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Tales from the Cooinda Cycle: Memory Six

by B.A. Wilson 2 months ago in Short Story
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Milkshakes Away

Milkshake - a cold drink made of milk, flavouring, and ice cream, whisked until frothy.

She mumbled incoherently at me, sitting at one of the tables in the cafe, it was a strain to hear her. For some reason she sat at the table the farthest away from the cafe door, only three steps from her room. Maybe she wanted to stay close to home, fair enough in this place.

I walked over to her to ask what she wanted,

“I’ll haa– i–c ffee.”

“Pardon, I didn’t quite catch that because of the music.”

There wasn’t music, at least I don’t think there was. But I couldn't think of another reason she wasn’t clear.

“... Coff…ee. Mi…shake.”

“Oh, sure thing, I’ll make that for you now.”

I went back to the cafe, poured a shot of espresso, got the milk and ice-cream out, and scooped two big scoops of vanilla ice-cream into the milkshake cup, poured in the espresso and then enough milk to make sure it would mix. Then I blended the milkshake, poured it into one of the nice milkshake glasses, popped a straw in, and took it over

I’ve never seen someone over the age of eight guzzle a milkshake so fast. This lady must be immune to ice-cream headaches, maybe they weren't invented when she was younger…

She finished it, and without a word was up out of her seat, and slowly stumbling away with her walker, going at a pace that snails would consider slow. I was still stunned by the veracity of the milkshake drinking.

The next day, she returned. She sat in the same chair, ordered a coffee milkshake again, and drank it with the vigor of a child chasing a sugar rush. Then once again, left without a word.

Then again the next day…

And the next…

And every day after that, like clockwork.

Sit. Milkshake. Gone.

It was as if she was stuck in her own personal Groundhog Day scenario, as I felt too in this place.

Then there came a Friday where I wasn’t there. A recent swap with another person's days meant that I would no longer be in on Fridays. I didn’t think much of it, someone else would run the cafe, things should be fine.

Monday - 10:34 am

“She said my milkshake wasn’t as good as yours, she said you make them better.” The person I had run the cafe on Friday was informing me that The Ice Lady had come and sat in her usual place, and ordered her usual iced coffee milkshake but after downing it, commented that it wasn’t as good.

At least someone here appreciates me.

“How do you make it?” He asked, “What have I done wrong?”

“It’s just espresso, milk, and two scoops of ice-cream.” I said.

“Two? The instructions in the cafe drawer say one.”

“Yeah, well that’s wrong. Do it with two, make it better.”

“Are we allowed to do that?” He asked.

“What are they gonna do? Fire me over how many ice-cream scoops I give to a ninety-seven year old woman who just wants to enjoy her final years?” I scoffed.

Oh… Please let them do that, maybe then I can escape this place.

As we spoke, The Ice Lady arrived and sat in her usual chair, giving The Replacement some evil-eyes, I thought. I told The Replacement to come and see me before next Friday so I could give him tips on how to improve on some of the menu items, and to ignore the instructions for a lot of them.

Then I turned and waved at The Iced Lady, I said, “It’s okay, I’m back, one iced coffee coming up for you!”

And now starts another week of this torment for me…

Short Story

About the author

B.A. Wilson

Most of my writing would fall into the absurd and strange, or horror of the mind.

This year I'm focusing more on writing and posting here, to motivate me to finish a novel series started years ago. (1/3 drafted - 18/2/22)

Join me if you wish.

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