Writing Prompt: A Screaming Stranger

A random character in a busy coffee shop. 
All of a sudden a stranger starts yelling at their face.
Describe the character's reaction within 10 minutes.
Source: Udemy Course "Writing Mastery: Foundations of Fiction" by Jessica Brody

This is the edited version but feel free to give pointers.

A psychotherapist got screamed at by a stranger in a coffee shop

              “Doctor Corin, your next client just called to cancel her appointment. The next one will be at half past three,” Leticia told him as he stepped out of his office. She was in the process of filing and would have gone directly back to it except he continued to stare at her.

              “Leti, you may address me as Gene when it’s just the two of us, ” Dr. Gene Corin reminded her as he tapped his slender fingers at her desk. He looked slightly distracted at the flower arrangement behind her. “I think I will go and check out that newly opened coffee shop on the corner street you mentioned. I will be back before 3.”

              “Very well, Doctor Cor—”


              “Doc– G-Gene. I hope you’ll find it relaxing.”

              He gave her a reassuring smile.


Photo by Elizabeth Tsung on Unsplash

              The coffee shop was buzzing with interminable chatter and lively music as Dr. Corin entered.
His eyes swiftly drilled down the menu before placing his order. He then walked over and leaned at the counter watching the various people around him from the pimply young man frothing milk to the petite young woman skillfully crafting image on the coffee using the frothed milk. There is a group of young ladies gossiping in the corner window seat and another group of young men sitting across from them were giving flirtatious looks and gesture. Several men in tailored suits seated at the counter near the window were either reading the newspaper or looking at their phone. The variety of people in Corner Café are as diverse as the town he works at.

              As his name got called, Mr. Corin heard the door chime ring violently. He smiled at the young woman who handed his coffee and slowly turned to find a frenzied-looking man facing him. The man’s hands were tightly clenched on a knife, his eyes slightly red and scrunched while a vein can be visibly seen throbbing on the side of his wide forehead. Mr. Corin raised his eyebrow.

              “What did you do to my wife?” the man snarled at Mr. Corin who quietly gazed at the man. The busy coffee shop turned into a stand still. Even the young man frothing the milk turned off the machine to look at trouble brewing right in front of them. Many of the customers nearby moved back when they saw the knife.

              “Who are you addressing, young man?” Dr. Corin politely said as he stirred his coffee.

              “You!!!” the man sneered, “You stupid jerk! My wife left me last night after she saw you, taking my boy with her. I paid for that session, Dumbass. All of those sessions with you!” his voice getting louder as he stalked forward.

              Dr. Corin took a sip from his cup and placed it on the tall counter. Placing his feet apart, he took on a boxer’s position and faced the man who is now sweating profusely on his forehead and neck. The man’s gaze traveled from the surrounding people before glancing back at his target.

              “You have no right to drive my wife and kid away from me! You are full of hot air, Doc. D’you know that? You are deep shit, Dumbass!” he screamed. Then he scrunched his body and rushed forward aiming the knife directly at Dr. Corin’s stomach. Several audible gasps seem to spur the man as he gave a maniac laugh.

              Dr. Corin deftly stepped to the side, pushed the hands of his attacker away while easily capturing both with a slight maneuver. He then swiftly encircled his opponent’s neck with his left arm locking him in place while putting pressure on the attacker’s hands to release his weapon. The knife clattered on the floor and slid under a table. The man escaped Dr. Corin’s hold but as he turned to face the doctor he received a direct solid punch on his solar plexus. He slumped down on the marble floor with a thud.

              “I’ve heard of your violence many times, Mr. Flores,” Dr. Corin said as he straightened his jacket into place. He grabbed the knife and deposited in on the counter. He continued, “As a matter of fact, we know you were the one who attacked our female colleagues who were helping your wife. My lawyer will send you a restraining order and I believe with enough people here as witness I can guarantee that you will not be able to harm your young wife, your son of five and any people who are willing to help them.” Mr. Corin slowly uttered looking at the unconscious man lying on his feet.

              Taking a card from his wallet, he handed it to the nearest Barista instructing her to call the police and refer them to his office. Grabbing the cup on the counter, he emptied it quickly and headed to the door. The people in the coffee shop started clapping and cheering as he left.


              “How did you like that new coffee shop, G-Gene? D-did you like the ambiance?” Leticia greeted as he entered the clinic. The glass reflected the slight flush on his face, his eyes were wide and twinkling mischievously, and a small smile has lightened his normally stoic countenance. Leticia looked almost enchanted at him or perhaps a bit perplexed.

              Dr. Corin gave a small laugh. “I think we could renovate our break room into something similar. I rather prefer the coffee you make for me,” he replied with a wink.

              Leticia blushed.

Author: Shela Laubach

Christ follower, Expat, wife, mom and writer-in-training who enjoys handicrafts and based in Baden-Württemberg, Germany,

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: A Screaming Stranger”

    1. Look forward to more stories, Tom! Thanks for taking the time to read my short fiction.

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