Conversation Contest Winner: Helen Fields, Paradise, Texas

Note from the Diva:

This entry was the one that made all of the judges laugh out loud! It is so nice to bring a little humor into a serious contest… Helen is also a prize-winning cook who just didn't have the time to create a coffee recipe (she was preparing as a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off), so she decided to create another kind of concoction. Enjoy this romance novelette!

Story:

Late into the dreary cold night, as the last coals of the once blazing fire in the hearth are reduced to smoldering embers, I listen intently to a whispered calling. I stare out at the sleet as it pelts the window and I'm cold, so very cold. A shiver runs up my spine and I hear the call, "Helen, Helen, fill the desire, the need."

When I hear the call again, I know the desire will overtake me! I can't help myself. My mind races and hands tremble as I reach out to touch it. I wrap my fingers around it and immediately feel its soothing heat. I feel a delirious joy as I lift it to my lips; the warming liquid fills my mouth at the same time the tantalizing aroma wafts up my nostrils.

"What have I done?" I cried to no one as I placed it back on the tray. All that's left for me now is to toss and turn, or pace the floor as I face another trembling, sleepless night! Coffee with your loathsome caffeine, you've ruined me again!

"Darling," my friend said as he entered the room bearing a tray of cupcakes, "I see you've helped yourself to my favorite decaffeinated coffee."

"Decaffeinated," I smirked. "It can't be. The delightful aroma and robust coffee flavor are too sensational!"

He took my hand in his and smiled, "That's the gift of decaf. All of coffee's finest qualities remain intact while the baneful caffeine is thrust out." I looked into his eyes and knew he was telling the truth. I had a second cup of decaffeinated coffee that night. Then I leaned my head against his shoulder and soundly slept.

That night was many years ago. Sleepless nights due to caffeine are a thing of the past. From that time forward I've lived my life without fear of succumbing to the call and desire for a late night cup of warming coffee. It is now, always, and always will be — decaffeinated coffee for me!