Microcosms 139

Hi there, Friday flash fiction aficionados, and welcome to Microcosms 139.

Thanks once again to William and Robert Chambers for unwittingly providing the theme of this week’s contest. In case you missed last week’s exposition: They first published Chambers’s English Dictionary in 1872. Now rebranded as The Chambers Dictionary, it is widely used by British crossword setters and solvers, and is famous for its occasional humorous definitions, such as that for middle-aged (“between youth and old age, variously reckoned to suit the reckoner”).

All the Character and Location elements once again this week have been taken from the headings of page columns in my well-thumbed 1998 edition.

Geoff

 

(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be a guest host, please contact us.)

 

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: Entrepreneur, Location: Bank, and genre: Memoir.

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

*** HEY! Remember to include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry – not included in the word count.
*** NO FAN-FICTION, PLEASE, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS **

 

  • Actor
  • Babushka
  • Cab Driver
  • Donor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Film Extra
  • Academy
  • Bank
  • Café
  • Dustcart
  • Emporium
  • Ferry
  • Crime
  • Romance
  • Tragedy
  • Comedy
  • Memoir
  • Sci-Fi

 

Spin!

 
Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Ted Young is in a period of recuperation after his stay in hospital – we wish him a speedy recovery. In his place, Steve Lodge has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.

 

REMEMBER: all submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length (excluding the title).

You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 140
Microcosms 138

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31 comments for “Microcosms 139

  1. 7 September 2018 at 1:17 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 words
    Cab Driver; Ferry; Memoir

    Follow That…

    It was only a summer job, eh! One full year of university under my belt. A taste of the city. There were so many things to do. To see. To be.

    I could’ve gone back to Platts Corner. The company said there’d always be a job at the mill for me. I had busted my butt for them the previous two summers. Green chain blues, eh!

    But that would’ve meant living at home.

    I just couldn’t do that anymore.

    This was still a time when almost anyone could work.

    The sixties.

    The economy was bustling.

    I had my license.

    My friend Grange had a part-time job on weekends, driving a cab.

    “You ought to give it a go,” he said. “Tips are good. You could do worse.”

    So, I went to work for Leopard Cabs.
    .
    And, brother, did I take to it like gangbusters!

    The nights were the best. It was still a pretty safe occupation then.

    This one time, I’m cruising behind the Lindy Lounge. It was maybe 10:00 pm. This joker rushes out of the rear entrance, tries to catch an Orange Cab that had just picked up a pretty flashy number and sped away.

    He sees me, hops in the front. I was a little concerned, him being a pretty big mug and smelling like a brewery. He puts his paw on my shoulder and says, “Follow that cab, buddy…there’s a C-note in it for you if you catch her.”

    I’m raring to go but I play it cagey. “What do I get if I don’t catch her?” I ask.

    “You don’t want to know, kid,” he lets me know.

    Suffice it to say, we caught the other cab at the ferry.

    C-note in my pocket, I headed back downtown.

    Been driving a hack ever since.

    2+
    • Kelly Griffiths
      7 September 2018 at 9:12 am

      Your imagination is enormous!

      1+
  2. Alva Holland
    7 September 2018 at 3:32 am

    Alva Holland
    @Alva1206
    296 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir

    Circumstances, Chances, Choices

    I paid her as much attention as I would a passing stranger on the street, didn’t even glance in her direction, such was my disappointment.

    The Manager had been scathing in his criticism, had castigated me for scant research, a shadowy business plan and concocted cash-flow projection figures.

    Where did my cocky confidence go? How much smaller could he have made me feel? Me, who woke up that day full of the brightness of my future.

    She called me by name. I turned around to see a young cashier, no more than twenty years-old.

    I shrugged and turned to leave when she called my name again.

    Jesus, can’t I be left alone in my despondency on this, the worst day of my life so far?

    ‘Look here,’ she said, beckoning me over to her glass box.

    ‘Who? Me? I don’t have cash business to do today,’ the words spitting out of me.

    ‘He doesn’t like you.’

    Her face was pressed up against the gap in the glass.

    ‘Who doesn’t like me?’

    ‘Him in there,’ she hissed. ‘Mr. High & Mighty, he doesn’t like you. That’s why he threw you out, nothing to do with the soundness of your plan. You were doomed from the start.’

    I considered ignoring her and leaving but something made me stay.

    ‘Bring your proposal to the Assistant Manager. Do it! You won’t be sorry.’

    As I sit here behind my desk on the penthouse level of my latest development, I think back to that cashier, to the fact that she needn’t have called my name, I mightn’t have listened to her, that Manager might have continued in his job to retirement and the young enthusiastic Assistant Manager might never have been promoted to her first Branch Manager position.

    Circumstances, chances, choices.

    4+
    • Kelly Griffiths
      7 September 2018 at 9:09 am

      Nice one, Alva. Wonder what happened to the nasty manager…

      0
    • Angelique Pacheco
      7 September 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Welcome back Alva! I missed you! Fab story!

      0
  3. 7 September 2018 at 5:23 am

    @geofflepard https://geofflepard.com
    299 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir

    One Man’s Vision is Another’s Opportunity

    Darcy Le Stille surveyed the men, like ants in their industry. He tipped his stovepipe hat, letting air cool his brow. The lock would soon be finished before the canal filled.
    His gaze lifted to the far side of the coffer-dam that held the still water, waiting like a caged beast to tumult into the channel once the lining was complete.
    On the surface a swan circled, nurturing its brood. That’s all he’d wanted, to provide. Not as they said, not to aggrandise. Not to massage his ego. Those charlatans, they had no vision. They hadn’t understood how his idea would bring wealth and hope to many. And yes, it would incidentally have made him rich, if only they’d been patient.
    ‘You have tried many men’s patience.’ Pompous oaf, that judge. Taking away his business. His liberty. ‘You will attend the Fleet where you will be incarcerated until you have paid your debts.’
    They had smirked, those vultures. Taking his idea, his child.
    He sighed and climbed the bank alongside the nearly finished earthworks. Joining the swan in watching the future unfold, stretching out towards London, bringing food, and materials to the capital. He wouldn’t give them their satisfaction.
    Bending, he kicked at the earth, freeing the rocks. He’d dug the first rocks with his own hands, watched by Emily, heavy with their first child. He stifled a sob. She deserved better. Better than him. If he couldn’t keep those raptors from his business how could he protect her.
    Weighing his pockets, he took off his hat, brushed dust off the silk and placed it on the top of the bank before sliding into the water. At least, when they broke the dam and filled the canal he’d be there, part of his creation, not jailed in ignominy.

    1+
    • Kelly Griffiths
      7 September 2018 at 9:11 am

      Tragic, but lovely descriptions.

      0
  4. Diana L James
    7 September 2018 at 8:29 am

    300 words
    Babushka; Emporium; Crime

    Babushka’s Botany

    I once had a problem just like yours, kid. Jimmy says yer clean, so I’m gonna help ya. But as they say in the movies, it’s gonna cost ya. Now just so ya know I ain’t scammin’ ya, I’ll let ya in on the first little situation I had.

    My dearly departed ex-wife, rest her soul, was beautiful. She turned all the heads, men and women alike. She was also a generous sort – always donating all my hard-earned money to charities. She also “volunteered”….to bang every Jane, Dick and Harry who caught her eye.

    I admit that I’m a prideful man. Divorce was clearly outta the question – I wasn’t lettin’ her have another dime. Clearly, I only had one option if I wanted to get rid of her.

    So I went to see an old buddy of mine down at the emporium near Main St. You know the one, right?

    I explain my problem over some pizza. He told me to go see that little old Russian lady that runs the flower shop behind the emporium. Babushka’s Botany, it’s called. He tells me some secret phrase I gotta tell her. Kid, I tell ya I thought for sure he was screwin’ with me.

    I asked to see the owner and out from the back of the shop shuffled this woman who had to be about 130 years old. When I told her what my buddy said, she just looked at me for a few moments before nodding her head and telling me to follow her.

    Long story shorter, it’s amazing what that old woman can do with plants and stuff. My wife’s funeral was a week later and now I go see Babushka whenever I need a little help.

    That’s the story, kid. So, how much money you got?

    2+
    • Kelly Griffiths
      7 September 2018 at 9:10 am

      Love this voice!

      0
  5. 7 September 2018 at 9:04 am

    @GriffithsKL
    kellygriffiths.wordpress.com
    300 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir

    Collateral

    Could it only have been two hours since Devon last pushed open the glass door? That was a lifetime ago. That was when Devon dreamed a dream. When he didn’t hate banks and bankers and the soul-crushing thing called collateral. The loan officer chanted the word as if it were a talisman. 

    With a savage fist, Devon mopped the tears that threatened his concentration.

    The black bowls housing security cameras would record Devon. He looked up and gave a toothy smile for the news tonight. The loan officer had taken Devon for a fool, took his application fee, and took his dream. Collateral…what a crock. Devon’s warehouse would be sold to some guy with collateral. Devon’s idea would die with him. But so would the old lady hunkered over a clutch purse. So would the beautiful teller with thick, painted-on eyebrows and lush lips. So would the whale-like teller with bitty glasses with thick, thick lenses. She was the one to notice. Those magnified eyes didn’t miss the sweat sheen on Devon’s skin, didn’t miss the angular bulk under his parka.

    Whale-teller’s eyes opened wide with terrible understanding. Her hand scrambled to the under-desk button and got to the counter lip when Devon sprayed her with 223 Remington Hollow Points. They chewed through her, yanked her about, and in a red confetti dropped her bulk beneath the counter.

    Then the screams. Devon expected them, but still. Concentration was difficult. Teller fingers frantically pushed panic buttons. The safe door was swinging closed. Devon didn’t care. That wasn’t his transaction. The banker with no brains just the word “collateral” had his hands up in the stance of desperation, head wagging, denying what his eyes told him: that Devon was about to make a grisly withdraw. Life was about to go into the red.

    5+
    • Deanna Salser
      7 September 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Now that was a vivid image! Talk about painting a picture!

      1+
    • Diana L James
      7 September 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Absolutely loved it! Great imagery – I hope to read more from you in the future!

      1+
  6. 7 September 2018 at 11:48 am

    300 words
    Actor; Café; Memoir

    It’s an Actor’s Life for Me

    Let me introduce myself, I, Sir, am an actor. You may not have seen much of my work since I graduated from the academy, but I assure you that I have been constantly active. In between times I’ve taken many an odd job to make ends meet. I’ve been a bank teller, I’ve waited table in numerous cafés, and even, at my most desperate, taken on the distasteful job of working on a dustcart. For a while I worked in an emporium, but I’ve never worked in something as vulgar as a common shop, I have my pride. One of my most memorable occupations was the time I was employed as a steward on the cross-channel ferry but, unfortunately, that came to an end with the introduction of the channel tunnel.

    I’m often asked what genre I prefer to which, I reply, the one that pays the bills! I do have a preference for the stage. I enjoy appearing in Shakespeare. I’m not fussed. Comedy, tragedy, romance, it’s all the same to me. You can’t beat the Bard. My television work is varied. I’ve played a detective in a long running crime series but also enjoyed a number of guest star appearances in a cult science fiction series.

    As I said earlier, I’m an actor. I live for my craft. When forced to take on a job outside of my profession I treat it as a part. I’m not just some mundane employee, I am playing the part of an employee, whatever that may be. It’s a form of method acting of which I’m very proud. I’m never just an ordinary person in a dead-end job. I’m always polishing my acting skills and performing the part to the best of my ability.

    Do you want fries with that?

    4+
    • Diana L James
      7 September 2018 at 4:53 pm

      I look forward to your posts every week (when I have the opportunity to check in), though I have been a bit shy about commenting. Another good one to add to the list!

      0
    • Arianna Hammond
      9 September 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Great story, Tim! I loved the incorporation of all the elements mentioned within the story. It really worked, and created this wonderful view of the character’s self. Nice job!

      0
  7. 7 September 2018 at 12:55 pm

    @maehschaf
    204 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir.

    A Slightly More Aggressive Business Strategy

    My career, this long and — if I may say so — successful career, for which I’m so famous today, had its humble beginnings on a sunny June afternoon at East Street Bank in New Jersey.

    Back then I was just a young entrepreneur desperately in need of financing for my latest business idea. I’d been to twenty-six banks before this one. I’d filled out all the forms. I’d presented business plans, revenue flows and advertisement strategies. I’d prepared charts and graphs and heartfelt speeches. I’d spoken with confidence and I’d begged on my knees. I’d even tried praying. To make a long story short: I had tried everything to get some funding. But the bank managers only laughed in my face.

    On this day, in front of East Street Bank, I knew that I was standing at a crossroad. I had put all of my own money into this latest business endeavour. If this didn’t work out, I’d be homeless by tomorrow. Or worse. This was my last chance. This time I would try something new.

    I took a deep breath, pulled the black ski mask over my face and stepped into the bank.

    “Hands up, everybody!” I shouted. “This is a robbery!”

    3+
  8. 7 September 2018 at 1:13 pm

    @VicenteLRuiz
    299 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir

    A Good Lesson

    Mr Worthington stares longingly at the moored ships, then back at me.

    “There was an anecdote my father told me,” he says. The man before me took the fortune his father left him and multiplied it tenfold, but he never mentions it. I tell him I’d love to hear the anecdote.

    “There’s this man, a millionaire, who enters this bank. Imagine that, back then: it was as if he owned it. An errand boy takes his coat, another his hat, a cashier straightens his coat and waits.

    “‘Bring me a coffee’, the businessman orders, to no-one, and walks to the cashier, who pushes a chair for him.

    “Two minutes later, one of the errand boys comes back with a tray and the coffee, trembling. He slips and spills the coffee on the millionaire and himself. The millionaire stands up, shouting to the boy, saying he’ll have him fired.

    “As the cashier tries to salvage the situation, the kid retreats, weeping, and smashes into a second customer. The errand boy wants to disappear. But this man kneels and takes his hand, slips something into it. And he tells the boy to buy a new shirt and come see him if he’s fired.

    “The boy looks at his hand. There he sees a tenner, just enough for a new shirt, and a business card with the man’s name and his position as bank manager.”

    “Your father, I assume,” I tell Mr Worthington, knowing his parent owned a bank.

    “Oh no, he was the errand boy!” Mr Worthington laughs. “He didn’t wait, and the next day he started working at the new bank, the one he ended up owning. He taught me to be kind to all people, regardless of their position.

    “What a good lesson, eh?” he adds, and keeps chuckling.

    4+
    • Nikky Olivier
      10 September 2018 at 6:31 am

      Well written as always, loved the voice and the lesson.

      0
  9. Angelique Pacheco
    7 September 2018 at 3:33 pm

    300 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir

    Money Hunny

    As I sit on this park bench, looking at the ashes of my life, I can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out had I not been at the bank on that specific day. Though to be sure, I was targeted.

    I was about to stash a large amount of money into a safe deposit box, the likes of which I could have retired on. It wasn’t every month that deals like this came along. The day was balmy. I clearly remember taking out my kerchief a number of times to wipe my brow. I remember thinking how happy my wife would be, finally. She would be able to shop to her heart’s content and that would surely put a smile on her face. Nothing else did anymore.

    I was chatting to the manager as I dug around under my shirt to remove my key when a flash and a bang disorientated me and I fell to the floor. My ears were ringing as I heard shouts and commands to stay down and I felt the key on the chain around my neck being ripped off. The attackers were wearing masks and through the haze of smoke I could see that they had guns. I took the coward’s way out and let them have the money. I certainly was not about to confront my wife when she was in this mood. How do I know she was my wife? No one else would rob a bank wearing six inch heels, except her crazy sisters. They were all there.

    Now I sit on the park bench waiting for my wife, who shops on Fifth Avenue, spending money that she stole from me, while telling me that a cousin died, leaving her a large inheritance. At least she’s happy now.

    4+
  10. 7 September 2018 at 3:54 pm

    266 words
    Entrepreneur; Emporium; Memoir

    Donkey

    I do remember my first attempt at being a merchant, yes. What? Don’t give me that look, I’m not so old that I’m forgetting my entire life just yet, kid. It was at Her Majesty’s Emporium, it was new back then. Just recently built. None of the fancy security measures that you have today, either. Nah, back then the guards could kill you for theft.

    No need to look so scared, it was a different time. More dangerous. I remember my first customer. What? No, it wasn’t my wife. I met her in a book store a year and a half later, she came onto me and suggested we defile some books.

    …No, kid, we didn’t damage them. We… You know what? Forget it, I’m here to tell you about my first stint as a merchant.

    I was selling spices, figured that I’d make a killing off of them. I was half-right, at least…I did make money, just not as much as I’d hoped. What? The customer? Oh, right. It was a foreigner, surprisingly polite too, considering what I’d heard of them from my friends.

    He was looking through my wares, and he says the damnedest thing to me. I didn’t understand it at first, it was in his native tongue, and I just sort of stared at him in confusion before he told me in our language.

    What did he say?

    “Sir, you’re aware you’re selling dried donkey shit, not spice.”

    …yeah, my career as a merchant lasted less than a day.

    Stop laughing, kid! It ain’t that funny!

    2+
  11. Deanna Salser
    7 September 2018 at 3:54 pm

    @beadanna7
    300 words
    Donor; Café; Sci-Fi

    The Next God

    The room was silent as each patron sat waiting, each with their own concoction, for the drawing to begin. This was the most elite of java joints in the galaxy, hosting the galactic annual raffle. The winner would have the honor of being the next “God” on the planet Olympia, which its inhabitants would later name “Earth”. The only drawback being, that it was a one way trip, and dangerous, as some of the indigenous life was primitive and predatory.

    Triga snaked out a hand and snagged a passing waiter. The Griggle paused, his fifty eyes swiveling on their stalks to fasten on her with annoyance.

    “Yar?” He asked, twenty of his eyes leaving her to survey the screen in the corner, as it crackled suddenly to life.

    “Nevershnae.” She answered, letting go of his arm, her attention riveted to the numbers on the display. She glanced at her ticket for the hundredth time, noting once more the number, and comparing it to the digits, now flashing red. Thousands of eyes mirrored her movements as they all did the equivalent of holding their breath.

    “Mine!” She shouted, cringing as some of the others covered their auditory apparatuses.

    She stepped to the screen and inserted her ticket into the slot. A light shot out and engulfed her, and in the blink of an eye, she was inside a shiny, state of the art, Skipship. The transporter had added her flight suit, and her crew from her own ship waited at their stations.

    “Enter coordinates for Olympia and initiate.” She ordered, barely able to control her excitement. She would create a new species with her own DNA, hoping as those in the past had hoped, that their experiment would be the one that survived.
    Homo sapiens would proliferate, she could feel it.

    6+
    • Nikky Olivier
      8 September 2018 at 12:44 am

      What a great piece.

      1+
      • Deanna Salser
        9 September 2018 at 10:58 am

        Thank you Nikky!

        0
  12. 7 September 2018 at 4:01 pm

    @el_Stevie
    293 words
    Café; Cab Driver; Tragedy

    Drive Away

    He looked at his fare in the rear-view mirror. Asked again, “Are you sure you want to go there?”

    The woman met his eyes, nodded.

    “You know it’s…”

    “Yes.”

    Ten miles out of town. He’d earn good money, yet he was uneasy. The place she wanted to visit had been closed for years.

    “Hasn’t changed a bit,” she said, when they eventually pulled up in front of the long-abandoned café.

    “Don’t know about that…”

    “This is how I remember it,” she said. “How I’ll always remember it.”

    It stood there, a burnt-out shell on a piece of prime real estate that had had the council bickering over its use for years. He’d heard the daughter had wanted to sell it to some developer but the authorities had blocked it at every turn. He looked at her then, knew why she looked familiar.

    “You’re Maxwell’s daughter, Annie…” He remembered now. Annie. The youngest, and only survivor of the fire which had claimed both the business and the owner’s family. “I’m sorry,” he said. Inadequate words but what else could you say?

    She dismissed his comments. “I’ve learned to live with it,” she said. “Though not for much longer.”

    She answered his questioning look. “Got one of those diseases you’d need to rob a bank to cure,” she said, still looking at the decrepit husk. “Or sell a bit of land. They still won’t give permission to develop this place,” she continued. “Even though they know it would literally save my life.”

    He remained silent.

    “And now I’ve run out of time.” She turned to him. “Would you mind just leaving me and driving away … please? Sometimes, only family will do.” Annie was looking at her old home.

    He drove away.

    3+
    • 8 September 2018 at 11:50 am

      Nice one, Steph….its got that noir drama vibe with a great touch of Stanwyck or maybe Joan Crawford, suggesting much more than 293 words…and a great line, “got one of those diseases you’d need to rob a bank to cure.”

      0
  13. Nikky Olivier
    7 September 2018 at 4:31 pm

    273 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir

    Take It to the Bank

    “Your account is overdrawn.”

    I remember hearing those dreaded words and I shudder, for what this was to unveil had the potential to be the greatest scandal in tooth fairy history.

    Having made my regular deposit just the day before, it was unthinkable that there could be so few teeth in my savings.

    “How can this be?” I asked down the line.

    “It appears that a great number of the teeth you deposited were false.” the branch manager replied in icy tones.

    I scoured my logs and records to try and find any errors when, lo and behold, I found an unusually high number of teeth coming from one particular address.
    Not that this was an unusual occurrence in itself, given that there are often household with numerous children that require my services on a regular basis but, given the circumstances, unusual enough to warrant a closer look.

    I snuck in in the usual way, with a sprinkle of dust, and commenced my investigation. Noticing immediately that this was the home of an only child and his parents, there was no reason for me to have been called here as often as I had over the last few weeks.
    I soon discovered the source of all my problems hidden in a dark corner of the six-year-old wardrobe – a small paper bag filled with multiple sets of dentures and a small pair of pliers.

    With a chuckle and a shake of my head I replaced the offending items back in their hiding place and swore never to make the case official.
    After all, who was I to stand in the way of such an entrepreneurial spirit?

    8+
  14. Arianna Hammond
    7 September 2018 at 4:49 pm

    298 words
    Film extra; Bank; Crime

    Yeah That Just Happened

    “Okay. Objective in range?”

    “Affirmative.”

    “Affirmative, affirmative?”

    “Roger. Affirmative, affirmative, affirmative.”

    “No need to get cocky, Eagle2. We have a job to do and if not played right, we lose it all.”

    “I know this already, Bear7. Just lay off the affirmatives!”

    “Yeah, yeah. Get to it.”

    “Affirmative”

    “That doesn’t even work there! And YOU’RE the one telling ME to lay it off- what the hell. Just, just…. whatever. You know the plan Eagle2.”

    I step out of the bathroom and into the open space of the bank lobby. The director is moving people around, shuffling them into place. Getting chosen for this particular movie was hard, but it was about to pay off. Literally. Part of me wants to just take in the experience. The other part is screaming; “Just rob the damn bank already!” Yeah, yeah. I side with the latter.

    Bear7 sneezes in my ear. “Bless you.” I say. The woman next to me looks sideways, quizzically. I grin. This is thrilling. Someone shouts and I realize I should get into action before the cameras start. The plan rushes through my head as I reach for the gun on my waist, and the face sack along with it. Pulling them free in one motion. Looking at the teller window, I quickly put on my mask, walking as I do. Pitch black. Damn it! As I shift the cloth so the eyeholes are aligned, I run smack into something. Pain. I fall on my back and hear my gun skidding across the linoleum floor. That’s enough for everyone to freak out. Something heavy lands on my chest. A hand rips off the sack, exposing my face and revealing my captor. Shoot. Spiderman pins me. I try to wiggle, but to no avail, Spidey is too strong.

    “Damn it! Damn it! Eagle2!!!”

    1+
  15. Caleb Echterling
    7 September 2018 at 10:57 pm

    @CalebEchterling
    http://www.calebechterling.com
    298 words
    Donor; Academy; Comedy

    Amphibian-Style Architecture

    “And now to cut the ceremonial ribbon and say a few words, the man whose generous donation of 40 millions dollars made this building possible, Angus Frogbottom.” Dark-suited big-wigs seated on the podium rustled with polite applause. A college tour walked past on the quad, where the guide bragged about high-quality architecture to the would-be freshmen and their families.

    Angus shuffled to the microphone. He snatched the oversize scissors from Dean Hubert. “This building is an abomination. Ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. It looks like a frog’s bottom.”

    Dean Hubert cleared his throat. “That’s just a name on the plaque. Your name on the plaque. It doesn’t describe the building’s looks.”

    “I know what a frog’s bottom looks like. And I’m looking at one right now.”

    A man with an X-acto knife emerged from the mob of dignitaries on the podium. “I won’t stand for your slanderous lies. I poured years of my life into designing that building, which clearly resembles a toad’s bottom.”

    “Frog’s bottom!”

    “Toad’s bottom!”

    “That’s it, we’re fighting on the count of three. Ready? One, two …”

    “Wait. Do we start fighting on three, or the beat after three?”

    “Idiot. If I wanted to start fighting on the beat after three, I would have said ‘Start fighting on the count of four’.”

    “Fine. One, two, three.”

    The X-acto knife and oversize scissors clashed. Sparks filled the air. Dean Hubert grabbed the combatants by their collars, and pulled them apart. “Will you two cut it out? I have a Ph.D. in Herpetology, and that is definitely a salamander’s bottom. I’ve examined more animal butts than you punks could ever dream of.”

    A family of newts on the college tour watched with mouths gaping. “See, honey, I told you higher education was filled with perverts.”

    3+
    • Nikky Olivier
      10 September 2018 at 4:46 am

      Had a good chuckle from this one.

      0
  16. 7 September 2018 at 11:44 pm

    @todayschapter
    http://www.todayschapter.com
    299 words
    Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir

    Daylight Robbery

    September 7th 2018

    Dear Diary,

    Yet another day behind the cashier’s desk. I’m not sure how much longer I can do this. My face hurts from smiling, and my heart hurts from pretending to care. All i do is stare at other people’s huge bank balances all day, while mine falls further and further into the red.

    Mrs. Jenkins was rude to me again. She owns a nail salon, it all sounds super shady. She likes telling everyone she’s an entrepreneur. Every day she comes in with a large leather bag full of cash and huffs and puffs about how long it takes me to count it out. Despite that, she still waits for me every single day. I think she enjoys tormenting me.

    It has become a bit of a game now, to see how long I can drag it out, just to see how mad I can make her. I finally pushed it too far and she complained to my manager. He pulled me aside to make a show of telling me off in front of her. I could barely stand the smug look on her face as I got reemed out. I could feel my smile slipping.

    I almost snapped.

    September 8th 2018

    Dear Diary,

    I snapped.

    It wasn’t my fault. I was on my smoke break and I saw Mrs. Jenkins swagger right past me without even noticing. I saw that bag of money and I saw red. I was just trying to snatch the bag, I didn’t know she’d fall down. That’s when the bus came round the corner. I’ve never heard anyone scream like that. I didn’t dare look back.

    On the plus side, I don’t have debts anymore! Unfortunately, now I have to burn you, before you become Exhibit A…

    3+
    • Arianna Hammond
      9 September 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Loved this story! Very funny! It really pulled me in with the style and how well written it was.
      I definitely felt for that diary too, especially with that great ending….:)

      0

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