The Coffee Wars : Empire Likes It Black No Sugar

Woods Thriller Kindle Cover (2)

Here is the second part of  ‘The Coffee Wars’.  A trilogy of short stories all set around an independent coffee shop.  Each story is filled with numerous references from one of the two things that opened my mind to the world of creativity.


Empire likes it black no sugar.

Lucas looked out of the coffee shop window, the hustle and bustle of the street flowed by him. He looked up when he heard the doorbell ring. Mr Baker walked in and moved in short strides to the same table he always sat at, he then removed his jacket and threw it on the chair. Lucas had seen this happen daily for the last month.

“Good afternoon, Mr Baker.”

Lucas was shocked that he didn’t get a response. With his slender frame, Mr Daniels moved around the tables like a reed in the wind. He stopped at the table Lucas occupied.

“Good afternoon, Lucas. I want to apologize for Mr Baker’s rudeness, he has something on his mind. How are you today?”

“I’m good thanks. There’s no need to apologize. Hope he solves the problem that troubles him.”

“I am sure he will figure it out. What are you doing here?”

Lucas tapped a key so that his laptop didn’t go into sleep mode, a word document appeared titled, Drexler Chronicles.

“Just beginning my novel Mr Daniels, I have been thinking it over for the last few days.”

“What is it about? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Not at all it’s about an intergalactic private investigator and the cases he works.”

“Well, I will leave you to it and good luck.”

“Thanks, have a good day Mr Daniels.”

Lucas began to type away on his laptop, occasionally he sipped his coffee. Something caused a big bang from the storage room that broke his concentration. As the door opened Jade appeared her uniform covered in what looked like blue milk. He watched Mr Kessell as he turned away from his coffee machine and looked at her.

“What happened?”

“Knocked into the shelf, smashed a milk carton and a jar of food colouring. Why do we even have food colouring? Dad.”

“You never know. Oh, Lucas is here.”

Lucas smiled at her, as she turned around.

“You got some on your face still.”

She began to blush as she walked over, then she gave him a peck on the cheek and ruffled his blonde hair. He smiled at her as she turned and walked away.


“Yes, Mr Kessell.”

Lucas turned and saw Bob point to the fresh coffee on the counter. As he walked over, he saw a man on his phone just outside the shop looking down the road. With his hot coffee, he sat back down and began to type up his story on the laptop. As his fingers clicked away he heard the doorbell go, but he didn’t stop typing. He heard Jade humming to herself as she came from the storage room.

”Mr Kessell.”

“Yes, how can I help you?”

“I am DCI Hutt, this is DCI Mayhew. We are here to shut you down, it has been brought to our attention that you have been money laundering. Please come with us willingly? We don’t want to use force.”

“That’s not true, that’s impossible.”

“It is useless to resist, Mr Kessell.”

“I will be contacting my lawyers, this is a joke.”

Jade rushed towards the counter.

“Dad!” Said Jade.

“Everything will be okay, Jade.”

Lucas turned around when the words broke his concentration. The shock hit him when he saw who uttered the words.



Lucas stood up from his table.

“DCI Mayhew is your dad? Lucas.”

“Yeah, why don’t you have the same last name then? Your last name is Hamil.”

“My mum remarried, Jade, back when I was 7 and changed my last name then.”

Lucas walked up to his dad with a confused look at what was going on and a shocked look as he hadn’t seen his dad for over a month. Jade stood beside her dad who winked at her. Lucas glanced at Jade, he could see she was upset, he then threw a look of anger towards his dad.

“Why are you doing this dad?”

“I am under orders. We have been given substantial evidence to prove this.”

“I have been coming here for weeks and haven’t seen anything suspicious happen.”

“The evidence is conclusive, son, photos, detailed financial reports.”

“Please, can you do something, Dad?”

“Sorry son, I am following the clues and evidence.”

“Yeah, you’re a real hero, dad.”

Lucas walked passed Jade, his head dropped in disgust at his father’s actions. He sat back down at the table. He watched as Mr Kessell turned to Jade and winked at her, she nodded and headed for the counter. The doorbell rang and in walked Mr Adder dressed in his black suit, he turned and held the door open, behind him was another man with a large frame who walked to the counter. Lucas watched as Mr Kessell pointed to his father and partner. He watched as chubby DCI Hutt stepped forward.

“Hi, Mr Kessell, is this a bad time?”

“Who the hell are you?”

“My name is Evan Cornelius. I am here to offer you a deal personally. Are you willing to talk business? But first, could I trouble you for a coffee black no sugar.”

“As you can see I am a little busy, with these officers, Mr Cornelius.”

“Never mind them, Mr Kessell, let me deal with them,” Said, Mr Cornelius.

Mr Cornelius turned towards DCI Hutt, he then whispered something, before the officers turned and left the coffee shop. Mr Adder closed the door behind them and then stood there silently. Mr Cornelius removed his gloves, hat and placed them both on the nearest table. Mr Kessell then began to pour a fresh coffee and placed it on the table before he sat down.

“We would be honoured if you would join the family at Empire Coffee Store. If you join us, we could become the most powerful Coffee franchise In the world.”


“Think of your daughter’s future, because if you do not join with me I will destroy your business. What will your answer be, Mr Kessell?”

Lucas heard the door rattle as the man in the woolly jumper banged his chest in frustration at not being allowed into the shop, Mr Adder stood firm and stayed silent. He turned when he heard Jade as she began to talk on the phone.

“Oh Ben, you must help. You’re his only hope.”

Lucas watched her smile as she put down the phone before she disappeared into the back of the store. He turned and watched his dad through the window as he argued with his partner. Lucas could feel the anger grow in his heart and he began to rise up from the table. But a voice from the table called out.

“Let go of your anger, it only leads to suffering.”

Lucas turned to see Mr Baker stood behind him, he then sat back down. A crash came from the storage room and as the door opened, in hobbled Ben, who began to shout.

“It’s a trap, don’t do it.”

“Aargh. We meet again old man.”

“I recognised your handy work, Evan. You’re a fool to think you can succeed.”

“So who is more foolish; the fool, or the fool who follows the fool. Mr Kessell or you.”

“Don’t underestimate me, Evan, I am changing the deal.”

Lucas watched Ben as he placed his hand on Mr Kessell’s shoulder who turned and looked towards Jade as she stepped forward.

“I love you”

Mr Kessell looked down at her his daughter.

“I know.”

Jade wrapped her arms around her father before he was escorted away by Hutt and Mayhew. Mr Cornelius and Mr Adder followed behind them Lucas walked over to Jade, she tapped Ben on the shoulder.

“This is your plan?”

“It’ll all work out.”

“Really…coz I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

“Now Jade I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Jade walked off into the back of the store.

To be continued…

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