Out Of The Mist
Author’s note: Thanks to Lillehafrue for the title. Inspired by a prompt from live journal’s fic simplicity community. Their prompt: #6, morning fog. Published 9/30/2006.
Prompt 6, Shakes
The fog had rolled in off the sea this morning, swathing the island in thick, warm mist. It penetrates his sleeveless sweatshirt and running shorts, leaving him dripping. Saturated, salt-laden air makes breathing difficult; he finds himself panting. His breath rattles in his chest.
His run over, he slows, cooling down. Walking to keep muscles from cramping, his heart rate settles and he finds his towel and cooler. As he grabs his waiting power shake, starting to down it, a figure looms from the murk. He jumps, spilling the drink as a fog-muffled voice calls, “Good run, Scott?”
Prompt 7, Milkshakes
“Who’s that, Grandma?” Alan asked, pointing at the photo.
“Oh, them?” Grandma glanced up, smiling impishly at Jeff. “That’s your father with … hmm. I can’t recall her name.”
Jeff sighed, getting up from his desk. Sitting beside his mother, he glanced at the old album. The photo showed him as a teen, sharing a milkshake with a pretty blonde, each looking moonily into the other’s eyes.
“Where’d you get that?” he asked. “Her name was… Cindy … Cathy … I don’t remember either.”
Grandma smiled fondly. “Once you met Lucy, you forgot all the rest.”
“Very true, Mom,” he murmured. “Very true.”
Cooking, Not Drinking
Prompt 8, Buttermilk
Grandma hummed as she mixed up her latest dessert. Melted butter, flour, sugar, vanilla … all would combine to create a thick, moist pound cake rich enough to stand up to Kyrano’s raspberry compote.
“Where’s the buttermilk?” she murmured, pausing her activity. She stepped away, looking into the refrigerator. “Ah, there it is.”
Measuring first the required amount, she poured an extra portion into a separate cup, then took a sip. Her expression of distaste would have been comical had anyone else seen it.
“Buttermilk is for cooking, not drinking,” she declared firmly, adding the measured liquid to the stiff batter.
The Astronaut’s Friend
Prompt 9, Powdered drinks
He held the glass up, watching as bits of orange powder slowly dripped down, streaming their hue behind them, changing clear water to colored. Stirring the drink, he watched the particles swirl around, the bright tangerine getting darker as the liquid tornado melted most grains – but not quite all. Small, dark clumps clung, undissolved, to the glass’s edges at the surface, and he grimaced with distaste.
Sighing, he raised the glass and drank, the sweet-sour taste of artificial orange rushing past his protesting tongue.
“Just because I’m an astronaut doesn’t mean I have to drink Tang, Dad,” John muttered.
Author’s note: A possible aftermath from Desperate Intruder. Published 9/30/2006.
Prompt 10, Herbal Tea
He had sensed her disquiet and anguish on her return from Lake Anasta, and knew she would soon come to him.
“Come, my daughter. Sit. Let us have some tea.”
The herbal tea was soothing, fragrant, familiar. She sipped it slowly, hands cradling the porcelain as if to draw strength from it. He waited patiently. When, at last, her eyes met his, a grey eyebrow raised in silent query; a slight, solemn nod encouraged her. She took a deep breath, bowed her head over the teacup, took her courage in both hands, then haltingly began to recount her ordeal.