Tuesday, August 17, 2010


“Hey! Wake up.”


“You were snoring!”

“I was just resting my eyes. Seriously, I wasn’t sleeping!”

“Jill heard you on the other side of the room.”

“Its just my sinuses in this a/c.”

“Yeah, OK. Say whatever you want, but she called me to wake you up!”

“Crap. Did the big guy hear?”

“I don’t think so, he’s been in that meeting with Chris from the app team.”

“What are they meeting about?”

“Some problem with the app, I think. It sounded like the billing was screwed up and customers were complaining.”

“Shit that means its going to be a long night.”

“Not for me. I’m out of here – now!”

“You suck.”

The door opens and Chris walks out, not looking at me. “Mr. Smith, got a minute.”

“Yessir. What do you need?”

“Close the door.”

I close the door and nervously sit in the chair. Its still warm from Chris.

“There’s no easy way to say this. You’ve been a valuable member of the team but with the current economic situation and the tight budgets…”

I start to think, “Oh no, here it comes. He heard me snoring and now I’m out the door. Shit, what am I going to do. Sheila is going to kill me!”

“...so, congratulations!”


“Congratulations on moving over to Chris’ team as lead designer.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Traveler

OK, I have been thinking about the last contest and my entry. Now that I’ve had time to think, I’ve put together a second story which I think is more what was being looked for.

Let me know what you think…


The old man stumbled. A hundred pounds must surely be what his pack weighed with the obvious effort every step took. His legs trembled, the sweat beaded his brow. His shirt was stained dark from it dripping.

He visibly gathered himself as, after a pause, he set off once more. Struggling to reach his destination. No one else paid him any heed. The other patrons in the cafe didn’t seem to see him at all.

I couldn’t watch him struggle any further as he started to pass. Getting up from the table, I quickly put out my hand grabbing his soaking tunic as he practically fell into the street. He started to shrug off my help but collapsed into a heap. The only thing keeping his head from being split was my grip.

His breath was shallow and quick. I sat him on the curb and bent to put my mug to his cracked, bleeding lips. His face was covered in dirt and as he swallowed some of the ale he seemed to reanimate. He grabbed my arm as he coughed and spewed a mixture of blood and ale onto my shirt. I noticed his nails were manicured. His hair, while filthy was neatly trimmed as was his beard.

Something wasn’t right. My head exploded in agony.

I realized as I fell my cargo was lost. My employer would be extracting a heavy price for not delivering the stones. Stopping for an ale was to be my ruin.