Except that it did exist, and very much so. Her cheek was resting against the smooth surface of the kitchen table, the water-like liquid right in front of her. If she brought it up to her eye, even the little vial the liquid came in all but disappeared. Just like that. As if it had never really been there in the first place.
Her long legs bumped into the square kitchen table as she let herself fall back into her chair. The vial gave a shudder and the calm of the liquid was disturbed. She closed her eyes to the ripples tearing through the liquid, took a deep breath and recited out loud: “He has three sisters. One older, two younger. One still in school – the youngest, one married – the oldest, one estranged – the second youngest.”
Eyes still closed, she began again: “He has three sisters, one older, two younger. One still in school – the youngest, one married – the oldest, one estranged – the second youngest.”
A frustrated snort escaped through her nose. She tried a third time: “He has four sisters, one older, two younger, one twin. One still in school – the youngest, one married – the oldest, one estranged – the second youngest, and one dead soon – the twin. “
She opened her eyes, and sighed. The vial looked empty again. The coffee maker behind her gave a splutter as it pushed the last drops of brownish liquid through its tubes. She stood up, carefully this time, so to not bump into the table again, took a cup from the cupboard over the kitchen sink, and poured the coffee into the cup. She’d left the notebook on his desk, he’d find it tonight, latest by tomorrow morning, maybe, but that would be soon enough. As she poured, the ripples made by the crystal clear liquid almost instantly vanished from the otherwise smooth surface of the coffee. As if it had never really been there.
“Your brother won’t be home until later tonight, I think,” she called.
“That’s okay, I’ll just have that cup of coffee you offered and then I’ll be out of your hair,” came the other voice from the next room.
“Coming right up,” she called back, carrying the cup out of the kitchen with a smile.
Context for this piece: Inspired by a lovely friend from long ago I have set a new writing challenge for myself. Each day of this new year I will be setting aside about half an hour to write a short text, any kind of text. I will use four random prompts generated by an app called Writing Challenge, with five minutes of writing dedicated to each prompt, bringing it up to a total of 20 minutes of writing for each text.
The prompts are marked in bold letters and a full list can be found here:
- Include a vial filled with poison in the plot
- Include a dialogue that starts with “He has three sisters”
- Include a notebook in the plot
- End the story with the word “smile”