend had her birthday... Family wanted me there! Besides, all those worldly business collide with the wordly ones. I do need a clone... or two. :D If only I were a child again to be free to do what is important (I mean, some of your challenges).
"I think that in order to understand other people's suffering and distress one must have, among other things, a great imagination."

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Postby Daniel » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:37 am

Oh, no... Please forget about all that. I am so blind that I don't see my stories. Somehow (mmm) my brain is not used to producing its own pictures, and I think that's a problem. There are infinite ways of measuring people and of this-way-of-measuring-people I am making an interesting one. Rough work. Anyway, no one here can deny that they got their feedback. We all have accidents... Seven months ago I was sailing -needless to say that I am not much keen on sailling- and it happened just as if I had had a day's run. For the moment, that's all. About questioning. By the way, good sense of humor, 'though I dare say that sometimes you don't appreciate mine. C'mon, I am not that serious! I mean, I can be serious all the time if you want me to, but I think that's boring and having fun is something I would never give up. I LOVE to LEARN but I am basically LAZY and "stubborn as a mule" (this one's from one of the first poems someone wrote to me and now that I mention it, those days are past for ever and I can't see my story, can't complete my picture and light hurts in my eyes like aloe's sap. It burns).

Only 30' :D
"I think that in order to understand other people's suffering and distress one must have, among other things, a great imagination."



YOU ARE TO ME WHAT YOU CHOSE TO BE.
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Postby Mlou » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:09 pm

temporarily deleted (as I submitted it somewhere)
Last edited by Mlou on Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Daniel » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:08 pm

You see? This is the kind of thing I am not able to shape in my mind. Objects, no matter how beautiful they may be, never bring me memories of people or events. As a dreadful observer, I can't connect my inner thoughts to objects. Now I am trying to remember if I ever wrote anything relating a description like yours, mlou. I think I did it once when I was a child.
"I think that in order to understand other people's suffering and distress one must have, among other things, a great imagination."



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Postby Mlou » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:03 pm

If you had a mom whose middle name was "repairman", you'd think like this too. My mother was Mrs. Fixit. :-D
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





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Postby Mlou » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:12 am

Happy to report that this poem (now deleted) just sold to the CSMonitor. :-D
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





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Postby Daniel » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:20 am

What is the CSMonitor?

repairman
What kind of things she used to repair? Broken china, for instance?
"I think that in order to understand other people's suffering and distress one must have, among other things, a great imagination."



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Postby Mlou » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:40 am

That's the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, which is published all over the world, in many languages and based in Boston. I'm always happy when they accept a submission because they get about 500 a week! An essay I wrote will be published tomorrow (Thurs.) and will be on their online site, csmonitor.com

My mother kept everything repaired. Clothing, china, machinery, she even rebuilt the porch stairs when they became rickety. My father was too ham-handed for delicate repairs, lol. He would use a three inch nail where you only needed a quarter inch tack.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





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Postby Writingmom » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:00 pm

Mlou wrote:Happy to report that this poem (now deleted) just sold to the CSMonitor. :-D


Hey! Way to go! :clap:

8)
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Postby Mlou » Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:19 pm

Thanks! :D
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Postby Saphyre » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:04 pm

Alright... what can I do with a broken coffee cup?

"You don't seem nearly as surprised to see me as I am to see you." She didn't glance up from fixing the coffee despite the implied question in the tone of her biological father.

"I've had years to prepare for this moment, if such a thing can be prepared for. Regardless, I have braced myself for this and reconciled myself with all possible consequences. You, on the other hand, have only known you had a daughter for a few weeks." She turned back toward him and handed him a mug of coffee, keeping one for herself.

"You never tried to contact me." He didn't know whether that was supposed to be an accusation or not.

"When I looked at all the feasible outcomes, heartache for us both was far more likely than any sort of closure or healing. You made it clear to my mother you did not want a child, and she chose to leave you in ignorance. I was going to write you a letter and send it on my fifteenth birthday, because I figured 15 years was long enough for a man to change, but before that day came one of my friends faced a family crisis. Her closure came from the fact that any male can father a child, but it takes a strong and loving man to be a Daddy. I took closure from that as well and let you be. I did not want to put you in a position you would hate me for. And I was afraid of your rejection, whatever else I told myself. It was hard enough to know you had suggested an abortion to my mother when she posed the hypothetical question to you, if those feelings had not changed, I doubt I would have remained unhurt."

"You don't know they have changed."

She processed that statement for a long moment, and her adoptive parents watched with baited breath from the kitchen. As all parents do, they wanted to wrap their daughter in their arms and protect her from all harm and especially from this man who could destroy her, but she had asked to be allowed to work through this. Finally, she responded. "You went out of your way to track down a pretty iffy lead that you MIGHT have a daughter out here. You returned to a past you had left behind and flew over two continents and an ocean to find me. I'm sure they've changed at least a bit. You no longer wish me dead."

"I never did." There was pain in his voice, but she didn't look up from the depths of her coffee.

"I forget that not everyone views abortion the way I do. No... It would not have seemed murder to you." She fingered the mug handle absently. "I broke this cup when I was six. I was doing the dishes because I had lied about something I was hoping if I was good enough Mom wouldn't tell Daddy. I had to stand on a stool to reach the sink, and I ended up dropping it. By some miracle the only damage was that this handle broke off and shattered into five pieces. Mom heard the noise and came running. When she saw the mess she started yelling and the whole time she was cleaning it up she kept berating me to "stay on the stool" and "what did I think I was doing?" and "couldn't I just keep out of trouble for one day?" I was so scared..." she was smiling slightly at the memory.

"When Daddy came home I was in my room, sitting on my bed, staring at my hands and crying silently. He came right in, before he even said hello to Mom, and sat down beside me. He wrapped me in a hug and just held me, didn't say anything. He asked me why I was crying and I told him the whole story... that I'd lied and tried to make up for it, and broke the cup. When I was done he gave me the best advice I'd ever been given by anyone."

"'Shelly. Do you know why you Mom yelled at you for breaking the cup? It was not because you broke the cup, that was an accident, but because she was afraid for you. She didn't want you to climb down and cut yourself on the shards so she yelled to get your attention. She didn't mean to scare you, she loves you Shelly and she would never scare you on purpose, but when you're in danger it scares her. And now that you've had that experience you'll be more careful next time to not break anything and you'll be safe, which is what we want for you. Do you know, we punish you for the same reason? We want you to grow up to be a beautiful girl, Shelly, who is pretty and hardworking, and most of all honest. When you lie, it scares us because we don't know when to believe you. We need to always be able to believe you Shelly, because if something happens and you tell me it's not you, I want to be able to believe you and stand up for you. That's why we punish you Shelly, so that you won't lie. When you lie, you hurt us and you scare us, because we want you to be honest. Can you do that for me, can you be honest?' And I just nodded 'I promise' I told him. 'Can I believe that?' he asked me, and I said 'I wish you could.' He said trust could be earned back, and someday he'd trust me as much as he always had.

"He still spanked me, but it really meant something because I understood what lying meant. The next morning I came out to the kitchen, and the cup was sitting on the back of the counter. One piece of the handle had been glued back on, and the other four were sitting in the cup of the mug. He explained to me that most of our trust was still intact, like the cup of the mug, because he still believed I was a good kid, but pieces were missing. And he said as I earned his trust back he'd patch up the mug. And he did, every time I didn't lie when I could have and gotten away with it he added a piece, every time I did something trustworthy. Within a few months it was patched up. Then, one day at school, my friend cheated on my test. I knew I hadn't done anything wrong because I didn't know she'd been copying. But I still had to do the right thing, so I called him from the payphone and told him. He came to the school and dealt with it, and on his way home from work that day he took the mug to a pottery shop and had it re-painted and re-coated. Now you can't tell this mug was ever broken."

She turned the mug around then, so her biological father could read the new pattern on it. Amidst a beautiful arrangement of seashells was the word honesty.
"I never drink out of any other mug, because I never want to forget how precious trust is."

"I’m willing to get to know you, Patrick, but you can't expect for me to just forget what happened. Trust can be earned again, but right now I don't know you and you don't know me. You may be my father, but don't think you'll ever replace my Daddy." There was a horn from outside. "That will be KC and Jessica. We carpool to and from school. I'll see you at three." And with that she stood and gathered her school bag from the back of her chair. "Love you two." She threw over her shoulder to her parents.

"Be good, be smart, have fun." Her mother replied, as she had every day before her daughter had left for school.

"See you after school." Her daddy answered, while her father sat in silence.
~Saphyre
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Postby Writingmom » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:00 am

Oh wow...that's great. I love the story of the mug!! 8)
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Postby Saphyre » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:30 am

i was going to just tell that, but it kept coming out wrong, so i backed up and had her tell it. parts of it are true, from my own childhood. my dad never actually fixed the mug, but when i told on my friend my dad picked me up from school and said, "Our trust is whole again." and i was so happy i cried, although i was only like seven.
~Saphyre

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For by grace you have been saved through faith… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

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Postby Writingmom » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:52 am

Okay...for some reason this came to mind...



Nancy stared at the coffee cup as it lay on the floor, the handle broken into a couple of large pieces which were scattered around the floor.

It had been so innocent -- her comment to him as he was leaving for work that morning. She had never dreamed that he would have a reason to be angry or to lash out.

Now she sank shakily into a chair, wondering how to deal with it. Jared had never exhibited a temper, in all the time she'd known him. In their past two years of marriage, he had become a little sharper at times, but still had never displayed anger of the type she'd just seen -- an explosive bark of anger with a face so red she thought he would have a stroke.

Why? Why had her question set him off?

When she finally felt steady, she got up and left the cup and handle lying there in the middle of the kitchen, a reminder so she wouldn't rationalize it away. There was no sweeping this under the rug and pretending it didn't happen. A part of her innocence was gone, and she needed to understand the necessity.

She showered, dressed and left for work as if nothing had happened, but her mind was churning. By lunch she realized that she hadn't been giving her husband enough credit for emotions. She had begun to feel lately that he didn't seem as happy as she was, that he was dissatisfied with their marriage.

Perhaps it was time for a serious talk -- one that covered their feelings and where they stood, rather than what to have for dinner and what happened at the office.

Nancy left work early that afternoon, pleading a family situation that had come up. She stopped by the craft store and found some special glue that would dry clear. But she was surprised to find Jared's car in the driveway.

That's odd, she thought, turning off her engine. He's never home before 5. She slowly got out, wondering what this meant. Was he still angry? Had he come home early to pack and be gone before she got home? Was this the beginning of the end?

She didn't know what to think, and hoped their love was stronger than the instant negative thoughts that kept popping into her mind. She still loved him -- there was no doubt of that. From the moment he had stepped into her life, the joy and warmth that he had brought with him never went away.

She went to the door to find it covered with a big pink heart.

"Welcome home, my love," was written in large black letters. "Please ring the bell for service."

She gulped and then giggled, loving the familiar block lettering of her husband. She reached out and traced the shape of the heart, and then her hand went to the doorbell.

As the sound reverberated through the house, she heard a muffled sound, and then footsteps as if he were running from another part of the house. She saw a brief glimpse of his face through the glass as he checked who it was, and the dismay was easy to see.

Dismay? Hadn't he been expecting her?

"Nancy!" he pulled the door open wide, looking handsome as ever, still in his white shirt, but unbuttoned at the top, and his hair was mussed as if he'd been running his hands through it like he did when he was nervous. "You're early!"

Her heart stopped, and then started painfully slow. He hadn't been expecting her, he'd been waiting for someone else?

He saw the pain on her face and was suddenly holding her tightly in his arms. "No, don't look like that, my love! I didn't mean to sound like that, I just meant that I'm not finished with my surprise yet, but if you'll sit in the kitchen for just a minute, I will be. Oh please don't look at me like that!"

She closed her eyes and breathed in the earthy scent of him, held close against his solid chest, his strong arms tight around her, chasing away all her worries and fears of the day.

"I - I can wait in the kitchen," she murmured, slipping her own arms around him to hold tight. "You just scared me, like you'd been expecting someone else."

He gave her a weak grin and shook his head. "No one but you, my love. Only you."

The tremulous words eased the pain in her heart, and she let him lead her into their small kitchen and set her on a stool. He kissed her softly on the cheek, and then left, leaving her to gaze at the coffee mug on the counter.

It was the one that had been left on the floor that morning. She stared at it in fascination, seeing how the handle had been carefully glued so that it was almost impossible to tell it had been broken. The only giveaway was one small piece that was missing -- he'd probably been unable to find it.

She reached out and ran a finger over the smooth handle, amazed at the effort that had gone into it, and the concern. He'd felt badly about this morning, that much was obvious. He'd thought about repairing the mug as well, instead of just sweeping it up and throwing it away.

What was his plan?

After sitting there for several minutes, she was beginning to feel antsy. She shed her jacket, and wondered if she could move from her stool without causing another issue, just as she heard footsteps on the stairs.

"Nancy?" She looked up and he stood in a butler type uniform, hair gleaming and face serious. "Would you like a bath?"

A bath? He knew she loved bubble baths, and she nodded, unable to get her voice to work.

Thus began an evening that put all other of their romantic points of marriage to this date out of her mind. After a heavenly bath, he fed her, and as they ate, they talked. For the first time in several months, they really talked. And she understood.

15 years later that mug sits upon the shelf. No one but she or Jared used it, but the children all know the story.

As soon as they were old enough to notice the mug, they would ask "What happened to that coffee cup, mama?" and she'd tell the story of their day of healing. She'd share with them the treasured symbol of a glued handle and how they were fortunate to have a mother and father who loved each other as much as they were loved as children.


Oh well...ran out of time to really do what I wanted...maybe I can change it later. Have a good one...
8)
Last edited by Writingmom on Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby timberline » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:09 am

Thanks, guys, for bringing this thread back to life. Think it'll deliver the McGuffin I need for a thread that's been spinning around in my head. Back to you...soon.
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Postby Mlou » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:21 am

Excellent stories, guys!
Just one question, Writing Mom, If she's married to Jared, why do only she and Jordan share the cup? Who is this "other man"?
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Postby Writingmom » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:45 pm

What do you mean? I'm not seeing it...
8)
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Postby Mlou » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:34 pm

You're not??
In the beginning her husband was named JARED but at the end only she and JORDAN use the cup. What's up????
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Postby timberline » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:55 pm

While you're figuring out Jared and Jordan, let me hang this one up.... Normally I’m skeptical of “werewolves and ghosts, fairies and witches,” but angels are a good device —and, hey, who am I spit in the eye of things just I can’t see them. The characters are reprised from a story I wrote some time ago, “Paying the Devil.” (716 words.)

Angel in My Coffee Cup

What did Horatio say? “There’s more things on heaven and earth than your philosophy ever dreamed of” or something like that? I’m an anthropologist by training and vocation, not an English major so I don’t remember my Shakespeare. Well, I’d been let go by the University, so scratch vocation. But the phrase kept going through my head as Morgan sat across from me at breakfast.

“I don’t care if you believe me or not,” she said with a teenager’s haughty indifference. “If I want to believe there’s an angel watching over me then I can believe anything I want.”

“Even if it’s not rational? All I said was I do not want you driving with a 16-year-old who just got his license.”

Since my daughter—Morgan’s mother—died, run over by a drunken moron with a suspended license and no insurance, I’ve been overly careful as her guardian. I remembered also the car accident that took my wife. No angels on Interstate 80 that day.

“Why can’t there be angels, huh? The Bible says there are. People have said they’ve seen them. Are they faking it? Huh?”

“You’re going to be late for the school bus.” Time to change the subject, or at least get back on more comfortable—rational—grounds. At that, Morgan dropped her coffee cup. I watched the eggshell-thin china fall like a time-lapse sequence in the movies, watched it slowly hit the kitchen table, bounce and crash to the kitchen floor.

“Thanks,” I said sourly. “That was part of the set your Grandma Laurie and I got for our wedding.”

“I’ll glue it, for God’s sake! See,” she said holding up two pieces. “It’s just the handle and a little chip. I’ll get some glue, for God’s sake.”

I settled into a blue funk after she went out of the door. The testosterone created by noisy college students was now replaced by cortisol, the steroid that kicked in so I could deal with the stress and depression of tutoring slow learners. Fear-mongering was taking the place of analytical thinking. Angels! How about werewolves and ghosts, fairies and witches? What the hell hope was there for this generation?

The argument wasn’t over. Just postponed until that night when I lit into her again.

“Didn’t I absolutely prohibit driving with Sammy? No…sixteen-year-old…drivers!”

“I had my angel with me. We were safe, Daniel.”

I never broke Morgan from calling me by my first name, but since she moved in with me it was a better alternative to her calling me Gramps. Her father was divorced from Allison. She had no one else. I was her angel.

“Okay, tell me about this angel thing.” Resignation kicked in. “You never went to church. Is it something kids are reading this year?”

“Don’t have to be a churchgoer. He just appeared when Mom died. The day after her funeral. Sometimes he’s there—not always, but I know he’s nearby. I guess angels have other things to do beside watch over people all the time. Errands to run or something.”

“Morgan, the world is hard and unjust and not very responsive to spiritualism.” I kept my voice even and reasonable. We had to establish a basis for living together and irrational superstition wasn’t going to hack it—even in Iowa City.

“I don’t ask you to believe. I never told you to think like me. I know you don’t like my clothes and slang and music, but why can’t you just give me the benefit of the doubt?”

“It’s not doubt. It’s a plea for healthy thinking.”

“You didn’t even thank Jacques.”

“Who the hell is Jacques?” This was getting on my nerves.

“My….” I knew she wanted to say angel, but I interrupted.

“Thank Jacques?”

“For mending your precious coffee cup.” She pointed to the cup in the dish rack. I got up and retrieved the Havilland Limoges china. There were no breaks or chips, no glue, no imperfection. It was as shiny as the day Laurie and I’d unwrapped it forty years earlier.

“I’ll be in my room if you want me,” she said. At the door, she turned. “I’m sure Jacques will appreciate it if you say thank you to him. Maybe he has a co-worker angel who can look in on you.”
Last edited by timberline on Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mlou » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:28 pm

Hey timber, I got confused right away. Maybe I'm getting senile. :( But first you refer to Morgan's mother as your daughter and then as your wife. Maybe you meant to say Morgan's grandmother? Was Allison your daughter? Otherwise, nice story!
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





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Writingmom
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Location: Utah

Postby Writingmom » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:20 pm

Mlou wrote:You're not??
In the beginning her husband was named JARED but at the end only she and JORDAN use the cup. What's up????


Oh... :oops: That's just me being a space cadet about which name I used...thanks for catching it!! 8)
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