I make up stories about people I pass on the streets

Two police officers walk into a Dunkin Donuts. Their uniforms fit just right, and have the effect of making their somewhat plain characteristics mysteriously appear more handsome. The girl behind the counter was hired just a few days ago. She has long, glossy hair the color of dark coffee beans, pulled up in a pony tail, with long bangs framing a pixie-like face.

It is cold outside and the first police officer is rubbing his chapped hands for warmth. He is looking for coffee on the menu, oblivious to the fact that the chilly weather will cause him to come to this particular Dunkin Donuts many more times in the upcoming weeks, and that he and the lovely girl behind the counter will begin to engage in flirtacious banter as he becomes a regular, and that within a matter of months they will have fallen deeply, deeply in love with each other.

The second police officer waits in the corner. He would sit down, but he doesn't want to look like he's slacking. The pair was supposed to be on duty, but he had convinced his partner to take a quick coffee break because he knew about the new girl who worked at Dunkin Donuts and was hoping to catch a glimpse of her. He will be bitter when she ends up with the wrong police man, and his jealousy will be harmless at first, but then he will decide that they were meant to be and that their love will annul the sin of stealing her away.

She resists being stolen because she has a clear conscience and knows the difference between right and wrong just as surely as she can distinguish white from black and day from night. At least this is what she tells herself. Her encounter with temptation had been awfully close, though, and as unknown feelings begin to betray her, she suddenly finds that what she has is no longer satisfying, and she grows more and more unhappy.

Years later, on one particularly cold winter evening, the two police officers will walk into the Dunkin Donuts once again. There will be another newly hired girl with pretty eyes and luscious hair serving their coffee from behind the counter, but neither of them will flirt with her. They will sip in silence, each regretting that they allowed the thief of their hearts to run away with no arrest.


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  2. Brooke!

    I must say, I do like how this story, your latest piece, is framed. You explicitly state in the title that it is but a figment of your fantasy, yet the reader is so oddly entranced from the get-go (with the direct introduction of the policemen), wanting to learn more about the lives of these fictional characters (or at least how you imagine them in your mind).

    From there, you proceed in a chronological manner, almost like a magical realism piece that blurs the line between what is real and what is imagined. Of course, this is all plausible because it never happened. But that makes it all the more wondrous.

    "Their love will annul the sin of stealing her away" struck me as the most powerful line. Probably intentional, your choice of language involving morality is quite powerful here.

    I disagree with the ending though, as it renders the girl rather powerless, merely an object to be passed between the two men. Her distinction between good and evil and subsequence resistance is merely an illusion as she succumbs to the "unhappily ever after" anyway--what? Maybe it's the jarring feminist interlocutor in my head, but I think she can do better than that. What I'm saying is, there could be more to this story--that ending seems like a cop-out, satisfying some imaginary imposed word-limit, perhaps.

    Anyway that's my $0.02, take it or leave it for what it's worth haha.

    PS The policemen motif reminded me of O'Henry's short story "After Twenty Years" (you can find it here http://faculty.tnstate.edu/lpowers/Short%20Story/ohenry.pdf)

    1. Tony! I, too, felt that the ending was abrupt. But alas, I had to get back to lab so I figured I'd post it as is. Knowing that I disappointed you with the ending makes me want to re-write it though :/ Perhaps this post will be edited if inspiration hits.

      Or, feel free to write your own alternate ending. Your writing was always better than mine anyways :)

  3. Tis a cliched statement, but life always gets in the way, doesn't it? So we oblige...

    I don't think I'm going to attempt to write an alternate ending since the very premise of this piece stems from your observation and so any appendings on my part would be, I think, rather contrived. Also, although it's very dubious, thanks for the compliment :D

    Don't get me wrong, please view this as an open-ended challenge rather than a provocation; I'm not trying to be obnoxious (this time) haha.