A short story that I had to do for a class of mine. The assignment entailed us buying an item at a store and then doing some form of creative writing based off of it. My item was a plastic tea set thing. And this is what my mind came up with. Constructive Criticism and critiques are more than welcome. ^^ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Despite the thick canopy of trees overhead it did nothing to deter the heavy rainfall of thoroughly dosing the single traveler on the secluded path. The portly little man scurried along the cobblestone path as fast as his little legs could carry him. His hurried pace sent up a rhythmic pitter-patter that echoed oddly against the foliage. He muttered quietly, cursing himself for having slept in again. He was already late, but he knew that the longer it took him to get to work, the worse things would be. The little man had slept entirely too late, but that's what happens when one's bed is nice and warm and its cold and raining outside. A crime that is surely understandable yet could dearly cost him. He had slept so late on this morning that he barely had time to get dressed, let alone do anything else. His hair was a frightful mess and the dirty beginnings of a beard speckled his chubby face. His frightful state of appearance was not helped by the weather, nor the fact that his pace, mixed with his nervous state of mind, had him sweating bullets. Shortly there after, he stepped out of the park pathway and into the heart of a buzzing metropolis. In any and every direction there were towering structures of glass and steel that tore their way into the dominion of the gods and dominated the skies. The stocky, balding man quickly hurried down the streets crowded with cars of various styles and colors; however, all of the cars had one thing in common: tinted windows. This peculiar feature to the cars made for an impossibly imposing sight to anyone not sitting in one of them. And to make matters worse, thanks to the weather and time of day, there was not another soul on the particular street that the man was scurrying down. Now with the paranoid feeling that unseen eyes were watching him, the man set off at a run. Well, as best at run as somebody like him could manage. In wrinkled brown suit, clashing tie to boot, he made a b-line towards a particularly tall, Art Deco styled building. He pushed his way through the revolving doors and stepped into a spacious lobby. The floor, stairs, counters and various fountains were made out of the most magnificent marble. Three large fountains were situated throughout the lobby, each one with the statue of some great person in history whose name and doings have been lost to the common man through the years. None of this mattered at the moment as the man sprinted across the lobby to a security desk at the far side. Sitting at the desk was a large man who was sitting there drinking tea out of a lavishly ornamented cup; something that most folk would think a bit odd, but it instead instilled great worry and angst in the tired, little man. He flashed his card at the guard who responded with a chortle, "You are so screwed, Al." Al did not even have time to register what the security guard had said as he had already bolted for the elevators, but it was oh so very true and Al knew it in his heart of hearts. As the elevator clanged its way up to the fifty-seventh floor Al tried to fight the impossibly futile battle of making himself look even half presentable. As he tried to crease down the remaining hair that he still had, the elevator clanged once more and the doors slid open. Al stepped out and entered the place he had been so feverishly heading towards all morning. He quickly headed down deserted hallway after hallway, navigating the near labyrinth-like floor with startling expertise. As Al walked, he passed by dozens and dozens of doors, each one was shut with no light slipping out from under the bottom. The more closed up rooms that Al saw, the more he cursed himself, despite the fact that he knew it was futile at this point. Al damn near knew for a fact that his worst fears would be realized. He would much rather be yelled at by his superiors than face the consequences that would meet him in but a few moments as he approached his destination. Al stopped as he approached a door at the end of a particularly long hallway. Nothing was too different about this door than the dozens of similar looking doors that Al had passed on his way there. However, there was one small difference. There was a rather miniscule black symbol situated about halfway up on the cedar door. It was faded and smudged so much that it did not really resemble anything anymore, but Al knew what it was. The symbol was that of a cup. And not just any cup, a tea cup. The symbol on the door, indication enough for Al, and the fact that there was actually light seeping out from behind the door blatantly differentiated this door from all of the others before it. This was Al's true destination. Where he knew only trouble would meet him. Taking a deep breath and summoning up all of his courage, Al turned the handle and pushed the door open. He was pounded with sensory overload in an instant. Natural light poured in through large, multi-floor windows and danced across the wide array of colors all about the room. Chatter and the clanging of glasses filled the air as the massive room was packed full with businessmen of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities. All of them merrily sipping tea from brightly colored glasses, and quite a few of them were eating various pastries, and other bakery goods, to accompany their tea. The tea cups were something to behold, each as big as a bowl, with a saucer the size of a dinner plate to complete the outlandishly colored and decorated sets. Al nervously weaved his way through the sea of tea drinking gentlemen, random greetings thrown at him as he went to which he responded with a nervous and vacant wave. As he went, Al grabbed a simple blue shaded cup off of a nearly empty cart in the process of working his way to the far side of the room. As he waded his way out further Al continually peered as best he could above and beyond the sloshing ocean of men and tea. Al's short stature was making this an impossibly hard task, though; he needed a better vantage point, and quick. After but a brief moment of searching Al spotted a vacant chair and clumsily bolted for it, nearly knocking over an elderly fella in the process. Once Al reached the chair, he stood up on it, and, suddenly, the whole room came into beautiful clarity for him. It was not until Al had his head up about that he realized how hard it had been to think down there, or even breathe for that matter. Now, though, he was treading above the mayhem, and the bright sunshine and aroma of tea were actually quite calming to Al, despite the screaming voice in the back of his head. After taking it all in for a few more moments Al set himself straight and manically began to scan the crowd for the thing that had been driving his blood pressure through the roof all morning. After a few minutes of futile searching a frantic fear began to eat away at Al's insides. Just as he was about to give up on his search, a particularly bright gleam appeared in his eye and his attention was drawn to the far side of the room. Al had to squint to see through the gleam, but he could just barely make out a well-dressed man who had an air about himself that screamed of importance, power and commanded respect. It was so strong that Al could feel it from a good thirty yards away. This dignified, white haired man was casually pouring himself tea from a beautifully ornamented white and royal blue tea pot. There were intricate gold leaf designs all over the pot detailing great moments in history long ago lost to time. This tea pot was a memento of a long forgotten time, a relic of a society lost to his history. This tea pot was said to have once been owned by the greatest man to ever roam the planet, so heaven knows how something like that would end up here. His search complete, Al hopped off the chair and scurried over to the regal looking man. As Al approached him, the man's presence became even more intimidating than it was from afar, if that was at all possible. As Al stepped up to his table the man put the teapot down and looked up at Al with brown eyes that had lost their sheen many, many years before. With neither man uttering a word the man and Al exchanged nods in the most serious of manners. Al swallowed, or as best he could, and shakily reached a hand out and grasped the elegantly crafted teapot. And for its immense size, it was frighteningly light. However, this told Al nothing as he had held the teapot many a time before and it always felt like it weighed next to nothing, no matter the circumstances. The truth would be known to him in a moment, though. Al lifted the spout of the pot to the lip of the cup that he had grabbed early and tipped it. And he kept tipping it, more and more. But nothing was coming out. Al's eyes went wide. Why, oh why did he have to sleep in today of all days, he silently cursed himself. Al futilely tipped the teapot further and shook it, in an attempt to see if he could not dislodge some hidden drops of tea, nothing. A gentle murmur went up in crowd of men, whom had all been quietly watching the proceedings. They were all muttering to one another about how unfortunate it was and how they were glad that they were not in Al's shoes. As it finally and truly set in, Al set the teapot down and crumpled into a heap on the chair behind him. He lifted up the mockingly dry cup and stared into it discouragingly. The empty cup seemed to sum up Al's very day in a cruel manner. As Al continued to stare despairingly into his barren cup, the white haired man stood and stepped towards Al, clearing his throat to get his attention. "Well at least you'll be guaranteed some next month, Albert," he said with a smile he hoped was reassuring, but really his statement just made things worse by pointing out that Al would be responsible for the tea next month; a task that would involve him coming in impossibly early and toiling away for hours. The only response that Al could muster up was a solemn nod; he was too distraught for words. Al had just missed out on the most glorious of days, Tea Day. It only came once a month and was the only time that the common folk were allowed to drink the beverage of the royals. And to make matters worse, this month's tea was Earl Grey, Al's favorite tea. Just before the commanding gentlemen was about to leave, he turned back to Al, "Oh, by the way. I need the Adamm's report on my desk by five." and with that he walked out the crowded room. Everyone else followed his lead, having finished with their tea, and they all returned to their various offices on the many floors of the building. Thus leaving Al as the only soul in the massive, dish cluttered room. Choking back a whimper over his horrid luck, Al stood up after a few moments and headed off to work on the Adamm's report.