Irish Coffee

A little bit tasty…

I missed it. I mime, ear to an imaginary conch shell. I thumb toward the steam-drenched espresso machine. Pain turns ugly in her eyes, the cigarette pulling at the flesh of her lower lip.

‘What do you want?’ She picks at her laceration. I mist over, like the window of the Cafe Fenelon . Miasma Arabica she calls it, my inability to make a choice. She’s no idea why I’m smiling. She doesn’t know I’ve her knickers in my pocket. They’ve a warm, spicy perfume. I slip my hand in, the buttons sharp between my fingers. Curiosity unanswered she stares off-stage. Stunning in profile, my sometime spotter. We’ve worked together before, which gives occasional lovemaking that sense of marital comfort. It doesn’t do to dwell; I owe her a decision.

The target is a ruin. Owen Flannery, philosopher. Darling of the Rive Gauche; purveyor of bullshit dressed as mohair; gobshite. Irish gobshite, the worst kind. One scathing aside too many. Turning Irish freedom into pissant pearls cast before swine. You’ve angered the Brotherhood, my man. Not clever, despite your reputation. Miasma Arabica? Miasma Robusta is what it is.

Maeve spares a quick glance, a soundless repetition of her question, then draws a lungful of biting smoke. Mannish but very sexy. Not as sexy as being paid to put a bullet in your man’s knee-cap mind. He wears a mouldering cardigan and an unkempt beard. No socks, and I smell his feet. The unwashed body – body of a crucified Christ – discernible above the aroma of coffee.

He catches Maeve’s glance and preens himself. You won’t ever have her drawers in your pocket Paddy.

Well?’ She screws the cigarette into the saucer. I reach for my pocket.

‘Pain au Chocolat,’ I whisper, finding the electric friction of warm satin.

© franciman 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Have you re-worked this, Jim? I seem to remember a longer piece but my memory could be fading.
Still, an interesting and enjoyable read.


Love it, it’s good to read your work again.

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