One fine autumnal day that glazed this cafe in its ochre rays
of waning sun and cozy haze, there Shelley sat bemused.
She browsed her favorite sites, gave status updates on her life,
and cloaked her cashmere coat around her comfy solitude.

A sudden gust swept through the door and threw her latte to the floor!
It shook poor Shelley, shivering cold, with howls that stripped her bones,
she scarce could tweet her wry replies and whirled around to fetch
some napkins from the syrup bar to dry her dripping phone.

When from behind, a voice said “Stay! Just sit, I’ll take this mess away,”
and fast appeared a demitasse of coffee, freshly brewed.
But as she thought to thank the help, no soul was standing by!
In fact, the whole cafe was bare, lit only by the moon.

So startled by a flash and boom as lightning lit the desolate room,
she sensed a presence in her cup… a moon? A pearl? An eye!
A horrible… human… floating eye… in beverage black as pitch
that watched her in this cafe darkly, daring her to cry.

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But as her throat seized up to shriek, the eye began to softly speak
in weirdly soothing words to hear: “No need to fear, O Shelley-dear,
just one query ‘fore I’m gone, and then unhaunted you will be—
What desires does Shelley-dear so direly wish this year?”

She held her breath and stared, bestunned, her every instinct braced to run—
but something swirled her up into that aromatic steam
and urgently she dreamed a world where all her shares were seen
and liked and linked, on every screen… a social media Queen!

She swallowed with a wary grace and held that coffee undismayed,
then faced that fey and gruesome eye, as boldly as she could:
“I wish for global clout rolled out to every mobile phone
where all will see my lonely tweets, and know me as they should!”

No sooner had she spilled her heart, the afternoon dispelled the dark.
A normal coffee sat before her, warm and newly poured.
“What a silly jaunt into a haunted reverie,” she breathed,
and swore an oath to daydream on her social life no more.

Shelley shrugged and took a sip, and scrolled down on her soggy phone,
when through the door, a violent gust, just threw it to the floor
where there its inbox chime now chirped as if to call the dead.
The cafe walls now rumbled madly, rising to a roar!

Then people barged their way inside, they wildly waved “Look there! That’s her!”,
bewildering Shelley as they mobbed and drowned her in despair
for each of them held out a bone-white cup of coffee too,
and brought a sea of bobbing eyes that stared… and stared… and stared…

Lorenzo Wang is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco and the co-founder of Loric Coffee. This is Lorenzo Wang’s first feature for Sprudge.

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