Writing Group: My Cup of Tea

Good day, Beverage Aficionados and British People!

Let’s see, we have earl grey…what about a nice jasmine? No? Well surely we’ll find something you like, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

My Cup of Tea

Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

Most of us have likely heard the phrase “it’s not my cup of tea” at some point in our lives to refer to something that is not our preference—be that a type of food, a video game, or even tea itself. Even though we often hear it in the negative, it can be used in the positive too.

This prompt conjures similar vibes to the “I’m Never Doing That Again” prompt for me. The idea of doing something, deciding it’s not your cup of tea, and never doing it again. You could easily apply the prompt in such a way. Or you could use this prompt to refer to the opposite—someone doing something and deciding they very much like it and want to do it again. You could write about a kid going to the amusement park for the first time and loving it. Maybe your character was always afraid to try painting, but when they finally try for the first time they learn they love it. Maybe, as a kid, your character decided they didn’t like a certain food and they learn they love it now. You could even write about someone who thought pineapple on pizza was an abomination, but then tried it and found—to their dismay—that they loved it. 

Come to think of it, the prompt can be used in multiple ways in a single story. Maybe a family goes on a rollercoaster together, and one of them decides they love it, and another decides they hate it. Like in my examples, maybe someone decided something wasn’t their cup of tea, only to later realize they judged it too quickly. You could write a story about one friend trying to convince another something is actually good, despite their protests. 

But you don’t have to use this prompt in the sense of the idiom. You could write about literal tea. Maybe your character just likes tea, and that happens to feature importantly in the scene you write. Maybe you have a character like Iroh in Avatar the Last Airbender, for whom tea is an important part of his life. You could write about a tea party—be it with snooty people, or with stuffed animals. Maybe someone drinks out of your character’s cup while they’re in the bathroom and they walk into the room shouting “Hey, that’s MY cup of tea!” You could even write a story where the tea is poisoned, and someone drinks out of the wrong cup. 

Many cultures have traditions, old and new, that revolve around tea. Maybe there is a specific tea ceremony that your character participates in. Or perhaps your character breaks an unspoken rule of etiquette, like not allowing their host to refill their tea, or breaking a ceremonial tea-making instrument. How might that complicate the situation your character is in? Maybe your character is already familiar with tea, but is introduced to a new element that changes the experience. Maybe they try adding tapioca pearls, or yak butter, or raw egg into the drink. Maybe they’re drinking the tea from a saucer and holding a piece of rock sugar in their mouth. Maybe they try herbal tea or hallucinogenic tea? How does this new experience impact their worldview? Or is this a line they won’t cross for certain reasons? Perhaps you want to use this prompt to write about tea leaf reading. What’s left in your character’s cup of tea could mean a lot for the future…or nothing at all. 

Maybe it’s the cup that’s more important than the tea within it. Maybe a late loved one gave your character their cup, and/or they have fond memories of drinking the tea within it with their loved one. You could even write about a teacup coming to life, like Chip in Beauty and the Beast. 

Today, “tea” is a slang term for “gossip.” You could easily apply this use of the term in a story you write for the prompt. Maybe you want to write about how your character brings to the table their particular cup of gossip. 

I have two challenges for you this week. 

The person who submitted this prompt could have easily phrased this prompt as “Not My Cup of Tea.” But (whether the decision was intentional or not) instead they opted for the positive version of it. The phrase “My Cup of Tea” almost always comes with that “not” in front of it, and I think it’s where most people’s minds go with the phrase. My challenge for you is to write about the positive side of the prompt. What happens when something IS your cup of tea?

My other challenge is a strange one. Those who watch the Youtube channel Good Mythical Morning will likely remember “Snot Mike Up Puffed He.” Rhett and Link were playing a game, with cards that had nonsense phrases on them, and they had to parse the nonsense into well-known idioms. “Snot Mike Up Puffed He” turned into “Not My Cup of Tea.” But Link had an extremely difficult time figuring that out, and hilarity ensued. I have difficulty hearing the phrase “my cup of tea” without immediately thinking of “snot mike up puffed he.” My next challenge comes from this. Misunderstandings can be really difficult to write well. Often times they only serve to further the plot, but seem ridiculous and unrealistic, and are frustrating for the audience. My second challenge is for you to write about a misunderstanding. But do your best to write about it in a way that is fun, or even funny, which doesn’t frustrate the audience. 

Remember, these challenges aren’t mandatory! They are meant to be a fun bonus if you’d like to have a little extra challenge. But, if you don’t want to use them, please don’t feel obligated to!

Ah, the oolong and chamomile aren’t for you either? Neither is the green, or matcha, or chai? How about—? Oh forget it. Fine. I’ll get you that coffee. 

—Kaylie & Pearce

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

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5 months ago

Place Cards
By Babs

There aren’t any place cards…

Ugh, I hate functions like these. A bunch of pompous upper-middle-class white Americans get together once or twice a year to eat bland English food and drink mediocre tea…and all for what?

I know for a fact that none of them eat this garbage any other time. I guess it’s not cultural appropriation if no one’s actually enjoying themselves. “Tea Time” in America is mainly to remind us of how much better we think we are.

Sorry if that was a bit harsh, they’re just not my crowd…Though I guess I think that about everyone and to say it you sort of need a crowd of your own.

Speaking of which…where do I sit? The tea’s being poured, and the seats are filling up.

No name tags, no placeholders, no seating chart, no nothing.

I have no choice but to choose.

Too many empty seats to pick from. Too many full ones to sit alone…Always unfashionably late, consistently inconsistent, great.

I never liked tea anyway; hot drinks hurt my mouth.

Huh? Slow down? Those words mean nothing. I jump from one thing to the next without a second thought. You only need rearview mirrors if you plan on looking back.

Don’t stop and smell the roses: you’re running on hot coals.

The cups are full now, getting colder. Their steam signals wave me over, but those steely eyes keep me at bay.

Finding my cup of tea would be so easy, without these people in my way.

Last edited 5 months ago by Babs
5 months ago

My life spilled out.
By Sniperaxiom

I let out a shaky breath into the dry, frozen air. Winter was clasping me with a grip that I could not loosen.

The deep layer of snow loomed ahead as a glistening inescapable obstacle. I staggered slowly while the pale, weak sun attempted to send her temperate aid.

Thoughts of regret screamed in my head.

I wished I had not gone out alone. If only I had stayed on the trail! It was becoming too late now. My last ally slipped down behind the horizon, leaving me to face the freezing night.

My torment that covered everything in sight was lit up golden with the sun. All around the snow presented a dazzling spectacle to celebrate my death. It grinned at me with such callous beauty that I lost all hope and drive to continue.

It would be a romantic thing to go out fighting or stumble through the wilderness back to warm civilization but that simply would not be possible for me.

I stopped in my tracks, letting out another shaky sigh that grew into a cry of anguish and then I dropped to my knees.

The wind blew at my back, whispering for me to let go. My eyelids felt heavy and I slowly laid back into the snow.

I surrendered myself to my enemy.

As I lay waiting for the cold to take me fully, I listened to the insulated silence the snow created. All my thoughts felt so loud.

Everyone always said I was a fighter, I really thought I was, but the snow had won the battle, I have no problem accepting when I am bested.

A little voice inside me, that fighter, barked to get up. It howled and yelped relentlessly for me to continue on. It grew louder and louder until it filled my ears.

But that was not possible.

Something warm and hot pressed on my forehead so my eyes flickered open to see a Saint Bernard dog looking down.

“You were always my favorite dog, Tea-.”

I muttered as rapid footsteps approached.

Last edited 5 months ago by Sniperaxiom
5 months ago

My Cup of Tea! (Chronicles of The Dragon)

by Makokam

The alarm chirped a reminder for Jostica’s daily tea and meditation. She looked up from her book and stretched before getting up and heading to the kitchen.

On her way, she stopped as Thomas wheeled a cart full of equipment to one of the vents and started unscrewing the cover.

What’s going on?” she asked.
“Ya know how you’ve been feeling off the last few days?”


“Well, everyone has been feeling like that. So I looked into it, and it turns out the air quality down here has gone to shit. So I’m checking the vents for problems. If it’s not something I can fix by tonight we’ll need stay somewhere else.”

“Do you think that’s likely?”

“I won’t until I find out what the issue is.”

Jostica nodded, “Well, let me know if you need any help,” and continued to the kitchen.

She started the kettle, and opened the cupboard to find she was almost out of her favorite tea. She’d need to get more soon. As she fetched a cup, an alarm sounded through the HQ. Moments later a voice came over the speaker system, “Jostica, guy with ice powers flipped his shit. We could use your help. He keeps freezing my plants and David and Khalid can’t get close.”

Jostica turned the stove off and replied, “I’ll be right there,” before running to retrieve her staff.

“Hey, I’m going too,” Thomas said.

“No, no. You stay and fix the air. The four of us can take one guy.”


Half an hour later, the four of them returned. Shivering, but mostly fine. They all retreated to their rooms, except for Jostica, who returned to the kitchen. She set her staff on the table then started her kettle again.

A few minutes later Jostica was steeping her tea, and enjoying the aroma as she carried it to the common room.

Suddenly dark black clouds burst from all the vents, filing the headquarters with dust and debris.

Hacking and spluttering Thomas stumbled into the room. “I fixed the vents.”

Jostica could only stare at her tea in despair.

Last edited 5 months ago by Makokam
6 months ago

To His Taste
By CodenameRedKrystalMatrix

“Shall I bring up anything else, sir?”

“No. Leave that on my desk, thank you.”

The servant eyed the bottle on the tea tray curiously. Small, with a dropper cap- tinted dark to prevent knowledge of the contents.

“Sweetener. Nothing else suits me.”

She clearly wanted to ask further but feared for her position too much- all the better for him. But she wasn’t the only one. The accountant had long been griping about the antifreeze charged to his account. He didn’t even own a car. He’d leave some assets to him. The man deserved it after all the grey hairs he’d no doubt caused.

Squeezing a few drops into the tea, he stirred and sipped it. Money well spent on the lab, as usual. The delicate flavour he’d come to enjoy coaxed his tongue into another taste. And another.

The room started to contort, with his stomach squeezing and turning in protest. Staggering into the bathroom, he retched into the toilet. Yellow-green and bright red dripped and spread, tainting the water. Their likenesses welled up in his mind. He hoped they’d accept his elegant, melodramatic, cowardly sacrifice. Hoity-toity Englishmen, as Ricardo used to say. He wondered if he’d pity him or find it hilariously ironic.

Hm. The power of a word. “Englishman” conjured coldness, connivance, and condescension. A few words yet still could inadvertently reveal a deliciously sinful secret. And with one sentence, well-intentioned, but erring lips could be stilled. All so he never had to give up the life that made men into monsters. What a cycle he found himself in. And what a way out.

At length, he regained his regular breathing. Not yet, eh?

No matter. No one cared enough to stop him. He pushed all that would to the other side a long, long time ago. He hoped they would ridicule him when he made it. That would hurt less than their sympathy. Or worse yet, their love- that, if he were another man, he’d allow himself to recognize he missed.

After all he’d done, what was a cup of… particularly sweetened tea?

Norman Gray
Norman Gray
6 months ago

My Cup Of Tea
By Norman Gray

Coffee, water, and tea… That’s basically it.

I quit drinking over four years ago. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and it took several years and multiple failed attempts along the way. I had relapses where I’d told myself, “I can’t do this. I’ll never try to quit again.”

My caffeine intake is limited to two cups of coffee a day, and water ain’t exactly interesting, so tea has been my go-to beverage for the last four years…

Tea. Amongst a culture of beer-swilling macho dude-bros, I’m the tea drinker of the bunch.

All of my family members are heavy drinkers. I didn’t think they’d respect my decision to give up alcohol, and so I never trusted them enough to tell them… I don’t tell them anything about my personal life, really.

Of course, they eventually noticed. You can only say ‘no thanks, I’m good’ so many times before they’ll stop asking if they can get you a drink.

But honestly, I don’t care anymore. I don’t miss booze. There was too much pain and suffering, too many bad memories.

I’ve been through a lot; my brain is wired for escapism. I’ll give up one addiction, only to seamlessly transition to the next without even noticing… Anything to run away from the reality of my own existence.

So, I try to seek out productive addictions. I let my job consume my focus, and it helps me see outward and forget my personal problems.

The only positive aspect of drinking is how it becomes a social focal point, an easy excuse for interaction… And that’s something I still have to work on; finding new ways to socialize and make connections.

But I will never go back to booze. Not for anything. Not even if the world was ending tomorrow. I have to hold true to that promise, because I haven’t held true to much else… I have to prove to myself that my word is worth a damn, and that I’m not a quitter.

I’ll take my cup of tea over a bottle of beer any day.

6 months ago

That One Regret
By Taja DaLeen

Do I regret it? Of course I do.

Even though I’m happy now; work is going well, and my relationship too. I have the most amazing partner I could ever have; they’re good with kids, they know how to do almost anything; and the food they’re making? Hardly ever tasted something better.

And we can laugh together, a lot. No matter what’s up, one can always cheer up the other; it’s pretty much as perfect as it can get.

The only thing off about my life…

Is you.

And I only have myself to blame. I hate it all so much. That I can’t just forget about what happened even though it’s been years. That I can’t for the life of me put a finger on what that damn gaze of yours means. That I can’t even stay away from you…

I guess it would’ve been easier if things went differently back then; the least of it being that I’d have been able to leave all of this behind, to get over these feelings, whatever they are.

But honestly, should I have waited for you? When I couldn’t have been sure we’d meet again at all? Especially when nothing much really happened? When it was all just in between the glances, the gestures, the smiles?

I should have just talked to you, no matter how impossible it seemed.

Well. Now you’ve become the one thing I truly regret. Do you know how that feels? When it cuts you like a knife each time something even remotely reminds you of what you regret? When it sits so deep it feels like it’s in your very core, like it’s become an integral part of yourself?

To be honest, I hope you don’t. No matter how much I hate this situation, I could never hate you. Even if it’s driving me crazy how you’re like a nice cup of tea one wants to have, but never knows whether it’s scalding hot or freezing cold.

I love my partner, I really do…

But that doesn’t mean I can just forget you.

6 months ago

High Impact Sexual Violence
By Maxer4000

Another night on the job another hit to carry out, the target this time is a couple in love, client gave no reason but the pay is good, the team today got the honor to run this operation with the Big Boa himself. Game plan is simple, Cold Hawk and Lava Lamb would snipe from different angles as a contingent for the Boa to going at them up close.

Cold Hawk got to his post and radio in:

– I’m in position. Come in team.

Lava Lamb picked up the call:

– I’m [static] –tion

– L, your comm bugging out.

– Hang on, call[static]ting.

The Boa got on his comm:

– Oi, I’m in the building, where the targets?

Cold Hawk checked the building with his scope:

-Sir, targets are at the uh… 1, 2… fifth floor, room I think 504 or 505. Can’t tell from out here.

– Are they doing anything?

– No, sir. They’re just… oh… undressing and… how to say this?

– Banging, Imma be late there, the elevator busted.

– Copy that. L, comm check

– Check check check, do you copy?

– Copy that.

Cold Hawk settled down his rifle and pulled out his tablet, this is normal when a member taking time before starting coordinated strike. He then browse the outer net, checking some news of the current political climate, and then Lava Lamb pipes up:

– Yo, [static] high impact [static] sexual [static] violence

– What? Also, your comm–

Then the Boa piped up:

– Oh I got it!

– What??

The couple’s room then suddenly bursted into a massive blast of debris, the smoke swiftly dissipated, leaving a hole riddled with gore

– WHAT!?

The Boa called in:

-Yea we’re better book it before the coppers come.

At the rendezvous Cold Hawk couldn’t help but drop his formality toward his superior:

– What the hell was that!?

The Big Boa shrugged:

– Ya mate told me to give them high impact sexual violence so I impact nade them.

Lava Lamb retorted:

– I said the gov made more censors toward high impact things like sexual theme and violence in the media.

The two face palmed:

– Bloody hell…

Matthew R. Wright
Matthew R. Wright
6 months ago

Phobrak’s Tea Set
By Matthew R. Wright

“Long have I studied this porceline and long have I feared it. This collection in particular, largely forgotton by the grasping tendrils of unearthly infinity, hand-crafted from materials unfamiliar to mankind, Its twisted forms and eerie, iridescent hues whisper of dimensions beyond our feeble grasp, by a people long-forgotten and assumed insane. I shall do my best to describe it in as clear a detail as I can, but I fear that doing so my weaken my mind further. For it has an effect on all who are exposed, effected further by those who consume from it.

Take this teapot, observe the lid, adorned with depictions of writhing tentacles, notice how it exudes a palpable aura of wrongness, how it beckons the unwary to unlock secrets and to taste its flavours? I beg of you – resist – its swirling shades are of the unknowable, of some unheard cycle that casts hypnotically a sense of unease, an eternal dread. To pour from its spout, a viscous, ethereal liquid would seep, an intoxicating sweetness that promises both the euphoric and the irrational.

The saucers, the cups, the strainers, bear cryptic sigils and hieroglyphs that defy translation, seemingly formed from the tattered remnants of fractured realities. Approach them cautiously, for their touch may awaken dormant horrors that slumber in the depths of the tea. Time unravels upon their surfaces, distorting reflections and summoning glimpses of horrors unseen, warped edges ripple and shift, as if mirroring the ebb and flow of cosmic tides, forever in flux and just beyond comprehension.

And don’t even ask about the suger bowl.

This set, a blasphemous communion with the ancient deity Phobrak, invokes a potent blend of malevolent madness, of grotesque revelation, of resonant and existential terror. To indulge in its brew, to even expose yourself to it, is to dance precariously on the precipice of sanity, and to traverse realms best left unexplored.”

“So, how much is it worth?” the auctioneer repeated. Astonished by how, with so many words, the professor hadn’t actually managed to answer his question.

Neko mori mori
Neko mori mori
6 months ago

By neko mori mori

An old tea hous standing strong
A yong girl sitting trembling
Pot in hand caps at the ready

Tap ..tap..tap .tap
Hes hear
More corps dan man a will stronger than 10 no a 100
cane in hand

“Were you not to depart
the capital awaits ”

“I.i..i cold not leaf lik dis “she Wisperd…poring tea
“Can i be a little selfish for a bit longer i don’t know if ill see you again.”

“Speek my cild “sitting across form her

“Ill miss the stor even wen you
Drag me in by force”

“If you do not work you don’t eat”

” the art of tea was match mor exhausting than the sword arts”

“It was your mothers wish for you to learn her ceremony
I found it difficult myself but
If samtings worth doing it is to be don well “he said wail injoying his tea even dou he lost the ability to taste jears ago

“And your wish”

“It was a dream i woken up ”

“I ca-”


“Its becos of me right ”

“No its no-”

“Lair lair lair !
I was there that day
I overheard you and mom
Its my folt because i was born ”

Grabbing the girl in his abras
” will of iron body of glass cursed but my greatest treasure more than eny dream
If already lost your moder
Let dis old soul be selfish for a bit longer ”

Yong girl will of iron melt away Laing still in her fathers arms


“Your Child to-be
Sowrd of the emperor ”

“No fader wishes to outlife there cild…
if you wish to serve the emperor
depart for capital
become a honourbil shrinmaiden ”

“Yuri is also leaving..
We found a hint were here mother cold be …..
I promised to guard her
ill be her sword
Then ill become the emperor sword ”

His imbras titans
“Then i shell not let you depart ”

“I know that’s way i poisoned your tea “

6 months ago

Honey do tea
By: EarstwhileinaDayDream

“Honey, do you mind passing me the Glock? The nine-millimeter one.” Madelyn’s dimples were pinches of sunshine on this dreary day. She was flatting her ruffled black skirt as her husband complied with the request.

Zevan was absolutely smitten with this girl for at least a week. What wasn’t to love? Madelyn was dynamic and thrilling. Not to mention she made a tea that Zevan was obsessed with. Zevan shivered as her silky fingers traced over the back of his hand. She pulled their hands down to the consul sitting between them in the car. She tilted her head to better show off her sky-blue eyes. “Thank you.” Madelyn gently brought up a to-go cup of tea she brew just for her lover. “Feeling lucky?”

Her husband took the cup and swallowed deeply. The rich cinnamon cream melted over his tongue. The savory honey tea slipped down his untrimmed chin. Zevan exhaled slowly, as if he were in heaven from the homemade tea, “Now I am.”

Madelyn hummed happily, “Honey, do you mind getting the door?”

Zevan opened his eyes, his brown irises were thin compared to his now dilated pupils. “Of course love.” He dutifully opened the car door for his lover. The pair stood before the glass doors of the bank, their reflections armed to the teeth. Madelyn loaded her precious Glock, her thin fingers taking off the safety lever. Zevan tied the sword sheath to his belt, the laces giving him trouble.

Madelyn turned to help him. The strings looped around her smooth nails before cinching tight. She smiled at her husband, “Honey, do you care how much we withdraw?”

Zevan shook his head, “No dear, whatever you think is best. Shall I make an opening for you?”

Madelyn nodded and Zevan raised his blade. With the back end of the jagged sword, he broke the glass in a single swing. The security guard to his right didn’t even get one breath in before Zeven plunged his weapon into his gut.

Madelyn strutted forward, “Kneel, now!” Her orders were crisper than the bullets she fired.

Fog Wall
Fog Wall
6 months ago

~Fog Wall

Across my vision came a small bubble with the number one in red. With a thought, it opened a message from Koalle that read, “Sorry that I’m running late!”

Pushing back in my chair and lifting the front legs up. I Closed my eyes, I examined the overlay of my augment. My compass stretched across the top of my vision and a small selection of applications dotted the bottom left corner on a scroll wheel. Over the past month, I’ve gotten used to my new eyes, at least now that my face doesn’t hurt.

I felt arms wrap around my shoulders and I instinctively went to stand, but they held me down and the chair fell flat. “Wha?” Opening my eyes and looking to my left, I saw Koalle smiling beside me.

“Did I scare you, James?” She asked with a cocky smirk.

My face felt warm, but I declined to answer, “You’re late, you’re never late. What’s up?”

She rolled her eyes, stood and rounded the table. “You’re never any fun, are you?”

That made me smile, “Fine, you did spook me. I already made our orders. So; what’s the plan for today? We got a job?”

“That we do!” She gave me a big grin. “We’re off for the day, so I got us some tickets.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Uh…” A small robot rolled up and delivered a tray, two chai teas. “What are the tickets for?” I took one of the cups and took a drink, enjoying the warm sweetness of it.

“Wait, I thought you got me a coffee?” She countered my question.

I just nodded. “I did, enjoy your cup of tea, it does have an espresso shot in it. No dodging, where are we going?”

“Sky Waters Thrill Park,” was all she said before taking her drink and walking away, leaving me to catch up.

Grabbing my coffee, I swiftly caught up to her. “How can I pay you back?”

“I really don’t like Chai…” She grumbled and took a drink. “…With espresso? Really?”

6 months ago

My cup! Mine!
by Aracnarquista

His tales were so flamboyant, it is no wonder Pirate Captain Anastasius would also prove to be quite the character.

Good thing his tales came to an end a few minutes ago.

Bloodthirsty and relentless, they said. No Imperial ship was spared his wrath and greed. All riches of the Crown were his for the taking. The fear he commanded spread far inland. Those were the stories.

That was not the character that was brought before me. Strange and striking, sure. But not all that scary. He even tried to persuade me into sparing his sailors, “ignorant children who had no choice but following his orders in fear”, and taking only him to meet justice.

So I don’t believe the tales that paint him as such a cruel and frightful man. Neither do I believe the tales that say he was captured and hanged thrice before… only to reappear terrorizing the seas after a few months.

Most Admirals would love to be the one to finally hang the dreaded Anastasius, and not a few of them would mind the credit… even if they had to hang another poor sod as if they were the scourge of the Crown riches.

But I know I have the real deal here. I got his cup.

This may be the strangest of Anastasius’s tales. His love of tea, and his treasuring of this particular porcelain cup. Surely, that’s not something I’d expect to find in a pirate’s booty. Exquisitely built – a delicate wonder of refinement adorned with the blood red markings of a serpent biting its own tail. “Admiral, I’m the only one who drinks from this cup.” Those were his words.

As steam rises from the hot beverage, I smile at this little irony. His prized cup, now in my hands. Just before putting the tea to my lips, I watch his lifeless body hanging from the courtyard. Even in death the scoundrel kept that mocking grin on his lips.

Hm… Pomegranate tea. My favorite.

My mouth contorts into a taunting smile.

“Told ya. Nobody but me drinks from this cup.”

6 months ago

Proper British Tea
By MasaCur

Mizuki adjusted the coachman’s hat on her head and grabbed the whistling kettle. She poured the water into the pot and put in the infuser, then tapped her phone. Gears rotated on the screen as the hands ran backwards, and numbers in nixie tubes counted down from three minutes.

“You take making tea way too seriously,” Ritsu commented.

Mizuki shook her head. “Tobose-san, have you heard of the term, ‘not my cup of tea?’”

Ritsu shrugged. “Sure, of course.”

“Well, making a proper British tea is my cup of tea, so to say. Which means, English breakfast tea blend, steeped for exactly three minutes. Loose leaf, never in a sachet.”

“I’m pretty sure the British use tea bags. In fact, I know they do. They sell them in that store you go to.”

“I said proper British tea. I do things the traditional way. Do you have milk?” Mizuki glanced at the counter on her phone.

“Uh, yeah, I think so.” Ritsu went to his fridge, and pulled out a half empty carton. “I don’t put milk in my tea though.”

“Well, no, not if you’re going to drink the instant green matcha that you usually have. That isn’t meant for milk. But, again, I said a proper cup of British tea.” She took the milk from his hands. “Sugar? Honey will also do, but refined sugar was quite the rage in the Victorian age.”

“No honey. I have sugar.” Ritsu grabbed the sugar bowl and held it out to her.

Mizuki placed the bowl next to the two tea cups on the counter. “Hey, did you know the Victorians invented the sugar cube?”

“Now that you’ve told me, I’m not likely to forget it.”

A bell chimed on her phone, and Mizuki pulled the infuser from the pot. She poured tea into each cup, added milk and sugar, and held one cup out to Ritsu. “Here. Try.”

Ritsu took the cup with some scepticism. He took a sip. It was sweeter than what he was used to. “It’s not bad, but I don’t think it will replace matcha.”

R J Chapman
R J Chapman
6 months ago

Wires Crossed

by R J Chapman

‘Sorry I’m late,’ said Steve.

‘Better late than never,’ smiled the blonde woman guiding him to a table. Finding a spare chair, Steve sat down, suddenly very self-conscious of his leather jacket and peroxide hair. A bald man was leading the discussion.

‘No more beating around the bush, we’ll have to throw caution to the wind.’

There were nods of approval from those sat around before the blonde woman asked: ‘Playing devil’s advocate here, are we biting off more than we can chew?’

‘Your guess is as good as mine,’ one man shrugged.

‘Ignorance is bliss,’ another said smugly.

‘We’ve let the cat out of the bag now. We’re just going to have to bite the bullet,’ said the bald man.

‘We don’t want to miss the boat.’

‘The early bird catches the worm,’ said the smug one.

‘But what if we’re barking up the wrong tree?’ the blonde woman asked.

‘Then we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it,’ the bald man said defiantly.

‘Hi, I’m Steve. Sorry to interrupt, but what are we talking about?’

The others looked at him with bewilderment before the bald man spoke. ‘To make a long story short, we can’t have the best of both worlds.’

‘Sorry, what?’ Steve asked.

‘He’s still none the wiser,’ one chuckled.

‘Come on, it’s not rocket science!’ said another dismissively.

Steve stared at their blank faces. ‘Would someone please tell me what on God’s green earth is going on?’

‘That’s the spirit,’ said the smug one encouragingly.

‘Speak properly!’ Steve spat.

‘You mean, call a spade a spade?’ the blonde woman asked.

‘This isn’t the Billy Idol convention is it?’ asked Steve.

They shook their heads in unison before pointing to a sign above the door that read: “The Idiom & Cliché Appreciation Society”. ‘Ah,’ he muttered.

‘You’re going to have to go back to the drawing board,’ said the blonde woman before mouthing “two doors down” silently.

‘I better be going.’ Steve stood up awkwardly and walked towards the door. ‘Sorry about this. Idioms just,’ he paused and shuddered, ‘aren’t my cup of tea.’

Pipa Harana
Pipa Harana
6 months ago

“Should Have Named It Information Tea House”
by Pipa Lyn Harana

“Ginger honey tea, please. Iced.”

The eyes of the little girl serving Nica grew as wide as saucers. “Any…thing else?”

Nica looked at the menu again. To the tea afficionado’s sorrow, the options were very limited. Then again, how can one expect to find something except for Ginger, Jasmine, and Honey Calmansi in a Filipino town in the middle of nowhere? Nica just wanted to quench her thirst before driving to the next town.

“Nothing else, thank you.”

“Five minutes please,” the little girl squeaked.

“Wait what about—.”

But the little girl had already disappeared into the backroom.


Nica sighed and slumped in her seat. Marites Tea House was empty apart from two other customers. Both were rummaging through several envelopes.

“Ginger honey tea, iced.” The little girl handed her a battered envelope. “Careful with the seal. This one hasn’t been opened in fifteen years.”

Nica’s eyebrows furrowed. “This isn’t what I ordered. I ordered tea, not—.”

“Now this is a code I haven’t heard of before,” a sleek voice laughed. A tall thin lady emerged from the backroom. “Who sent you, darling? Juana?”

“I… I wasn’t sent by anyone! I just want my cup of tea.”

The lady frowned. “Now that code IS odd.”

The two other customers were looking at the commotion now.

“She rejected the envelope twice now,” the little girl spoke. “Doesn’t that mean something?”

“Ah, but you order Jasmine for that sequence, darling. Not Ginger. Unless,” the lady moved closer to Nica’s face. She smiled and flipped out a butterfly knife. “You forgot?”

Nica jolted out of her chair. “Look, I don’t know WHAT your deal is, but that is… that is NOT tea. That is an ENVELOPE, and, I… that is NOT tea—”

The little girl pulled on the lady’s dress. “Mama, I just think she doesn’t know that we don’t serve that kind of tea.”

“Hmmm.” The lady squinted her eyes. “Maybe. It’s suspicious though, who would—.”

Nica bolted out the door of the information broker’s shop. “I just wanted a cup of tea,” she cried on the way out.

Last edited 6 months ago by Pipa Harana
6 months ago

The Origomicron Part 2: Tea Demon

By Joe

“Wow!” Alyx the demon was amazed. “This double shot espresso, steamed milk, iced chai, coffee combo is delicious.”

“Just say latte,” said Tom tired.

“But that doesn’t encapsulate the whole experience,” said Alyx.

“Yeah,” Dan chimed in. “But it’s quicker. That’s like me calling paper dead, thin, flappy, processed air producer. Or calling hot dogs suspiciously shaped meat subs.”

“You keep that heresy out of this house!” Tom demanded.

“OR calling nachos crispy tortilla triangles smothered in aged milk sauce.”

“That’s disgusting!” Tom gagged and went to sip his drink. But when he did he realized it was empty.

“What the…?”

And then a demon exploded out of his cup. “Nyahahaha! It is I, Posh the Tea Demon.”

“You owe me an earl grey,” Tom pressed calmly.

“NO! Now that I am here,” Posh pointed at Alyx. “I… augh!”

Tom jumped at the demon and wailed on the demons face.


“Augh!! Augh! AUGH!!!”

Dan and Alyx watched casually as they fought.

“A tea demon, eh?”

“Mmhm.” Alex confirmed.

“Why tea though? I thought it was only paper.”

“Tea leaves can make paper.”

“Oh. Oh!” Dan was struck. “You guys have a greater influence than I thought.”

“Yeh. Some of us have the power over almost everything that can make paper. Problem is some of us aren’t that gifted.”

“Are you…?”

“Over napkins and paper towels.”

“Oh, well that’s something, right?”

“Not exactly strong like a tree though. There are those who can do that and should be avoided.”

Meanwhile, Tom had Posh restricted in a full nelson, which Alyx then got up and walked over and stood above them. He took one last sip of his latte before pouring the beverage on the demon, who let an unholy screech burst out and then fell unconscious.

“Poor Posh. Has the weirdest weakness of any demon. Steamed milk.”

“You know them?” asked Tom.

“I called him here to help. But he keeps calling me his rival.”

“Oh perfect!” Tom said optimistically. “He can start with my tea.”

“I kind of feel bad,” said Dan.

“Pff, I don’t.”

6 months ago

Joyful tea.

by Galer.

“So here is some Tea. I paid for it so we both can enjoy it,” said the female dragon, Merlia, with her tail swinging from side to side in enthusiasm. ” I hope it’s of your liking.”

“Is this tea cranberry?” Martelus paused working on his laptop, his milky white lanky fingers coming to a stop as his lack of face turned towards her. A nearly invisible mouth opened to say, “Merlia, you know I hate that.”

“Yep,” Merlia the human-shaped dragon said. ” I figure I will give you something different aside for Jasmine all the time.”

Martelus tilted his head as if he was trying to read her mind. He wasn’t an expert telepath to do that. But the Nice suit helped enhance that image. He limited himself to clicking his tongue. “Then you wasted your time, I am not going to drink that.”

“Oh please Martelus, you told me you didn’t drink cranberry even when you were,” Merlia lowered her hand to a child’s. height “You pretty much didn’t like it because of the smell.”

“Perhaps because I dislike it a lot? What do you think?” Martelus said, an imperceptible thin line for a mouth showcasing a monotone expression. “Ok. I give you that I didn’t taste it since I was a child but…”

Merlia interrupted him. “No buts, come on Martelus. I am not going to force you to drink it but at least try it.”

His head moved towards the tea, then to Merlia and the tea again. Martelus groaned in annoyance.

“I will taste it but if it’s not my liking you pretty much -wasted money on it,” declared Martelus, he grabbed the tea cup with one gangly hand and drank it.




There was pleasant silence in the air, only for Merlia to cut through it. ” So how was it?”

“Ok It’s good,” Martelus said in defeat and dismay making her chuckle in victory.

And so this pleasant afternoon ended with the acidic aftertaste of joyful cranberry.

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
6 months ago

Teatime Tyrant
By: The Missing Link

The knuckles on Professor Hoffman’s hand were bare white to the brink of numbness as they quietly strangled the handle of his teacup. An acrid, almost plastic odor wafted up to the university balcony and would any other day have been the height of the old historian’s distress.

Today was not so fortuitous a day. Today, his department was graced with the presence of the grand praetor of the Martian army. Today, the dean had ordered he make the bastard comfortable. Today, a breach in etiquette meant war.

Praetor Lucius Cornelius Canus, Martians fancied themselves the sixth Rome, wore a placid mask of contentment as he strode across the balcony, drinking in the mixing aromas of smoke and steam, free hand never nearing, but making a subtle point not to hide the gun at his waist.

“Lovely campus you have here, professor,” he almost purred, “I simply adore what you’ve done with the place.”

Hoffman didn’t look up. “Don’t take the bait,” he repeated to himself under his breath.

“Speak up now, professor, it’s not polite. Is that how your mothers,” he pressed that word in like a knife, “Raised you? Pity that.”

“What do you want from me?”

Lucius dispassionately thumbed through a book from Hoffman’s desk. “Want? Oh nothing really.” He spread his arms theatrically out to the fire outside. “I’ve made myself a king, but historians. You make gods.”

As Hoffman watched the book fall to the flames below, the praetor’s words slowed in his mind.

“Make Me a God.”

The bonfire flared. Martian soldiers cheered. And then, Hoffman could hear them marching, row upon row flowing from the campus library at their commander’s signal.

Rushing, panicked to the railing, the porcelain teacup shattered. Hoffman watched as the last bastion of free knowledge on the planet blew into the night sky on streams of smoke and ash.

“Go to hell,” Hoffman snarled, clutching the railing.

“Pity,” was the last word he heard from the tyrant’s mouth before the bullet found Hoffman’s brain.

Wiping blood from his gloves, Lucius sighed, “Yet still, history is written by the victors.”

6 months ago

The Migh-Tea Battle
by Shinigama

General Sinensis surveyed the opposing army. The light glinted of a sea of metal. He turned back to his own troops. They looked equally deadly with their shiny weapons and armour.

“Now men,” he announced, “Don’t forget what we’re fighting for. We’re fighting to preserve our way of life! We’re fighting to preserve our culture! We’re fighting to preserve our traditions from being overrun by those… those heathens!”

He pointed to the tall, proud banner, majestically standing above his army.

“That, men, that is what we’re fighting for!”

On the banner was a cup of black tea. Milk was being poured into it by a blue milk jug.

“We’re fighting for our civilized ways! For the proper way to make tea! Not like General Camellia and her disgusting savages, they who put milk in BEFORE the tea!”

The opposing army’s banner was also flying proudly in the wind. On it was a cup of milk, into which tea was being poured by a blue teapot.

One of General Sinensis’ soldiers looked queasily away from the enemy standard. It was making him feel sick.

At that moment, the sound of trumpets blasted through the air. Both General Sinensis and General Camellia’s armies turned to see a third army marching up the hill, directly between them. They too had a banner, flapping valiantly with the breeze.

It depicted a single cup of black tea.

The sound of hooves turned General Sinensis’ gaze away from the new arrivals. He was surprised to see General Camellia herself riding towards him, with a few members of her entourage.

“General Sinensis,” she announced as she drew up beside him, “I hate to say this. But let us call a truce. We have a common enemy, one who threatens to destroy both of us.”

“Who are those guys?” cried General Sinensis.

“That’s General Leche,” she replied, “He’s of the belief… the belief…”

General Camellia shifted uneasily in her seat.

“He’s of the belief that… you shouldn’t drink tea with any milk!”

“What?! That’s outrageous!”

“I know, right?!”

“That does it! Come on, men! CHARGE!”

6 months ago

The Perfect Cup

Almost everyone will meet me in their lifetime. Or, if they don’t meet me, they will at least have heard of me. But for the ones that do meet me, I greet them like an old friend and serve them a cup of tea, perfectly suited to their liking.

I did have the pleasure of serving tea to a dragon. Hers was an Earl Grey that had steeped for so long it was nearly black, served with cream. It was always pleasant to visit her.

Her daughter, however, required a lighter taste. A green tea steeped until golden suited her far better, and milk instead of cream to add smoothness, but retain lightness. This woman, out of anyone I ever met, was always in need of a smile, so I would provide it to her.

The dragon’s granddaughter, though, took very much after her grandmother. Maybe not in appearance, but in palate. Her tea was also bitterly black, but like her mother, she preferred milk over cream. Her personality really shone, however, with the addition of tiny white chocolate shavings to make it look like the night sky.

It would be a while until I was able to provide a soothing beverage for one of the dragon’s other daughters. She took much after her mother’s taste, but she had spent so long trapped in bitterness that it only made sense to sweeten it with honey.

I don’t often have the pleasure of serving kings, but they do always stand out. This one had been cursed in his youth, and he yearned for two tastes, which I provided. It had been the first thing he tasted since then. Matcha with chocolate. A remnant of his seafaring days, before he was a king.

His granddaughter inherited that curse. Her tea would be the first thing she had tasted in her lifetime. Hibiscus with cinnamon. I remember her tears of joy, which flowed as freely as her grandfather’s.

Those reactions are priceless; I cherish each one.

I wonder how you will shine in your cup.

Which tea fits you best, I wonder?

6 months ago

Cupful of memories

by Reinkarnitor

It was one of those cold, foggy mornings. Nothing new, it wouldn’t be London otherwise.

X was used to it. More than that, he even began to love these mornings. There was just something magical about sitting in the warmth of his little apartment above the “Agency X” and looking out of the window on the street below, and into the small park across the street.

‘The fog makes it almost mystical’ he thought as he took another sip of his tea.

“You really are an addict, aren’t you?” a cold voice suddenly sounded through the room and made him almost spit up his tea.

“Emma! I told you not to sneak up to me like this!” he scolded the ghostly girl, who like always appeared out of nowhere.

Emma seemed as emotionless and uncaring as ever. X sighed. It was no use, he would never be able to convince her to stop doing that.

“And then to call me an addict…”

“You are. For the mystical…” she paused and looked at his cup “…and for your tea.”

It was meant to be tease, but her emotionlessness kind of betrayed the purpose.

“You know…it was one of these mornings when I first saw you. Remember?” he asked her.

“You stood right out there, under that lantern.” He chuckled. “It’s funny how long that was all you did.”

For the first time he believed to see a small glint light up in her eyes, but it was gone again in an instant.

“That was long ago, my familiar.”

“If you say so” he simply accepted.

He then stood up and got another cup, filling it with the steaming tea before giving it to her.

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying something. May I share what I enjoy with you?”

Emma looked at the detective with her cold eyes, then gave a small nod. So they sat there together, looking out the window and sipping their tea.

And if X would have glanced over to the ghostly girl, he would have seen a small smile forming on her face…for the first time.

6 months ago

Off Hours (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Mia had just sat down on the couch, a bowl of crisps in front of her, when Cynthia’s voice tore her from her reverie.

“So, what’re we watching?” the ghost asked.

“I was just going to zap through, see what’s on,” the witch replied, taking a crisp. “Now, where was the remote…”

“Here, let me,” Cynthia floated over, making a grab for the remote.

Mia, who was already used to this, snatched it first.

“You can’t even operate a remote anymore,” she said.

“Yes I can. Watch.”

Mia blocked Cynthia with a very quick hex, before she could go all gremlin on her entertainment system again. She was not having another evening of nonstop kaiju movies. Ever since Cynthia had started practicing her ghostly powers, she’d gotten more and more adept to using them.

Mia secretly feared the day when Cynthia decided to possess a giant Hell Bee animatronic and rampage through the city.

Just as Mia moved the remote out of Cynthia’s reach, she felt a beak close around it. Konrad had struck again, wrenching the remote from Mia’s hand.

“Hey!” she made another grab for it, but Konrad fluttered out of range.

Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, Cynthia could also fly, leaving Mia out of the current skirmish happening under, and partially within, the ceiling above her. Refusing the be denied, she tapped into a trick she’d learned from Max. A magical safeguard, to make sure the TV remote always returned to her hand. All it took was one simple spell and both Konrad and Cynthia made confused faces.

“You two decided what to watch the past days. Now it’s my turn.”

“Cynthia kept ruining the reception,” Konrad cawed in a haughty voice.

“Wha- no, I didn’t,” Cynthia snapped back.

“Shush, both of you,” Mia sat down and turned on the TV. “I just had a long day Mr. Mercury’s and I am in no mood to argue.”

She took a sip from her tea, only to find Konrad’s beak deceptively close to it.

“Konrad,” she said, dangerously slowly. “This is my cup of tea.”

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
6 months ago

Fur for Days

By Tamela Redfin

Salvador petted the young pitbull gently. “See, you’re getting it, Shelia. Just because those cruel humans caged you, doesn’t mean you aren’t loved.”

She sniffed and growled as two people approached.

Sal held her close. “Shelia, it’s okay. Jerry and Jez are friends.”

Jerry waved. “How’s the training?”

Sal shrugged. “She trusts me, but gets nippy and growls around others.”

Jez nodded, “I see. Is she okay if we have this chat you wanted to?”

Sal motioned for them and they did. Sal finally spilled the question. “Why did you leave? Jerry and I would have taken care of you. As would my biker gang.”

Jezebel looked down. “I didn’t want you to have to give up your dream. And I know my father, Gneiss, was against us dating. He didn’t like that I was dating two humans.”

Jerry raised an eyebrow, “So that should forbid you from being happy? Classic Jez, worried about others opinions.”

Jezebel nodded. “I didn’t want to be shunned, but I was anyway because when Mica was born, it was clear he was half human.”

Sal touched both their shoulders. “Hey, let’s not fight like cats and dogs. But I will say this: Jez we’re here for you, Mica and our future cypha puppies.”

Jezebel chuckled and relaxed. Jerry moved and rested his head on her shoulder.

Sal stood up, Sheila wagging her tail. “Speaking of puppies, it’s feeding time. Do you want to help me with that?”

“Oh yeah.”


As they neared the house, they saw Mica and Sapphira petting some of the other dogs Sal had. “At least my future daughter in law also likes dogs.”

“Alright, who’s hungry?” Sal called out.

Berith Quinn
Berith Quinn
6 months ago

The Rothsford
(A Tale from Aetherion)
By Berith Quinn

As Sylas hurried towards Lady Fayeth’s office, he could hear the phonograph blaring a tune from some old opera. While he was never quite fond of them, Lady Fayeth knew all their lines, as though she had once been in them. As such, it was never a surprise to enter her office, only to find her twirling around without a care, as she sang to the old recordings.

Much to Sylas’ disappointment, today was no different. Even with her eyes closed, Lady Fayeth gracefully manoeuvred through the room, as though she had rehearsed some old choreography that incorporated the furniture while she hummed to the tune.

“Ma’am, report on the Rothsford.” Sylas calmly spoke, as he pulled out a file from his leather satchel.

“What was that, Sylas?” Fayeth called out absently, as she continued to twirl around the room.

“The Rothsford, ma’am.” He repeated himself, as his eyes casually scanned through the dossier.

“Ahh yes… Rothsford. Very sharp, and extremely refined. Take faith, dear Sylas, the Rothsford has quite the bite. Definitely my cup of tea, if you get my meaning.”

“Pardon, ma’am?” Sylas hesitantly asked as he glanced down at the report in his hands.

“Keep up, Sylas. Now the Rothsford is paired with what?”

“Errr…” Hurriedly, Sylas flicked through the report. Having briefly reviewed it earlier, he knew he had recalled seeing something regarding an accomplice. “Aifelstein, ma’am.”

“Aifelstein? Never heard of that one… sounds like it’s from the Dhampyri Empire. So probably a red.”

“Pardon, ma’am?” Sylas interrupted, the confusion clear in his voice. Lady Fayeth stopped her dancing as she finally opened her eyes, and stared at Sylas. Her expression was equally puzzled as his.

“Where’s the cheese… and the wine… wait, did you not say Rothsford?” Lady Fayeth enquired as she slowly looked around the room, much like a child that had been promised a present.

“Yes, ma’am. The report on the Rothsford, ma’am. As in the diplomat from Rothsford.” Sylas hesitantly replied as he held up the report.

“Oh… so not the cheese then?” She asked, with a hint of disappointment.

The Ink Chimera
The Ink Chimera
6 months ago

A lovely cup of tea
By: The Ink Chimera

I sat at the end of the table, staring down my husband, (soon to be ex husband) on the other end. I had a grin on my face, just as wide and jovial as his.

“So, it all comes down to this?” I asked, keeping the laughter from my voice. “20 years of gambling, scams and forgery all coming to an end here.”

“So it would seem.”

He looked down at the two cups of tea on the plate between us, reaching out with his finger and spinning them slowly around again and again, just like he’d been doing for the last several hours.

“Yes, how unfortunate it has to end here. I do love playing our little games, almost more than I love you. But, at the end of the day, only one can walk away with the pot.”

I chuckled to myself, thinking that all of this was somewhat comical.

I traced the shape of the cup handle remembering the time he got this tea set for me on a date so many years ago. Back when I thought myself a saint, condemning gamblers and con artists to devils in people’s clothing. Oh how foolish I was back then.

Finally, I took my tea cup, and he took his. We both toasted, then drank our cups dry, setting them back down on the plate, staring at each other with even wider grins.

We sat in silence for a few minutes. I spoke first.

“Let me guess… You poisoned both of them?”

He chuckled. “You know me too well, my dear. I never was a gracious loser. And if I were to poison one, I’d lose either way. I can’t have that now, can I?”

I let out a joyful laugh. “So this isn’t a game of who lives. It’s a game of who dies first. Such a wonderful treat.”

I stood up and walked to him, kissing him deeply as I collapsed into loving embrace.

“What a wonderful cup of tea.”

6 months ago

So Happy Together
By Marx

Nisha was beautiful.

Her long, silky blonde hair. Her flawless complexion, which had just enough of a rosy tint to give her porcelain skin that angelic glow. Her sea-blue eyes which made everything reflected in them that much more striking. Her-

“Why do you stare at me with such intensity?” Nisha asked, her eyes narrowing with suspicion. “Tell me this instant!”

Despite Nisha’s demand, Murphy remained silent for a moment. He took time to gather his thoughts before he finally answered, “Would you do something for me?”

“You know I would do anything you ask. …as long as it didn’t endanger you. What do you ask of me, my love?”

Murphy nodded, determination burning in his eyes. “Would you drop your glamour or illusion or… whatever it is? Can I see the real you again?”

Nisha’s eyes widened in horror as she shook her head. “N-… no! You like me like this! I’m pretty like this! You said so, yourself! Have you grown bored with this appearance? You can choose a new one!”

Murphy took a deep breath. “You’re beautiful like this. Trust me. This isn’t about you. It’s about me. I need to see your true form again.”

Nisha wrapped her arms around herself, her head still shaking. “No no NO! I like the way you look at me when I’m like this! I… don’t like how you look at my true form. It scares you. I scare you…”

“And that’s exactly the problem… I need to get used to it.”

“Why? You know this is a lie! You like the lie! Why won’t you just let me make you happy with the lie?!”

“Because…” Murphy stared unblinking at the floor as he sighed. “…you almost died. You almost died because in your weakened state, you were more worried about using the little magic you had left for ‘that’ instead of healing yourself…”

“I’ll… be better then!”

Murphy nodded. “We both will. I know you’ll do your part. Allow me to do mine.”

“I hate you being scared of me…” Nisha murmured.

“And that’s why you should help me.”

C. M. Weller
6 months ago

Tea and the Teufel [A Devil’s Tale]
C.M. Weller

The glass teapot was waiting for him. Cinnamon and diced ginger for the winter season, strips of sweetcane and lemongrass, too. And, Bai had to note, an entire leaf from his ‘special’ dandelions.

It was almost ready to pour.

The problem lay in the fact that neither he nor his secretary, Genran, had prepared it. Only one other being in the entire Dojo could sneak around Bai’s office without his notice.

“I sense you have matters to discuss, Lord Hellkin.”

There, right where Bai had previously looked, was the Adept in question. The Hellkin saluted with the appearance of respect, but his near-permanent smile tainted it with parody.

“Veringa made Adept, yesterday,” said Adept Hellkin, the only student who had made Adept at seventeen. A year Veringa’s junior, he had still to reach official adulthood. Something that HAD to chafe the Gnome.

“I suspect you are here to deliver your version of the truth?” Bai ran small tests on the tea. No poisons.

“If it were possible for me to be further dishonoured, you would be doing such. Master,” he chided, if mildly. “I put my blood to an oath. And I would never dream of poisoning you.” Those baleful yellow eyes held Bai in reproach. “You know damned well I don’t want your post.”

Bai withheld any excuse. He also knew that the Hellkin had a nose for lies. The issue was trust and they both knew it. “I take it you are not here to relay congratulations to Adept Veringa.” He poured his cup.

“She attempted to prove me a false Adept by combat. She lost. I’m pretty sure that that fight won’t be the end of it.”

THAT had to be why the Hellkin had added an entire dandelion leaf. He knew more stress was coming Bai’s way.

As if in answer to that small prophecy, the Hellkin added, “She kept trying to kick me in the face instead of throwing me from below. How the FUCK did she make Adept without knowing basic strategy?”

“Just like you,” Bai said, “she passed the Gauntlet.”