This week's sentence was taken from The Inaugural Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It was: 'We must act, and act quickly.'
The Gentleness Of Bees
'Janine?' Ted leaned across the counter, waved and hollered, 'Keep 'em comin' sweetie.'
'You got it, hon.'
Truth be told, nobody needed to yell in here, but some of Janine's older regulars tended toward deafness and a surfeit of caffeine with the excitement of the sports pages didn’t help. Ted and his gang spent most mornings here, putting the world to rights and reminiscing about their imaginary pasts, the stories growing taller with the telling.
Janine poured Ted’s refill without interrupting the flow of debate down at the ladies' end of the room which currently concerned itself with the advisability - or otherwise - of orange plaid slacks on a woman of Beulah's build. 'Otherwise' seemed to be the way the wind was blowing, but then Beulah was currently across the street at Krystal's Kurlz having her roots done and so not privy to the conversation.
Janine smiled. She loved the chatter of her regulars, the drone of conversation as it rose and fell like the reassuring song of her other 'children' going about their busy lives around the neat row of hives in the orchard out back.
Their honey flew off the shop’s shelf quicker than her beloved bees taking flight in the early morning sunlight.
Everett had never understood the gentleness of bees. Anxious, impulsive, rarely satisfied with anything for long, it had been his idea that they use Janine's mother's inheritance to buy the coffee shop.
'We must act, and act quickly' he'd said. Everett, as ever, had wanted a change and thought that this would be it, and so a few hectic weeks later Janine was proudly serving her first customer at The Hive ("Come on in and get your buzz on").
Not long after that of course, Everett realised the change he really wanted and took off for Florida with a girl fresh out of high school. Janine, after a period of adjustment, found she had never been happier.
A chorus of 'Beulah, your hair looks beautiful, honey. Love your slacks'.
Janine checked her watch. Carole would be in soon to help with the lunchtime rush. Carole, whose wild hair was dyed a shade of red not usually seen outside a circus; Carole, who had that kinda Stevie Nicks gypsy thing going on with her clothes that kept the men ordering top-ups they didn't really want just so they could watch her willowy hips sway across the room or peek down her top as she leaned teasingly over their table.
Carole, whose fingers had brushed across the back of Janine's hand one evening with a touch as soft as the flutter of a bee's wing and sent a thrill through her the like of which she had never known. Janine remembered that moment of pure terror, the sudden realisation, the overwhelming 'yes' from her heart; Carole’s nervous smile widening as their eyes met and stayed locked together; that first, hesitant, devastating kiss.
And after that it had all been good. Boy, howdy, it was good!