A storm erupts in the work place.
Storm in a Tea Cup
The storm started brewing as wisps of steam swirled from the boiling kettle. Agnes Appleton frantically searched her ratty tote bag for her Granny Smith apple.
‘My apple is gone! Thomas Day, you weasel, you stole my apple, just like yesterday and the day before.’ Her fierce eyes glared at the bearded man. ‘Let me smell your breath.’ Thomas took a hearty bite from his salami and pickle sandwich.
‘I wish it were me, you silly cow. It’d be pay-back for you dobbing me into the boss for my lateness this morning.’
‘How dare you suggest such a thing. What’s in your sandwich, Thomas?’
‘Salami and pickle.’ He wiped a dribble of yellowish pickle from his bristly beard.
Constance Proud poured the boiling water into the teapot. ‘You’ll feel better after a cuppa, Agnes.’
Agnes, ignoring the offered cup, leant across the table towards Thomas. ‘I knew it! You sly beggar, trying to disguise the smell of apple by munching on that disgusting sandwich.’
Young Jason Snell, slouching against the counter, shovelling reheated fried rice from a bowl, chuckled. ‘Sounds like a storm in a teacup to me, Agnes.’ He laughed some more. No one else did.
In a broiling rage, Agnes slumped into a chair and slurped her tea.
‘There now, drink up. You’ll feel better.’ Constance tried calming the tempest.
‘Yeah, drink your tea, Agnes, then our resident witch here, Constance, can read your tea leaves and tell you the fate of your precious apple.’
Agnes sprang to her feet, ready to attack the scrawny youth. ‘Are you mocking me, Jason? I know what you’re up to when you sneak out the back. You want the boss to hear about that, too?’
‘Ah, so it was you. I knew it!’ Like a clap of thunder, Thomas smacked his hand on the table with force, startling Constance. The cup in her hand dropped to the concrete floor and smashed.
‘Oh, Thomas, look what you’ve caused me to do. My mother gave me that cup; it was special.’ Like a cloud bursting, Constance wept inconsolably.
‘Don’t blame me. It was Agnes, bleating on about a bleeding apple.’ His ice-cold eyes glared at Agnes.
‘That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think, old boy? I mean, poor Agnes, she can’t be expected to know how far her apples will fall from her tree, now can she?’
‘Enough with these ridiculous idiom’s – a storm in a teacup, apples falling from trees. Next thing, you’ll have us all sitting on fences!’ Thomas scratched furiously at his wiry beard.
The door flung open. Clive Mackie, the big boss, strutted in. ‘What’s all the commotion? I can hear you right across the fore-court.’ No one spoke.
‘Thomas, a word. My office. And Jason, you’re next.’
Clive turned at the door and reached into his trouser pocket.
‘Found rolling around the floor at Reception. Health and safety, folk. We need to take more care.’
In his palm, he held a shiny Granny Smith apple.