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Creative Writing

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Withdrawal Symptoms (An Ode to Kafka).


You regret staying up last night talking to whatever her name was; she wasn’t worth the excruciating headache that you’re now suffering with. You need coffee; it’s all you can think about. As soon as your mind becomes aware that you’re awake, it reiterates the word 'coffee' until its desire is fulfilled. Today is no exception. 

You enter the kitchen and your heart begins to panic; there is an empty space where your coffee machine usually resides. How could a coffee machine possibly vanish? Maybe you’ve been robbed? You wonder why the burglars overlooked the supreme rapture of technology in the other rooms; in fact nothing else appears to have been taken. 


You begin to search the kitchen in agitation; you wish your head would stop pounding. You examine the neglected jars of Nescafé that yearn for attention; there is nothing in the cupboards that will satisfy your desire. You see something move from the corner of your eye. Maybe the burglar is still here? It doesn’t appear to be a burglar, it is a coffee machine, but it isn’t yours. It looks somewhere in between a microwave and a dollhouse; glossy, petite yet robust.

‘Withdrawal symptoms getting you down love?’ The sound comes from the alien coffee machine. You’re hallucinating, of course you are. You desperately need caffeine. A coffee machine cannot talk, snap out of it. Again, it speaks. 
‘No you’re not imagining me, I’m right here.’ This time you poke the coffee machine, it is in fact solid and real. You are definitely losing your mind. 
‘Well that was extremely forward; we barely even know each other.’
‘You’re the one in MY kitchen!’ You are holding a conversation with a coffee machine; maybe it’s time to see a psychiatrist? The machine watches you carefully contemplating its next move.

‘Well me and the Mrs. got into a slight argument last night, she left and as I’m designated your kitchen as part of the pre-nup, here I am.’ Maybe you’re being Punk’d? You search for arrogant cameras, but nothing. It is just you and the coffee machine. It begins to beep frantically. 
‘Hold on, I have to take this, it’s the wife.’ You shake your head wondering whether you’re actually awake. Maybe you didn’t really wake up? Maybe if you go back to bed, everything will sort itself out?

‘The Mrs. has instructed that I make you your morning coffee otherwise you shall go ‘insane’ is the word she used.’ Your eyes light up at the sound of this. Coffee is everything that you need at this moment. 
‘Please, please, please.’
‘You are pleading with a machine for a cup of coffee, how on earth can you live with yourself? You’re a grown man!’
‘Just make me my coffee!’

‘I shall not!’ The anger upon hearing this causes you to thrust your fist against the machine without thinking. Your ego is uncontrollable. The machine sprouts two metal legs and storms off faster than expected. Maybe you should follow it? This feels like the last relationship you were in, she was always storming off in anger like a drama queen. It is at that moment that you realise; the coffee machine belongs to her. You know exactly what you must do.

Without a second thought, you get into your car and drive to her flat. You still have the key so you don’t bother knocking. She is watching reality television, something about Essex or Chelsea. You don’t stop to make small talk; the kitchen is your objective. It is a mess as usual, but there it sits, your beautiful beloved coffee machine. Even in the disorder that is her kitchen, the machine captivates your eyes. You lift it up and take it back to the car with great care; she follows and demands to know why you haven’t called. You have no desire to speak to her; you have what you came for. 

The sound of the machine coming to life is gratifying; you can feel the excitement flowing through you. The machine makes you such divine coffee, the scent overwhelming the kitchen. You inhale and let it enthral your being. This amazing feeling cannot be replicated by anything else. Who needs a woman when you have coffee to satisfy your needs? Caffeine is flowing through your bloodstream once again and all is right with the world.

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