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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Where Angels Fear to Tread (not about the book) (09/08/11)

TITLE: An Unforgettable Coffee Hour
By Lillian Rhoades


An Unforgettable Coffee Hour

During those hours when sleep takes its best shot, Mattie Mannafed drifted into awareness by a loud bang on the front door and a thunderous command.

“Police, open up!”

What now? It didn’t take long to find out, but not before a quick glance through the peephole; a tactic listed as number one in her “make this a habit” playbook. In her neighborhood, one never threw caution to the wind.

Unaware of her penchant for wariness, the knock sounded again, this time more like a boom than a bang.

“Open up, Police!”

She wanted to intone an octave deeper, and amplified, “Hold your horses, give me a minute,” but thought better of it. No telling how they would react to her command.

Enough of caution, better comply, or risk having her door repaired.
Mattie swung the door towards her, and greeted the two burly, stern-faced, blue-suited officers with a smile. They either purposely ignored her smile and her greeting, or had their own playbook. The position of their right hands signaled the latter.

“Are you Mrs. Mannafed?”

“Uh, Yeeesss.”

“We have a warrant to search your apartment.”

“Really?” Mattie withdrew her happy face in favor of a police look-a-like; but even sterner.

“What for?”

“Your apartment is reported to be a hang-out for drug addicts.”

Mattie threw back her head and let out a burst of laughter that instantly disarmed the officers, and altogether disrupted professional protocol. Two right hands relaxed in concert, then fell limply to the side.

With a sweep of her right hand, Mattie ushered them in.

“Why, come on in and look around. Please take your time. I’ll be in the kitchen if you find something.”

Did the officers exchange puzzled glances? She thought so.

“Go right ahead, Mrs. Mannafed. We’ll just follow you into the kitchen.”

“Oh, of course, silly me, I might try to hide the evidence, right?”

This time the glances left nothing to speculation.

While the officers opened cabinets, searched through closets, and peered into her refrigerator, Mattie poured coffee into the filter basket, added water and turned on the coffee pot.

Hee, hee, she mused, as the officers searched the rest of her apartment. I’ll put this one drug to good use.

Certain they would turn up nothing, Mattie continued to bustle about the kitchen. Two cups, two saucers, napkins, and should she offer them a piece of toasted homemade bread with butter and jelly?

Why not?

Forty-five minutes later, the officers reappeared at the entryway to her kitchen.

“Thank you, Mrs. Mannafed, sorry to have bothered you this early in the morning.

“Not so fast, gentlemen.”

“I don’t know what else you guys have planned for tonight, but I’m sure a little coffee break won’t hurt.”

Two pairs of eyes darted from the coffee pot to the table set for two.

“We don’t usually do this, Mrs. Mannafed, but that coffee sure smells good.”

“Sit right down, and you can have a cup with some of my homemade bread.”

Both men sat down, took off their caps, and placed them on their knee. After the coffee was poured, and her homemade bread served, Mattie spoke up.

“I noticed you chose chairs facing the entrance to my kitchen.”
She chuckled. “Do you still feel I have a drug addict stashed away behind a secret door?"

“No, Ma’am. Quite sure you don’t. Habit I guess, or maybe just following rules,” the younger officer replied.

“Do you always follow rules?”

“Got to, if you want to survive in our business.”

Survive! Aha, exactly what she’d been waiting to hear.

“How do you know I didn’t poison your coffee?”

Before they could react, she assured them she hadn’t. However, opportunity only knocks once. The policeman had disturbed her sleep, but not for nothing.

“Around here, you are engaged in a very dangerous business. Have you given any thought to what happens when you break God’s rules?”

Two pairs of eyes look inquisitively at her over an almost empty cup of coffee, suspended midway.

“No, Ma’am.”

“Well, since your job takes you where angels won’t be found, seems to me you’d better give it some thought.”

“Yes, Ma’am, we will. Thanks for the coffee.

As they rose to leave, Mattie slipped them a tract; You’ll Never Get out of This World Alive, and asked them to read it.

Then, back to bed, doubly sure she had brewed more than coffee for two brave men.

Two days later she would read: DRUG BUST, TWO POLICEMEN KILLED!

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This article has been read 622 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 09/16/11
Lots of twists and turns in this story. Very well written.
Allison Egley 09/17/11
Oh wow. I hope she didn't really poison them...

The ending, to me, seemed a bit open ended. Maybe you intended it to be that way, but I kept thinking "What if it was her? what if it was some slow acting poison?" Though I'll be the first to admit it's probably just my over analytical mind. :D

Great job. I know this is fictional, but non the less, I hope they did read those tracts and respond.
Linda Goergen09/18/11
I love the powerful message this brings forth...God will often put people in our path unexpectedly and sometimes through strange circumstances and convict us to witness to them, and if we fail, who knows it could be the last chance they ever have to have heard the truth! Well written!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/18/11
This in a nice story. I loved the MC she had a lotof spunk.

The ending threw mea little. I had so many questions. Did she make a difference in than lines? Why did they suspect her of drugs? How'd they get a search warrant if she was as innocent as you portrayed her?

But then again do any of those questions really need to be answered? You created a great MC that made me chuckle and thestory had a good message.
Sydney Avey09/18/11
I think you have a good premise here but I'm a bit uncomfortable with some loose threads and the MC's sense of self satisfaction. What made the cops suspect the MC? For whom was the coffee hour unforgettable -- the MC? There is no indication that the cops made a connection between an unsuccessful bust and her provocative question. Is her hospitality honest concern for their souls or does she think she did her duty by giving them a tract, much like they did their duty by searching her house (for reasons that are never made clear.)
Glynis Becker09/20/11
Interesting take on the topic. The ending did seem a little too abrupt for me. An enjoyable read nonetheless!
Noel Mitaxa 09/20/11
Very descriptive; though there a few questions that are left hanging. Could she have actually been a caf-fiend?
Cori Mann09/21/11
This is a well written story. I love how you creatively wove the topic smoothly into the story line.
In addition adding the witnessing through the issuing of tracks to the two officers.
Then chilling ending.

God bless!
Carol Penhorwood 09/21/11
I thought I understood your story, but the one line threw me..."I'll put this one drug to good use."

Now I too am left wondering exactly what took place. But you did build up suspense.
Lisa Kurasz09/28/11
I enjoyed this story as I read it with a smile on my face, but the last line made me want to cry.