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Short Story Sunday #2

11 Jan

Title: The Writer and The Mother
Word count: 1900.

The Writer and The Mother
Sandra Charmer was seated on a soft chair with a laptop in front of her. Warm fuzzy socks covered her feet and a hot steaming cup of coffee was resting near the laptop. After what happened the last time she had a cup of liquid so close to her computer, one might think she’d have at least learnt something. Oh well, that’s’ a story for another time.

She was typing away and wore a smile of her face. Such days were rare-days that oozed of nothing but inspiration and juicy ideas. She was in the zone. To hell with writer’s block; in that moment, the words were flowing from her like a river. She’d been at it for hours and now that she was going to impress her editors with her latest idea, all she felt was pride and joy. Her son was in the next room watching cartoons.

Being a writer hadn’t always been easy for Sandra. There was a time when she almost gave up on it all and settled for a 7-6 job. It was hard, and it was depressing. Something had to be done to pay the bills. Sacrifices had to be made. She’d lost all hope of ever having her work out there. That was when she’d first gotten out of college. A major in English with a 1 year old son, no husband or boyfriend to speak of and her family all but non-existent. Life seemed bleak. It was a trying time.

The upside was that she’d managed to get a job in a quaint little library in town and though it was close to something she loved-books- it wasn’t quite as satisfying as she’d have liked. She wanted to write, her fingers itched with the need of it. She wanted to share the world as she saw it in her eyes, she wanted to touch people’s lives and inspire, using nothing more than words.

So for a year, she worked her little bum off and managed to pay the bills. The library wasn’t half bad. She could afford a sitter for her son, she could put food on the table and life went on. Boringly. All the while, she’d write a couple of words after work and as time went by the words increased and increased until it became something that resembled an actual novel. Believing in yourself can breed the most amazing results.

Her big break came almost a year after that. After trying and failing with each publishing house she approached, she finally decided to go the non-traditional route and just put her book online. Social media was a gift she was grateful for and thank the heavens for ebooks. Working in a library had come in handy as well because she found it easy to tell readers about her book. In such situations, you have to use every weapon at your disposal. The fact that most of those readers had blogs was the icing on the bibliophile’s beautiful cake. Her book got more love than she’d anticipated and the e-book that was selling for nothing more than peanuts at first got a major boost and she actually made some money. It’d felt so good.

Then like a really good dream you wouldn’t want to wake up from, she’d gotten approached by an actual publishing house. It was small and up and coming but it was still a publishing house. You have to jump at every opportunity that presents itself to you, no matter how small. She was finally going to lose the ‘self-published’ tag and she couldn’t have been prouder. It’d all felt surreal to her. Her next novel was published and just like the first, it’d gotten the buzz it deserved. Sandra was making her mark on the literary world.

For a while at least.

Not all books turn out to be best sellers and no matter how much of your blood, sweat and soul you pour in your work, sometimes it’s just never enough to make the dent you need or want. It’s the unfairness and cruelty of life.

All these happenings sort of got her accustomed to a certain way of life and shaped her to be the writer that she’d turned out to be-Which brings us to this most eventful day that had started with her bathing and feeding her son. Sandra was still typing when her phone buzzed. It was the editor and owner of the publishing house, Edna.

“Hello, Edna. So good to hear from you.” She said, her smile was still on her face. It was a good day after all. She’d typed so much that she couldn’t have been prouder if she tried. She had a good feeling about her latest work in progress.

“Sandy, I’m afraid I have some bad news.” Edna said, “You know how I care about you, right? Thanks to your books, my business was a major success.” Her voice made Sandra hold her breath. What could be so bad that Edna would call personally?

“Okay. What’s the problem?”

“The sales of you last books have been less than satisfactory. We’ve talked about this before but now, we can’t just keep ignoring it.” That didn’t sound good. It didn’t sound good at all. “The series just isn’t gaining the momentum that we would like. We’re going to have to let you go.” Edna said.

The air felt thin as soon as Sandra heard the last part. She knew that after the success of her first two books, the others were a bit…underappreciated. Readers found them lacking. The series wasn’t close to even having a 3.5 star rating. But to be let go? That was just awful.

“Edna, c-come on. I’m working on a fantasy YA. I know it’s still a work in progress but it’s good. I can feel a best-seller coming up. Don’t do this. You have t-“

“Sandy, please.” Edna pleaded. “Don’t make this harder than it already is.”

“Hear me out at least. I know what my readers like and this book will-“

“The decision is final. I’m sorry.”

“What am I supposed to do now? Writing is all I know.” She thought about her son and all his needs. She thought about how it would be if she couldn’t write any more. It felt like she was being asked to cut off a piece of herself. An arm or a leg. It killed her, inside and out.

“Listen, over the years we’ve become friends and I care about you but this isn’t personal. I have to think about my company. We can’t keep making loses. I’ve put it off for long enough because you’re my friend. Because I owed you that much.” Edna’s voice was laced with so much sadness and sincerity that it almost broke Sandra even more than she already was.

She wanted to plead. She wanted to ask for a second chance. She would work harder and push more. She’d make sure that her next book would be loved. She’d do anything. Anything was better than being let go. It felt like she was once again letting her dream slip her by. It shattered her.

With a lump in her throat she managed to say, “Thank you. For the chance you gave me. Even if it was just for a while, at least I lived my dream.” It was a miracle that she was even being coherent in her thoughts and words. He mind was slowly turning to mush. Comprehending the situation was getting harder and harder.

“I really am sorry.” There was a deafening silence as neither one spoke, “this isn’t the end though. You’re a talented writer. Something will give. Take care okay.” Edna said and finally hung up. The kind words well appreciated, they were welcomed but they still didn’t ease Sandra’s aching heart.

Sandra just sat there for a few minutes, the phone still held to her ear. Through teary eyes she looked at the computer screen, her potential masterpiece stared back at her. The room felt like it was spinning. How was she going to move past this?

Bottling it up wasn’t helping and being frozen and glued to her seat was becoming a pain. So, she did the one thing that came into her mind. She shoved the cup of coffee away and screamed. She screamed and hoped it would hurt less. The poor mug hit the ground and smashed into a dozen pieces that scattered all over the floor and the beverage spilled everywhere. Damn. That was going to stain. Great, just great.

She heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet behind her and then the sweetest voice reached her ears, “Mom, your favowite cup is bwoken.” Her son, Chris, said. He was inching closer to her.

“Sweetie, please don’t get any closer.” She wiped her tears and walked to him. Upon reaching him, she knelt so that she was almost at his level. “There’s broken glass everywhere, you’ll hurt yourself, okay?” she gave him a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.

“Mommy, what’s wong? You have tears.” He wiped the trail of wetness with his small, chubby fingers. Her son had never seen her cry and the realisation that he could notice something like that undid her.

“Nothing, sweetie.” She hugged him and held him close, hoping and wishing that he could feel her love and care from that very hug. “I just got something in my eyes. That’s all.”
She broke the hug and ruffed up his hair. “Now, be a good boy and let mommy clean up this mess.” She gave him a smile, no point worrying her son. As a mother, sheltering him from such was her duty. “Go and watch your cartoon. Once I’m done we can watch Finding Nemo together.”

His face lit up upon hearing that and then he turned and started rushing off. After a couple steps he stopped and ran back, ”I wove you mommy.”

Sandra hadn’t planned on shedding any more tears but hearing that led to them pouring out shamelessly. She hugged him tight and then kissed his forehead. “I love you sweetie.” And she did. With every single part of her. “Now go, mommy has to clean that mess up.”

He left and she remained squatting there. Thinking. Wishing. Her son was the light in her life. Her everything. There were times when days got so stressful and hard but looking at his tiny beautiful face always brought a smile to her face. He was her joy. He washed all the pain and hardness away with nothing more than him simply looking at her with his big eyes full of life and potential.

Eventually, she got up and started picking up the broken pieces of the mug. She was extra careful not to cut herself. Though she doubted anything could match the pain and hurt she was already in.

She loved writing; it was a part of who she was. From the second she’d written her first story when she’d just been 8, she knew it’s what she wanted to spend her life doing. She didn’t want to do anything else. It’d become a huge part of her now that it felt almost like breathing. A necessity. So, what was she going to do now? She had enough money saved up to continue living a comfortable life. What about when she runs out?

For her son and her dream, she would climb a freaking mountain. For her son, she’d pick herself up and try once more. For her son, she’d get a 6-6 job.

-Till next time-

So short stories are hard. Tell me what you thought. Yeah, I can’t remember the last time I was near a toddler so I may have embellished on the dialogue. lol

Follow me on twitter Dee@The perks

-Dee

Short Story Sunday #1

4 Jan

Hi guys, so this is just a new segment for my blog. On sundays I’ll be posting short stories that are from the ‘My writing’ folder on my laptop. Hopefully I can be posting weekly. It’s just a way for me to practice my writing and I’d appreciate your comments and feedback.

Note: The story you’re about to read was first posted on FF. I wrote it last year. I wanted it to be the first one that goes under my Short Story Sunday before I start sharing anything fresh 😀

TITLE: Just Her Luck…
Word Count: 2000

If there was one word that could be used to describe me other than boring or predictable, it would have to be…average.

I am of average height. I got average results in college and I was probably going to attend an interview that will take me one step closer to having an average job, so I can look forward to an average pay check. Pretty dull if you ask me.

The only thing about me that is beyond average is my hair. Most people who looked at me would think I was trying to rebel against society or something. Like it’s the last stand of a post teen female in her quest to be noticed or stand out. Because let’s face it, how many normal people walk around with pink hair? How many of those people are 22 year olds? My guess is, not that many.

The day I was going for my job interview at Lloyd and Daka started out like any normal day. I remember it very well because it’s a day that’s etched deeply and painfully in my brain. I’d gotten up, taken a quick shower and put on a tight fitting, knee length little black dress with my one good pair of platform heels. Lloyd and Daka was the most successful law firm in Ching City. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t study law and so my job interview was as a personal assistant.

The job market was a joke and so when I got the call for the interview, you can imagine my surprise and if I’m honest…my joy. It was going to be my big break. My one shot at making something of my life.

I left the loft I was sharing with my crazy room mate. By crazy I don’t mean, ‘padded cell and meds’ crazy but more like crazy spontaneous. I like her. We have been friends since high school and she is so close to me I sometimes see her as my sister. My crazy sister. She hadn’t come home the night before. She’d been on another one of her nights out with her boyfriend. Good for her.

Being an only child and coming from an average family, you can guess where I stand when it comes to wheels. I don’t have a car. If I should over share, I might as well mention that I have never even owned a bicycle. So it was walking and getting on buses and cabs for me.

One thing to be grateful for that day was that it wasn’t raining anymore. It had poured cats and dogs the night before but as I was walking on the sidewalk that day, the only reminder that it was the rain season was the wet ground and the puddles in the busy streets.

I was seriously rethinking wearing heels this high. Maybe I should’ve put on flats until I was near the interview building. But as I continued walking, I knew it was too late to do anything about it. Turning back would mean risking being late.

My stomach rumbled. Damn it. Just great. I’d forgotten to have breakfast. My phone suddenly buzzed and I found it was a text from my room mate and friend. The crazy one.

Her text was just wishing me all the best in my interview. See what I meant? She’s the best. I sent her a quick ‘thanks’. Note to self: Remember to turn the phone off.

I put my phone away and right after that, before I even had a chance to look up, I bumped into someone. I stumbled and struggled to keep myself standing and in my attempt not to fall, my heel broke and I almost fell to the damp ground.

The guy I had bumped into tried to help me. He ended up smearing mustard all over my dress instead. The hot dog he’d been about to eat fell, travelling down the length of my dress in a trail of gooey yellow until it reached the dirty, wet ground. The folder containing my credentials dropped to the ground as well.

I was only relieved because it was made of plastic and the papers inside were all safe.

“Shit!” I swore. No. No. No. How the heck was I supposed to attend an interview when I looked like I’d just been molested by hotdogs and mustard?

“Are you okay?” he enquired.

“Do I seriously look okay?” I picked up the folder, looked at my ruined dress and felt my heart sink, “Look what you just did to my dress and shoes.” I stood awkwardly, one leg higher than the other, feeling like tears were going to pour from my eyes any second. I didn’t even have any glue on me. My poor heels.

“Maybe not such a good idea to wear heels if you can’t walk in them.” His voice was calm and low. “But judging by your hair, I take it you are not a person known to make good decisions.”

“Excuse me?!” what the hell? I looked up at him and stared into his dark eyes. His lips curved in an annoying smirk. The son of a bitch actually had the audacity to smirk at me. I was livid.

“Hey, don’t bite my head off because you were too busy texting and acting like a teen instead of actually looking where you were going.” He put his hands in his pants pockets, making his tailored suit look even more fitted.

“Are you seriously going to blame me for this? You’re the one stuffing yourself with a hotdog in the early morning and rubbing mustard all over my dress.”

“Okay, my bad.” he looked me straight in the eyes and I could see the amusement in his, “Though I doubt it looked any better before.” He said under his breath but I heard him loud and clear. My blood boiled over. The hot dog seller faced away like he was embarrassed for me. How had the day turned out like this?

“You rude ass.” I said. My nostrils flaring like a bull about to charge towards a matador.

His laughter came out throaty and some of his pitch black hair came on his face. He ran his hands through it and it just annoyed me more, “That’s not very ladylike.”

“Ladylike?” I snorted. “And this isn’t funny. I am far from feeling like a lady right now, so I sure as heck will not act like one.” I bent over to get the heel that had detached from my one good shoe. Yeah, I knew I should have worn flats until I reached the building.

“Sir, we have to get going.” A muscular man stood next to us and motioned that the rude hotdog-eating man follow him.

The black haired man sighed and put his hand back in his pocket. “I guess we do.” He started walking away, “Oh, one more thing…” Reaching in his jacket, he grabbed his wallet and took out 5 notes, the highest denomination, which he put in my hands, “get yourself a better dress and new shoes.”

I slapped his hand away and the money dropped to the ground. “Screw you. I don’t need your money. So what, you think because daddy dearest can bend to your will and get you everything you desire, that it’s okay to treat people like this? You are pathetic.” I spat out.

He recoiled a bit and then smirked again. “Well, aren’t you a feisty one.” He walked away, leaving the money on the ground, “Get the money or don’t, I don’t really care. That foolish poor person’s pride will get you nowhere.” He climbed in the back seat of the expensive looking car and opened the window slightly, “Though I must add, between the one who has a personal driver and the one who is standing on the pavement with one shoe on and covered in mustard, who is really looking pathetic? Mmh?”

My lips twitched in annoyance and I thought I would scream out. “You rich people are all the same. Dicks, through and through.”

He smirked at me and the window started closing. “Good day.” The car drove off, leaving me fuming and wishing I had a gun or something. I got my phone and saw that I still had forty minutes till my interview time.

There had to be a cheap boutique with formal wear around here somewhere. Screw that infuriating son of a bitch and his money. I looked at the notes still by my feet. They stayed there for a second, taunting me, laughing at me. Then they blew away and a homeless man nearby dove for them. A huge smile formed on his face. Christmas had come early. Better him than me, I didn’t need that guy’s hand-outs.
What an ass.

With a frown on my face, I rushed awkwardly down the street, wearing one high heeled shoe and one broken one. This was probably what people referred to as a walk of shame. I finally saw a promising little boutique. It had in stock various designs of suits and dresses. The pencil skirts looked great and the bodycon dresses looked even better. The best part was that they were all affordable. I picked up a knee-high navy blue formal dress and black heels. I knew it was not a planned shopping outing and it would come and bite me in the ass later on but I still gave the cashier my debit card. Once I got the job, the money would be replaced.

I put the soiled LBD in a bag and started off for my destination.

~xoxo~

So, despite the crapstatic luck I’d had earlier, I’d managed to make it in time with 10 minutes to spare. Thanks universe, so maybe you aren’t a complete bitch after all. I walked to the receptionist and told her my business. She directed me to the elevator and told me the interviews were being conducted on the 10th floor.

Taking the elevator to the 10th floor, my heart started racing. The elevator door finally opened once I had reached the right floor and I took in a deep breath before I stepped out. My heels tapping as I took each step.

There were about five girls waiting in the foyer. Competition. I walked to the desk where a beautiful blonde was sitting. She looked more Victoria’s Secret Angel than personal assistant.

“Good morning.” I said, a smile on my face. “My name is Kristen Hamis. I have an interview at 9 o’clock.”

“Good morning. You are just in time.” She
replied, “Please take a seat. There is still someone in the office at the moment.”

“Thank you.” I told her and made my way to the seats. A smile was on my face as I said hi to the other girls.

Sitting down, my feet on the floor and the folder on my laps, I prepared to wait until my time came. My strength left me when I saw one distraught girl running out of the large office with the glass doors and walls. She was in tears and held her papers to her chest.

How tough was the interviewer?

The girl behind the desk shook her head and picked up the phone. She listened for a second and then put it back down. My heart raced.

“Miss Hamis,” I heard the blonde woman call for me, “he’s ready for you.” She gave me a smile that told me to be strong, or maybe I was just imagining it. Why would she offer me comfort?

My feet stood firmly on the ground and straightened my dress. Putting one foot in front of the other, I made my way to the office praying I didn’t come out of there in tears as well. I pushed the glass door and entered. I pushed further inside and the man seated by the table looked up at me. His black eyes made contact with brown ones and he smirked. My heart stopped beating. My legs froze where they stood. Oh God, please, no.

How much bad luck could one girl possibly have? My interviewer, my potential employer, my possible boss…was the jerk from the hot dog stand.

I immediately said bye to any hopes of getting this job. I’d called him a dick, an ass and told him ‘screw you’ right to his face. I was doomed. This was over for me.

“Good morning Miss Hamis, I’m Josh Lloyd…junior.” He stood up from his seat and gestured to the one opposite his, “Please, do take a seat.”

My legs couldn’t move as I looked at his clearly amused face. He obviously remembered me.

I took it back…the universe is a complete bitch.

The end.

Xoxo

I wanted the first one to be slightly long 🙂

Follow me on twitter Dee@The perks

-Dee

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