• C E Huntingdon

Weremom - Kafenthropy Part I

Updated: Apr 24

What you are about to read has been ripped from the pages of what will hopefully be our next book. Within it, the main character looks for inspiration in a genre called "Truth Crimes," more specifically, "The Johnson Files." Some things might not make sense, like “Riley’s divine grace,” “What would McGouch do?” and “snooterwagons,” but we hope you’ll be able to read past that, and enjoy it for what it is, and possibly be excited for what’s to come.


"Even a woman who has never purchased a pumpkin spice latte and is truly tired by night, may become a coffee when chizgany’s cart roles and Autumn morning is bright."

Jane loved coffee. From the moment she had been curious enough to try a sip from her grandmother’s mug, she’d been hooked. The muddy and unpleasant sensation had inspired her taste buds and instilled a love of the dark liquid. It didn’t take her long to go from fresh brew to espresso, but it didn’t end there. What started off as a mere hobby turned into a life-long obsession with finding the perfect cup of coffee. A simple dark brew wasn’t enough. It wasn’t until Jane discovered the latte that life began to feel complete.

She enjoyed the process almost as much as the end product. First, the milk had to be measured out precisely into the frothing pitcher. Over the years, Jane had found that skim milk was the optimum choice for a latte. Not only was the milk diluted enough to allow for stronger flavor, the low-fat option meant that she could have several lattes in one day, guilt-free. Once the milk was dolled out, it was time for the frothing wand to be unleashed. The screaming of the espresso machine steaming milk was as soothing to Jane as rain pattering down over her rooftop.

While the milk was steaming, the beans had to be ground down to just the right consistency before being tamped into the portafilter. Then the shot. If measured correctly, the perfect shot took exactly twenty-seven seconds to reach the fill line, and Jane always made it a double. Finally, espresso and milk could be married, leaving enough room to scrape a generous amount of foam up to the brim. No added flavors, bells, or whistles, save for a small sprinkling of chocolate or cinnamon powder on top.

It was with this fine mixture that Jane started her morning in Vente West. Before even the sun rose, Jane had already consumed her first coffee of the day. Without this essential potion, Jane would never have had the decorum necessary to tolerate all the stupes that filled her life. She found herself much more agreeable with a healthy dose of latte coursing through her veins, morning, noon, and night.

As the sun rose, Jane sighed. It was time to move, time to get on with the day. A million things had to be done before Louis got home this evening. A quick trip to the store was in order.

Vente West was just south of Florencia and cradled by the great Grinder Mountains. The city had grown since she and Louis had moved there from Geriapolis. It had been a quaint coastal town with a penchant for retirees and gated communities. Jane’s mother had found it years prior, and when she could no longer take care of herself, Jane and Louis had given up their life in the big city and relocated to Vente West.

Her passing had been ages ago, but like her mother, Jane had fallen in love with the coastal community. Ripe with natural sights and wonders, there wasn’t a day where a new trail, beach, or forest couldn’t be explored. Jane had been content for things to stay the way they were, but with time, more and more people were drawn to the same small-town feel. Fleeing the city to leave behind the crowded streets and impersonalized nature of industry, the cities emptied themselves into Vente West.

At first, it was the affluent. They liked the city as much as Jane, but it lacked the creature comforts they had grown to need. So next came the artisan restaurants, the organic grocers, and the trendy shopping center. The workers that accompanied this economic boom required their own developments, and so the plain restaurants, the bargain grocers, and the not-so trendy shopping mall appeared, all of which needed their own space. So Vente West grew from a small coastal town into the large and impersonal city so many had left. Eventually, these people would move again to another small town and inadvertently start the cycle all over again.

For Jane, the only really good thing that came out of this growth was the eruption of trendy coffee shops and coffee culture. Instead of just having two little coffee shops on either end of town, the Vente West Chamber of Commerce now proudly advertised that the city had the most coffee-related shops per capita than any other mid-sized city in the County. Beyond the brick and mortar buildings, a plethora of mobile, on the move, constantly relocating, appearing and disappearing barista huts trawled the landscape of the city.

As Jane sped her way into town, mulling over her shopping list in her head, she noticed a strange stall off the road ahead of her, parked in the abandoned lot of an old appliance store. Without really having the time to discern exactly what it was, Jane saw a wooden hand-painted sign hanging from the stall that read ‘100% Chizgany Coffee’.

Well, I’ve never tried Chizgany coffee before, Jane thought to herself as she slowed down and pulled off the road. She almost regretted the decision immediately as the cart came into clearer view. It was a worn caravan with a colored canvas roof. A disheveled-looking brown horse stood munching at the grass that grew between the cracks in the asphalt.

It was bizarre and unappealing in every way to Jane. However, by now, she had already promised herself another cup of coffee, and therefore, her soul was committed to receiving its due. Pulling up alongside the cart, Jane looked out her window to meet the eyes of an old, worn-looking woman wearing a red bandana embellished with golden coins. She made no expression of recognition as Jane approached but kept the same distant stare that seemed to look past her.

“Hello?” Jane uttered hesitantly.

“Hello.”

Jane paused as the old woman pulled out a corn-cob pipe, slowly licking her lips like a tired dog, before placing the stem in her mouth. Appalled, Jane couldn't help but grimace slightly before continuing the conversation.

“I’d like a sixteen-ounce nonfat latte with skinny milk, please.”

The woman’s left eye drooped subtly as she took a puff from her pipe, exhaling an odorous waft into Jane’s vehicle. “No milk,” she said, smacking her lips. “Just coffee.”

Jane noticeably wrinkled her nose at the thought. Confused, she took a moment to collect herself before adjusting her order.

“Ok, well then I’ll take a twelve-ounce, just black coffee with two shots.”

Still staring past Jane, the old woman nodded and then disappeared for a moment into the dark recesses of her cart before reappearing and handing a disposable cup to Jane. In almost a state of shock, Jane took the flimsy container, which was only half full, and eyed the sad, dark liquid inside.

“Is this fresh?”

“It’s coffee.”

“Oookaaay…” Jane put the coffee in her cup holder and fumbled for her purse.

“That will be four twenty-five.”

“Really?” Jane’s eyebrows rose visibly at the outrageous price.

“Chizgany coffee, Chizgany prices,” the old woman said behind a coy smile as she gestured with crumpled leathery hands.

At this point, Jane was in no mood to argue and rummaged around to dig out the exact price in change before hastily handing it over. As the last coin fell into the Chizgany woman’s outstretched hand, Jane felt a leathery palm close firmly over hers. She looked up to see the old woman’s eyes fixed fiercely on her, wisps of gray hair dangling wildly from beneath her bandana.

“Before you go, you must try the coffee.”

“Oh, no…that’s not necessary. I’m sure it’s fine, I’ll drink it later,” Jane let out a panicked little laugh as she gently tried to tug back her hand.

“No. We cannot end our trade unless you are satisfied.” The old woman’s palm shook gently as it hovered over Jane’s open hand, ready to seal the exchange.

Held hostage and with no other choice, Jane grabbed the little foam cup and grimaced as she put it to her lips.

It was probably the worst coffee she had ever tasted in her life. Not even Riley’s divine grace could fix what this old woman had conjured up for Jane. It was as if it had been brewed in an old shoe, strained with a stained sock, and was about as hot as old farty bathwater.

Jane had always been a direct woman, as was her mother. Where politeness failed to do the job, Jane was gifted with telling it like it was.

“Mmmh. It’s terrible. I’m sorry, but it’s terrible. It’s just really bad, I don’t like it. Sorry.”

Without saying a word, the Chizgany woman let go of Jane’s palm, her hands crumpling inward as they withdrew into the cart. The two women stared at each other for a moment of heavy silence before Jane slowly rolled away. Having thought herself free, Jane was met with one final confrontation as she heard a voice call out from the cart.

Foxfire, smudge, crumpbutt!”

Flustered, Jane drove away, swearing to never return and to tell all of her walking buddies about the horrid coffee of the Chizgany cart woman.

The rest of the day passed without incident. Jane stopped by the store to stock up for the week. She grabbed an extra quart of skim milk and was thrilled to see that coffee beans were on sale, just three bags for ten dollars. So, of course, Jane bought six to hopefully wash the taste of Chizgany coffee away for good.

Once she got home, it was time for her post-errand latte. Glancing out the kitchen window as she started up the steamer, Jane scowled at a band of pigeons huddled at her bird feeder. Jane hated pigeons. They scared all the good birds away.

Pausing her coffee-making ritual, she marched over to the sliding glass door in full view of the invaders. She put her hands together in an angry clap before thrusting her arms up into the air as the pigeons scattered. The local pigeons feared nothing more than Jane’s mighty clap and fearsome gesture. To them, it was the dreaded elder sign, the pigera-ze, the summoner's call. Jane knew her satisfaction would only be temporary. Pigeons were dumb and would always return to try their luck at the dried corn on the cob that hung from the feeders on the deck.

Pigeons taken care of, for now, Jane returned to making her latte, which she heated up to precisely one-hundred and eighty degrees. It was just hot enough to scald the tongue if drunk immediately. It would, however, be the perfect temperature once Jane had heated herself a scone and sat down with one of the new library books she had borrowed. Sitting in her armchair, listening to the gentle rain pour outside, and sipping her now perfect-temperature latte, Jane let out a sigh of pure contentment.

The sudden sound of the front door shutting startled Jane.

“Louis? What are you doing home already?”

“What? It’s five thirty-three, I’m off work.”

Jane blinked and looked around for the clock to confirm her husband’s story.

“But that’s… impossible, I just sat down to drink my coffee, and it’s… evening already?”

“Jane, are you feeling okay? And what are you even doing over here by the closet anyway?”

“I was… I was just reading my book, and-” Jane stopped herself short in mid-sentence as she realized she was kneeling by the living room closet. Louis slid the pocket door back and let out a muffled gasp of shock.

“Jane!”

“What? I…” Jane turned to see stacks of coffee beans, bags of all brands, shapes, and sizes, stacked on top of each other, almost reaching the closet ceiling. The old coats that had made the closet their home had been displaced to accommodate the bulk of excess beans. Jane starred, slack-jawed at the treasure trove in front of her. It was all whole beans and dark roast.

“Jane,” Louis shook his head. “We really need to keep you away from those door-to-door salesmen, honey.”

“But I didn’t…I don’t know how this all got here!”

“It’s alright, hon, just try not to bankrupt us, okay?”

Jane stood dumbfounded in front of the closet door. Louis chuckled away and headed upstairs to take his usual after-work shower—a poor man’s hot tub, he always called it. Even though she had done nothing all day, Jane found she was too tired to question the coffee in the closet. She stood up slowly, knees popping, and grabbed a bag of french roast before closing the closet door. It was time for her evening cup anyways.

With a latte to soothe her addled nerves, Jane settled down to try and discover just what had happened. Being a big fan of detective novels, she put her knowledge of sleuthing to use, asking herself, ‘What would McGouch do?’

“The receipt!” It was always the hussy bimbo’s weakness. Wadding up those tiny pieces of paper, evidence of their indiscretions, leaving them disposed of in the bottom of their purse, unaware that it would be their undoing.

Jane rushed to her purse to check her receipt from the grocery store and her pocketbook, and to her horror, she pulled out not just one, but…ten? Like a true detective, she sprawled out on the living room rug, spreading the receipts around her, looking for clues and connections.

It would seem that Jane had gone to the store ten separate times during the day, though she had no memory of any trip that had occurred after her initial run. Each trip was logged on the corresponding receipt, detailing a different batch or brand of coffee purchased and brought home. She had even written down each transaction in her pocketbook.

Jane could do nothing but lament the lost time and mileage on her wagon. After spending a short evening with Louis, they decided to call it a night and head to bed. She had been distant the entire evening and was eager to leave the day behind as her head hit the pillow.

The sweet aroma of a fresh bag of coffee beans simmered into her olfactory glands. It was the bell before her feast. It was that moment when she knew a delicious cup of coffee was just around the corner. As Jane followed her nose, she felt her body move and flow after her consciousness. She was floating in a dark ocean of warm, brown liquid, suspended in the in-between. Her body was rolling across waves of coffee, and she could feel each bone, tendon, and muscle of her being as if they were made up of tiny individual pieces, little beans even.

How glorious it was, to be beans, to be able to slip and slide over herself to move, no, to glide, across the universe. But something was missing. She could feel the emptiness between the beans that were her body, and they felt hollow. There had to be something more. Twisting and dancing among the empty spaces, Jane turned to see little pieces of beans trailing behind her, slowly fading away. She moved to catch them, but something caught her in a whirlpool from which she could not escape.

The next morning, Jane awoke to the insisting of her alarm, the dream of beans still in her head. It was such a vivid dream, she could almost taste coffee on her tongue. She stretched her limbs, wishing that they were as fluid and agile as the beans that she had slithered about as in her dreams. Yet, there was a sense of dread that had settled into her stomach she couldn’t shake. The ending of her dream, that complete feeling of helplessness, and the never-ending blackness of the brew.

Jane’s thoughts were interrupted by Louis.

“Huh, interesting.”

“What is?” Jane asked, her mind still only half awake. Louis picked at something on her side of the bed for a few moments before he replied.

“Well, what’s this in the bed? It looks like, coffee beans.”

“That’s strange,” Jane replied. She held out her hand as Louis dumped a few stray beans into her palm. They felt warm to the touch. “Somehow, a few of them must have…gotten caught in my shirt, or something, while I was putting all those bags away?”

Louis puckered his lips, shrugged, and made an ‘Iunnu’ noise before busying himself with his morning routine, leaving the question unanswered. Jane stared at the small black pods in her hand a moment longer before deciding all she could really do was head downstairs, turn on the espresso machine, and toss the stray beans into the grinder. After all, there was no sense in wasting perfectly good beans.

The unease in her stomach settled slightly after her morning latte, but not enough for Jane to forget the dream or what had happened the day before. Deciding that she needed a distraction to get her through the day, Jane settled on venturing out to purchase some new plants for the ceramic pots she’d received on her last birthday. They had sat empty on the back deck for months, just filling with rainwater.

Jane rolled out of the driveway and headed into town, taking the corners with precision speed. She always preferred going to Bimbleberry Pond nursery because it was so close to home. This meant she didn’t have to drive through town and deal with all the lights and traffic.

She smiled as the little bell jingled when she opened the door. Jane had timed her visit just right to avoid having to navigate around extra shoppers or run into someone she might know. She had been coming to B-Pond for many years and had developed an inscrutable knowledge of both peaks and lulls in business hours. Today Jane had—not by accident—arrived during the hour of Riley Day Worship and knew that all the old people would be at church, leaving her to browse without vexation.

She was thrilled to once again see her plan fall into place when she stepped out into the garden center and found herself completely alone among the plants. Navigating through the blooming buds and shrubbery, Jane took her time selecting just the right arrangement for each pot.

Finally, deep amongst the foliage, Jane let her unease from the morning fade away and felt at peace. Her feet lightly crunching on the pebbled walkway was the only sound that could be heard, apart from the airy notes of bird song and the breeze tousling nursery plants around her. Jane could almost smell the thick mist coming off the Grinder Mountains and felt transported deep into the wild. It was as if she was part of the plants, swaying gently and soaking in the early morning sun. She was a bean among the leaves, nestled comfortably against her green stalk. Stone lawn ornaments peppered the garden center, throwing long shadows of feral cats and exotic birds into the living jungle. She was content at that moment to have no other purpose than to just, be a bean.

However, it was with a slow peculiarity that Jane began to feel like she was being watched. At first, she thought it was the lawn ornaments playing tricks on her, but then she saw him. Past the zinnias, through the dogwood, under the hanging fuchsias, and in between ornamental bamboo, there was a man. More aptly, an employee.

Oh no, Jane thought to herself, as she quickly skirted the hellebore and tried to ignore the clerk’s wide and helpful eyes. In all of her planning, she had forgotten one thing. Being alone in the store made her vulnerable, an easy target for ‘help.’ As Jane tried to ignore the man across the way, she noticed from her peripherals that he seemed to be mirroring her movements. She chanced a quick glance from under the tulip tree and was horrified to see him still staring and smiling right at her. There was no doubt about it now, she was being hunted. Her heart sped into a beating drum, pounding a rhythmic tune of madness into her brain.

Bum Bum Bum bu bum bu bum bum bum bu Bum.

Jane didn’t need help, she never needed help. Why would I go to a store and not know what I needed? That would be absurd. And if I did want help, I’m smart enough to ask for it. I don’t need some stranger coming up to me and bothering me for no reason!

Blinded by her internal rant, Jane had mistakenly made her way into the saplings, and for a moment, she thought perhaps she’d lost him. It was with a sense of indescribable horror that as Jane turned around to make her way back to the plant she had been initially looking at, she found the employee staring at her. His eyes and his mouth said two very different things. His teeth grinned a service industry smile, unmoved by harsh words or vulgar thoughts, while his eyes screamed of pain, a pain that could only be satisfied by asking Jane if he could help her.

The distance he traveled and obstacles he would have had to cross to keep pace with Jane was unnerving, and his gently heaving chest confirmed the lengths that the man was willing to go to for customer satisfaction. Still unmoved, Jane side-stepped into a row of succulents and buried herself into the descriptions and terminology of each plant, as if she was a budding herbologist whose life depended on memorizing every single taxonomy. All the while, she prayed to gods old and new that the man would just, leave her be. Her heart had not abided her mind's attempted ignorance. It continued to pound away in a furious race she hadn’t felt since the days of high caffeine from her college years.

Bum Bum Bum bu bum bu bum bum bum bu Bum.

From the corner of her eye, she looked up again, and still, he was there. She tried shuffling to the left and then to the right, all the while his silhouette matching hers. Finally, like a cornered animal, no longer able to flee, Jane lifted her head and stared directly at the man. His wild features unchanged, but for the slight flexing of an inquisitive brow, eager to ask its pre-ordained question.

The breeze was the silence between them as they stood locked in place. Like a mountain-side of soft powdered snow eyeing the approach of a rolling thunderstorm, knowing the slightest noise would destroy the peace of the gentle landscape.

And then, it struck.

Smiling broadly and with copious conversational gestures, he navigated the carts and displays expertly, never once breaking eye contact. Their gaze was connected by some invisible string, by which the employee’s head was permanently transfixed. While his body moved, hips swaying and shoulders rolling, his head, never once, looked away. Had Jane been able to break his gaze, she would have noticed the absurd fluidity of his movements as he snaked between racks of perennials and shrubberies.

And then, there he was.

Jane stood helplessly behind her cart but shot a look at her adversary that bore pure menace. She had lost, but she would not let his victory be easy. With a smile, he spoke.

“Finding every-”

“No,” she barked out like a small dog.

“-thing you-”

“No, no!”

“-need?”

“No!”

“Can I help-”

“No! No!”

“-you with anything?”

“No. I’m fine. Fine!” Jane nodded curtly, hoping to end the confrontation quickly. But it didn’t matter, she knew as well as he did that he had won. His unwavering smile told her as much.

“Okay, well…let me know if you do need anything,” The final dig. A finger in the wound. Salt in the cut. A slug up the butt.

Had she stayed to watch, the man would have walked away in the same fashion as he’d approached, but Jane would not give him the satisfaction. No longer beholden to his spell of courtesy, she turned her back on him and walked briskly over to the blooming weow-willows to finish her shopping and finally be on her way. A cart full of select perennials and a few annuals, Jane proceeded to the checkout.

“Well, looks like you found everything you needed,” the cashier said with a smile.

“Yep,” Jane retorted. She was eager to get back home to plant and had little more time for chit-chat.

“Hmmm…you know those azaleas are on sale. If you get one more, you can get a third one for free.”

“No, thank you,” Jane uttered curtly. “I have just enough pots for everything here, I don’t need any extra azaleas hanging around.”

“Okay then.” The cashier was silent for a few moments. He picked up a flowering nasturtium and added the price to the running total.

“You know, we just got a new batch of potting soil in that’s completely organic. Do you need some extra soil with all these plants?” He gestured broadly as he pitched his sale.

“No. Fine.”

“Oh, so you do need some potting soil?” The clerk said, confused by the curtness of Jane.

“No. I’m fine. I am fine!”

If there was one thing Jane hated, it was upselling, unless it was from a door-to-door salesman. You could never tell if they were upselling or just selling something ridiculous, and besides, having a stranger in your home was bad enough. Sometimes you had to just buy what they offered to get them to leave.

The cashier attempted to upsell Jane one more time but quickly abandoned the effort at the sight of the pursed lips before him. Jane carefully wrote out a check for the amount due, noted it in her checkbook, and gave it to the cashier with a sigh. She could not be more ready to get back home and be alone with her plants.

As she finished tucking her things back into her purse, Jane glanced out the window to the garden center. She saw a young couple pursuing a rather beautiful begonia. And in the distance, betwixt the trees and ferns, there was the helpful employee with his contradicting smile and those hungry eyes.

Picking up her pace, Jane loaded the plants into her car quickly and headed home.

The smell of damp earth crawled its way pleasantly into Jane’s nostrils. It was satisfying and invigorating. She could almost taste the nutrients that lay within the rich soil, ready to be gobbled up by ravenous plants. Jane had always loved gardening, but today she found herself especially lost in the texture of roots and shuffling leaves. Carefully laying out all of her newly purchased plants in front of the empty pots, Jane set about finding just the right balance of color and height to keep each arrangement unique and eye-catching.

She busied herself away with teasing the root base out of their cartons, tamping down the soil, and arranging a good mix of annuals and perennials together. Each combination was a new masterpiece, living art held in place by Riley’s good earth. Jane worked without break or interruption, almost as if in a trance. She could almost see the very veins and breath of the plants before her. Never had she felt so connected to the living world.

It was as she tamped down the soil of her hellebore that her trance was broken by the sound of a car door slamming in the driveway.

“Jane?” She heard her husband call out.

“Out here,” Jane answered back with a voice that sounded other than her own.

“What are you doing in the greenhouse, have you been out here all day?” Louis stood in the doorway, bemused. Slowly straightening up, Jane wiped her brow with the back of her hand.

“Louis? What are you doing home so early?” Jane asked.

“What? I’m not early…” Louis checked his wristwatch with a precise confusion. “I’m actually seven and a half minutes late.”

“No, that’s…” Jane trailed off slowly as her consciousness settled back into the present.

“Are you okay, honey?”

“Yeah...yes. Yes, I’m fine.”

From the corner of her eye, Jane watched as Louis stared at her for a moment. Another man might have been concerned by his wife’s behavior, but not Louis. Jane had always been so strong. He knew by now, whatever it was, she would just squash it and move on.

“Huh. Alright then. Don’t have too much fun in here.” As Louis turned away, no doubt headed off to his evening shower, he stopped and a finger extended to a corner in the greenhouse. “Finally found a use for all those coffee bags?”

“What?” A semi-distracted Jane replied, her eyes moving to trace the meaty finger’s guidance.

“Good idea to put the potting soil in them. Maybe for your next birthday, I’ll get you another coupon for B-Pond,” His eyes twinkled, and he gave Jane a little wink as he shuffled out of the greenhouse.

Jane stared at the coffee bags. She had not moved them there. She would know if she had, she would remember.

Her eyes widened as she began to take in the scene around her. Open bags of coffee beans lay strewn across her workspace. Slowly, Jane pulled the pot she had been working on closer, the ceramic base grinding loudly against the countertop. Clutching the planter with both hands, Jane peered into the open maw.

Instead of seeing the potting soil she had expected, Jane was faced with an impossible sight. Beans. Nothing but endless clods of wet, mashed coffee beans stretching into the black empty void before her. Heart pounding again to the beat of a madman’s drum, Jane went from pot to pot and found that all her day’s work had yielded the same hideous results. Each and every new plant that Jane had brought home had been potted in the same fashion. She shivered as she gazed upon the indescribable horror that sat before her.

It was then that Jane started to notice a faint bitterness burning at the back of her throat. It was subtle at first before slowly building into a potent taste that could not be ignored. Shaking, she slowly reached a hand to her mouth. She shook as she pulled out a wad of chewed-up coffee beans. Retching in disgust, Jane watched in horror as clumps and clumps of half-masticated beans spewed onto the greenhouse floor.

Jane put herself to bed early. The unfamiliar tinge of fear had begun to seep into the confident trappings of her mind. She was eager to put the day behind her. Without even the energy to cover up the strange scene of the greenhouse, she slipped on her flannel nightgown and rolled under the covers.

Beans darted before her like butterflies skipping through the endless sky. Jane let out a laugh of pure joy as a light breeze danced by, carrying with it the smell of fresh coffee. She ran through the meadow, chasing the beans as they fluttered just out of reach, and as she jumped to catch one, arm extended into the air, Jane noticed that her hand was but her own. It was pink and fleshy, it was weak!

An anger brewed deeply in her subconscious, and a thirst. A thirst to once again be one with the beans and to move fluidly through the world. Jane’s body contorted as she began to twist and turn, grinding her innards against themselves. The sky darkened, and the meadow fell away from beneath her feet. She was falling until she was once again floating in an ocean of burnt sienna. As she continued to wrench her body and grind her own bones into dust, Jane began to feel a calm settle over her.

The pulpy mass of flesh that she now had become could slither through the warm coffee ether to reach those beans, and each one she enveloped, she ground into herself. With each bean she caught, she felt energized, stronger. She had become more than the beans and had transformed herself into a strong, dark powder. A thousand tiny grains of coffee, acting as thousands of tiny feet, Jane moved effortlessly through the dark and reveled in the strength of her full-bodied roast until a strong wind blew and scattered Jane into the emptiness.


continued in part II >

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