The Teacup by Austin P. Sheehan (SNEAK PEEK)

SNEAK PEEK at a story from our ‘Beginnings’ anthology.

The Teacup by Austin P Sheehan

Franz Kessler gave his teacup to Astrid, who smiled back at him before examining its contents. This was their ritual. Every morning she would whisper a word to him, over breakfast he would consider it while he sipped at his tea, and pass the teacup back to her when it was almost empty. Today he was meant to focus on the future, but his thoughts kept returning to his work.

While Astrid had a keen interest in reading tea leaves and fortune telling, Franz just did it to make her happy. The older he got, the more important his bond with his daughter became. His wife Marguerite, on the other hand, wouldn’t have a bar of “that silly hocus-pocus,” as she called it. She wanted Astrid to focus on finding a full-time job and a decent partner, both of which were in short supply in their village.

Seeing the exchange, Marguerite picked up her sudoku book with a huff and shuffled out of the room, shaking her head with disdain. Franz watched his wife leave, perplexed as usual by her deep-seated dislike of Astrid’s harmless hobby. When Franz looked back at his daughter, her free hand covered her mouth and her face was ashen. His eyes caught hers, deep green and full of fear…

Check out Austin’s story, and 15 other stories by Australian speculative fiction authors here: http://mybook.to/Beginnings

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