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Charlie's Bedroom (2) by Jesse Printer Friendly

Charlie’s Bedroom (1) was written by Ray, but no longer exists on this website. So, who knows what happened in that one. But feel free to take it from here... It's a cooperative story, to which anyone may contribute.

There's really something about a good cup of coffee. Depending on the brew, that little mug can contain anything from a hot and swirling vigor to a truly remarkable tranquility. In fact, each coffee seed contains over 800 naturally occurring chemicals, all poised like an orchestra before a concert, and their final distinct mixture depends on a wild variety of factors: the type of coffee tree, the soil, the altitude, the weather, how the cherries are picked, how the cherries are processed, how the beans are roasted, stored, ground. is also important, and variations can bring out different flavors and taste in a cup of coffee. It is a very complex and sensitive chemistry. And I take my coffee very seriously.

In 1720 a French naval officer named Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, while on leave in Paris from his post in Martinique, acquired a coffee tree with the intention of taking it with him on the return voyage. With the plant secured in a glass case on deck to keep it warm and prevent damage from salt water, the journey proved eventful. As recorded in de Clieu's own journal, the ship was threatened by Tunisian pirates. There was a violent storm, during which the plant had to be tied down. A jealous fellow officer tried to sabotage the plant, resulting in a branch being torn off. When the ship was becalmed and drinking water rationed, De Clieu ensured the plant’s survival by giving it most of his precious water. Finally, the ship arrived in Martinique and the coffee tree was re-planted at Preebear. It grew, and multiplied, and by 1726 the first harvest was ready. The coffee trade has since died out in Martinique, but the unique lineage of de Clieu's original plant lives on, as the small grove in Preebear is now and forevermore the property of the nearby Abbey at which my grandfather is caretaker.

That is my coffee. Every sip of my coffee courses with hundreds of years of obstinate resilience and careful detail. And so I note, as the phone begins its trill ringing once again and the blood squishes between my toes, that the coffee in my cup is not my coffee.

The phone sits on a small pillar near the closet looking casual, the old push button style that otherwise mimicked its rotary predecessor, and I can't help noticing a smile tugging at my lip once again as I step toward it. How baffled they must be on the other end. Keep calling, it must've been the sedative. How desperate they must feel to hear my voice on that line, and tell me in some cockamamie robot voice the next steps of how this is going to play out. I still have no idea who I'm dealing with, but they may as well have signed they're name across those headless tatas. The beans in that brew don't come cheap or fast, and if there's are a handful of places within a thousand miles of this backwater town I've hunkered down in then there's a lot. The game is on.

I smash the phone against the wall, and as expected almost immediately the sirens are on the edge of my perception. Time to beat it out of here. In the closet, I see they've taken my guns. All of them. Which is perhaps to be anticipated. And all of my clothes are in a heap, wicking up cold blood. Silently, I sweep the contents of my wallet still splayed on the desk into a fanny pack I had jammed in the drawer - a remnant of a Halloween costume never lived down. Touche, you bastards.


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