2 min

I've been writing flash fiction for years and have a collection Bite Size Reads. I write when the idea or prompt strikes me, which is basically random, and I spend a lot of time letting my mind  [+]

Image of Spring 2019
Image of Short Story


“That’s my chair.”

The old man stood before the girl and adjusted the blanket draped over his arm. Mocha-schmocha something swirled around him and everyone else in the coffee shop.

She closed her laptop, yanked on the earbuds and looked him up and down. “What?”

“That’s my chair.”

“I’m sitting here.”

“But that’s my chair.”

“PFFT. Not now.”

“Hey. Old Man. Take your moth-eaten blanket, your book and get out of my sight,” said his son.

“You look like a whore. Your mother never went out looking like that,” said her grandmother.



“That’s my chair.”

“Uh, no. I was here first.”

“But that’s my chair.”

“Get here earlier.”


“Do you have to be in the same room as me?” said his son.

“I’m too old for this crap,” said her grandmother.



He arrived ten minutes early. But she was already there.

“That’s always my chair.”

“GOD. Not. Always.” And she said that a bit too loud.

Everyone hushed.
The hipster coding,
the high school physics study group,
the first date,
the two moms on hiatus from momming.

And the barista, who was working on her graduate degree in medieval French poetry, leaned across the counter.

Self-defined as a rebel of peer pressure, she relented and got up.

“Thank you,” he said.

He settled himself into the familiar folds of the leather chair, spread the red and black check blanket across his lap and opened his book. In four and a half minutes, surrounded by the warm Columbian roast that hung in the air and vintage playlist, he fell asleep.


“I don’t care where you go. Just go,” said his son.

“I don’t care where you go. Just go,” said her grandmother.


He arrived fifteen minutes early. His chair was empty.

She was at a table.

He nodded. She nodded.

The hipster, the physics group, the absentee moms and the second date strangers looked on.

And the medieval French poet barista brought him a tea with lemon. On the house.


He arrived at his usual time and settled into his leather chair, spread the blanket across his lap and opened his book.

She was at the counter and placed her order for a peppermint swirl something, and French poet barista snapped on the lid.

He waggled his finger to get her attention and motioned, “On me.”
The barista leaned close to her and whispered.

The girl stood before the old man, juggled her laptop and cup, and cleared her throat. “Uh, thanks, you know, for the coffee.”

“Thanks for the chair. I’m Walter,” and he smoothed the blanket over his legs.
She watched for a hot second and then pulled it to reach the floor, covering the rest of his legs and feet. “I’m Becca. So...what are you reading?”


“Again? What is at that coffee shop?”

“Why don’t you stay home? What’s at that coffee shop, anyway?”


A few words for the author? Comment below. 21 comments

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Image of GITA
GITA · ago
Very skillful two stories in one. Loved the description of the groups in the coffee shop: The hipster coding,
the high school physics study group,
the first date,
the two moms on hiatus from momming.
You get my vote. I hope you will visit my story and do likewise.

Image of RB Frank
RB Frank · ago
Thank you all for reading and commenting.
And I'll tell you all a bit of a secret. This story is based on a real person who shows up to a Starbucks every night. My daughter is in the physics study group. And the story came out of wondering why this man goes every night. There are stories on ordinary days, with ordinary people. Stories are out there.

Image of Melissa Chuney
Melissa Chuney · ago
You beautifully captured and communicated a lot in only two minutes. Bravo!
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User deactivated · ago
The old man is a very interesting character! Shows that you should never be rude to someone until you know what they’re like. All in all, I think this is a wonderful story!
I think you’ll like my story, “Do You See Me?”. The link to it is here:

Image of RB Frank
RB Frank · ago
Thank you Katla, for reading and commenting!
Image of Fran Cohen
Fran Cohen · ago
Realistic, poignant and a happy ending. How wonderful. Really enjoyed.
Image of Jennifer Cooper
Jennifer Cooper · ago
Love this story and this author!!!!
Image of melogan
melogan · ago
A week in our lives? Simple and clever. Nice
Image of Gina Beaumont
Image of JYK
JYK · ago
Love "moms on hiatus from momming."
Image of Jon Robson
Jon Robson · ago
I also loved that line (and the description it was used in - I felt like I was there)! I love the way you've woven these two parallel stories together.
Image of RB Frank
RB Frank · ago
Thank you so much Jon! thanks for reading.
Image of RB Frank
RB Frank · ago
Thanks! I like sneaking in a bit of cheek😉
Image of bwethje
bwethje · ago
Very sweet story. I love how you showed that although they were both very different, in age and in life, they were still going through very similar struggles. Helps you to remember that you never know what is going on in someone else's life. Thanks for sharing!!
Image of RB Frank
RB Frank · ago
You never know. So always be kind, right?😄