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photo by Tyler Malone

It Must Be the Coffee by Lorene Aurelia Holderfield

Among the soft darkness of the coffee house, a distinct scent of rich aroma instantly overwhelms one’s senses, almost purifying them from deep within. It is as if some strange, unforeseen magic had long been buried here, only becoming active when someone crosses the invisible threshold that lies between this hectic, modern world and a completely quiescent world.

The wan morning sun dimly illuminates the smooth, glittery surface that forms the portico. The crimson-painted walls become a richer hue. And every human who walks through that invisible threshold sheds this dreary, crushing weight that had slyly zombie-fied them. These people instantly smile. Their bodies are erect and color enlivens their drained features. Their hearts are filled with great warmth. “Stranger” becomes foreign to all. Just where did this come from? It must be the coffee.

Savor the rich, warm British Islander. That’s all I have done for a while, as I continue to watch people moving to-and-fro in the coffee house. Like a cautious, scrutinizing hawk, I watch every minute action of these erect creatures. What a bunch of perky, antsy creatures. It must be the coffee. Either that or I must be turning into a deranged lunatic. I need to drink more of my British Islander. I wonder, though, what makes people so at ease and friendly in a coffee house? Every time a newcomer enters, people turn their heads toward him or her and smiles, saying their hellos or starting some warm conversation as if they've been old friends for their entire life. I often wonder from time to time, as I sit comfortably here in my chair all snug and warm, what is this unseen force that’s at play? Is it the warm colors of the coffee house that causes this? Or is it work of the comfy, pleasing furnishings?

Sadly, the answer eludes me. It always will. There are so many factors in this room that could explain the unexplainable. I have come to the conclusion that it is just simply some invisible force. It has no shape, no name. There’s nothing to which our minds can connect it with. It’s simply just a Force that hangs around just as air follows us and surrounds us. Where it comes from and why is something I do not know. The unexplainable is not meant to be known, I feel, much like the question of the universe’s true size will never be completely known. And so, by this mystery that seems to instantly affect everyone that enters, I am intrigued.

In truth, although I desire to discover the true worker of this Force that dwells in any coffee house, transforming humans from a mode of dreariness, sorrow, and torment into humans of kindness, friendliness, and discernment, I know I won’t find out. It must be the coffee. Maybe this is simply what humans are truly like at their core: warm, creative, social, and friendly people. No matter the differences that make each person unique, all humans, it seems, become this precise character in any coffee house. Eh—but this is just a silly thought. It must be the coffee.

editor's note: Ah, our mad muse! Some live for the bottle, but we live for the bean. If you ever wonder what makes our mad hips swirl all the livelong day, here’s something to quench your fiery curiosity: It must be the coffee. It must! - Tyler Malone

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Lorene Holderfield

A bit about Lorene: I am a 23-year-old writer born in Denver, Colorado. I lived in Boulder during majority of my childhood, before moving to Loveland. I come from a family of six. I am the youngest child and I am the only daughter. I dream of becoming a successful, published Fictional Romance novelist and, some day, be just as good as my #1 inspiration Jane Austen. Her Romance stories and her talent in writing were what inspired me and started me on the path of seriously writing.

I'm best known for my in-progress Fictional Romance story titled “Fruit of Forbidden Love”. I was a participant and winner of the 2011 and the 2012 NaNoWriMo event. “It Must be the Coffee” Short Story was published in a local Fort Collins zine called “Mindbringer” and on an online zine called “MadSwirl”.

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