This story came from an idea I had when I took my work shirt out of the dryer the other day. My right cuff was buttoned too tightly even though I never unbutton it and I started thinking about if we wake up in different realities with little differences like this; how they may happen simultaneously and you just have to hope you wake up in one where the cuff fits. I know, a lot of thinking from a cuff that I most likely unbuttoned and rebuttoned absent-mindedly. Anyway Happy Monday and I hope you enjoy.  


Word Count: 1049
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

 The alarm screamed in his ears, ripping him from the serenity of whatever already forgotten dream he was having. He slapped the wretched device, silencing it and forced one sleepy eye open. The lids fought against him with a heavy resilience and he could feel the deep red that blanketed his pupil. The other eye followed suit as he lifted himself from the bed and pulled the dangling metal string on his bedside lamp. Nothing happened. He pulled it again, still nothing. Again, again, again, again. Dead bulb. He stopped taking his frustration out on the lamp string and accepted that he’d be getting ready for work in the dim light that fought the room’s darkness from the hallway.

He stood up and his whole body cracked, ankles, knees, back, neck, even his collar bone gave a relieving little pop. Coffee, he thought about the timer that should have his life juice ready for him in another few minutes. Why was he so tired? Had he not gotten his eight hours of sleep? As he walked zombily into the hallway he counted the hours from the time he fell asleep to the sound of the alarm. He turned on the light in the pale blue bathroom and was satisfied that not only had he gotten enough sleep, by the count he should be extra well rested. The sound of the water was loud in his ears as he washed his face and brushed his teeth. He turned off the faucet and the dull patter of rain could be heard through the ceiling. The sound relaxed him momentarily until he remembered that his car was in the shop for the week, and today he had to walk to work.

The rest of his morning routine went by as uneventfully as it could. The coffee he brewed tasted okay, but he thought another half of a scoop would have set the pot off into the land of the robust. A quick mediocre scrambling of eggs rendered him a flavorless, dry egg crumble that he ended up giving most of to the garbage can. In his room, the darkness hid his favorite black slacks from him, with the time to leave closing in he had no choice but to go with the bigger pair that sometimes made him think of parachute pants.

With only a few more minutes to go before he would absolutely have to walk out the door he quickly threw on the rest of his uniform; black socks, black button down shirt, black tie, and black shoes. Some days he hated the uniform, he felt like it brought him down, a walking dark cloud. He took one last glance at the clock and walked quickly out the door.

The rain fell in slow, heavy drops. He had no umbrella but work wasn’t far, he should be able to make it with minimal soakage. As he locked the front door he noticed his right cuff felt very tight. Somehow it seemed the button had been switched and was too tight for his wrist. Feeling strange he began to adjust the shirt while he walked, when a large truck blew by the sidewalk, soaking him from head to toe.


 He could hear the birds singing through the walls, calling for the sun to wake up and come out for another day. The smell of the nights rain refreshed him as he slowly woke, taking his time to thank the friends inside his head for another night of adventure. His eyes opened crisply and he felt rejuvenated, ready to take on the day and whatever exciting obstacles life threw his way. The alarm would be at bay for another thirty minutes, but he didn’t feel like going back to sleep today. Coffee, however, he could already smell the rich aroma from the dark thick beverage in his mind and the thought propelled him upward. With a small smooth click, the lamp lit up, chasing away the shadows of the early morning. In the darkness of the kitchen, he scooped the ground beans into their filter and filled the pot with water.

The rest of his morning routine went by leisurely. He thought about turning on some music as he brushed his teeth, but it seemed nature had that covered for him. It was one of those days when the universe seemed to be in harmony with itself. Each and every action blending into the painting that becomes the day with artistic perfection. His coffee had finished by the time he was through cleaning his face and teeth and he made a cup before walking back into his room. The hot liquid was rich and warm, it made him long for another cup even though he’d barely begun the one he currently held. He easily found his favorite black pants, black shirt, black tie, black socks and black shoes. Though he would never tell anyone, he liked his work uniform. He thought it made him look like he was walking through the Matrix and had even found the perfect pair of black sunglasses to complete the costume.

Ready to go, he glanced at the clock and realized there was still plenty of time before he had to be at work. He walked into the kitchen and found his travel coffee mug, filling it before turning the pot off and emptying the leftovers into the sink. As he watched the dark liquid swirl down the drain, he felt an undeniable pang of guilt for wasting such a wonderful thing. After making sure he had everything he needed he walked out the front door of the house and stood on the porch, surveying the day.

The air was crisp and light, the smells of the season’s first new vegetation freshly dancing on the breeze. Today he thought he would walk to work, enjoy the weather, maybe listen to a little music. He turned to lock the deadbolt and noticed how comfortably the cuff of his shirt hung around his wrist. It fell to the perfect length both on the forearm and the wrist, not too tight, not too loose. Letting his hand return the keys to his pocket, still enjoying the feel of his well-fitting shirt, he walked off his porch drinking his Coffee.



04/20/2015 4:47pm

I like this story chad. It reminds me of those choose your own adventure books that I happen to love reading. I find them almost a challenge because I will re-read them a million times to see how any ways I can change the adventure and if it still ends similarity.


I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can't go back. You cannot go back. I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.

11/04/2016 8:09pm

Amazing and thanks for sharing such an interesting experience with us, You should share some of more of these interesting stories regarding to your life.

12/28/2016 5:18am

You just explained the perfect moment for drinking coffee, and i wish that i could have that moment. As I'm as coffee lover too and it has become my need to drink coffee on work.


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    40,000: A Rough Draft

    Welcome to my collection of forty Scifi, Horror, and Fantasy short stories. Every Wednesday during the year 2015, I wrote a new one thousand-word short story in one hour, gave myself thirty minutes to edit, then published it here. 

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