Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hags Episode 14


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Micah sniffed the steam rising from a stack of muffins. An oversized muffin, oozing blueberries, sat on top of the heap.

Micah reached into the basket.

Denise smacked his hand. “First, a gentleman offers a lady coffee when she visits.” She placed her hand on Micah’s Delonghi coffeemaker. “This is nice. Does it make good coffee?”

Micah rubbed the back of his sore hand. “It will when I remember which box has the Jamaican Blue Mountain. Right now it’s pouring the best decaf this side of Bob’s Coffee Emporium. Let me find you a cup.” Micah opened a cabinet door to discover it held plates and saucers, but no cups. He opened another cabinet, but it held a few plastic storage containers.

Denise turned to the cabinet behind her, the one above the refrigerator. She pulled a chair over, stood on it and opened the cabinet door. She grabbed a mug, turned around and jumped to the floor as her miniskirt billowed in the breeze. “I wouldn’t keep the coffee mugs in that one. It’s too hard to reach. I like your mugs by the way.”

“I must have put them away before heading to the coffee shop for the real thing. A guy in Phoenix makes the mugs by hand so I bought a bunch. Would you like cream and sugar?”

“You have real cream?”

“Of course.” Micah pulled a container from the refrigerator.

“And a touch of sugar.”

“Do you mind sharing my spoon? I’d hate to have to figure out where the rest of them are until I finish unpacking.”

“If I have no other choice.” Denise stared at the spoon for a few seconds. “Is this real silver?”

“Guess so. I inherited it.”

Denise shrugged her shoulders and picked the extra large muffin out of her basket. “I made this one especially for you.”

“Thanks. Aren’t the rest of them for me, too?”

“Of course, but that one has an extra portion of my special blueberries with an added dollop of goodness. By the way, you didn’t tell me why you put cream and sugar in your coffee if you prefer it black.”

Micah took the muffin and held it in his hand. “Still warm from the oven. My father drank his coffee with cream and sugar so I honor him with one cup his way. It keeps me going during the rough times. I can feel his presence when I do it, and it makes me smile.”

“Not everyone loves their father.”

“I did. He’s gone now.” Micah lifted the muffin to his mouth.

“Oh, I’m sorry. You must miss him terribly.”

Micah pulled the muffin away from his mouth. “I do. He stood by me when no one else would.” Micah took a bite. “Hmmm, you’re right. This muffin is special.”

“Not even your mother?”

“She died a long time ago. It was me and Dad growing up.” Micah turned at the sound of loud knocking on his front door. He set the rest of the muffin on the counter by his cup of coffee.

Denise stirred her coffee. “You better answer it.”

When Micah passed the staircase, he caught a glimpse of the pioneer woman climbing the steps.

At the front door, a man in a grey business suit held up a badge. “Detective Lawson, Naperville police.”

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