Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Birthday Who?? Writing Contest

There's a very delightful friend having a birthday today Monday, September 6

In her honor, let's have the last writing contest of summer!

I'm not sure what the prize will be but we'll think of something delicious!

Usual rules: Tell me a story in 100 words or fewer. If you identify the birthday celebrant by name, so much the better.

Use these words in the story:


Contest opens now and runs till 11:59pm. 24 hours start to finish. All times are Eastern Shark Time.



Stephanie Thornton said...

Rover the Labrador, Starbucks mascot, needed a miracle. A la Eat, Pray, Love, he’d gone to Indonesia on a mission to serve Starbucks to every islander and turn them from the evils of tea. A corporate takeover!


He’d queried every agent under the Indonesian sun for his memoir about devotion to java in Java. The shirts upstairs told him he’d be dog chow if he failed to find an agent for his little memoir.

Rachelle Gardner on the job!

New York Times Bestseller!

Now Rover just has to persuade Julia Roberts to play him on the big screen.

Rebecca J Blain said...

Serving java to the already hyperactive Labrador had not been the brightest of acts.

Squirrels with coffee could not compare to the destructive force of the caffeine drugged puppy.
There were few places the cake had not splattered. It was best not to discuss just what happened to the icing. While devotion is a noteworthy trait of a canine, it is a serious disadvantage in rare circumstances.

Learn well, observer, of the fearful visage of the sugar-fed dog. Note the white confectionary adhered to the muzzle like froth of the rabid beast.

It may be the last thing you see!

Anonymous said...

“What’s that, dear? You’re a gardener?”

“No, ma’am. My name is Rachelle Gardner.”

“And you’re looking for your Labrador today? Be a miracle if you found him here, what with my hundred cats.”

“No - Labor Day parade. I can’t read this map. Do you know—”

“That’s considerate, but my cats don’t need a nap. Serve you some tea? Or are you one of those hippie java types?”

“Um, tea is fine, but I don’t really have—”

“Course not, dear. Go find that dog of yours. Such devotion. Be sure to take him round the corner - there’s a parade going on.”

Feaky Snucker said...

It was a miracle that her hand didn't reach up and slap the smirk off his face. A cup, hell, a pot of java wouldn't cut it; she'd be better off chewing directly on the beans. This smug little toady's devotion to making people feel bad about their choices evaporated what little patience she had left.
"Listen here labrador dick, I have had a very bad morning. Now are you going to serve me my coffee, or do I have to introduce your face to the back of your head?"

Marjorie said...

The group entered Labrador Lounge and the waiter seated them and impressively stated his intent to serve them with true devotion.

They dined on 8 oz hand cut char grilled filet mignon with a merlot reduction sauce and roasted garlic whipped potatoes. Dessert was a chocolate ganache and java topped with Miracle Whip. Then they sang, "Happy Birthday, Rachelle."

And on the way out a diner who looked just like Antonio Banderas said, "I hope you enjoyed your birthday, Ms. Gardner." The Melanie Griffith lookalike appeared a tad jealous.

Later that night, photos of the celebration were posted to Facebook.

Philip King said...

The serve rockets in, a missile. Blocked – a miracle – by Grass, the ball recoils, spins through air and drops, just over the net. But Spiridon’s there, scooping it at foot-level, returning cross-court... to meet a sliding Grass backhand. The Battle of the Gun Dogs, George the Texan Golden Retriever versus Koni the Black Labrador, at climax.

It ends, a dazzling topspin riposte down the line.

"Koni, Koni!" scream the Russian fans, rapturous with devotion.

"Dang, thought it was a sure thing."

"No such thing, hon," says Gardner, sipping her java.

"One Chocolate Rhapsody Cake tomorrow."

Her smile is my answer.

Matt said...

Java is a clueless dog. I consider it a minor miracle every time he finds his way back into the house from the yard. However, you train him in a few simple tasks, serve doggie treats as rewards, and he'll carry them out with a boundless, simple-minded devotion.

For example: Did you know that many banks allow seeing eye dogs on their premises? And with proper motivation, a two-year-old Labrador with a canvas tote bag will go to every guard in a room and retrieve their guns for you?

In theory, anyway.

See you in ten, three with good behavior.

abogash said...

"Doesn't matter how much devotion he shows to his family. Look at that cute black labrador puppy in the yard, for God's sake! Or if we like it...can't think about it, we still have to serve him." Rachelle slumped in defeat against her squad car's seat, gripping the foreclosure summons tightly.

"Yeah, I know. But still, we could go get some java and forget the whole thing- you know- pray for a miracle or something?"

Neither felt up to shattering yet another American dream.

She shoved the summons into his hand. "You serve, I'll buy."

Nadine said...

She tried to keep calm. It was a miracle he was there at all. “You want something to drink? Cup of java?”
He shook his head. “I don’t do coffee. Only tea.”
Of course. How could she forget his devotion to the leaf instead of the bean. “What time is Rachelle coming?”
His eyes drifted to his watch, the leather band coming undone. “When she’s done walking our Labrador.”
So they had a dog together. At least no kids.
“I’m glad you’re here.”
He shrugged and flicked the cigarette ash. “You had a guy serve me. I had no choice.”

Donna Newton said...

At seventeen he’d stood at the crossroads and, as predicted, received his first criminal record. He could have turned right and remained a statistical drain on today’s society. But some miracle turned him left.
It was challenging to serve but he was rewarded with a job, friends, Labrador, and a beautiful girlfriend whose devotion was endless and java was bad.
He awoke on the morning of his 22nd birthday, unaware he would be honoured a hero. At exactly four o’clock he would rescue a child from a burning building. All it would cost him in return was his own life.

Kim D. Baldwin said...

Buck the Labrador knew how to serve his master with devotion, but it was a miracle the man could do anything without him. However, Buck found himself the beneficiary of jealousy when the new woman came into the picture. How incensed he was as he watched her start the day, heaven forbid without his help, while she prepared a heady java every morning. It seemed as if marriage was the bane of the man and his best friend bond, but every day, when she fed him a scrambled egg she made just for him, it didn't seem so bad.

Phoenix said...


The dog whines at her name and paws my hand.

She's a Labrador. Black, like uncreamed coffee or the fading night.

Hope had been a Golden, a sun-filled garden, her bright devotion burning like Hannukah oil for eight precious years.

Black, though, is a color I understand. A bond buds where I thought no new would grow.

She waits patient in her harness. I take up the handle, eager yet cautious, aware she's my freedom, my salvation. My own miracle worker, ready to serve.

"Forward," I say to Java -- but what I'm really saying is good-bye to Hope.

Simon McNeil said...

It was a miracle I remembered Rachel Gardiner's birthday at all.

I was sitting on my deck in Labrador sipping some java - a drink which I serve to all my guests with the devotion of a religious man - when it struck me.

And so I had to report that I had remembered here.

John Ross Harvey said...

It was a miracle that her Labrador could serve Java with the devotion
Rachel Gardiner expected of a distinguished gentleman, or at least her friend the shark lady. Mind you she still needed the extras like milk and sugar when she felt like it, but Trusty the Lab was all about the black.

Rebecca T. said...

I squinted at my computer and banged the mouse in frustration. Stupid Java kept asking me for an update. I didn't want to update it! The software is supposed to serve me! It's supposed to have the devotion of a labrador retriever! Not make me restart the computer every fifteen seconds! It would be a miracle if I could get Rachelle's birthday present done in time.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
April said...

A duck hunt on an English marsh. Mid-morning is as gray as dusk. The marsh is a wasteland; and Prince, my Labrador, is the wraith that serves to fetch my kills. Even ducks, though, find water too chilling a prospect today. Our lack of frostbite: a miracle. The wind whips us like insolent children, full of needles and more bitter than Aunt Percy's sitting-room java. I look at Prince, his devotion to me so boundless as to shrug off the cold like a damp towel. He stands rapt and motionless, poised for command.

"Last one home fetches the coffee."

Morgan Lee said...

Rachelle smiled from where she stood gazing out the kitchen window. She watched her beloved yellow labrador play with her two children with devotion.

“Hey beautiful!” she heard her husband call behind her.

Spinning around to face him, she giggled. His hands were held secretively behind his back and his face held a mischievous grin. He was handsome in his fireman uniform, she thought. Ready to serve their city. Perhaps perform a miracle.

“What cha hiding?”
“Java?” he asked holding out her favorite starbucks variety.
“Happy birthday!” he added as he surrendered the magnificent bouquet of flowers with the other.

Rachel said...

“Do you see that guy’s Labrador hair-do? He must think he’s James Dean.”

“That’s pompadour, Auntie, not Labrador,” Rachelle said, smiling at her absentminded aunt.

They came to Java – most populous island in the world – to see the ancient Buddhist temples. As they watched, patrons left offerings, signs of devotion and willingness to serve a higher power.

“Well, it will be a miracle if he gets all the product out of it,” Rachelle said. “He’ll have to rinse and repeat twice.”

Rachelle’s aunt chuckled and patted her arm as they headed toward the marketplace.

Patrick DiOrio said...

“Leave him be,” Sgt. Cruz said to his partner. “He was a good cop, once.”
Peavey looked at the sprawled bum sleeping one off. “Him?”
“Yeah, him,” Cruz said and he hustled them away.
Stryker peeked a look as they drove off..
“It’s a miracle they didn’t haul your drunk ass in,” Odin, his labrador said.
Stryker grunted. “No thanks to your undying devotion.”
“I serve and protect,” came Odin’s reply. “And look what it got me.”
Stryker groaned. Too many voices.
“What you need’s a new life,” Odin said.
Maybe. A cup of java would be a good start.

Prity said...

She knew him, the moment she saw him, old ragged, smelly man with a broken cup of java and an unkempt Labrador. She prayed he stayed away.
Her eyes searched for her car while still thinking about him. For a moment, she admired the devotion of the animal who served his master no matter what. She turned around to make sure he wasn’t following. She heaved a sigh of relief and moved ahead swiftly.
As she approached closer to her car, she saw him. He smiled and spoke. And a miracle happened.
He said, “You know, he smells too.”

Carolyn Haven said...

“You better have had your java this morning if you think you can use that pathetic Labrador pendant as leverage to free one red cent for him. After all my years of devotion, it would serve the dog right if I took him to the cleaners,” I say fussing at the attorney while shaking my finger at my soon to be ex. “By the time I’m finished with him, you’ll need a miracle to get your fees.”

“Honey, it’s a Labradorite crystal; I wasn’t trying to call you a dog,” pleads the semipermanet couch resident.

Happy Birthday Rachelle Gardner!

Angela Robbins said...

Rachelle didn’t define her feelings for Joey as devotion, but the hunky brewista sure knew how to make a damn fine cup of java—frappuccinos his specialty. Knew just the right amount of whipped cream…now that reminded her of the real reason she went out with him. In the sack he was a cinch to train, like teaching a Labrador to sit. But when it came to conversation, it would take a miracle to entice more than a “whoa, dude” from his lips. Lips…well, at least as boyfriends went, he served his purpose. And served her very well.

(not part of the story: the author would like to state this is not a representation of the REAL Rachelle whatsoever.)

Michael G-G said...

“Cardinal Labrador to see you, Excellency.”

With ace-serve speed, Cardinal Gervasio “Java” Ottaviano slid the Brown book under the sofa cushions and, with a look of devotion, made an unhurried sign of the cross as Labrador entered the room. A miracle if that snake isn’t up to something.

“At prayer? Apologies,” Labrador said. He winked. “Today’s September 6th.”

The 6th? Were legions of albino assassins to be unleashed? Get a grip: it’s only fiction. “And so? Feria, surely?”

Labrador winced. “Feria, malaria. It’s my agent, Rachelle Gardner’s, birthday.”

“Your agent?”

“You’ll love my novel, Cardinal Sins.”

“Your... novel?” Kill me.

Tom M Franklin said...

Dear Rachel Gardener,

Attached is my 225,000 word non-fiction novel and future best-seller, "Serve Your Labrador with Devotion: The Memoirs of a Java-Crazed Miracle Worker". If you sign me now, you can get it in the bookstores by Christmas!

Julie Geistfeld said...

Unpublished Dreams and Query Nightmares

Rachelle Gardner, or is it Randy Gordon? Doesn't make a difference, I'll add her to my mass e-query. What does he represent? Oh, who doesn't like horror zombie fantasy non-fiction?
Now click and off it goes!
I'll hit refresh, pray for a miracle, and wait to get offers!

(8 weeks/150 rejections later...)

Maybe that blog was misleading? Perhaps that labrador wasn't trying to serve me with great devotion? Maybe a mass e-query wasn't the route to go!
Ok, this time I'll follow the tabby's advice; a mass mailing with single spaced manuscript and grande java enclosed!

wry wryter said...

She was going home to Labrador for two reasons, her mother’s birthday and time to say good-by to Java, her beloved chocolate lab.

That he was a miracle of devotion for her mother after she left was an understatement.

“It is my dream to serve the written word in the big city,” she said.

The mother would pet the dog and in the glistening coffee colored hair see her daughter’s own.

“He’s gone,” the mother said. They cried and together buried the good boy.

Day next, they found a blond girl, Brandy. It was a happy birthday after all.

Tinney Heath said...

I gulped. Only five minutes, but I had my pitch down. It would serve.

"I've mislaid my hearing aids," the legendary agent said, "so speak up."

"It's about the miracle that results from a very special labrador's devotion to his mistress..."

She sighed theatrically. "Stop right there, dear. Lyrical or not, I don't need another matador who demotes his mistress. It's overdone."

I'd spent a sleepless night for nothing. "I need some strong java," I muttered.

"Lava? That's a deus ex machina. Now, rethink your concept. What I really need right now is a feel-good story about a dog."

Rachel Searles said...

This is Brandon’s fault. The thought circled through her head, ten, twenty times a day.
The novice collapsed onto a bench, lifting her habit away from her sweaty neck. Just her luck to be sent to a mission in Indonesia, to the choking humidity that cloaked the island of Java. So different from the wind-bitten shores of Labrador where she’d grown up.
Still, her devotion was real, of that she had no doubt. But this damn heat! It would be a miracle if she managed to serve the rest of her novitiate without melting into a puddle of nun.

Kay said...

I sit at my desk with my faithful Labrador, Lucky, snoring at my feet. I know I need to turn off the television, but the constant serve and volley of the U.S. Open somehow calms my nerves. Today is the day I start the query process. I sip my freshly brewed Java while I read and reread my query letter for my debut novel, Murder on Music Row. If only devotion to writing guaranteed success. I’m terrified of failure, but I can’t fail until I try. It’s time to try. I have to believe … a miracle could happen.

Jean said...

T'would take a miracle (or reading comments) to identify the birthday girl, but my trusty Labrador will serve her java with utmost devotion (and only a few small slurps).

wizardonskis22 said...

The pounding waves relentlessly beat upon the Labrador coastline as Rachelle Gardner pushed her small sailing boat into the roiling seas. Thunder roared overhead, but she took no heed. It would take a miracle to find her beloved puppy Java, but her devotion was boundless. Her sails caught wind as the sea served her splash after splash of freezing droplets, but she held her course. A flash of lightning lit up the sky and struck her mast. As her boat exploded, she dove into the sea, straight into the waiting jaws of the shark that had eater her dog.

Anonymous said...

She’d never left the country before. Hell, she’d never left her Arkansas town before. Now, she was in Labrador, some freakin’ Canadian island, watching her daddy preach the Word.
The snakes were restless, tonight.
“If you want to serve the Lord with true devotion, fall to your knees. Worship the serpent in His name.” He says, as the big rattler, Harry, twines around his neck.
“You needing a miracle, sister?” A woman with gnarled hands nods, tears pouring.
Out of the corner of his mouth, he says to me, “Go get the java brewing, Rachel. Got a big crowd tonight.”

Alex said...

I'm a Labrador. I'm no tall dark and handsome Doberman. But I'm no jumped up java drinking labradoodle either.

I'm a little big for my frame and a little scruffy in my coat.

You can take me or leave me and I won't care. I've got who I need, my friend, my life and my world. She's got my devotion and I've got hers.

Every time that women reaches for my leash and serves me that smile all the sudden I've got a pocket full of miracles. I feel like Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Cool Hand Luke, and Steve McQueen.

Katie Ganshert said...

Twenty-five years ago (right?) a miracle happened. Rachelle was born. She fell in love with a fireman, had two girls, and bought a labrador. Even though she loved her life, something was missing. So she went to Starbucks to consider her future.

"I love books," she thought. "I love to help authors. I’ll become an agent! I’ll serve my clients with devotion, make loads of money, and everybody will love me!"

So she did and she lived happily ever after.

As far as loads of money and everybody loving her? That was the java talking. Agents can never please everybody.


Lon said...

The Labrador uncovered the severed finger from the smoking rubble...a gold band still hanging on to it's identity. Her devotion to the smoking heap is a miracle of breeding and love. And the firemen sit stunned with their java. And the policemen stand silent with their coffee. And she rests, drinking water from a cracked hydrant, still smelling the newly severed identity that earned her this break. And they serve and they protect and they rush into the fiery falling abyss. Before she is called to find them on aromatic bands of loyalty.

Marisa Birns said...

It was not a miracle that Rachelle Gardner turned down Hasyim's marriage proposal.

After all, while she thought him cute and was initially flattered by his unending devotion, she had no plans to move to his ancestral homeland in Java.

He was a client, that's all.

She loved to travel but as she told her friends, “Staying in lovely places for a week or two is one thing. Packing up and running away to an island is quite another.”

“That's what Gauguin did,” her friend Janet said. “And it turned out well for him.”

Rachel sighed. “Aside from all the editorial work that needs my attention, you do remember that I am married already?”

She left Janet's office and wondered why no one offered to serve her Prosecco or birthday cake.

Driving home, Rachelle thought about the surprise party waiting for her at home.

Janet could never keep a secret.

No matter. Rachelle planned to open her eyes wide and gasp as family and friends shouted, “Surprise!”

She knew how to pretend.

Though she hoped her husband's gift would include travel to somewhere warmer than last year's trip to Labrador. Perhaps Tahiti.

Nicole said...

He suggested Java Devotion. I had been there before, when a wiggling labrador drank from a ceramic bowl under a tree just outside the green door. This time, the dog was gone, only gum-stained sidewalk.

Marco stepped in line beside me, "I recommend the Turkish latte; cardamom and coffee belong together."

His fresh-shaven jaw and soapy scented t-shirt made me want to serve him a homemade birthday cake. But then I noticed his hands, one in each back pocket, elbows pulled back, and knew that I needed the miracle of caffeine for this conversation. "Make it a double," I said.

Corey said...

Rachelle Gardner needed a miracle. The stack of query letters hiding her desk was consuming her entire weekend. She frowned at Samson, her immense Golden Labrador Retriever.

“No walk for you this weekend, Sam.”

Rachelle needed fuel. She trudged to the kitchen to fetch a cup of java. This was no way to spend Labor Day, much less her birthday.

Yet Samson’s devotion to serve Rachelle was unyielding. Returning to the study Rachelle found the pup slobbering over a heap of partly devoured stationery on her desk. Rachelle smiled. And the two headed out the front door for a walk.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

She came in a rusted bucket, flown from Jakarta for the price of all she had. She brought a hard-cased valise and her best friend Dutch, a black labrador. It was 1967.

Devotion brought her to Java, but it was a miracle she sought. Her father studied volcanoes. His dying words were “Wayang-Windu. 1968.” It was a twin-topped volcano and maybe something more. She stayed in the Hotel Savoy Homann, where they serve noni juice every day. The volcano slept.

In 1969, she went home.

Her name was Rachelle, but they called her ‘wayang’. It means ‘ghost’.

April said...


Tom shivered against the frigid gale blowing across the Strait of Belle Isle.

“Ach-tooey!” He spat on the frozen ground as he pictured Elle wandering the humid back roads of Indonesia wearing only a sarong and smile.

He knew he had to go back there. To prove his devotion.

He suffered the 20 hour flight from Labrador to Java by guzzling all the booze the flight attendant would serve him. If, by some miracle, he found Elle again, he decided he would bend down on one knee and beg her to become Mrs. Tom Gardner.

adam.purple said...

"Labrador? That's no place for a Gardner."

"No, Gardner's in Massachusetts. To find her? Miracle."

"Kentucky? Back for her birthday? Well that's devotion for you."

"We've been through this before. Devotion's in North Carolina. Near the self-serve on I-77. You know that."

"Sorry, too much coffee."

"What does Indonesia have to do with this?"

"You're thinking Java."

"No thanks. I'll be up all night."

"So will it be a happy birthday, or not?"

"I'll ask her."


"Yes, but we're talking about her, remember?"

"Never mind."

T. Anne said...

@ReganTheLab pawed at her knee. He knew she was on client moratorium, but was relentless in his pursuit.

Rachelle reluctantly printed out a slew of queries, partials and fulls and spread them over the floor.

Every agent had their thing, Janet had her octopus, Nathan and had his great kerpow, and Rachelle had Regan her devoted Labrador always ready to serve. His powers were nothing short of a miracle.

Rachelle ventured to Star Bucks to grab a java chip frappuccino. When she returned, Regan stomped on the cover of a full. It was time for Rachelle to make the call.

Vago said...

The miracle wasn't that there was a tennis clinic in Labrador. Nor was it that the idea was born in a cafe filled with socialites that had come to learn how to improve their serve, backhand, or lob.

Instead, the miracle was that as Rachel Gardiner was ordering a cup of java her devotion to detail allowed her to see that a good cup of joe made the world seem brighter.

Within two months she had published a treaty which united the Israeli and Palestinian people behind a coffee growing initiative in Haiti.

The rest, as they say, is her-story.

Monica B.W. said...

Who said my birthday was going to be awesome?

The day began with Choo-choo, my Labrador, drinking my java and spilling it on that rug I so much love. You know, that rug Mom knit out of her devotion to squint at dingy threads of wool? Well, it was a miracle that my clumsy hands could serve to scrub it clean. Except the real problem was that I took so long I arrived late for work and my boss fired me. But then you, Rachelle, called me and I knew that, after all, my birthday was going to be awesome.

Michelle said...

A Creative Memoir.
It was a beautiful, sunny August afternoon when last Ms. Gardner sat in the local java house. By some miracle her laptop was saved the fate of 'fizzlepop' as her latte tumbled from her hand.
“No!!” she yelled.
Rachelle watched with horror as the liquid sloshed over her lap, the plastic lid twirling through the air.
Her faithful Labrador Retriever showed his devotion by quickly lapping up the spilled java, though nothing could save her stained clothing and her wounded pride.
The barista was happy to serve her another, while she tweeted the event to the masses.

swampfox said...

It was a long day in Java when the cuckoo failed to fly. But that’s what happened when the Labrador got loose. No one expected a miracle. Every time Lanier escaped, another bird would disappear. Still, the king had just arrived and nothing stopped the show. He loved his royal animals. The lions, trained to sit and stare, always had it easy, but the dogs would leap through rings to serve with absolute devotion. The young monarch loved just one thing more than his pack of dancing canines – his flock of feathered friends, and the cuckoo was his favorite.

Shelley Watters said...

“The Labrador granite counters? Are you sure? Aren’t they a bit dark?” he asked.

“They’re not dark. Look at the java and cream-colored veins running through them. They're beautiful!” Rachelle Gardner said as she trailed a finger over the cool marble.

“Serves me right for marrying you. It’s a miracle I’ve managed to hold out from buying you granite counter tops for this long,” he said, but the devotion was clear in his voice.

Douglas Morrison said...

“On this day, in 1869, Felix Salten was born. He’s wrote Bambi.” Jeff blew on his cup of java.

“Foxworthy, it’s a miracle you can remember the name of your Labrador, let alone what happened in 1869.” Rachelle reached for her third croissant, slathering it with butter.

“I mention this, because I require your devotion and your brain, if you are going to serve as my agent.”

“You doubt my Eistein-esk brain power?”

“Gardner, you were Salten’s agent. You sold the “Bambi” film rights for $1000 in 1933 to Sidney Franklin and Disney.”

“Can’t this just be about our Birthdays?”

Orlando said...

Kimberly made her escaped to the Java Café just north from the park where she usually walked Shadow her Labrador. She felt guilty unable to walk him today. Shadows devotion showed in his eyes, but she was too pressed for time today.

She needed a miracle right about now not to mention more coffee. As the waitress walked by she asked, "Could you serve me another cup, please?"

The aroma of the coffee alone increased her energy as she stared at her watch incessantly. "I hope he shows up. I can't take anymore rejection from him," she whispered to herself.

peytonia said...

She left the city in devotion to east winds. Destination: The Wonderstrands on the south coast of Labrador, visited by Vikings.
“Will you serve as my skald?” she asked the boy at the drive-through window.
He stared.
“I am not Jane Curtain, although we also share a birthday,” she replied. “The miracle of resemblance resides in the heavens.”
“No…photo…computer…escape,” he stammered.
She knew what he meant. Everyone thought it was she who had invented Java, not that fellow in California and that, like it, she had escaped, become open-sourced, transparent. The winds blew. She pictured white sands and strong Swedes.

Linda Leszczuk said...

With a miracle serve, Devotion, the tennis playing labrador, won game, set and match. His trainer, as always, rewarded him with a nice bowl of java.

jdh said...

Of actual geography, Columbus had no notion.

His mediocre sailing skills did test his crew’s devotion.

A miracle, they kept their nerve, without revolt went on to serve.

He swore ‘Ahoy! The Java shore!’ as one ship sank off Labrador.

Proving when it comes to luck, there is no magic potion.

It isn’t size of sailor’s fleet, it’s the current in the ocean.

kely said...

She woke. Her cheek lay in burning sand, like the time she was having a drinking problem and missed her mouth with her java.

A presence loomed just to her left. Eager. Rachelle had a sense of devotion. Ah, her black labrador. He had never left her side, there to serve her. Always.

It came back in a rush. She had gone running Sunday evening, and was overtaken by the sudden urge to run into the desert, toward New Mexico. She had fallen, struck her head against a rock.

She needed a miracle.

Something -- someone -- loomed in the distance, rising up out of the sand, heat waves distorting him.

It was kelybreez. In his hands, a tray of nutella.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Rachelle Gardner knew what she had to do.

Decades ago it took kissing babies, drinking java at local drugstore counters, and praying for a miracle. But that was when politicians served their constituents, when they sought to earn respect and devotion.

Times, they hadn't changed; they'd revolted.

Rachelle patted her black Labrador, the only member of her entourage. Nothing to prevent another reversal.

Approaching a plaid-shirt waiting at the bus stop, she pulled out a thousand-dollar check, part of the campaign funds she wouldn't be spending on slanderous TV ads. "Excuse me, sir. Have a minute?"

MarissaV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katt said...

Janet's last contest of summer had my knickers in a twist.
I wanted the words to be more than they were.
No light bulbs flashed. No sparks flew. No grin on my face while fingers winged over keys.
I started seventeen times. Tried to twist the words, make them more.
Labrador as a dog, a province, a horse. Serve imbedded in four different words.
Devotion of a man for God, a dog for a man. Java both liquid and terra firma.
There was no miracle.
I clicked send, called it a night, at nine Pacific.
ps. Happy Birthday Rachelle.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

I narrowed my eyes and chewed my lip to keep from attacking him like a rabid labrador.
It would take a miracle to keep me from killing him; desperately I dragged myself away from the fight. I found myself in front of freezer where the java chip ice-cream lay.
I'm not the only one eating ice-cream today.
Some of us are indulging to avoid throwing a vase at someone's head. Some of us are eating the sweet treat because it's a happy occasion, one filled with faithful friends who have proven their devotion.
Happy Birthday Ms. Gardner!

sue harrison said...

The Duchess sipped her tea and raised one elegant eyebrow.

"Rachelle," she said, "our tea is cold. We do not expect much of you beyond loyalty and devotion, but would it take a miracle for you to serve our tea hot?"

"No, Mum."

"As to your other duties, have you bathed the labrador?"

"Yes, Mum."

"Answered our correspondence?"

"Yes, Mum."

"Scheduled our flight to Java?"

"Yes, Mum."

"Trimmed the roses?"

"No, Mum. Sorry, Mum. I do not trim roses."

"What? Why ever not?"

"Despite my devotion, Mum, I am most definitely not a gardener."

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Even hard-boiled detectives need to relax. And I was, over a cup of hot java. Black, no sugar. Straight up coffee.

I sighed. If only my last client had been as lovely as the waitress. “Serve me,” I thought, “and I didn’t mean the coffee.” It was as much a pipe dream as was my fantasy of retiring to the Labrador coast and fishing.

It was all a matter of devotion: Hers to her pimply boyfriend with the Yankees cap. Mine to hot java, dreams, and hard-boiled dames.

Cole Howard said...

The midnight devotional is flickering through the snowy television screen. The generator chokes, snuffing out the heater and electricity.

He’s been gone too long. Time ticks on like a glacier.

After the RV’s engine froze, he served scissors and I threw rock; he took the trek.

“I’ll just get the first cup of java,” he'd said it meant, smiling warmly. It was still funny then.

Miracle, his frosty-eyed Labrador, is barking. Was she with us? They must be back. I throw open the frigid door. My coat’s inside, but she sounds so close. I trudge toward the dark tree line.

Ben said...

I needed a miracle. Blind devotion to God, Allah, Thor or whatever god wouldn't make my client understand why she needed java 1.6 to make this application work.

At this pace, I'd end up just blind from staring at the computer screen and I'd leave work with one of those labrador guide dogs.

I serve idiots. Twenty to forty times a day I had to serve an idiot and use politeness formulas. And people wonder why cubicle freaks go "postal" in an I.T company.I hope Rachelle will understand when she watches the news tonight.

Latoya Alloway said...

Rachelle stood in line at Starbucks watching a barista strap a saddle containing java onto a Labrador and take the cash out of his mouth. Rachelle followed him out the door; certain she knew who was behind this. She entered Janet’s office hot on his heels. Janet looked up from her manuscript. “I needed an additional assistant.”
“I might be working my staff too hard. I found an intern passed out on her desk mumbling the words of our latest manuscript.”
“Fido’s devotion to me is uncanny; nowhere near Suzie’s but the miracle is ‘he does serve coffee’.”

Buffy Andrews said...

The second I turned around I knew I was going to die. I dropped my java as my Labrador, Fate, thudded to the floor in a puddle of blood. How did that asshole Slevin get in? I wondered. There were a dozen locks on that damn door. Five times he’s tried to kill me. It would be a miracle if I survived another attempt. If only he had as much devotion to our marriage. That PFA is nothing but a lousy piece of paper. It doesn’t serve any purpose other than to piss him off. I grabbed a knife from the cutting block and inched my way into the living room. I grabbed my Droid and called my bestie Rachelle Gardner. Damn, Rachelle, I thought. Pick up. I don’t care if you’re out running. Stop and answer your damn phone. Just as Rach answered the phone, I heard a gun click.

JennInReality said...

Amy sat on her stoop, puffing a Virginia Slim and watching the dirty vagrant rummage through the trashcans in the alley across the street. "What a view," she mumbled, crushing her cigarette with her boot and rubbing her hands together against the cold.

The homeless man sniffed at something. "Here ya' go," he barked, handing what could have been a moldy sandwich or maybe a sock to the scrawny labrador wagging its tail with happy devotion by his side. The dog sniffed the object and wolfed it down. Sandwich, Amy thought.

She considered returning to her empty apartment, but decided to grab a cup of coffee instead. She walked toward the homelss man, ducking into the Java Jim's--conveniently located next to the alley. The barista faked a cheery smile, "How may I serve you?"

"Coffee. Black." Sipping her coffee she hurried out the door, and ran smack into the vagrant. "What the hell!" she shouted.

The vagrant smiled. "Your husband died. You're all alone. You need a friend." He handed his dog's leash to Amy. Amy stared at the man, mouth agape. He patted his dog's head, "His name is Miracle."

Amy shook her head, "But I don't want a--" The man disappeared.

Warren Richey said...

Flatcher nudged the smoldering remains with his ballpoint pen. The exposed bone was white. A coffee mug lay nearby.
He remained still, trying not to gag. He’d seen plenty at the constabulary in Labrador, but this was the Big City.
“You can’t find devotion like that. She loved to serve.” It was a talking shark. Co-worker. “Rachelle. That’s her name.”
Flatcher jotted something down.
“Miracle this carpet didn’t catch fire,” he said.
“She was drinking coffee,” the finned one explained. “Java Supremo.”
He bent low and ran his pen across the flat edge of the shinbone, checking for teeth marks.

Catherine said...

Senora J. Ava La Brador served the Shark another scotch.
"It's a miracle she's still on the stool. Rachelle Gardner's birthday party ended three hours ago. Why is she still here?"
"Devo," Tio Nacho said. "She likes to whip it."

Katherine Tomlinson said...

In the polar climate of Labrador, it’s a miracle that anyone survives the winter sane. When five nuns from Our Lady of Divine Devotion were discovered dead by the young Inuit girl who cleaned for them, there were whispers of murder, though no one had a reason to kill the women who did nothing but serve their community.

But then the Inuit girl died. Turns out the nuns were trafficking in illegal animal parts and an infected fruit bat from Java had killed them.

The gossips were not surprised, they said. They knew the nuns were up to no good.

Jake said...

Even now at the apex of the birthday invocation they argued about everything, whether Labrador was a place or a breed, whether Java was a beverage or a language, whether wishing qualified as an act of prayer or an act of desperation, and over everyone as the candles were extinguished, whether to serve was the highest form of devotion or if a miracle was actually an act of spontaneity.

Annie said...

Labradors, Sphinxes, Java and Pho
Macy read the sign and entered. She eyed the faun as she sat.
“Serve me some cold pho and espresso,” she said.
He bowed and trotted away.
Macy trembled. I should get Alice a puppy instead.
The faun returned. “Anupu will see you now.”
Macy followed him down the back hallway to the black door. He closed it behind her.
Macy swallowed, eying Anupu.
Anupu crossed his arms.
Macy set an envelope and a picture of Alice on his desk. “I need a miracle. I have cash.”
Anupu glowered. “I only accept payment in devotion.”