Monday, July 12, 2010

Short Story: A Cup of Coffee

A 300 word piece of micro-fiction. By me.

He filled the kettle, watched as it boiled, made a coffee. He didn’t actually watch it, his life wasn’t quite that desperately dull. He did notice the blue light, the bubbles behind the translucent plastic getting more excited, but he didn’t watch it boil. While it was boiling, he spooned two spoonfuls of coffee and three of sugar into his mug. He opened the cupboard door, the cupboard with the savoury staples, the pasta, the rice. He closed it quickly, after realising there was nothing he could instantly consume.

Neither had he filled the kettle, not completely, anyway. His mother had drummed into him that he should only boil the amount of water that he needed. The kettle manufacturer stated that there was a two-cup minimum (500ml). He contemplated measuring the cost of extra electricity of boiling 250ml of extra water each time he used the kettle, and comparing it with the cost of a replacement kettle, but he had no idea how many under-filled boils it would take to damage the kettle irrevocably, maths was never his strong-point, and his life wasn’t that desperately dull, so he just boiled somewhere between one and two cups at a time.

But the two-cup rule; the large tins of beans and tomatoes and tuna that were always better value than the smaller ones, which meant that he had to overeat or refrigerate, then forget, and then throw away the remains; the comfort of having someone to talk to, to hold, to touch: the lack of someone to share his days and nights with did make his life considerably duller, and emotionally poorer. Whether it made his life financially poorer, (single person council tax deductions aside), he didn’t know, as he had yet to replace his kettle, and maths was never his strong-point.

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