In response to Week 9 of the Weekly Writing Challenge (COFFEE!!!!) found here: http://www.protagonize.com/group/weekly-writers/topic/8498
Glimpses of the steep hills could be seen through swirling gaps of the mist. Lustrous hues of greens and browns mosaicked the terraces, flirting with Linh's despairing sense of orientation. Although she had grown up in these hills, the mist could roll in so thick anyone could become lost. She had dawdled too long in the field and prayed the weight of her bag would be sufficient to deflect her husband's senile scorn. Her hardy feet trod along a well-worn path, carrying her darkly brewing mood home though habit.
The mists had changed over her lifetime. They used to carry the lushness of the soil and forest to her lips, the organic smell of decay and growth to her nose, the rhythm of the cicadas the cadence of her soul beating in time with the seasons and their crops. At 78 she had lived and farmed the terraces her entire life, watched generations of young people leave for the cities, the money sent back filling their families' stomachs but not their empty hearts. And so here she and her comrades toiled, hessian sack filled with rich brown beans. She breathed in a long slow breath through her nose, wishing into the mist for a trace of her youth. The mist blew about her apron, playing on her ankles like a scorned lover, its scent familiar but distasteful. It was the taste of change. The taste of progress. The taste of her traditions being clear felled and monocultured. It made her bitter and brown. She ground her teeth in despair. Tomorrow the Corporation's truck would come and collect her neatly tied hessian sack, the return for her efforts the thinest slice of its ultimate worth. She could smell the aroma from the distant processing plant in the mist, the day's roast a mocking toast to her toils and troubles.
'When would the world wake up', she thought dispassionately, 'to the lingering smell of coffee?'