Challenge #00895-B164: The Old Heart-Stopper

There is coffee, there is turkish coffee, there is paper-due-in-six-hours was-coffee-once, and then there is whatever you just made and drank.

Grace watched Sara cautiously as more and more ingredients kept
coming out of random storage places. Turkish Coffee steeped in its
special apparatus. Espresso poured out of the little budget coffee maker
that pushed hot water through little capsules, and it did so on a near steady stream. The finished cups of steaming liquid went into a cooking
pot that already contained a boiling mess of Caf-Pow, Monster, and
SupaPowaDynamo - the only energy drink with a warning label.

Grace’s mouth fell open as Sara added Trucker’s Friend Pep Pills to the highly-caffeinated pot.

“What. The. Hell?”

poured the filtered Turkish Coffee into the pot. “You said you need to stay up for seventy-two hours in order for you to do over that project,
right? This stuff? Has been known to keep people awake for a week. I advise you sip when you’re feeling blinky.”

“…i thought you were going to do some juju on my laptop…”

my friend. Your laptop has gone to silicone heaven. Data and all.” The last of the espresso joined the mess in the pot. And then two dozen
sugar cubes. And then a handful of cocoa nibs ‘for flavour’.

“You have emergency services on speed-dial, right?”

“Please, I already have a medical degree,” said Sara. “I am
emergency services.“ She tested the goop for consistency and turned the heat up. “Or at least, I can keep you stable until the EMT’s turn up. And you know they don’t like this neighbourhood.”

“…maybe I can take the fail…?”

Sara crossed the room to embrace her hands. “You’re in good hands. I promise I won’t let you OD or pass out before your project’s re-done.
I’ve got you. And I’m kind of used to this stuff.”

“That explains the week when you were talking to the potplant in complete gibberish.”

So my Core Language research was a little dodgy…” the pot didn’t so much boil over as boil up. The bubbles had their own support structure.
“Whoops! It’s done!” Sara raced over to take it off the heat and render the stove safe. Then she convinced two servings of the resulting goo
into some ceramic candleholders that could easily double as shot

It was the consistency of molasses.

It smelled like Satan’s asshole.

Do or die time… Grace nibbled a piping hot droplet away from the rest, and almost flipped when Sara knocked hers back with grace and poise.

then it hit her like a semi truck strapped to a jet bomber. “HolyshitIcanseethecoloursofsoundandIcanheartastes, isthisnormal?”

“Prettymuchaverage,” said Sara. “IonlytookminesoIcankeepupwithyou. I’musedtoit.”


Grace woke up four days later to a steaming, hearty breakfast platter of all her favourite foods, some painkillers, and a large, economy-sized bottle
of Gatorade. Her head hurt. Her stomach growled hard enough for her to wince at the noise.

“…i’m alive…” she croaked.

“Sit up slowly,” whispered Sara. Take the pills, then eat.”

advice. Bless the person who invented fast-acting pain blockers. Grace drank half the gatorade before she came up for air. “Th’ project?”

“Completed, checked,” Sara waved at herself, “and submitted in time. Your grades are safe.”

Grace dived into the scrambled eggs. And the mushrooms. And the fried tomatoes. “Thank you I’m starving.”

“Well you were asleep close to twenty-four hours.”

“Ow. How many of those Mess-pressos did I take?”

“Two. That was plenty. Karen on the other hand…”

“Karen? That bitch who always eats our food and challenges us to prove it was her? The girl who takes ‘do not eat’ as a challenge?”

currently running naked through the campus trying to get the bees out of her skin,” Sara said. “And speaking in tongues. That’s what she gets
for watering it down with Jack Daniels and pouring it over an entire box
of Coocoo Bombs.”

Yeah. That sounded exactly like Karen. “Please tell me you have footage?”

“Loads,“ Sara grinned. “Once you’re stable, you can watch the Highlights Reel I’ve put together.”

Grace cackled. This was going to be a good day.

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