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Sunday, October 30, 2005

"The Thirsty Cup"

"The Thirsty Cup"
short story by Avi Abrams

Coffee was not the only "high" sold in this coffee-shop.

They also pumped feel-good and memory enhancement mixtures into the air, promising custom-made experience for everybody inside. "Ambience Bar "Cathechisis" - Come feel the earth go round" proclaimed the sign.

Dale ran fingers over his empty cup...The cup felt heavy and rough to the touch, as though carved from some archeological strata, from layers of the espresso-colored fine dust. Same old grind, he thought, so nothing particular comes to mind. Dale leaned back, watching the girl behind the counter... as she began to shimmer in a dry air.

The corners of her dress were fluttering slightly; her face was round and nice, not unlike the full moon, and as he watched, it suddenly blurred, detached and began to float over the counter and the tables, ponderously, impossibly, always expanding. Her "have-a-nice-day" kind of a smile was aimless and bleak. She was drifting closer, trying to serve the customer; her smile was growing wider. Big puffy letters appeared from inside of her face -"Order, sir? ..."-- Letter blocks rising and then slowly dropping on the floor in quantomized heaps. Dale swiped some of them from the table, not answering, though feeling better somehow.

The bare eye of the sunset outside, stripped of all the clouds, rubbed against the window like a pink alien slug. "Have a nice...nice..." - Girl's letters trailed off in a whipped cream wisps. If she was grasping for something, it was lost to her now, and she with it.

It grew darker; the sunset outside burned a hole in itself and collapsed. The girl was hovering at the ceiling, lit up with dry electricity.

Dale left the bar and went home. Once there, he realized he took his empty cup with him.
It felt even heaver, neutron star-like mass of abandoned emptiness.
He peered inside -

The cup was thirsty.

@ November, 2004


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