WOAW Fiction – The Coffee Ban (Part 2)

I got nothin’ for the Weekly Writing Challenge, so I’m punting with Part 2 of The Coffee Ban. Tension builds as coffee fans deal with the elimination of their favorite beverage. You can read Part 1 here. Hope you enjoy.

DAY THREE: Columbus, Ohio

Stan and Sarah stared at their stockpile of coffee products, neatly stacked in the basement pantry. “I think we are set for awhile,” Stan said proudly.

“Yeah, we have enough coffee here to satiate the entire county.”

Stan was one of early ones. He scurried to the nearest bulk wholesale store before the President finished her speech two days ago and bought out every ounce of coffee on the shelves, filling up three shopping carts that he pushed like a train in front of him. Eighty K-cups per box, thirty-five boxes, equalled 2800 cups of coffee. He further calculated that at four cups a day, the coffee would last them seven-hundred days. Just less than two years.

This coffee issue should be cleared up by then, he thought.

DAY FOUR: Los Angeles, California

Marnie hung the sign on the shop window: “NO MORE COFFEE. WHY NOT TRY SOME CHAI TEA?” A teenager drinking a can of Diet Coke threw the soda can at the sign as he passed. Marnie ducked, even though she was behind glass, as the remains of his soda dribbled down her sign over the glass door.

“Geez,” she said. She walked behind the counter and looked for her manager. “Hey Dave?”

Dave was stocking the tea. He looked at Marnie through exhausted eyes. “What’s up, Marn?”

She told him what had happened. “I think we should take down the sign. The tea comment seems to be angering people.”

“Okay,” he said. “Would you mind wiping up the soda? Maybe I’ll have you put a small display of mugs near the window instead.”

Marnie smiled and nodded. As she cleaned the window she thought about what she would wear to accept her Best Actress Oscar at the Academy Awards someday.

DAY FOUR: East Windsor, New Jersey

Why? Why is the baby awake at five a.m.? Nicole thought, as she dragged herself out of bed, silently cursing her sleeping husband. She could barely keep her eyes open as she walked through the hallway to the baby’s room. At the sight of his mother, he sat up in his crib and smiled.

“Really?” she asked him. He was cute, but five in the morning was early. Even for cute. He reached his little arms out to her and she lifted him up, settling him on her hip. She started down the stairs and scuffled into the kitchen.

Automatically, she flipped open the top of her coffee machine. “Oh, right,” she mumbled. “Damn.”

Within a half hour, she had fallen back to sleep on the couch while the baby sat in his playpen, playing with his cars. She woke up when the other three paraded down the stairs, demanding breakfast and cartoons.

Nicole yawned as she turned on the television. It’s going to be a long day, she thought. She decided she hated the President.

DAY FOUR: Columbus, Ohio

Stan opened the door and saw a strange woman pacing his porch.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

“Oh, um, hi. This is going to sound odd, but are you Stan?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I heard you have coffee,” she said quietly.

Stan raised his eyebrows.

“Ten cups. That’s all I need.” Her hands shook as she pled with Stan.

Stan rubbed his chin, covered with his morning beard. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. “The coffee supply is dry. President said so on television a couple of hours ago.”

“I drove here all the way from Cleveland,” she said. “Please. Is it true? I’ll pay. Anything.”

Holy Coffee Beans, thought Stanley, as he ushered her into the house.

DAY FIVE: Los Angeles, California

Marnie enjoyed the sunlight as she walked across the Boulevard to the coffee shop, stopping on the curb in front of the store. Quietly on the sidewalk blocking the door, sat a group of people holding signs. “Drink Tea! The Healthier Option!”, “Tea for Two? Four? Drink as much as you want!”, “Tea has Caffeine too!”

Marnie tiptoed through the middle of the group, careful not to step on anyone, and opened the door to the shop. This will be an interesting day, she thought, as she grabbed an apron and punched her time card.

DAY FIVE : Washington, D.C.

Carolyn sat at her desk in the Oval Office watching television footage of her country falling to pieces now that the coffee supply had run dry. Violence erupted as the so-called “Tea Time” movement tried to “help” by showing aggravated, withdrawing coffee addicts the wonders of the tea leaf. People were searching for coffee, hoping to find a black market. It was Prohibition all over again.

Joe walked in with a cup of tea for her. He had become a convert. “Tea time,” he joked.

Carolyn scowled at her husband. “I have to do something about this. People are freaking out. I’ll never get reelected unless I bring coffee back.”

“It will take a couple of days for everyone to break the addiction and discover the wonders of tea.” Joe smiled as he leaned over Carolyn’s desk and placed the cup on her blotter. “They’ll be healthier and happier because of it and they’ll all vote for you for your second term.”

The First Gentleman’s smug look made her want to vomit and the tone of his voice sounded like nails screeching along a chalkboard. “Out,” she said.

He froze, shocked. “But honey . . . ”

“OUT,” she yelled. “And take your precious tea with you!”

Stay tuned for Part 3!  Have a nice night!

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