Monday Challenge: I Like My Coffee Like I Like My Stories*

I love you, too, coffee.

Back in the long ago, Krys and I used to spend boring moments—bus rides, waiting room visits, that sort of thing—discussing every possible preference of fictional characters. Favourite drink. Preferred cigarette brand, if they smoked now or ever did. Favourite leisure activity. Sexual preferences. So many things that never make it into the story, but which real people do.

The one I remember most is a classic morning question, asked in diners and unfamiliar kitchens the world over: how do they take their coffee?

Don’t scoff. Anyone who’s ever had to deal with a cup that’s over-sugared or far too bitter knows that, while it might be personal preference, it’s still kind of a big deal. And, for lactose intolerant me, having someone else dump cream into the cup pretty much ruins the experience.

And it’s not just the taste. There was one character that, after much argument, we decided took his two ways. When he was around others, he’d order it strong and black, but when he was alone, he added so much goddamn cream and sugar that it must have been like drinking dessert. Because he had decided that he wanted to be the kind of guy who took his coffee black, even if he didn’t like the taste all that much. Anyone who’s spent time around insecure teenagers pretending to like the taste of beer has seen this phenomenon in action.

So, assuming you haven’t just skipped down to the bold text, you know what today’s writing prompt will be. If you have just skipped down to the bold text: seriously? It’s less than 400 words. If I can write it on the teensy amount of sleep I got last night, you can manage to read it. God.

Monday Challenge: how does your character take their coffee? Black and bitter? Sweet? Floating in cream? Decaff? Irish? One of those coffee-milkshake things available at Starbucks? Do they not drink coffee at all because of an ulcer, or PTSD because of the incident with the carafe and the monkey? Tell me what they’re ordering because that tells me about them.

I’m going to go make another pot.

*Dark, strong, and able to keep me up all night.

7 thoughts on “Monday Challenge: I Like My Coffee Like I Like My Stories*

  1. Excerpt from my romance novel:

    I begin to mix up Travis’ favorite concoction, some sugary excuse for coffee involving chocolate, caramel and whipped cream. I want to throw up every time I make this thing. Who would willingly do this to good coffee? A serial killer? What does it say about me that I willingly put this shit on my menu and know how to make it?

  2. Another excerpt form the same Romance:

    I find Jim sitting in an overstuffed chair, his long legs crossed at the ankles and sticking out like two fallen trees. He looks up from his book when he realizes I’m holding out a half-pound coffee bag. He takes it with a raised eyebrow. “Ma’am?”
    “Also on the house. My own personal mix.”
    He studies the unmarked bag in his hand. “Dare I ask?”
    “My brother once said it’s bold enough to slap your face and call you a bitch.”
    He barks out a laugh and I blush. He smiles at the bag. “Well, I can’t wait to try it.”

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