I wanted an afternoon coffee—which I never do, it’ll keep me up at night, I probably could have gotten away when it when I was younger, but I’m not younger anymore, and I didn’t drink coffee when I was, anyway—but we couldn’t find a place, everywhere was closed, either for the night or for good, we were downtown and lots of businesses had closed in the last year or two, and so it never happened, no big whoop, but then that night I had a very exciting dream, which was that I got coffee, and then I woke up and I wanted a coffee, but not the coffee I make myself and drink every morning, I wanted to treat myself, I wanted to go out and get myself a coffee, I wanted that coffee I hadn’t been able to get the day before, I wanted that dream coffee, and so I went out and drove to the closest coffee shop, but then it was closed, and I drove to the second closest coffeeshop, and it was closed, too, and I kept driving to different coffee places but everywhere was closed and then, finally, I realized it was Christmas, or maybe it was New Years, or maybe some other holiday, I’m not sure, I don’t remember, that was years ago, so many years ago, who can remember anything that happened so so long ago, or maybe I’m misremembering the whole thing, maybe the whole thing was a dream, not just the dream part, has that ever happened to you?
Aaron Burch has edited some journals and has written some books.
image: Laurie Marshall is a writer and artist working in Northwest Arkansas. Recent stories have been awarded the 2021 Lascaux Flash Fiction Prize, included in the 2022 Bath Flash Fiction Award anthology, and nominated for Best Small Fictions 2022. She reads for Fractured Lit and Longleaf Review. Words and art have been published in Emerge Literary Journal, Versification, Bending Genres, Twin Pies Literary, and Flash Frog among others. Connect on Twitter @LaurieMMarshall.