Sunday, July 6, 2014

Flash Fiction: Mom's Morning Tea

PROMPT/CHALLENGE SUMMARY: It might look like there's a theme going on with this post and last week's, but I promise that it wasn't intentional. (Which I suppose might actually be worse. . . ) I wrote this one a little while ago on one of those days when I just really felt like I needed to finish something. So I gave the random writing prompt another go and eventually came up with "250-300 words / female character - under 18 / brewing tea". That sounds. . . short and potentially sweet. Or not. *evil grin*
(Source: The Almost Totally Random Writing Exercise Generator)

My family has an unofficial morning routine worked out, all of us dancing around one another so everyone can get a hot shower and then get out the door on time. I'm always awake first; I eat my cereal in the half-dark before anyone else gets up.

Eventually, Dad will shamble out for some coffee. My parents don't eat breakfast. Apparently it's only the "most important meal of the day" until graduation.

We make small talk--well, he talks and I mostly don't answer--until his first cup is gone. Then he turns on the burner under the teapot, sets out a mug and a teabag for Mom, and is gone, off to claim his allotted shower time once she's done with hers.

Their choreography is elaborate, him getting ready in bits and snatches around her endless parade of primps and preparations. Dad could probably go from dead asleep to out the door in under five minutes, with four of those devoted to drinking his coffee, but she won't emerge from their bathroom for at least an hour.

She can't even drink her tea without full makeup and styled hair. She got her eyeliner tattooed on last summer, so she'll never be caught without it.

Oh, sorry, I mean because it's more convenient.

The teapot starts to whistle and I carry my breakfast dishes to the sink. It shrills on, getting louder all the time, as I rinse out my bowl and cup. Eventually, just before she starts cursing and comes galloping out to get it before it wakes my sister, I flip off the burner and fill the mug Dad left behind.

They've never asked me to make the tea for her, but sometimes one of them will say thank you.

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