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  1. Lilly James Haro

    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

    Apr 26, 2014
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    Kirkwall, Free Marches, Thedas

    Past Contest Flash Fiction Contest #33 - 'Work Place Drama'

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest Archives' started by Lilly James Haro, Apr 12, 2016.

    The theme for Flash Fiction Contest #33 is "Work Place Drama” which was chosen by previous winner @Miguel A. Wilder. Remember the word limit is 150-450 words and all entries must be posted anonymously in this thread by 6:00 pm EST May 1st. Make sure to include the number of words and any warnings. You can also make your entry private simply by clicking more functions before posting, and click the box that makes the post viewable by "Members Only."

    Please do not use the same name as another entry as it makes it quite confusing for voting, thank you :)
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
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    California, US
    Ranemiro (449 words)

    Excruciator Ranemiro Destepa hurried from the interview room, wiping blood and bile from his long knife. He sheathed the blade at his hip. A few more hours and he’d be free of this life. He breathed deeply, pressed his lips together, and entered the common room.

    It was busy, but Ranemiro recognized few faces. Horse-faced Sisecuto sat by the far wall, making overt eyes across the table at Petra. Ruddy Artemio sat alone, as usual. Quenta, always disheveled, slept at a central table. The rest of the faces had no names in Ranemiro’s mind.

    He sighed and moved to the ice box, a wide stone affair that radiated cold. Ranemiro threw back the lid and stared. He’d left the container of yogurt along the right side, in the corner where he could easily find it. He’d even scrawled his name across the lid. Blood rang in his ears as he turned his gaze on the occupants of the room. None looked at him. He clenched his fists and forced his breathing to slow. Whatever. It wasn’t worth it.

    He pulled a heavy chair from Quenta’s table and settled into it. The big man shook awake and cast a bleary eye at him.

    “Still off rotation?” Ranemiro asked.

    Quenta raised a ham-thick fist, twisted it sideways. “Wrist is still bad. I really jolted it, trying to get the hook through that Northerner’s hide. Doctor won’t clear me.”

    “Pity,” Ranemiro said, not surprised. Before the wrist, Quenta injured his ankle while crushing the small bones in one of their client’s feet. Before that, the ice box lid had caught him across the back of the head. And before that, one of the Order’s cats had crisscrossed his legs on the staircase and caused a nasty fall. How long had it been since Quenta carried his share of the load?

    “You going to the training?” Quenta asked.

    Ranemiro gave him a blank look.

    “One of the new guys called a client a ‘swamper’ in the middle of a vivisection. The higher-ups got a formal complaint.”

    Ranemiro rubbed the bridge of his nose. Sensitivity training happened a couple times a year. One of the high priests droned on about using respectful words while they worked. It was always the same speech.

    “I’ll skip it. I have one more appointment.”

    Quenta nodded. As he drew up to a normal sitting position, an empty yogurt container rolled from beneath his arm, spun a moment on the table, then came to rest.

    A few more hours. Ranemiro had one more Excruciation to perform. He could lose himself in that, in the simple pleasures of the knife and the tongs. Then he’d leave this life for good.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  3. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

    Feb 24, 2016
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    Tranquility Base
    Pizza Hut Class War Fairy Tale [265 words]

    You were the manager. I was a kitchen monkey. You’d left school at sixteen and worked your way up. I was at uni, studying business.

    ‘You’re wasting your time,’ you said by the ovens. ‘Look at me – a store boss at twenty-six, and I’ve no qualifications.’

    ‘This place is a franchise,’ I replied, tossing chillies. ‘You’re a monkey like me.’

    ‘Franchise?’ you said. ‘Did you swallow a dictionary? La-di-da language won’t wash around here.’

    ‘So where would it wash?’ I asked, forking tuna.

    We got drunk at the Christmas party and started to chat. It was awkward at first.

    ‘My dad’s a lord,’ you said, stirring your Pimm’s, ‘Earl of Baystock – owns a castle, village and land in the north. My job is about proving a point.’

    Once I’d finished laughing, I took a long pull at my pint.

    ‘My dad’s a union man,’ I said, wiping foam from my lips. ‘He threw Molotov cocktails at the police back in the summer of ’84. My degree is about proving him wrong.’

    You and I quit the next day. We went to Ibiza, pooled our resources and opened a restaurant of our own. You worked the punters while I worked the numbers. We both worked our tans when we could.

    Our dads came to visit. They were pasty beside us. They loved our food but hated each other and were bitterly polite when they spoke.

    We raised our glasses after they’d gone and toasted the smashing of barriers.

    ‘Job well done,’ I said, watching the sunset.

    ‘Do you think it’ll last?’ you replied, taking my arm.
  4. BruceA

    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

    Feb 7, 2016
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    (261 words)​

    Karen, from accounts, holds the knife at Joy’s throat. The receptionist’s eyes are wide, fearful. We watch in silence. I see a single tear well, and then roll down Joy’s left cheek. Steve, from warehousing, stands next to me. I can feel his muscles tense. He is going to intervene, to say something. I put my hand on his arm. I don’t want him to interfere: this is perfect.

    “You are going to die, you bitch!” Karen says, spitting the words into Joy’s startled face. Her voice is strong, powerful. For a moment I almost forget that this is the woman more comfortable with spreadsheets than people. I had wanted to be the one holding the knife. But, I admit, Karen is better.

    The canteen door hits the wall as it swings open. We all jump at the sound. Mr Jennings stands in the doorway.

    ‘What the hell is going on in here?” he asks, looking at Karen and Joy and then to me. Karen lowers the knife. Joy smiles. They break character in unison.

    I cough. “Rehearsal for the Interoffice Original Drama Competition, Mr Jennings. We thought it would be alright if we rehearsed in our lunch hour.”

    Jennings stares at me. His eyebrows, always bushy, seem to pulsate with anger.

    “What have I said about this, Evans?” he said.

    “The workplace is no place for drama, sir,” I say, almost singing the words.

    “Quite right. If you must take part in this farce, do it outside.”

    The door slams, as he leaves.

    Steve turns to me. “Killjoy,” he says.
  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Aug 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    London, UK
    No Eye in Team [424 words]

    Annie took a deep breath as she arrived for her last day at work.

    In the kitchen she hunted fruitlessly for her mug. Never mind. It would’ve been petty to take it with her anyway.

    He was already at his desk—the next desk to hers—like he’d been every day since she’d joined. Gregory Fisher never took a day off.

    Even with flu he’d come in, spluttering and sneezing beside her. He’d done no work for a week but made sure management knew he was there. Annie’s liberal application of hand sanitiser made her hands crack and bleed but didn’t halt the virus, and she exhausted her sick days shivering and coughing in bed while work piled up for her return.

    Gregory could still brag that he hadn’t taken a sick day in 27 years.

    He smirked at her as she approached. “Slept through the alarm? It’s alright for some, part-timer.”

    Annie was on time like she always was, but not an hour early like Gregory always was.

    She smiled politely as her eyes zoomed in on her Keep Calm and Think of Home Time mug. It sat on Gregory’s bomb-site of a desk with a streak of dried coffee down its side. He picked it up and slurped loudly with meaty lips.

    As she logged in, he began the tuneless humming. It stopped 207 minutes later when he went for lunch.

    Annie relished the silence before walking to the fridge to retrieve her sandwich.

    It wasn’t there.

    Gregory sat at the breakfast bar, laughing sycophantically, with three managers. Half of Annie’s sandwich was in his thick hand and the other half was already fuel for his afternoon humming session.

    Her stomach was unsettled with the excitement and anxiety of leaving. She could skip lunch. Again.

    When Gregory returned to their desks he turned the air conditioning on. The vent blew cold air directly down her neck.

    Not long to go now.

    Gregory made a phone call to his biggest-paying client.

    “Charlie, that is music to my ears!” he boomed. Annie winced. “I’ll send you the docs right now.”

    He reached over Annie for her stapler, without asking.

    She withdrew a biro from her pen holder and jammed it into Gregory’s left eyeball. There was a noise like a wet fart then beautiful silence.

    Annie shoved the pen in as hard as she could, stood up, and tucked her coat over her shoulder.

    “I quit,” she announced to the sea of horrified faces gaping over their dividers. “Best of luck for the future.”
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  6. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 11, 2015
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    A Quick Fix (379)

    Corporal Rally lifted his rifle and aimed through his optic into the night, as enemy muzzle flashes lit up the city. "Augh, this is just what I need." He linked with his vehicle beneath his feet, revving the engine of the tank. The turret moved to his point of aim. Rally, the optic, and his vehicle were all perfectly linked. "Fire again." He goaded the unseen enemy.

    "Corporal." The voice behind him was Dog, whimpering and scratching like she always was.

    "What are you doing on my vehicle, Dog?" He did not look at her as he talked, lining up his optic carefully as his turret moved. He liked saying her name.

    "I need you to..." Her voice trailed off. God, she was such a nuisance.

    "Spit it out!" His yelling was throwing off his aim. What did she want?

    "I think I need to kill you." He turned around, but still caught her rifle butt to the side of his head.


    Dog shuddered at the vibration of her rifle bouncing off the Corporal's skull. She could not see in the dark, but she heard the turret turn towards her. She tried to link with his vehicle, but his mind was still in the synapse system. "Shit, no!" She glanced around frantically. The line was spread thin, the closest ally vehicle a hundred meters away. No one had noticed what she was doing. Not yet.

    "Do-..." The Corporal spoke, and she was paralyzed. "Dog..." She thought she could see him looking up at her. Her fear took control. "Do-" She was on his throat, her thumbs pressing on his windpipe, her rifle 'clacking' loudly on the hull of the vehicle. Once she had him in her hands it came to her, like it had with all the enemy soldiers.

    "Don't call me Dog." She tightened her arms, flexed her legs around his chest and arms, and sank into strangling her 'brother-in-arms'. Killing someone with an air choke was inefficient and slow. That was fine with her, though. She wanted to take her time. Slowly, as his concentration weakened and shifted, she replaced his mind in the Tank. It was for the best. She could to a better job than him. Besides, she had never liked Corporal Rally.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  7. Michael R. Kage

    Michael R. Kage New Member

    Aug 7, 2014
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    The Red Light Pool (448)

    Double shifts stink, thought Jim as he dragged his feet on the steel floor of the navy’s patrol ship Flayed Thunder. His dark green coveralls were crumpled and stained, his hands sweaty and his hair a greasy mess. He checked his wrist mounted multi tool. Fifteen minutes of power left, ten minutes until the end of the shift, he thought, if I hurry I can finish this and be in bed in half an hour.

    He made a right turn, near the main power core junction four, and crashed into Flavia and Mitch.

    “Hey! Watch where your going! snapped Mitch, bothered by the interruption. “This corridor is off-limits to crew, only officers are allowed” he said, puffing his chest and smirking in Flavia’s direction.

    At least she has the good sense to blush, thought Jim.

    “Excuse me”, squeaked Flavia and wiggled her way out of Mitch’s embrace.

    Mitch took two steps after Flavia, sighted and turned towards Jim. “Hey, come here!” he yelled, “Non coms have no business in officer country”.

    Jim turned with a sigh, “sorry boss chief Sully wants a red light fixed”, he doubted an officer, even a junior one like Mitch, knew about the bets that went between shifts.

    “Oh? So what’s the score?” asked Mitch.“How many red lights are on the board now?” a sly smile forming on his face.

    Jim took a deep breath. He hated officers. “There were five when I left engineering”.

    Mitch’s grin spread to his whole face. He whispered in Jim’s ear “Hey no need to hurry then, tell you what, the shift ends in ten minutes, you can do me a favor and hang around here and forget about fixing that red light for now”

    A shadow of fear went through Jim’s face.“But the chief will have my hide” he stammered, “he has money on four red’s and all the others are to far to reach in ten minutes, I had to cut it trough this corridor just so I can get to relay four in time” he said pleading.

    “Now, now, this boat is doing fine as it is. No need to fix everything on time” Mitch said.

    “It’s the main power junction for the shield system” mumbled Jim. “If someone shoots at us now, we’ll make a pretty star for a few seconds”.

    “Two years on patrol and no contacts” replied Mitch, “so you can relax and fix the shield relay after I win the pool”.

    Jim slumped against the wall, resigned to his fate. Sully will make me polish toilets with a toothbrush for a month he thought. Or maybe someone throws a wrench into the reactor and it all goes away, he mused.
  8. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Feb 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    Lunch - [450 - mature language.]

    Again! It happened again! What the hell is wrong with people? Third time this week someone ate my lunch. What kind of coworker would do that? That’s it! Tomorrow is the last time. Anyone who takes my next sandwich is in for a surprise. Tuna and cheese on wheat. Lettuce, tomato, and the rest of my Coumadin prescription crushed up into it. Steal away shithead!

    There’s Carol typing away at her computer. Little whore is probably surfing Ashley Madison again. Sure Carol... You just look at the guy’s profiles for a laugh.We all believe that

    “Hey, Pam.”

    “Hello, Tom.”

    Another twat in an office full of twats. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the one who’s been doing it. Fat prick is always stealing candy bars out of Cindy’s school drive collection box. Yeah, walk away asshole.

    And what the hell is up with Cindy anyway. How many kids does that woman have? Every month she’s bringing in something different for us buy to support something. Band this -- Junior prom that -- blah blah. Send your kids out in front of Walmart like everyone else.


    “Yes, Mr. Reynolds?”

    “Did you finish that invoice stack yet?”


    Say thank you dipshit. If you didn’t hold onto them all month we wouldn’t have this problem.

    That’s right. Everybody look busy when the phone rings. Don’t worry, Pam will get it.

    “Townsend and McDermott, can I help you?”


    “Hi, Jane. What does my wonderful daughter need?”

    “What makes you think I need anything?”

    “You only bug me at work when you want something.”

    “Just a signature for permission to go on the school ski weekend. I stopped by the office on my way home from school but I didn’t see you.”

    “Yeah, I had a meeting. Why doesn’t your father sign it?”

    ”He had to go out of town. I’ve been trying to meet up with you but we keep missing each other.”

    “His one week of the month with you? Asshole.”

    “Don’t be like that. Rebecca is here but she doesn’t feel comfortable signing it for me.”

    She better not, that homewrecking slut.

    “Mom, print a copy off the school website. I’ll stop by again tomorrow and pick it up.”


    “Love you.”

    “Love you too sweety.”


    Will this man ever shut up? Two-hour meeting. Nobody cares fuckface go back to your own country. I wonder if my thief is in here, or out there already eating it. End this damn meeting! I want to check my special sandwich.



    “Jane stopped by and grabbed something off your desk.”

    “Oh, good.”

    “I think she took your lunch too. You should feed her more, She’s been doing that all week.”
  9. The Triarii

    The Triarii Member

    Apr 9, 2016
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    Band of Brothers (~437)

    The mischievous mist floated over the bogs. Two adventurers shuffled onwards. No one said a word. The pair trudged through the mire. Their clothes were disheveled, covered from head to toe in the blood and bile of the horrors and their former comrades. Evil creatures could be heard in the distance; a frail human mind would undoubtedly hear the cacophony of abysmal mocking and cackling as eldritch shouts of victory. A human mind needs a reason for the madness. A soul is eased by knowing that loss has a reason. The reality is a much colder and much more disheartening truth. Demons and the detestable horrors that writhe within the bog need not cling to human rationalizations. The truth will always haunt the adventurers; sitting in the back of their mind, cackling over their shoulder, whispering nightmares into their ears.First, the horrors spin tales from the days of defiance; the days of hope, days of sunshine, days when these two adventurers could once hope to share their life experiences with another human being. All this, to remind them that these days have past, and shall be nevermore.

    "This was your fault, James..." Randal said under his breath between clenched teeth. Silence was the only reply, not that he had expected one. 

    Randall struggled on, step by agonizing step. He was weak from the loss of precious blood, which, in spite of the sturdy bandages, refused to cease its exodus. His head throbbed. His veins burned. His eyes whirled. His bones ached. His ears, his irreverent ears, carried the calls of the bog deep within his mind -- a place unknowable, yet unforgettable.

    "This was your fault." Randall said again, contempt dripping from his mouth. And once again there was no reply. Randall was going to kill James. He was calmed by his realization. Neither of them were going to make it home. He was on death's door, and it felt inviting. He tried to remember where his weapon was; it was where it always was, but he couldn't find it. His weak hands found it eventually, but struggled to release the dagger from its sheath. Everything burned. Everything looked red. Once he finally grasped the dagger, he turned slowly.

    "This was your fault!" Randal yelled raising the bloodthirsty weapon.

    There was something wrong, something horribly wrong. The shell of James stood before him. Eyes clouded white. The skin had become loose and saggy. The tentacles of some unknown parasitic eldritch horror wriggled from his lips. Then it spoke. It was unintelligible, overwhelmingly unnerving, and the last thing Randall would ever hear.
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  10. frigidweirdo

    frigidweirdo Member

    Nov 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    There's something about Mary (500)

    “Hey dude, I think it’s about time you did some work.” This reprimand woke me from my pleasant day dreaming. The sun was shining in through the window and making me a little sleepy. I looked around with guilty eyes around the office. Mary, the pretty little thing over the way, moved her eyes down to her desk as soon as we made contact.

    “Dude, the boss is coming, look busy.” Suddenly I realised that I did have quite a bit of work to do.

    “Hey, amigo.” I looked around for the voice. “The boss has gone. You could carry on thinking about Mary.” The emphasis on her name left no room for doubt about who his favourite was in this office.

    “Dude, I’m only going to tell you this one more time. Do. Your. Work.” I really did need to get my work done. I’d ended up working overtime three days in a row. I knuckled down to writing a few emails but the tune in my head was getting louder and more invasive. Concentration was not coming easily.

    “Amigo, I think I’m liking your estilo.” I was day dreaming again. My first reaction was another guilty glance over at Mary. She was getting on with her work.

    “Dude, the boss is back. He’s looking right at you this time.” I sat up in my seat. Probably not the best thing to do in hindsight, I must have looked guiltier than Hitler and Charles Manson’s love child. The boss called me into his office. The music in my head started playing the death march.

    “Amigo, nothing to worry about, he’s probably just checking out your shirt or something.”

    “You’re in deep shit Dude.” I sat down in front of the boss’s desk wearing my serious face.

    “Hey, HEY Amigoooo, cut out that damn music.” “Yeah dude, I agree, that music is really making it hard for me to do your job right now.” But the music wouldn’t stop, in fact it was getting louder and louder. I was staring at the boss’ face, his mouth was moving up and down, his face was stern.

    “Dude, now would be a good time to nod” so I bobbed my head up and down. “Okay now is not a good time for the shaking of the leg” “really, can you keep your hands still?”

    “For the love of Chihuahuas Amigo, will you shut up? You’re the one making him nervous.”

    “I’m the one making him nervous?” He said with incredulity. “Me? I’m the one who’s keeping this ship going Dude”

    “You don’t get it, do you Amigo?”

    “Why, I’m going to…”

    At this point I screamed. I was told later that I had shouted at my boss to shut up and may have included a few obscenities. Then I keeled over on the floor and had a little spasm like a fish out of water. After that I was taken to hospital.
    “Amigo, now you’ve done it, you’ll never see Mary again”.
  11. Dearest Mothership

    Dearest Mothership Member

    Apr 18, 2016
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    Intelligent Life (450)

    I remember the day the Jaeja landed.

    (Of course, we only knew them as Grays before then. Turns out they don't like being called that.)

    I was finishing my lunch when a tinny groan overcame the office. The lights began to flutter-- from the ship's interference, I now know-- and people began to grumble accordingly.

    “I thought you fixed the grid!” someone hollered.

    Excuse me?” someone countered. “I'm the one who told you to fix the grid.”

    I payed no attention to their argument beyond that. It was probably riddled with I-Do-Enough-Around-
    Heres and You-Never-Do-Anythings and the like. I've been seething at my place of work long enough to know, like a farmer predicting the weather just by glancing at the sky.

    I thew away my brown bag and started back to my desk when I passed Jim. He was scowling at a vending machine as a metal coil teased him with a candy bar. The power cut. The whole city seemed to moan. Jim howled in outrage-- his Snickers didn't make it. It was like being an extra in a bad commercial.

    I was approaching my desk when Samantha tried to toss her coffee cup into a trash bin without dragging her ass out of her cubicle. The cup connected with my new shirt instead. It might not have a big deal if it weren't half full of cold coffee.

    “Oh, I'm so sorry,” she insisted. And then, “Could you throw that out for me?”

    I bent over, picked up the cup, and gently placed it on her desk with a smile. I didn't care.

    By this time the tinny groan evolved into a metallic whir, and everyone was in a commotion about the noise, the power, and above all the vending machines. Clearly I was the only one to look out the window and notice that the building next to us was the color of slate. It was white moments ago.

    Suddenly there was this crash in what sounded like Mr. Bundren's office. Everyone in the building must have felt it because everyone in the building began to panic. Including me. And everyone scrambled to leave as if by instinct. Not including me. If my boss was in there, pulverized by whatever came in, then I was going to be the one to see it, by God. I marched to the door and opened it. There was this egg-shaped object of white metal laid upon a pile of glass, twisted metal, and what used to be my boss's desk. I flinched as the egg split lengthwise.

    And so, for the first time in recorded history, Man interacted with intelligent life-- inside of Mr. Bundren's office.
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