Thursday, April 23, 2009

Commute and Writing Prompt Response

The prompt was: On her way to work. . .

On her way to work at the most ungodly hour, Jane felt like a walking zombie.

“Coffee, all I need is hot, strong coffee,” she muttered sliding into her car, keying the ignition and taking off.

Thank goodness for Starbucks. They had pre-dawn hours. She pulled up to the drive-thru squawk box and was greeted by an overly chipper salesperson.

“Good morning! Welcome to Starbucks! May I take your order?”

Geez, did the girl mainline caffeine? Jane rubbed at her temples. “I’ll have a Venti Raspberry Mocha with an extra shot of espresso.”

“Would you like whole or skim milk?”

“Skim, please.” She liked the foam.

“Would you like whipped cream?”

Her voice so sticky sweet, Jane envisioned the girl’s irritating smile plastered on her face. “Ugh.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

Jane rolled her eyes. “Yes, whipped cream.”

“Would you like a granola parfait or anything from our bakery case?”

“No, thank you.” But she’d love to tell the cheerful woman what she could do with all those pastries.

“Anything else?”

“A silencer,” she grumbled.

“I’m sorry?”

“Nothing. Thank you.”

“That will be five dollars even. Please pull forward.”

Jane glanced at the clock on her dashboard. The green illuminated lights read 5:17. “Too freaking early,” she mumbled putting the car into drive and easing forward.

At the window, the chirpy cashier slid the glass pane back. “Good morning! That’ll be five dollars, please.”

The blinding grin the girl offered her as she held out her hand for payment made Jane gnash her teeth. Did she not understand that people were not supposed to be peppy in the wee hours before the sun came up and before she had her caffeine? For a brief second, she had a fantasy of punching the smiling woman’s lights out, but she had her coffee.

After rummaging through her bag, she located her loose cash and handed it over to the bubbly blonde. Jane snatched the paper cup from the salesperson as soon as money exchanged hands.

“Thanks,” she said bringing the cup straight to her lips and taking a gulp of the hot, extra-caffeinated drink before setting it between her legs.

“Have a nice day!”

Jane glared at the girl beaming at her. She only had one sip. She still had to finish the cup before the day would even come close to nice. Shifting the car into drive, she gave the vehicle a little gas, and slowly accelerated to the stop sign ahead where she braked.

As she peered left then right, she lifted the cup to her lips again and took another drink. Her gaze went to the rearview mirror when she took another sip. The cashier leaned against the window. Smiling.

Jane rolled her eyes heavenward. “All morning people should die,” she murmured.

Holding onto her coffee in one hand, she steered with the other, let up off the brake, and rolled forward. Once again, she looked left then right and glanced up at her rearview mirror. The blonde was out of sight.

She accelerated and a loud explosion ripped through the air. She slammed on her brake and the car lurched forward. Her coffee cup went flying, hitting the windshield. The lid popped off and hot liquid spilled everywhere. “Shit!”

A metal crashing thud smashed into her car. She gaped at the drive-thru speaker planted in the hood of her BMW. Jane twisted in her seat to see what had happened, but the damn seatbelt would not cooperate. Shoving the gear into park, she punched the release, and freed herself from the clutches of her car. As soon as she did, she spun in her seat.

The sight that greeted her was a macabre of black and gray, orange and red. Smoke billowed up from a large ball of flames.

“Holy. . .”

Sightlessly, Jane reached for the door handle, pulled, and fell out of the car backwards onto the pavement. Fire spit at her but she dodged it as she ran toward the shop in hopes of finding the cashier. She had to be alive. “Please, let her be alive.”

When her foot struck the sidewalk in front of what used to be Starbucks another blast rocked the ground and sent her to her knees. Glass shattered, littered the pavement, and smacked at her backside like hail in a storm.

Clasping her hands over her head, Jane risked a look. Nothing. There was nothing left but burning embers and a melting green sign.

Sirens wailed in the distance, and tears stung her eyes as she rose to her feet. She stepped back, keeping a safe distance, at least what she thought was a safe distance from the inferno and stared in horror at the skeletal remains of the building.

“Be careful what you wish for,” she murmured dragging a hand through her hair. “Ouch!”

2 comments:

Ceri Hebert April 23, 2009 at 8:29 PM  

Oh my!! Wasn't expecting that! Great job!

Denise April 23, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

HA! Me either.
Now I want the pink undie cop to show up.

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