Friday Fictioneers: Coffeeshop

This week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has a cheerful prompt for the Friday Fictioneers to use as inspiration for another 100 word story –


I didn’t want to spend this weekend going from store to store. But what can you do when you’re stuck with returning a dozen failed Christmas presents? The wind whipped my ears, slush leaked into my boots, heavy bags pulled at my shoulders.

Finally my hands were empty. Time to head home. That’s when I saw the sign, with a cheerful sun rising behind a steaming cup of coffee or tea or soup or – well, something hot. I couldn’t resist.

Inside, I found a table next to one of the big potted trees and let the warmth thaw my face. I think I’ll stay right here till April.

* * *

Tell me what you think!

56 responses to “Friday Fictioneers: Coffeeshop

  1. Nice tempo to this piece. It reads very easily. Good job!

  2. Sounds like something many of us would like to do during this season! 🙂 The “failed Christmas presents” made me laugh because last year almost all the big presents I got had to be returned or didn’t happen so although I got lots of things, I ended up with virtually nothing. It just happened that way but was really weird. A nicely upbeat story.

  3. The relief of seeing a cafe on a chilly day!
    I loved your story.

  4. A good end for an ungrateful receiver of gifts…perhaps she should stay there until April or at least surround herself with friends who have good taste. All kidding aside. This was a smooth read and easy to relate to…I enjoyed this.


  5. The phrase “failed Christmas presents” makes me smile, for some reason. Still, I know that feeling of coming into the warm and not wanting to go back out again.

    • Thank you – I think she’s a bit frustrated and depressed that she put the effort into buying those presents, and then the recipients didn’t want them; basically, it feels like she failed. And once you find yourself in a comfortable place, it’s so hard to face leaving it 😉

  6. I felt like something much worse was going to happen at the end. Nice to have a happy ending

  7. I always want to turn the page over to see where the rest is, it is very good and i am so up for a quiet corner and a cup of something

  8. Don’t you just feel like hibernating till the spring. Nicely captured Sharon.

  9. Hiding from the world in the coffee shop….can’t back to the cold!

  10. You’ve described the antidote to shopping perfectly!

  11. Dear Sharon,
    You’ve really captured the spirit of Christmas returns. I felt the fatigue, the shoes that pinch and the frustration of standing in long lines of hostile patrons. The last line said it all.
    Rochelle 🙂

  12. Hi Sharon,
    You’re onto something. This is the dreary time of the year for most people, cold, dark, no real holidays, only the glimmer of spring in the distance. We could all use a warm spot to hibernate! Happy 2013! Ron

  13. Known the feeling, maybe not just hiding from the cold, too?

  14. Too bad she didn’t like her gifts. She could have saved herself a lot of time–and achy feet. 🙂

    • Well…my concept was that she was returning gifts she gave other people that they didn’t find acceptable. But whichever it was, yes, she would have had a much better day without coping with returns! 😉

  15. This is what many of us want no doubt…I am done with winter already lol. Very well done

  16. til april. save me a seat. well done.

  17. Don’t you love the editing process? I do. Almost more than the writing. I enjoyed your story. It reads very real; there is no artifice to it. No surprise twist (that I’m getting tired of- even in my own writing).

    • Thank you, Paul! Sounding very real – that’s one of my goals. As for surprise twists, I enjoy them when they fit the situation…but as you say, they can become predictable. And then a straightforward ending is a surprise! Mix ’em up, I say. (As long as the ending fits with the rest of the story, of course 🙂 )

  18. Great story – I’m not sure I like the idea that we spend December buying presents and then January returning them. Perhaps we should forget the whole thing!
    It will take me until April to recover too 🙂

    • Yes – actually, I’m just back from the unreturnable present my husband and I decided to give each other this year, a two-day vacation! We’ve simplified our Christmas shopping a lot over the years, but I’ve had those Christmases that were (almost) more work than they were worth.

  19. Wonderfully written, Sharon

  20. I’m with her. I’d want to stay there sipping tea and hot chai until April too. Great job.

    • I spent yesterday morning walking around in the rain until I was saturated, right through my shoes and my wool coat! (Though not to return presents, at least – I was sightseeing. But I couldn’t even sightsee until I took my sopping wet glasses off 😉 ) Anyhow, at that point I was ready to sit drinking something hot for the rest of winter myself. Thank you!

  21. Very well written. You really captured the essence of this photo prompt. You made the shop so inviting with the fer words.

  22. Dear Sharon,

    You painted a picture of warmth and welcome. i’d stay until April, too.



  23. Ahh! Shelter from the cold. I wish we had a little coffe shop like that near my home.

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