This is a story I wrote about my friend Simon, because I couldn’t think of anything real to write about.
With a thud Simon the Loose Tea Man landed on top of the EV building. He looked down at Boulevard De Maisonneuve and measured the distance to the cars below. It was a long way to fall. Which wasn’t good, because Dick the Bag Tea Man was right behind him. And Dick was a huge asshole.
“Simon,” he said, as if this were some kind of stupid movie starring Will Smith. You could hear Dick’s sneer, somehow. “You are too loose. You infuse too well, and your leaves remain intact. The Pact demands –”
“The Pact demands too much,” Simon spat. “They reach too far, yet they hold their leashes too tightly. There is no reasoning with the Pact. I reject their rules.” Simon turned to face Dick, a scowl curling his lip.
Dick nodded. He clasped his hands behind his back and paced towards the edge of the roof. “I thought as much. You never did get along with Espresso man. Or the Americanos.”
“A portafilter is a bag made of metal,” Simon said. “Freedom. Freedom is what we live for. I, Loose Tea Man, bring it to the people.”
“The people don’t want freedom. They want cheap, easy, controlled beverages,” Dick said. “But I won’t convince you. It seems we must fight.”
Dick reached into his coat and drew his katana. The sleek blade shone despite the overcast sky. Dick the Bag Tea Man kissed the cold metal and charged.
Simon was prepared. He held a silvery chain; on the end there hung a sphere of mesh. It looked flimsy, but it weighed down the chain like a solid hunk of metal. Simon grasped the chain and swung the ball around his head. He screamed his battle cry and met Dick’s charge.
Flail met katana in a shower of sparks. Simon gritted his teeth, wincing as Dick pulled at the chain. He dug his foot into the gravelly roof and groaned. He spat into Dick’s face and threw his weight into the chain.
Dick foresaw the move, letting go of the chain, so that Simon had launched himself backward onto his back. Dick sneered. “Your flavour is too delicate.”
“Your strategy is stale.” Simon sneered back. He kicked his flail at Dick. Just before it hit, however, he snapped it back over his head, and then swung it around with such speed he could barely track it with his eyes.
Dick swore and brought up his katana, too late. The metal ball struck him with such force that he was thrown near the ledge. “Simon, you will pay. I was supposed to bring you back to the Pact for a trial. But it seems you deserve death instead.” With a roar, he charged at Simon.
He crashed into Simon’s slim frame and they struggled at the edge of the roof. Simon’s foot slipped, and he held himself on the roof by Dick’s coat.
“It seems you will die. Yes.” Dick sneered and spat on Simon’s face. “Bag tea will reign supreme over Montreal.”
“Never.” Simon gritted his teeth. “Loose leaf tea will never be defeated. You can take it off the depanneur shelves. You can outlaw it in homes. But it will live on. If nowhere else but in the hearts of real tea drinkers.”
“They will forget it,” Dick said. “And they will forget you.” With a grunt, he pried Simon’s hand off his coat. “I have their hearts in my hands. In my bag.”
“And that’s why you will fail,” Simon said. He had a grin on his face.
“Why is that?”
“You don’t understand chaos. You don’t understand freedom. The unpredictable. You want everything in a bag.” Simon laughed. “Not everything fits in your bags.”
Simon laughed once more, a cheerful *ha-HA* and reached into his own coat. When he pulled his hand out of his pocket he had a fistful of whole, dry tea leaves. He threw them in Dick’s face.
His stomach did a somersault as Dick flinched back. The tea leaves burned his face; his skin turned to ash as Simon fell backward off the ledge. As Simon fell to his death, he heard Dick scream his final screams. Simon smiled and relaxed, enjoying the wind as he plummeted to his death. At least his death meant something; it was a victory for tea drinkers.
Something hard hit him sideways, and his stomach lurched — he was no longer falling sideways. Instead, he was flying. In the arms of a young woman in a parka and cape.
“Yerba Mate,” he said. “I thought you were dead.”