Peace Talks


Three cups balanced on three poles. The wind stirred the rising steam.

And then they were there, the masters three. One wore scarlet, dark cheeks covered in curling white. One wore leaf-green, gold eyes twinkling. The last wore black and none could see her shadowed face.

“Each year we do this,” the scarlet master said. “And each year it makes no difference.”

“Drink,” the green master replied, raising the white rim of his china cup to his lips. “And be at ease.”

“We are at war,” the scarlet master snapped. “I am never at ease.”

But she drank her tea.

The shadowed master said nothing, still as stone.

A sigh issued from the scarlet master’s lips. “I will tell you how this meeting will go. I make demands. You refuse. She says nothing. You make offers. I refuse. She says nothing. We drink tea. She doesn’t. We bow. And we go back to war.” Grey eyes flashed, lightning in a storm. “It has been so a thousand years. One more shall make no difference.”

“Even after a thousand years,” the green master said, “hearts can change.”

The shadowed master sipped her tea and smiled a smile made of night.

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Dawn Miller for the prompt photo!

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