The alarm goes off with it’s usual droning rhythm helping me put this day into perspective. I lever myself out of the worn grey sheets and shuffle over to the kitchenette desperate for a black coffee, making two. Mum appears in her dressing gown the kettle boiling works as her alarm clock and picks up the other coffee, passing over my clean work uniform. Shuffling to the shower I’m spat on by steam then continue by getting dressed.


“Bye Mum, see you later.” I disappear out into the rain with Dad’s rusty umbrella. Mr Bart stares through me as the door clunks shut. I guess he a great weekend too. Jim’s our first, with a black coffee fueling his deliveries around the country in his van. I bet he doesn’t live with his parents. A brutal ring cuts through the damp air stopping Mr Bart in his tracks, I amble over to the shop phone.


“Hello this is Mr Bart’s Tea Emporium here,”

“Ah, quite right it is,” A crisp voice echos back. “I would like to order a tea for Emily, do you deliver?”

“Umm, deliver?”

“Well no worries, she will be walking past your window on her way to school in about five minutes, look out for the black striped umbrella, I shall come in and pay later.”

The phone went dead, I looked at Mr Bart who continued his blank stare. It was only a tea and who knows that strange man might come in and pay later. It felt almost like a spy movie sending secrete letter.


[[Puzzle make tea]]


Eagerly I anticipated the umbrella, bounding to the door as it approached. “Emily?” I held out the tea to a blank faced teen “Someone ordered you a tea, so it’s yours.” Tentatively she reached out “Ummm, thanks?” and without a look back hurried away. I had expected a different reaction, confusion and unease bubbled in my mind.
Mr Bart’s Tea Emporium continued as work does for the rest of the day, with no sign from the owner of that phone call.