Flash Fiction Friday: Yank at a London Cafe

Shifted Flash Fiction Friday to this blog due to the theme. Feel free to comment below.


He looked over the sea of tables at the edge of the River Thames, coffee in hand, guitar strapped to his back.  The open air cafe  was perfect this fine Saturday afternoon. The sun graced the fine August day. Thin strips of white flirted with the master of the sky. Millie scratched behind her ear with one paw. She hated her new haircut. But he had enough of brushing for the summer. Besides, the spaniel’s hair would grow back so fast that in a month nobody would know the difference.

I think that possibly
Maybe I’ve fallen for you
Yes there’s a chance
That I’ve fallen quite hard over you

A sappy love song played in his ear. He drank deeply from the Styrofoam cup.  Guitar in hand he played practiced the tune in his ear. His mind wondered over the events of the last year.

I’ve seen the paths that your eyes wander down
I wanna come too-

From unpublished writer to a celebrity in a foreign land. His show was a hit even if is producer pronounced the idea “daft”on his first phone call.  Sight unseen he crossed the Atlantic and set up shop in London.  Success followed. Money, fame, and a three pets, two cats and Millie the cocker spaniel at his side.  She was the only blond, or brunette or redhead that stuck around.

I think that possibly
Maybe I’ve fallen for you

No one understands me
Quite like you do
Through all of the shadowy corners of me

One thing was missing, someone to share it with.

Pathetic, he thought.

Now if the raven hair barrista behind the counter would notice him. She was friendly enough and he had thing about not messing with people while their work.

I never knew just what it was
About the same coffee shop I love so much
All of the while I never knew-

I never knew just what it was
About this old coffee shop I love so much
All of the while I never knew-

Someone not pining for is approval. Someone who could see through about his television persona on screen or didn’t mind the tabloid cyclopean eyes. Not a actress or model who’s job was to fake it twenty-four-seven.

I’ve seen the waters that make your eyes shine
Now I’m shining too-

Because, oh because
I’ve fallen quite hard over you

Of course he tried a bit of friendly banter, to leverage enough of his celebrity status to compensate for his lack of good looks. He even took to playing the guitar again, by ear, of course. No singing. No need to drive the people around him mad with his keening.

Then the boyfriend showed up. He leaned over the counter to kiss her, she smiled back.  So much for that dream.

If I didn’t know you, I’d rather not know
If I couldn’t have you, I’d rather be alone

I never knew just what it was
About the same coffee shop I love so much
All of the while I never knew-

Millie bark pierce through the song in his head.  Her eyes chased the mallards drifting downstream.

“Down girl!”

“Is she your dog?” asked someone from the corner of his eye. He pulled the earbuds off. The newcomer vermilion hair fell around her shoulders in long tresses. Her piercing green eyes fixed on Millie.

“Is she bothering you?”

“Oh no. She is beautiful. Wait aren’t you?”

For a split second he thought about saying no, pretend he was somebody else. Her emerald eyes dissuaded him from that plan of action. “Yes, yes I am. Please take a seat.”

Millie welcomed the newcomer with much tail waging and wet kisses.

Fame has its privileges after all.

However fleeting they may be.

I never knew just what it was
About this old coffee shop I love so much
All of the while I never knew-

All of the while
All of the while, it was you


14 comments on “Flash Fiction Friday: Yank at a London Cafe

  1. Hey, Ralfast~

    First the usual disclaimer: I’m no expert, this is all my opinion, feel free to ignore it, etc.

    I’m not sure this quite works. It reads more like a vignette, rather than a story. Jeez I feel bad saying that cos I know how hard it is to try and get story into a flash, but it feels more like a little snippet of a day rather than a moment of real importance for the character.

    The idea of him using fame to his advantage could be something you hone in on and bring to the fore in a rewrite. So that he really has to make a tough decsion. Perhaps if he were burned in a previous relationship, by someone who was only interested in him becasue he’s famous, that would make the decsion to tell the new girl a really tough one. I also think in a flash this brief it might be a mistake to focus on two girls, better to just have the one that he might form a relationship with.

    The interspersed lyrics make for an interestinmg structure, but because I was unfamilliar with the song I ended up skipping past them to the story. I’ve listened to it now and will be checking out more of his stuff. Perhaps put the youtube link to the song up front. Also, it occurs that the lyric of the song would fit well if you character was already in love.

    There were a few typo’s too but I’m pretty sure you’d zap them second time around. I think if refocused this could work. Hope my inane ramblings are useful for a rewrite.



    • You’re right in all points. These pieces are a way for me to practice my writing and also to write something every day. I doubt I would ever sent this to be published as it a) has copyrighted material embedded in the work (song lyrics) and b) many publications consider any appearance on the web, even a blog, as a publication of said work and few pay top dollar (?) for retreads.

      Feel free to comment at any time. I appreciate and welcome the input.

  2. “These pieces are a way for me to practice my writing and also to write something every day. ”

    -And that’s the most important thing. The practice of the craft. And it’s never easy to put things out there. Kudos for that.

  3. Hey Ralph,

    Nice. I like the idea of weaving a short piece around lyrics, and I think you’ve got nice structure here. Makes me wish I could do shorts.

    (yes, I know that sentence sounds weird, but I’m leaving it)😀

    • Thanks Amy. Yeah this short fits the way I come up with scenes. Many a scene starts with a song, which gets stuck in my head and then I create a little music video around it. In this case the lyrics speak for themselves.

      As for the shorts….:D

  4. I enjoyed reading this. I like that it is a story wrapped around a song. (A song on my I-Tunes list BTW) It was fun getting into a celebrity’s head. I suppose even they have a hard time finding true love.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Yeah, I first heard the song on a cellphone commercial and then found it on the Net. Liked it so much I decided to write a story around it. Thanks for commenting Jen.

  5. […] sat by the window watching the last of the leafs fall to the ground. A smile came to his lips as Millie’s growls reached his […]

  6. […] Beth, short for Elizabeth, swayed her hips softly to the beat of the music. His eyes glided down from the tips of her deep red hair, though the curves of her lower body and to the tip of her bare feet that flashed pink painted toes. Skye, the new addition to the family, bobbed his tiny head from side to side. The kitten had its mother’s pale blue eyes. A month an a half ago those eyes were closed to the world now the drank every detail with gusto, from glittering specks of dust suspended on a beam of sunlight to Beth’s seductive moves. […]

  7. […] Summer: A Yank at a London Coffee Shop […]

  8. […] yes, this is part five of an ongoing series of seasonal themed stories which I started last year.  Now, the main character is back in London in another cafe and about to start a new project […]

  9. […] Next entry in the series of shorts about life across the pond. […]

  10. […] from the house. I hugged her. “Just for the record, you chose me. Remember that day at the cafe. I was actually looking at the barrista, well until her boyfriend showed up. Then you came up and, […]

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