Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 12: BATMAN SURE LIKES TEA

Posted: 24 December 2013 in 12DaysFF, fast fiction, fiction, writing
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Tiernan Douieb is a writer and comedian with an uncommonly fine honed ability to present in front of separate audiences of families, children and adults and have all of them roaring with laughter; his material is even more impressive given the easy manner with which he presents it: both adults and children are utterly convinced he’s on their side. That he’s a genuinely lovely fellow makes it even nicer to know him.

After a well-publicised malpractice suit, Tiernan is sadly no longer allowed to perform tree surgery.

Title: Batman Sure Likes Tea
Word: plinth
Challenger: Tiernan Douieb
Length: 200 words exactly

He carried the tray to his room, his knees protesting, and his back aching. Everything seemed to hurt a little more these days, but there was tradition to follow, and coffee to make.

Once a year, just before Christmas, the house smelled of coffee. It would have surprised his family as he insistently declined anything but tea. The refusal was always courteous at first, but less polite to further offers, a privilege of the very old upon which he found himself relying more often as the years passed.

He placed the tray on the black plinth and sat in the plain wooden chair from the local second hand shop; it reminded him of that chair, as it should, he felt.

He made the coffee; instantly, the smell brought all it flooding back: the mud, the stench, the incessant drumming of artillery, the men. Oh, the men; so young, so patriotic. So foolish.

And then he cried at the memories, this man who had been a boy, the personal assistant to the officers; that he had survived to honour them in the only way he knew, by once again brewing coffee for men who would never come back to drink it.

© Lee Barnett, 2013

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: The Misanthropic Principle – challenger: Jamais Cascio
Day 02: Robot Ghosts of Apocalypse – challenger: Cherie Priest
Day 03: Every Word Is Wrong – challenger: Si Spurrier
Day 04: The Train Didn’t Come – Challenger: Emma Vieceli
Day 05: Living Happily Ever After – Challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 06: Embargoed Until Midnight – Challenger: Corrie Corfield
Day 07: He’s Making A List – Challenger: Mitch Benn
Day 08: Fingers On The Windowpane – Challenger: Leah Moore
Day 09: Santa Abduction Narratives Recalled – Challenger: Paul Cornell
Day 10: Copula Numb – Challenger: Kelly Sue De Connick
Day 11: It Lived Under Monday – Challenger: Sarah Pinborough

Edit to add: An ebook of all twelve stories is available for $0.99. Click here for details.


“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, for £3.00 each, are available in ebook format from the author; email for details.

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Comments
  1. Well done, sir. Well done.

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