Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Eight O'Clock

Aurora yawned and stretched her hands overhead, feeling a familiar ache in her lower back. She winced and rubbed at the sore muscles, wondering what she'd done to tweak it this time. Shuffling to the kitchen in her slippers, she set the kettle on the burner and popped a tea bag into her favorite emerald green mug, the one Abend had chosen for her during his trip home to Germany last year.  Cupping the mug in her hands, she felt the smooth depressions in the stoneware and smiled at how perfectly it fit in her grip. Abend said it was made just for her. Peeking at the clock, she yawned again. "He said he'd call at eight." Propping herself against the counter, she waited for the water to boil.

Abend scratched at his chin, feeling the stubble, and grinned. He could hear Aurora's teasing voice, "If you want a kiss, you'll need to shave first."  He flicked off the bathroom light and sighed.  There would be no kiss, just a phone call to his favorite girl.  Abend pulled on a sweatshirt to guard against the chill and wandered to his hotel room's kitchenette, searching for something hot to drink. A nondescript ivory mug sat in the sink. He rinsed it and filled it with water before putting it in the mini-microwave and pressing the button marked, "beverage". Running his hand through his hair, he checked his watch, the Rolex Aurora had surprised him with before he left for this trip. "So you won't lose track of time and forget to call me," she'd said, winking.

The timepiece read seven forty-five. Just then the microwave beeped and Abend carefully lifted the steaming mug and dropped in a tea bag from the hotel stash.  Blowing across the surface of the mug, he settled into the armchair near the window and pulled out his notes from his most recent interviews. The next fifteen minutes crawled toward eight o'clock.

Pouring the boiling water into her emerald mug, Aurora smiled as her phone rang.  Abend's ring tone filled the quiet kitchen and she slipped into a chair at the kitchen table.

"Hello, Love."

"Hey there, my girl. Did I wake you?"

"No. I've been waiting for your call. How are you?"

"Busy, as you'd expect. I covered the ski jump events, even interviewing the gold medalist from China."

"Wonderful! I'll look for you at the bottom of the hill."

"Sure, I'll be the one in the blue hat amidst the sea of reporters. Are you staying busy?"

"I have a meeting across the bay in Sausalito in a bit."

A few seconds ticked by in silence.

"I miss you."

"I miss you, too. Just five more days."

"I made reservations at Cupola."

"I can taste the pizza."

"I'm sorry, I have to go."

"Have a great day, Aurora."

"I will. And you sleep well."

"Good morning."

"Good night."

As the phone went silent, Aurora sighed. "Time is the longest distance between two places."

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

A 500-word piece inspired by The Glass Menagerie quote, "Time is the longest distance between two places." and the image above. A little fun with language: Aurora is Latin for "goddess of the dawn" while Abend is German for "evening".


  1. You shine with your descriptions of the mug and the way you captured both Aurora and Abend's tea activities. The sharing of tea:~) Having a daughter who lives in England makes me appreciate the ritual of tea much more. You did a wonderful job of letting me join this couple in their ritual.

    The dialogue was also well done. Simple, like a conversation between a long married couple,might be, but loving at the same time. Last, but not least, this WAS a great take on the quote, especially given the Olympics. I loved it:~)

    I enjoyed this story very much.

    1. Thank you, Sara! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the story. It was a fun one to write, but you just never know if what's in your head will transfer to paper. I guess it did!

    2. Morgan -- It really did transfer to paper. I came back today and read it again. It's a delightful story. I do like the way you write. It's also nice to have someone say a story was FUN to write. Sometimes, I think writing becomes too serious. When it does, I think we lose some of the joy of seeing who wants to tell their story and then, letting the characters dance on the page. Your characters danced very well:~)


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