There was a stain in his teacup…

short story was always late, his train ride was always unpleasant because of it. He always blamed the weather, but really today it wasn’t the weather, it was rather the lack of it. He glanced away from the weather section of the newspaper he was holding, the woman who sat across him on the train smiled, blushed and looked away. Had she noticed, as well,that the last few days the clouds seemed heavy and the rain seemed, well; there didn’t seem to be any, and yet, no one was saying a word about it, even in the newspaper, he had been looking for any mention of it, but was only half looking anymore, he seemed to recall that the last time he had seen rain, sun, or even a temperature spike in the weather was several months ago. Today was the first time he seemed to really think about it. He set down the paper, he looked up again at the woman whose eyes were like the pale blue of the skies he was trying to remember, before the grey.  She looked back this time almost as if she knew what he was thinking. Curious, the man thought, have I ever met this woman before? she looks vaguely familiar, but I cant just put my head on it. She placed her hand in his and looked very intently into his eyes now. He did not flinch or even move, the woman’s eyes were like, oceans, “remember when we had oceans of bright blue waters?”, he blurted out even before the words had hardly formed in his brain. She clenched his hand tightly, shook her head and pointed at the paper. He looked down, and pulled the paper up as he did, and noticed in several places things were circled, words, and pictures, but even though it looked like a a coded message to most, and even if right then he didn’t quite understand what exactly it meant, he knew he was to keep his mouth shut. He peered down from the paper again, the woman looking nervously around now, takes out a paper and pen, writing something he couldn’t make out until she was handing it to him; it was a guide to reading the clues, in his newspaper, mostly just arrows; but when the paper was placed in the center would point the words in the correct order.

they are watching. listening. dont speak. the truth is in the tea.

He looked around, there was a single teacup he hadn’t noticed before on the table, in it looked like a dark liquid that did not quite resemble tea, but none the less after looking at his patient companion he drank down the tea hoping at this point maybe he would wake up and not be late for the train all the time, that was the real problem. the weather always made him late.

Suddenly his mind became clear. it was loud, the blaring of the sirens, in his head and outside. He realized he couldn’t even remember getting on the train this morning, and honestly couldn’t even remember the side of the bed he got upon, much less the drive too and from work. He looked up at the woman at this point, in an alarming face she understood and again grasped his hands and he instantly relaxed. Almost as if his body understood before his mind did, he looked at the newspaper again. This time, the pages were not the same, no longer did the page she had given him just simply point to words no the pages seemed to change completely, all across the headlines were reports of nuclear radiation, mass destruction, millions perished.  His eyes welled with moisture that he was trying hard to remember the words for, yes, tears. He blinked and the woman held out a handkerchief to help. he wiped the moisture. She looked around nervously and snatched back her handkerchief and shoved it in her purse quickly. She brought out the paper again and scribbled something else.

dont forget to finish your tea.

He glanced down at the tea again and noticed he had only drank about half. sipping more throughout the next few minutes, he listened to the train car, and wondered quite suddenly if he even knew where he was going. He looked down at his tea again, with one last little sip left, he noticed a stain, on the inside of the cup, he tilted the cup so he could see the text more clearly.

no more.

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