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Short Story Day 102 of 365
With increasing frequency, Joel found himself going to different coffee shops all over the city to get away and think. Perhaps it was him getting away that made the difference and not the coffee shop, but his goal was to go to a new one each week until he ran out of locations.
The Smooth Brew Café was close enough to the city to hear the highway and close enough to farm country to smell it. As he got out of his car to go in, he saw three horses in the drive-thru lane with three teen girls on foot holding the reins, all waiting for cars to move forward in line.
He stared at the scene for longer than he should have. It was a first for him at a coffee shop, or at any retail shop for that matter.
When he finally went in to order, the staff was too busy taking photos and sharing them with the world to wait on him quickly.
When he did get a barista’s attention. Joel ordered his usual, a medium coffee, saving a little room for cream.
The café porch was empty except for a few tables, chairs, and umbrellas. Joel plopped himself down facing the rear parking lot. A few minutes later, all three horses pulled up and berthed in four of the parking spaces, with their handlers each serving the horses coffee from their cups.
A little girl and her mother came out just as the horses were devouring their coffee, that is, if that’s what horses actually do with coffee.
The girl’s mother approached one of the handlers and asked, “Say, can my Melissa here pet your horses? She’s seven, and was hoping to get into a horse camp this summer and she really wants to start now to get used to them.”
“Certainly,” the girl said.
“Go ahead, Sweetie. Be gentle,” Melissa’s mother said.
The mother turned back to the handler. She scratched her forehead and said, “Just curious, but wh, uh, how…”
“I know what you’re going to ask,” the teen handler said with a huge grin. “We’re trainers at a local stable and decided to take our girls out for a little walk. Since the café is so close, we thought they’d want something from the menu.
“Turns out Bonjour here likes the whipped cream we put on an Americano coffee. She didn’t like the coffee. Oh Jealous One here didn’t really care for any coffee at all, and Summertime couldn’t get enough of all three of our drinks.”
The little girl rubbed the neck and body of Summertime.
“Mom, can we get one? She’s very beautiful.”
“Yes, she is beautiful. Unfortunately, Sweetie, we’d have nowhere to board her. But we can come out here a lot to ride during vacation time. How’s that?”
Summertime nodded twice and neighed.
And so, magic was created in the parking lot of The Smooth Brew Café that day.