Storm In A Teacup – #BlogBattle

This is the first time I’ve tried the BlogBattle…but with a prompt word like “tea” how could I resist…

The woman stood at her kitchen sink, gazing out thoughtfully over the back garden. It was mid-morning and the sun still hung low in the sky, shining with a gentle warmth that heralded a pleasant day.

She turned from the view of her neat little garden and moved to the counter to switch her kettle on. While it hummed into heat she reached up into a cupboard and pulled out a thick china mug, its solid weight a comfort in her hands. She turned it in her grip, feeling the heft of it, then set it on the side as the kettle reached its purring crescendo and clicked companionably off.

The woman deftly flicked a teabag from a cannister into her mug, carefully filling it with the gently steaming water till it rested a perfect inch below the thick china rim. Shimmering whorls of translucent brown rose from the teabag and into the hot water which gradually took on the warm even hue.

The woman bent her head over the mug and inhaled as the fragrant warmth rose up into her nostrils; she breathed in the scent of delicately dried and blended leaves, the rich warming perfume filling her mouth with anticipatory saliva. When the tea had infused sufficiently, she reached over for a teaspoon and fished out the teabag, giving it a slight squeeze against the side of her mug.

Quickly, she added a spoonful of sugar, just enough to taste, and she watched carefully as the tiny white crystals mounded on the sugar spoon and then tumbled merrily off the edge and into the liquid below where they dissolved instantly. The woman crossed to her fridge and pulled the door gently open, taking out the plastic bottle of milk and tilting it so a tiny stream fell into her mug.

She stopped as the milk spun through the hot tea in an opalescent spiral, then picked up the teaspoon and lifting her mug delicately in both hands she walked to her kitchen table and sat down, with her tea in front of her.

Then, quite gently, still gazing thoughtfully into the distance, she began to stir.

Anticlockwise, widdershins, the old way, she moved the teaspoon around the mug, and the tea followed the curve of the spoon obediently, gathering pace.

Some miles away, out at sea, a spiral of thickening cloud began to form and a chill wind made its spiteful way ashore to tug at the tousled blonde curls of a girl as she clutched at the arm of the man beside her. He glanced up nervously at the sky as the clouds began to pile up in pillowy heaps of grey, bruising the previously cheerful blue sky.

At her kitchen table, the woman steadily stirred her tea, a tiny crease forming between her eyebrows as she frowned slightly in concentration.

“Hurry up!” the man ordered brusquely, nervously, tugging the girl anxiously by the hand after him onto the little boat.

The storm clouds slid silently over the harbour and the sea rose up to meet them, frothy curls of whipped white. Thunder muttered menacingly and the little boat began to buck like a skittish horse. The girl gave a tiny squeal of fright as the deck shifted beneath her feet and the man sought to comfort her.

“Sir,” the anxious sailor said, “sir, I really wouldn’t put out in this -”

“Rubbish, are you afraid of a little rough weather!” the man said derisively but in his heart he was afraid.

Miles away, in her sunny, bright kitchen the woman stirred her tea – smoothly, continuously, as the heavy swollen clouds hung over the harbour and released their burden into the sea, vicious rain that thrashed the sea into frenzied waves that took the little boat and shook it like a terrier with a rat.

The man reached desperately for the hand of the girl as miles away his wife abruptly stopped stirring her tea, dropped the spoon onto the tiled surface of her kitchen table and lifted her mug to her lips.

She drank.

The little boat and its passengers were lost.

The woman stood up and moved to the sink where she rinsed her mug and left it neatly inverted on the side to drain.

30 thoughts on “Storm In A Teacup – #BlogBattle

  1. Ooh I like this, Samantha. At the beginning I felt like I was having a cup of tea, but as the tale went on, and the mention of widdershins, I began to feel intent from the woman in her kitchen. A storm in a teacup indeed! Nice twist.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Proper Tetley’s tea though…through the height of the pandemic here I had a cup of fruit infused green tea every day that was supposed to boost the immune system…possibly just going to stick to the Tetleys though! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I used Tesco’s own, which were also out of date but dried and in foil, so we’re OK. Never thought of using them for spellcasting though… until now!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Why are you not entering more Sam? The beginning had me with Sybil Trelawney in the Potter divination class. Beware The Grim…. Seems to me the old ways, as you put it, have magic embedded. To then learn it’s creating a maelstrom on a cheating mariner is an excellent twist. Definitely not sci-fi and in terms of lore and topic, right up my street!

    Keep up the writing and please do more prompts too. It will get me back over here pronto… something I’ve neglected too long methinks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol you know I’m shy…but thank you for the kind words. It was a lovely prompt word too, which kinda ties in with my whole blog ethos thingummy of magic in the everyday.

      i will definitely try and participate more, it’s just I’ve been walking for a while in another world and I had to get that sorted – Marje’s been wonderful bless her – and I am struggling with a rather recalcitrant protagonist at the moment who seems completely intent on going her own way rather than the way I had planned for her..!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, but so am I really so you’re in good company! The prompts are usually a mixed bag… I can say that as I chose them for this year lol.

        Bit of lateral thinking can take them anywhere really. It’s also good practice to tighten up word use. 1000 words isn’t much to play with.

        Good to hear Marje has been helping too. Which reminds me I’ve not visited her blog in eons either!

        As for protagonists not working to plan…it’s why I don’t plan lol

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  3. Brilliant! Instantly captivating story with engaging twists. I can’t honestly think of more praise than already offered other than I’d like to know more about this woman; she kicks butt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol thank you very much dear friend! Glad to hear from you, I owe you an email/message I feel, which I will add to my list of things to do…the garden is so verdant atm I find myself wandering outside irresistibly drawn and before I know it it’s the afternoon…

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  4. As the story began, happy and bright, I kept thinking to myself ‘This has got to be leading to something bad’, and boy, did you deliver! The use of the term widdershins was a great way to clue us in on what was happening. At first I thought the witch was just wanting to rattle her beau by giving him a warning of what could happen if he kept fooling around. When I learned he was her husband, I got a bit of a feeling he deserved what he got, but then that raised a question: Was he oblivious to her powers, or was he just so much of a dork he still thought he could get away with it? Very entertaining read!

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  5. Ooo, I just knew she was up to something — a cool customer, that witchy woman! Tetley’s is the only tea for me, which I’m drinking right at this moment! (Stirring intently now … but whether it’s deosil or widdershins, I’ll never tell.) Well done. Have you heard of Friday Fictioneers? I participate from time to time in that group, writing stories of 100 words or less from a weekly prompt.

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    1. Lol..Tetley’s tea! You are obviously my sister from another mister (as they say here..sometimes..) but I have been a devoted drinker of Tetley’s for a good few years now, with a mild flirtation with Yorkshire Tea until I must have had a duff batch that wouldn’t brew anything stronger than dishwater..

      Pleased you enjoyed the read though, a lot can be settled with a good cup of tea and I will definitely have a look at Friday Fictioneers, thank you for thinking of me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. From the opening lines, the images created such a strong picture, I was immediately drawn into your story. As others have said so well, wow! I loved the imagery throughout, the slow build to the reader recognizing revenge motivates that tea-drinker and deservedly so. Now, as it happens, I’m also new to the Blogger Challenge — and I also used Tetley in my story, after reading that Yorkshire was more popular recently in the UK, but Tetley most likely was the first choice back in the 1970’s. Please do keep sharing your writing in future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was incredible! The first half was so gentle and comforting (also made me get up to make a cup of tea, haha), then the slow realisation that this woman is some sort of weather-controlling witch was incredible. The twist that it was his wife was also really cool — at first I thought perhaps it was a man and his daughter, but on further reflection I think it might have been a girl with whom he was having an affair. Very cool, I loved the way you pulled us in, just to twist it all around!

    Liked by 1 person

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