• Queen of Spades

CV4: Inferno Tour (The Blaze of Purpose)

Hello everyone. I am excited you've taken the time to explore the Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno tour. This installment of the anthology features nine talents, each answering the question: What are the ingredients to a sustainable blaze?





The first to be featured on the tour is Adonis Mann. I will let him take over to candidly talk about his story "Express-Oh".


Coffee Shop Convictions


Apart from the Coffee Connoisseur, can it be plausible to find the everlasting kindling of purpose in a coffee shop? This is the question posed in “Express-Oh”, christened after the location in which Kenny and Hayden rediscover their aspirations.


It is said that a true writer can find inspiration everywhere and anywhere. I can attest to this fact as it has always been my truth.

One day as I picked up a coffee at the local Dunkin’ Donuts the title came to me. Out of nowhere, really. At that moment I had no clue whether the story would be a solo work or an anthology contribution. Furthermore, I knew even less what it would be about. “Express-Oh”, the title. This was all my mind whispered. Nothing more and nothing less.


What is one to do when your instinct to write gives you nothing but a word or two? How are you supposed to know what to do with that?


Well, in time I’ve discovered that what works best for me is to sit down and write those two words down and the rest will follow as if it were always meant to be there.

Whilst sitting in front of my computer I typed the words “Express-Oh by Adonis Mann” and just like that the opening lines flowed when the thought of a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter’s morning crossed my mind. And so it went …


Steam rose. Like the vapor floating above a boiling pot dancing sensually and dangerously above heat. Blowing it away would feel sinful, in lieu, Hayden breathed in the mist like a wanton lover in the dark. All desire, all glee. The collar on Hayden’s black trench coat was pulled upwards, inadequately covering his ears. The frigid cold so relentless that Hayden’s ears were, at present, anesthetized.




In that instant I thought, what does consuming a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter’s day mean and feel like to me? With that thought, my mind was taken to a different place—I was Hayden and he was I. His life, at that juncture, flashed before my eyes. I could feel the tickle of pins and needles on the tips of my ears from the nippy cold. I could smell the robust and fortified aroma of gourmet coffee, and feel the warmth that exuded from the cup as it heated the palms of my hands. I could smell the crisp, sharp fragrance of pine and shrubbery at the exact moment in which the wind hits is just so. The trench coat warmed my chest but the coffee warmed my breast. It was surreal and lovely.


Thus, the story came.


The snow which covered streets paled in comparison to the beauty beheld in the blanket of white covering the foliage. The normally idle walkways of a suburban train station made mind-numbingly lackadaisical by the snowy day. Hardly a person other than arbitrary passersby, and of course, Hayden. Luckily Hayden always found solace in the piping hot cup of Joe that he could invariably get at the coffee shop right nearby, Express-Oh.

Hayden loved the play on words. A wordsmith himself, Hayden could appreciate when words were being used cleverly.





Before I knew is a tale of discovery, friendship, camaraderie and purpose flourished. A sweet but profound parable of how serendipitous, quotidian things can bring humanity together, form lasting bonds, and help people find their kismet. If this does not speak to the fervor of fire, I believe that nothing else can. You see, as human beings, it is our duty to find meaning in the everyday for without it we are destined to live empty and unfulfilling lives.


I pray that you too can appreciate the bonds formed in “Express-Oh”, my contribution to “Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno”.







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© 2020 by Queen of Spades.