Failure to Steep

He improperly steeps my tea. His lips form into a distracted smile as he hands me the mug but I know, it’s a power play.

He must have a reason – this man wouldn’t intentionally fail such a task. He’s British, he knows how to steep tea. He wants to see if I’ll say something. Will I?

I haven’t seen this man, this former lover, this former teacher, this former idol, for almost a decade.

He fails to steep my tea. I put it on the table, unable to play his games.


I cannot stop staring at her knees. Skin as pale as I remember, looks as soft – crap, when did I put the tea bag in? It’s distracting; the slightest movement sends her scent my way. My hands shake as I hand her the tea – I cannot remember what type it is, let alone how long I let it steep.

Perfectly Bowed

Her sister wrapped all the Christmas presents, every year, forever. Even if Nina tried to help, her mother would swat her hands with a rolled up newspaper.

“Don’t you touch your sister’s perfect bows,” their mother would say.

It wasn’t fair. Just because Carla could bend the ribbons with delicate precision, didn’t mean she was Santa’s Freaking Helper. How would Nina learn, if no one let her practice?

With a pile of wrapping paper covering her lap, Carla asked her little sister to pass the tape. Nina threw it. It hits Carla’s knee and ruined her meticulously constructed bow.

“I thought you wanted to help!” Carla snapped.

Nina surveyed the wrapped boxes in the corner – not a single crease.  She wanted to kick and stomp on them, do things that would definitely put her on Santa’s naughty list. Instead, she picked up the tape and handed it to her sister.

The Mighty Warrior’s Demise

I’m burning. The city presses down with each explosion as concrete blocks stack one, on top of another, on top of me. I’ve trained my whole life for this moment. I am a Mighty Warrior; I even have a belt that says so. But none of that seems to matter this morning. We were all taken by surprise.

“Help!” A scream comes from underneath. It’s burning below, like it’s burning above. The screaming continues and I try to move –to be the hero. I grasp the nearest bit of fallen stone and pull it to the side. It all moves too fast and more stones fall into its place, crushing. The screaming stops.

I’m going to die here.

I trained to be a Mighty Warrior and during that training I often wondered, “how will I die?” I pictured grand battles, I pictured victory. The weight of the stone presses closer…

Written for Flash Friday:
Setting: Besieged City; Character: Mighty Warrior