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.
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.