Saturday, January 29, 2011

Adventures At Cupid Cafe (Friday Fiction) [Part 1]

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Lynn Squire over@  her blog, Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful. Click here to read and share more great fiction! Don't forget to leave a comment. 

Author's Ramblings: A Friday Fiction post! Finally. It seems like forever since I've done this. Whew. I started writing and the next thing I knew, hours had gone by. LOL. This is also a part 1. No, not the original series I have planned, this is a filler. I haven't had time to iron out some of the wrinkles in the series idea, so this is some fluff while I get that together. This piece turned out to be longer than I wanted, so I cut the original 10 pages in half and tried to polish it up a bit, but I wanted to explore the characters, so there's more character sketch than story in this particular piece. I've had the idea in my head all day, so it's had some time to simmer. I have a part two already written and ready to go, so for now, here's the part one. I hope you enjoy the girls at the Cupid's Cafe, as much as I've had fun writing them. It's a really silly story, but I like it just the same. (Note: if page break does not work, click on the post title to read the entire installment) Happy weekend and enjoy the read! 


(and because I couldn't resist, here's a teaser/synopsis: )
Cupid's Cafe : First Heart
In the sleepy city of Marlesburg, beneath a weathered stone arch, Cupid’s Café can be found, a respectable coffee shop drowned in muted shades of rich burgundy and brown. With a reputation for the finest in pastries and chocolate confections, Cupid’s Café is also known for a unique twist—local legend says that cupid once vowed to protect all true love that passed beneath the archway—and shot an arrow into the stone to ensure it. Run by a mysterious owner and five schoolgirl employees, something is always happening at Cupid’s cafe. Melody is the assistant pastry chef—known for her unusual recipes and close friendship with the mystery owner. Lucy—a bubbly, spirited high-schooler—is one of the famous three waitresses. Tomi—an average girl in search of part-time job—fills the slot as the second waitress. Cheri—a classic redhead with musical tendencies—plays the third waitress and head hostess of the café, dedicated to her job and keeping Lucy and Tomi on their toes. Kamei—a girl who dreams in numbers and whose hands cannot stay still—runs the small gift shop within the café. These five girls form the heart and soul of a special haven for lovestruck hearts.



It didn’t take long for Cupid’s café to hum to life. Lights came on, signs flickered to life and ovens began to work creating the delicious scents that soon wafted through the air. It was a cozy little place, where elegance was commonplace and delicacies crafted within, worthy of the rave reviews bestowed upon it.

A chime sounded throughout the café, announcing the first customer.

It was a high-school couple, the standard fare during the early mornings and late afternoon rushes for the popular establishment. “Hello?” Stepping into the lobby, they waited beside the silver sign with elegant scrolls. With sleek, shiny hair framing a simple face, adorned with thick-framed glasses, the girl was pretty in her own way, her smile shy but visible. Her boyfriend was checking his iPhone as they waited to be seated.

“Table for froo? I mean, two?” Lucy shoved the wad of bubblegum to the side of her mouth. She smiled her trademark smile and with a tilt of her head, gestured to the left. The young couple followed. “And right here.” Picking a corner table to the right of the window, Lucy drew two red, foil-wrapped chocolates from her apron pocket. “Compliments of Cupid’s Café.” She intoned. “Snack, treat or meal?”

The girl hesitated. “T—tre—snack.” Her boyfriend looked up, placing the cellphone on the table.

“Order whatever you want, babe.”

“So, treat?”

A blush painted across the girl’s face.  “Yes.” Her voice was softer than before.

“What would you like to drink?”

“Something chocolate.” The boyfriend waved his hand absently.

“What kind of chocolate?” Lucy’s eyebrows arched upwards, disappearing into her blunt bangs.

“You know, chocolate.” The fellow shrugged. “The best one you have.”

“There’s at least three bases-” Lucy snapped her bubblegum. “-Milk, dark and white, to begin with and-”

The boy turned to her with a pointed glare marring the symmetrical features of his smooth, pale face. “I said, just bring something good. Your finest.” He scowled. “Can’t you see that you’re interrupting us?” He tossed a head of white-blond hair with a flair of annoyance.

“Brent, she’s just trying to-”

“Shh, don’t worry abut it babe. We can still have a good time.” Brent reached across the table to take her clenched hand.

Lucy’s eyebrows wiggled faintly and she turned on her heel with a huff. Her apron swished in protest, dressy skirt twitching as she stomped off to the counter and around it to the kitchen. She stopped when she reached the prep room, at the sight of the first available person.

The pastry chef, Melody, looked up from piping cream inside a tray of freshly prepared strawberry tarts, a wide smile immediately spread across her face. “A custom order?”

“No.” Lucy jammed the digital tablet into the apron pocket. “It’s those two again.”

“Which two?” Kamei whirled by, her arms filled with wicker baskets and thick, fancy ribbons. “Grab this.”

“Grab what?” Lucy edged away. “Can’t reef it.”

“Reach it.” Tomi corrected, entering the middle hall to grab the ribbons from Kamei’s armful. “Kamei, put it down, you’re going squish something in there.”

“There isn’t anything squishable inside.” But Kamei set it on the wrapping table in the corner of the prep room, smoothing her uniform, a dressy red vest and skirt, accented with a crisp, white shirt. “Where’s Cheri? If you can’t handle it, send her. Isn’t that why we have two of you?”

“I don’t want to handle it.” The words were half-sung as the redhead in question appeared around the corner, tossing the cordless phone from one hand to the other. “and stop lumping us together as if we’re a single commodity. I’m not the same as they are.” Cheri smoothed the front of her tuxedo vest, tying on a matching half apron before she shrugged into her hostess jacket. “Lucy, what did you do?”

“You are, to me.” Kamei muttered. “I’m tired of your complaints.”

“I didn’t do anything.” Lucy protested. “It just said that-”

“She complains, I don’t.” Cheri drummed her fingers across Lucy’s head. “Quiet, you.” She inserted herself between the blonde and brunette. “Kamei, you okay?”

“Fine. Just peachy.” Kamei snatched the ribbons from Tomi’s hands. “You go, then. See if I care.”

“If you have a complaint, address it to me as head hostess.” Cheri’s frown deepened. “Lucy, who is it?”

“Brent and his latest eye candy.”

All the girls in the room looked up.

Melody paused again in her pastry decorating. “Again?” There was a resigned note in her voice. “I don’t like that.”

“We don’t have to like it.” Kamei griped. “But seriously, he should just do his cheating elsewhere.”

“He isn’t cheating.” Tomi stabbed her timecard in the machine on the wall. “We attend the same school. He just doesn’t stay single for long.” She shrugged. “I didn’t think that he’d found a new girl already though. I feel bad for her.”

“You haven’t even seen her yet.” Lucy blew a bubble with her gum.

“Lucy!” Cheri caught her in a headlock, wrestling her towards a the garbage can. “Spit that out. It’s unladylike. You can’t be snapping gum in front of our customers.”

“I’m not frying to be a lady.” Lucy stuck her tongue out. “Trying.” She mumbled, correcting herself, struggling to get free of the arm around her neck.

“I’ll go.” Tomi said, briskly. “Anyone else out there?”

“Not yet.” Lucy stilled, wrinkling her nose. “Then again, I think…” There was a pause. “Group of five, the Caryn sisters, then Edgar and Jeanne and Misty and Lawrence.” She recited the names in quick succession. “Should be soon. Now, probably.”

A grudging smile of admiration came from Cheri, who released her hold on the younger girl and pushed Tomi out of the room. “Do your best.” The chime began to sound, signaling the arrival of more customers. Cheri ducked back in to catch hold of Lucy and yanked her outside. “You too. No slacking off allowed.”

“I’m not slapping.” Lucy protested.

“Slacking.” Cheri corrected, dragging her out. “Slacking. The word you want is slacking. Slapping is what I will do if you don’t get your brain into gear, you little cream puff.”

“Why am I a cream puff?”

“Because you eat pastry.”

“But I like pastry.”

“Lucy.”

“I want to be a strudel—OW!”

“Brain. Use. Now. Before I dunk you in a vat of chocolate-”

“Owwww.” This time it was more of a whine. “I’m going, I’m going. Meanie.”

Melody stifled a chuckle as the duo disappeared. “I hope they don’t strangle each other.” She mused, turning the tray to continue her decorating. There was a pleasant silence in the prep room until Kamei began to swathe the baskets in decorative cellophane. The crackling of the plastic broke the silence. The pastry chef frowned. “Kamei, are you okay, sweetie?”

The snip of scissors was the only answer in the small room.

A small smile touched Melody’s face. She finished the tarts and carried them out to the display case, sliding them into the proper slot. Her eyes quickly took inventory of the dining room as she straightened the info card for the tarts. 

Straightening, a frown replaced her smile as she slipped back to the prep room and started towards the kitchen. “Kamei.”

“What?”

“Isn’t that Celia with Brent?”

Kamei’s head snapped up. “Celia?” She dropped the ribbons and bows, hurrying to the front of the café. She returned a moment later, her face red and her hands in fists. “That lout!” She fumed. “He’d better not hurt her!” She stood, arms crossed over her chest, glaring at the gift baskets. “Melody!”

“Yes?” Melody hovered in the kitchen doorway. “What?”

“Since when has he come here?”

“Huh?”

“Brent with Celia.”

“I don’t know. He was with Renae the last time.”

Kamei’s hands curled into fists, an unusual wash of emotion showing on her white face, a pale contrast increased by the stark black of her short, bobbed hair. “Renae, huh? The time before that it was all about Olivia.”

“Uh, did you need something?” Melody winced. “I mean, I have things baking and-”

“I can’t keep watching him do this!”

“Right, anything else?”

“Isn’t there anything we can do?”

“No.” The answer came quickly. “It’s none of our business and Celia looks fine.”

“She looks fine now.” Kamei said, hotly. “But what about an hour from now? Did he even order any drinks?”

“Our finest chocolate drink.” Lucy burst into the prep room, sagging against the counter. “That girl is a slave driver.”

Soft chimes filled the room and Melody turned to look at the screen above the counter. She mouthed the words as the orders appeared on the screen, then leaned around the corner. “Key lime pies and chocolate cherry cheesecake, split-personality chocolate mint muffins and a slice of orange cream pudding, all with garnish.”

Something crashed in the kitchen. “Cup or bowl?” The head chef snapped. “You can at least remember to specify-”

Melody squinted at the screen. “Lucy?”

“Huh?” The blonde head of curls tilted to the side. “Oh, um, cup. They don’t usually take the bowls.” Two pairs of eyes zeroed in on her. Lucy held up her hands. “Don’t look at me, Tomi took their order.”

“Cup.” Melody called out.

There was an answering grunt and more things banging.

It brought a ground of winces from the trio in the prep room.

“Should she even be in there?” Lucy wanted to know.

Kamei shrugged. “It’s her kitchen, her café, not like we have any say in it.”

“Like, what’s your probla?”

“Problem. My problem is you.” Kamei huffed, gathering up her baskets and ribbons. “Just move.” She pushed past, arms overflowing.

Lucy watched her go.

Melody perked a brow. “Shouldn’t you be out there?”

“She will be.” Cheri’s voice floated in as she reached towards the younger girl, a gleam in her blue eyes. Lucy ducked, but was caught anyway. “That’s enough slapping and slacking off for you—whichever it is.” 
“Cheri—lemme go!” 

© Sara Harricharan 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Random Ryhmes

I've had a rhyme stuck in my head, a prequel for some adventure story, I bet. Just don't have the time to puzzle it out amidst the rest of everything else, but I figured I'd share it anyway, as I haven't been able to decide on a blog post for today. It's kind of a fuzzy idea in my head, but I bet it'll be something later. It was cute--so I had to share.

Some were big
and some were small
some ate greens
and grew very tall
so onward they went
to the mountain king's hall
past dirt in the streets
and empty merchant stalls
it was silent as a flower
without a breath of wind
the only noise in the air
was the empty, golden shimmer
(c) Sara Harricharan

And that's where my imagination moved onto more pressing matters. It doesn't quite ryhme and it doesn't quite fit, but I like it just the same and thought I'd share. Happy weekend!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Donut Day


I love donut days, don't you?

Not just because of the donut, but well, yes, because of the donut and that other thing. That other thought that kind of hit me over the head today. It was nice sort of word collection and I thought I might try and fashion it into a blog post. What do you think a donut day is? I like to think of it as a bunch of different things--as long as there's a nice, fresh donut involved. (No, I'm not donut crazy, I just had the incredible urge to eat a donut. Now. Right now.) ^_^ 

A donut day is when the day is turning out to be a bit whacked and then-wow-there's a donut. So you sit down and pick it up with two fingers, examining all the sugar, sprinkles, glaze, whatever. Then you smile, eat it and enjoy it. It becomes a little sweetened moment of bliss in the middle of a dreary day when everything is kind of all sour and yucky tasting. It makes it better--instantly. You can ignore everything in the moment it takes to chew and swallow, you can think happy, fluffy bunny thoughts while the sugar melts in your mouth and your thoughts sort themselves out.

Kind of like when you're having a really lousy day and the only prayer you can think of is something between a scream and a shout, to the tune of "Fix this--NOW!". And then He does, in His own way and no doubt, with a smile on His face.

There's proof in this world that God loves to make us smile and laugh. I had a day like that today. Wasn't good. Wasn't bad. Wasn't even something in between. It had to do with donuts--plain glazed--and the way that unexpected blessings tend to pop up when--you guessed it--you least expect it.

Those kind of days are nice. Sometimes it feels strange, a bit off or somehow as if you're in a dream where the dream reality just twisted itself around again, but then it fits. It works. It feels right. You stand. You smile. You remember to say "Thank you." You smile again. The day continues and you're left thinking of donuts, smiles and how much He really cares about you.

Take care,

Heavy (BBT)

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What’s the largest, thickest, heaviest book you ever read? Was it because you had to? For pleasure? For school?
For pleasure, Tamora Pierce's Bloodhound. It was huge, long and very, very entertaining. I was officially hooked on the Beka Cooper series from the first chapter. I think the second book I've read that was probably something in the Star Wars timeline, though I can't remember the title, just that it was good. It was during my Star Wars phase, where I read anything vaguely related to their universe. It was fun. I wouldn't count any of my gigantic textbooks, 'cause if I did, that would totally trump this list and it wouldn't be because I wanted to. LOL.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shayla's Reasoning (Wednesday Wanderings)

Author's Ramblings: Hello! Yes, I am also amazed. I am finally posting here again. LOL. I've actually managed two posts in one day, which is quite a feat at the moment. This is a fiction prompt following the "10 reasons why [you] should write right now". I thought it was fun and ended up crafting this character that wanted out, so I'm writing from her POV, her name is Shayla and she's an intern. I think. I haven't made up my mind yet, because she's still busy telling me why she has more than ten reasons to be writing. *sigh* Those pesky characters. Oh well. The prompt is below and the story, on a quick note, thanks to all who voted in the poll. I'm going to do my best to deliver. ^_^ It seems the grand results are for more fiction, a new serial and more personal posts. WOOT! That's exciting--even to me. I have a great serial idea, (hopefully friday fiction may be a good debut) and I'm going to alternate it between two, possibly. We'll see. I'll let you know when I get that figured out as well. (and when I finish my homework...*sigh*) Happy reading--please enjoy and comment, I love hearing from everyone. Especially when I'm buried indoors, making faces at the snow and slogging through sloppy notes in pencil and ink. ^_^ 

 
Shayla's Reasoning


I feel I need to write right now, or else I might lose sight of the hopefulness I found last night. That the written word does have power beyond the magical midnight hour and that it isn’t such a giant, big, bad thing to have a block. I can write through it. I can surely write through this one thing that dares to stand before me.

I feel that I need to write because if I don’t, I fear that I really will go mad. I might be insane all the way through something that doesn’t seem to be what it really is. I can’t even make sense of what it is I want to write. I feel as if my mind is scrambling already, clawing and clutching at something that isn’t there. I am restless. Listless.

I feel that if I don’t write at this very  moment, I won’t be able to continue on with my day, that something may happen to skew the results and the ideas of everything that I have and that I believe in at the moment. Beliefs in reality, thoughts on practicality and many other things I cannot reason out.

I feel that if I don’t write at this precise second, I might give into the feelings of despair and failure that I can’t write at all, just because I found the bad grade on my last group presentation for this AP class. Even though I poured my heart and soul into it, I might stop doing this very thing, because it hit me at a moment where I wasn’t ready.

I feel that I might be stupid if I don’t keep on writing, because when someone kicks me down, I want to wallow in the dirt until it covers me from head to toe, so I can stand up and scream at them, as if I am some sort of monster that has something to say and that I will be tall and terrible and as horrifying as possible, so they won’t be able to ignore me a second time.

I feel empowered when I can take hold of a simple rod of lead encased within a tube of wood, with a lip-gloss pink chunk of eraser that paints a new pathway to nowhere and nothing. To be able to take an emptiness and fill it is a strange side effect to accompany this object, this tool, I call pencil.

I believe that if I don’t keep on writing, these feelings will turn into something I can’t handle. From something possibly useful, it may turn into a creature I cannot control, with emotions I cannot process and results I do not want. If I don’t keep writing, something bad could happen.

I am going to write because I want to, not necessarily because I have to, because I am not so selfish and vain to believe that I am the only creature on the face of this earth with an urge to create through the medium of words. I am not going assume that I am obligated to write, but I shall do so because I truly desire to.

I am writing because this is something special to me. Writing is a personable thing, to the writer itself. It is a strange playmate, a torturous master and an endearing friend. It can be everything and nothing in one moment, it can be what I love and what I hate.

I write because I have something to say that I want to be sure I understand. When I write out these black words on white paper, I see something. I understand. I learn a new thing I did not know before. I write, because I want to do more than sit in a corner, while the thoughts ricochet off the spiked walls of my mind, stained with doubt and burdened with pomposity, when I squeeze them through the final receptors, to become reality over fiction, I am doing it, because I want to.

Because in the very depths of my carved and whittled soul, God planted something I can’t even begin to understand. But if I were to sit and study it and take the time to understand it, I might see something, I might learn something, a new revelation may surface. I am writing, because He has put that inside of me and I want to use it. I want to do my best. 

For these reasons alone, I write.
© Sara Harricharan

Hide n' NO seek

If you could see my face right now, I'm hoping the expression it bears is something between frustration and annoyance. Frustration, because my fingers aren't typing as fast as I want them to so I can successfully complete all the things I have to do today--in addition to whipping out a nifty blog post, and annoyance because I've virtually vacationed for the past month or so.

*hands out typewritten apologies on pretty, shiny cardstock*  

Er, yes. My apologies. I am alive. I am still here. I am doubly frustrated and annoyed at the speed in which this new year has come to life. I've been drowning in homework (the semester started within the first week of the year*sigh*) and all that I have written, I have not yet had the time to type it up.

The perpetual list of things I want to do has been replaced with a revolving list of post-it notes strewn across my workspace and somewhere on the top of them all is a little note "blogging". It's beginning to feel like a game of hide n' seek, except for there's no seeking involved. Imagine that. If you've been wondering what happened, I'll say "School. Life. School. School." and that would be correct.

But, my point isn't to whine to ramble on pointlessly. Just to make an actual note that I haven't disappeared from the bloggy world. I've actually been enjoying a few creative moments (though I never did finish those Christmas fic, pieces, I do have three of them halfway completed and a new snippet for a new zero-fantasy serial!) and I'm already gearing up for FAWM 2011.

Life is unexpected. Stuff happens. But that doesn't mean we can't deal with it and keep on living. So for this post, it looks like you found me. Tada! I'm here! And hopefully, consistency won't be a thing left in 2010. I haven't made my yearly theme post or badge, but it'll appear soon enough. Keep an eye out for it.

And smile.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Firsts (BBT)

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Do you remember the first book you bought for yourself? Or the first book you checked out of the library? What was it and why did you choose it?

A Horse Named Mayonnaise by Joanne Chitwood Nowack. I picked it because I could read the dust jacket and for the picture of a horse on front and a girl in a pink-and blue plaid shirt. The back sounded interesting enough and I was horse-crazy when I'd been browsing, so a 'horse' book was exactly what I was looking for. I have read that book dozens of times since and the pleasure of being able to read a book I liked whenever I pleased was the first step in my new addiction--to this day, I prefer to buy books rather than borrow them from friends or the library.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Comic: New Year’s Resolutions

If you're still working through that wonderful 'idea' of those New Year's Resolutions, this might cheer you up a bit.

Comic: New Year’s Resolutions

~S

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year (short story)

A/N=(Author's Note). Happy new year! I'm still up--I had to write out my first piece for the year. It's short, barely even 200 words, but it captures a touch of the new year image I had stuck in my head. It is meant to be an abstract tribute. Props to my Dad for inspiring this one. ~_^



Happy New Year, Lord.

I have to wish you all the best for the new year. I can’t help it. I’m so happy right now, I think it might break. Everything is so pretty and perfect, I feel as if I smile it will all disappear.

Sometimes the past is so strange.

Sometimes the future is so strange

Sometimes the present—stays the same.  

I can feel something like happiness, trickling through my soul, spilling into the corners of grey-white delight and dashing all about before I can make a sound. I can feel it. It feels so special.

Thank you.

Something like hope is swimming through the air, brushing around my neck and slipping inside my ears. I feel it in my very bones. It makes me smile. I feel as if I could shout and sing. I feel hope.

Thank you.

This clean slate, this brand-newness. This thing I cannot put my finger upon—thank you, my dearest heavenly Father. For the life that you have given me, the freedom that you breathe into me, the strength that you are in me.

In this new year, I am yours, entirely.

This past year has been so many different things. You have held me. You have taught me. You have watched over me, so carefully. You have always loved me, even when I thought I hated you.

When I didn’t understand, when I didn’t care, when I wasn’t going to make a stand—You reached inside and pulled me up. Shook me out and hung me up. Dusted me off and stood me up.

Up.

Peace. Strength. Hope.

You hold my hand and also my heart.

I cannot wait to see how you will use me this year, Father. Daddy. Creator and lover of my very existence, I am yours, past, present, future.

Happy New Year.

© Sara H.