French Roasted Days

French Roasted Days

A Story by Jared Fellows
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One day, I sat down at Starbucks and started to observe people for an interesting character. I almost gave up when a frizzy, red-headed woman entered and inspired the character Evelyn.

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French Roasted Days

         From the corner of the shop, she observed the man. He was a tall, charismatic man with a gentle smile. His skin perfectly matched the French roast he was brewing for her. She grimaced at the sight of the French roast almost at its completion. She counted down the seconds until the French roast was done. Today, he was a little quicker than usual. She paced over to the counter.

         “Your French roast, Eve,” he said with his usual childish smile.

         “Oh, please call me Evelyn, won’t you?” she asked. Her solemn face bloomed into a radiant grin. He chuckled.

         “Will do, Evelyn,” he remarked sarcastically. She gave her last smile for the day, turned on her heels, and strolled out of the coffeehouse.

***

         It was 1978 and Becky Starr was alive and well. She just so happened to be living with Evelyn and her son during the school year. God knows what Proxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0 se they did outside of her house. Becky often laid about the house when she was not working. Actually, she barely worked. Evelyn’s son said she worked at some pawnshop. She didn’t really remember, nor did she particularly care. Becky was just lying around the house too much " unless she was out on the town with Evelyn’s precious son. Sometimes they didn’t return until late the next day. Evelyn was always hovering by the phone waiting for the police to call to tell her that her son was dead. Her son would claim that she is “carefree.”

         “Carefree? She’s CARELESS!” Evelyn would always say.

         Becky Starr didn’t believe in using the bathroom, she would use the backyard instead, preferring the “welcoming grass” over “water filled chemicals.” Even worse was the fact that her breasts were always bare. She never once covered up on her own. It usually took much cajoling from Evelyn’s son and much yelling from Evelyn herself to cover her up. In Evelyn’s mind, Becky was a hippie, a goddamn hippie, who thought that responsibility and appropriate adult behavior could be put aside and let life just float on by. However, what bested all of that was the fact that she brewed roasted coffee for her son. Evelyn could tell he was faking his interest in coffee. He always had this silent, distasteful twitch in his mouth when he didn’t like something. He claimed that he did like coffee, but she knew better. “I’m your damned mother!” she would say.

***

         “Good morning, Eve,” the coffeehouse man greeted her.

         “Stop it, please,” she said.

         “Eve is a name of youth. Why don’t you prefer that?” he asked.

         “My son calls me ‘Eve,’ she returned gravely. For a moment, the coffeehouse man was taken back, but then he gave his childish smile.

         “French roast today, Evelyn?”

         “Roast reminds me too much of Becky Starr,” she grunted.

         “And she is?”

         “A nostalgic mother’s worst nightmare,” she quipped. Evelyn stared out the window and said to the coffeehouse man,

         “Are there any plans on changing the logo of the bare woman?”

         “Let’s hope so for your sake,” he answered.

***

         Well, the years rolled on by and Saturday arrived. It was graduation day for The University of Washington. As it so happened, Becky Starr attended the school with her son. Becky presented herself well and wore the proper attire. However, Evelyn knew that underneath the flowing, elegant robes were packs and packs of coffee beans that she was going to use to steal the few remnants of her son’s innocence and juvenile ways.

***

         Well the years rolled on just a little bit more and Monday came about. Evelyn, every now and then, taught at the local elementary schools. It was for pleasure, something to do with her many solitary hours. It was mainly an excuse to escape memories of Becky. Well, Evelyn was about to go on her lunch break when someone knocked on her classroom door. She gently opened the door and found a little girl. She couldn’t have been older than seven. She held a sly grin on her pale countenance.

“Hello, there,” Evelyn said, beaming.

“Hi!” she answered.

“Come in! How was your weekend?”

“Very good!” she said.

“Oh? What did you do?”

“I almost drowned,” she answered. Evelyn’s smile quickly faded away while the little girl’s persisted.

“What?” Evelyn asked.

“The water was deep and crazy. I loved it!” At that she threw up her hands towards the sky. Evelyn’s eyes followed her hands and went back to the girl’s face.

“Weren’t you scared?” Evelyn asked, looking panic stricken.

“No. Mommy and Daddy can be scary. They were scared for me so now I can’t play in the water,” she said.

“Well, I’m sure Mommy and Daddy are doing what’s best for you,” Evelyn said, trembling.

“But now I can’t be happy. I can’t do what I want ever again, but it was fun. Can you please let go of my hands?” At this, Evelyn realized that her hands were clenched around the student’s wrists very tightly and let go. Evelyn bolted out the door, ran through the colorful hallways, and out the front door. From there, she found a telephone booth, paid the machine, and began to sob over the phone with her son on the receiving end. All she could tell him was “Now I understand.”

***

The coffeehouse man brought a French roast over to Evelyn’s usual corner.

“Here’s your French Roast, Evelyn,” he said with his same stupid grin.

“Thank you. I have a question for you,” she said.

“Anything, ma’am,” he replied.

“What made you enter the coffee business?” He slightly looked away and slowly shook his head. He turned back and said,

“Because I was a 16 year old. When I was young, I wanted more than anything to drink coffee. After my first day on the job, I was an adult and oh, boy, did I want my childhood back. These coffee beans are like shackles, they will never let you go, but at the same time, you don’t want to go. I feel like I revive the world with coffee, as if the whole world would not be able to run without me. Do you know what I’m saying?”

She nodded and started sipping her French roast.

“Eve, did you notice the logo?” he asked.

She smiled to herself and answered, “Yes I did.”

The woman’s bare chest was now hidden beneath the ocean’s waves.


© 2010 Jared Fellows



Author's Note

Jared Fellows
Does the little girl's dialogue seem a little strange or forced? Are the characters well developed?

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Reviews

It's amazing how people can get inspired by little things or by people around you.
I thought this was pretty interesting.
The characters seem okay.
I really don't know how to answer your first question, though.

Anyway, great story.

Posted 7 Years Ago


interesting characters

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on December 23, 2009
Last Updated on February 23, 2010
Tags: french, roasted, days, starbucks, becky, starr, evelyn, drowning, coffee, beans, childhood
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Jared Fellows
Jared Fellows

Los Angeles, CA



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my name is Pockets, and I am your storyteller. Why a storyteller instead of a writer? When Satan has dragged me to his home because of my passion for the truth, I will be a writer. When logic i.. more..

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