The tea was too hot, too strong, too sweet.
She couldn’t stand this town on the edge of wilderness, but she was stuck waiting for the love of her life to return to her.
Or not, she thought grimly. That thought came uninvited to her more and more as the weeks stretched on.
The waiting would be more bearable if this town wasn’t so bleak. The sky was grey all day long, a blanket of oppressive clouds heavy with rain and trouble. The air was warm and charged with an unfamiliar quality that made the hair on her arm stand up. Every building was layered with vines and leaves, and the ground was a patchwork blanket of grass, moss, and mud.
Only one shop sold tea–or at least, that’s what the shop keeper called it. He produced a thimble-sized pod, fitted it into a machine, and after some alarming whirring he presented her with a steaming cup of… not tea. She almost spat her first taste out on the counter. Nevertheless, she thanked him and handed over payment. Despite the rain, she walked outside.
The rain washed over her face and into her cup. The dilution made the liquid less pale. Her second sip was slightly more palatable, so she let the rain fill the rest of her cup.
Tea with a dash of rain, she mused internally, thinking herself poetic.
Slow sips and slow steps brought her to the end of the road. Her toes met a thicket of emerald vegetation tangled with gilded thorns and jade spikes. as far as the eye could see, it was a sea of towering green framed by a sky of grey.
I hope you found what you were looking for, because it’s time for me to bring you back home.
She would leave at dawn.