A Cup Untouched

Two pitchers, one blue & one white, against a backdrop of green trees and open skies

© Ayr/Gray

From Jenne Gray and C.E. Ayr’s photo prompt. The Unicorn Challenge (04/14/23). No more than 250 words in length. Otherwise, let your creative flag fly!

“You realize that you’ve likely ruined the kettle, right?” She gazed beyond the electric tea kettle and pitcher of thick milk that perched, cooling, on the apartment’s veranda rail. Green trees and blue skies spread languorously, but the sharp, slightly fishy scent of the ocean nearby intruded at the will of the wind. She’d hoped for a walk through town down the hill – they were new to the area – but the scent was making her nauseous.

“A morning like this deserves a bracing cup of coffee!” the second enthused. “Rinse the kettle thoroughly and it’ll be good as new.”

“It’ll take a bit more than that to clear the coffee taste,” she grumbled. She knew this argument was useless; she’d be the one doing the clean up. She was the tea drinker, not her cousin.

“Well then, I’ll buy a new kettle when I buy the coffee pot.” A puff of frustration, a quick grab at the kettle, half full of yesterday’s dark roast, and the second one nodded to the pitcher. “Let’s get ‘er done before it’s cool.”

She sighed at this carefree and unrealistic view of their pooled finances. Standing, she gripped the pitcher with both hands, slipping it off the rail, and bit her lip. Recovery from cancer treatment was kicking her fanny; her cousin was doing his best to care for her.

“On my mark,” he said gamely.

The two watched the milk and coffee swirl together, opposites finding harmony in a pair of porcelain mugs.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2023)

12 thoughts on “A Cup Untouched

  1. Lovely to see you here, Liz.
    Illness and family can create stress even between well-meaning people, and this thought-provoking piece examines a somewhat taut relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, sad, Liz, but a great snapshot of life and family and illness. And the view of reality that illness brings. A very human story, Liz, sensitively told. And thanks for joining in.

    Liked by 1 person


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