One Morning

An exercise I did for an online writing class.

The prompt for this exercise was to show a person or place in three paragraphs, using all the senses. After I submitted this assignment, I took the feedback I received and edited the piece. It is now four paragraphs long.


The tea’s spicy aroma stings his nose. His dark brown eyes are focused on the golden fire in the fireplace before him, the flames dancing and glinting off his gold-rimmed glasses. Other than the crackles of embers and the occasional pop of a spark, the kitchen is silent, still. After a month of visiting other planets, attending conferences, healing countless people, and incapacitating League members, he can allow himself at last to settle in the worn, wooden chair and savor the early morning. Even though it is his day off, he still awoke with the sun, dressing in his usual knee-length white coat. He almost left it in his closet, since he has one whole day to himself, but he felt too exposed without it on, so he grabbed his coat on the way downstairs to the kitchen.

He has been lounging back in his seat, legs crossed, ever since. The white tea cup in his hands begins to burn, so he blinks and turns away from the fire, groaning with the effort. Even after the elixirs he took, his muscles ache and tighten. His face feels chilly, no longer warmed by the fire.

One more sip of sharply spiced tea, and he sets the cup on the table by the small white plate. He gazes down at the apple-berry muffin he has been picking at. Exhaling deeply through his nose, he pinches off a huge chunk and plops it in his mouth. Mushy, pleasantly sweet, with a slightly tangy aftertaste. It feels odd having an entire morning to his thoughts, no people to see, no business to do. He swallows, then takes in his empty little kitchen. Small wooden table, worn after centuries of use, with enough chairs for four people. The fireplace behind him, warming his back, dim in comparison to the pale sunlight shining in through the glass door to the side.

Something taps on the glass, startling him out of his museful mood. No one ever comes to the glass door; everybody uses the wooden one in front. He turns to see a burly shadow blocking most of the light. He frowns and shoots out of his seat, almost knocking the chair over. He ignores the throbbing ache in his muscles as he hurries over to the glass door. Although being nearly a thousand years old, he moves with the grace and agility of a fifty-year-old man. He waves his hand to make the door slide open effortlessly. He watches the Guard stumble in, notes his black eyes crinkled at the edges with worry. Which makes him worry in turn. The Guard has never approached his house this early in the day, let alone via the glass door. “Doctor Dross,” he breathes. “You need to come quickly.”

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