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The Movie Confrontation

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

You’re at the movie theater and it’s the climax of the summer’s big blockbuster hit. And someone is talking on their cell phone. When you go to confront them, you find that it is your boss. What do you say to them?

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151 Responses to The Movie Confrontation

  1. mfdavis says:

    The Movie Confrontation

    I had to get out of there before I lost my job. In fact, I hope I still have a job, if I go back tomorrow. That boss of mine just doesn’t know when to lighten up. I work from 9 to 5, and I am one of the best employees he has. If I didn’t like him so much I would have left a long time ago. I keep hoping he’ll come around to my way of thinking, but I am beginning to see that he’s a hopeless cause. Oh here come the tears again. I think I’ll go into this theater maybe a movie will help me get rid of some of this hurt and anger. After all, I don’t need to be walking the streets of this small town crying.
    Mission impossible #6, my favorite movie. If anyone can take my mind off my boss, Tom Cruise can. He really knows how to treat a girl, well in the movie anyway.
    “Hey Jill,” said a familiar voice. “Why aren’t you at work?”
    “Oh, hello Trina.”
    “Shouldn’t you be at work this time of the day?”
    “I wasn’t feeling well, so I left a little early,” I sniffled. “But I’m not ready to go home yet, and I’ve been wanting to see this new movie.”
    “It’s really good. You will enjoy it. Would you like some popcorn?”
    “No thanks, I’m not in the mood for eating.” I thought of what happened earlier and my eyes filled with water. Looking away from Trina I snatched the ticket from her hands and entered the theater.
    I found a seat in the middle, directly in front of the screen. I settled down in my seat and 15 minutes into the movie, I had forgotten all my woes. I heard someone take a seat behind me, but didn’t dare take my eyes off the screen. Just as Jim was getting his assignment, I heard a cell phone ring. The person behind me fumbled for the phone, but didn’t answer it. Then, another 15 minutes and the phone rings again. I completely missed everything the woman was saying to Jim. Needless to say my temperature went up a few degrees. If people want to talk on the phone, they should go to the lobby. Just when that music starts to play, when you know everything is coming together – the rescue, the mask comes off, the woman, the whole works – the phone in back of me rings again. Slowly I turned to see who I was about to give a piece of my mine. Our eyes locked.
    “It’s you,” I blurted out. “I should have known there could be only one inconsiderate person in this town. What are you doing here? Go ahead fire me.”
    “That’s not why I’m here. I think we have both been hearing the phone ring, and neither of us have been picking up. Now we need to talk. . . .” Dah, dah, dah, dadadah.

  2. vfg487 says:

    My first post… :)

    I’d been looking forward to this movie for weeks. I had bored my family to the breaking point by talking non-stop about comparisons between the book and the highly anticipated movie. I spent mealtimes (the only time my family was obligated to endure my company) quoting the trailer and otherwise acting like an obsessed teenager on the entire matter.
    And now, when I was finally there in the theatre, a bucket of popcorn in my lap and my kid sister bouncing in anticipation beside me, enormous irritation arrived in the form of a tall person with big hair sitting directly in front of me. I couldn’t help but notice the irony of the situation – I had waited so long for the perfect movie to come along, and when I at last made time from my busy schedule to visit the theater, I couldn’t enjoy a moment of the rare indulgence. Ugh!
    What made it worse was that this person blessed with above average height and wildly curly hair that stuck out in all directions was clearly not even bothering to enjoy the movie. She was whispering animatedly to the cellphone glued to her ear. How dare she? Forget enjoying the movie, she wasn’t even bothering to abide by simple public theater etiquette!
    I was getting so worked up by the blatant injustice of the entire situation that my sister, who was happily and totally engrossed in the movie, noticed. “What are you doing?” She hissed, tearing her eyes from the screen, as I reached over self-righteously and tapped the offending person on the shoulder. She turned around, and I was just going to deliver my carefully prepared speech about Politeness and Respect and all that when I realized with a horrible jolt that the lady was my boss! My fire-breathing, intern-devouring, client-bullying boss!
    I made a sort of very undignified choking noise and my mind went completely blank before the beady gaze of the Holy Terror.
    My sister, who had taken this all in in a state of horrified fascination, whipped into action. “Hello, Ms. Renfrew.” She whispered sweetly, widening her enormous blue eyes to an innocent puppy-dog face that had been wheedling treats out of my parents since preschool. “Fancy seeing you here!” She lisped, wrapping an arm around me. “My sister has been going on about this movie for ages now! And she took me along because she always puts me first. She’s always so kind a gracious.” She cracked a picture-perfect, earnestly adoring smile and continued. “You see, our cousin’s birthday is in a couple of weeks, and we were thinking of what to give her when we saw your phone and got a great idea! We’re going to get Tony a brand-new phone for his birthday! And Ava here just wanted to know what brand to ask for at the store.”
    Ms. Renfrew melted to putty before my incredulous eyes. “Just ask for a Samsung, dearie. They’ll give you a wide selection.” She patted my sister’s devious little head in a motherly sort of way and actually nodded to me approvingly, obviously feeling that if I shared genes with this perfect little angel I couldn’t be that bad after all. She turned back round and resumed her phone call.
    “O-o-o-h.” I let out an enormous breath and slid down in my seat. I had just very narrowly missed being fired and was feeling this fact with every molecule of my existence. My sister leaned back in a very self-satisfied sort of way and remarked; “I bet tonight’s pudding that you’ll get a raise.”
    “All right.” I pushed myself back to sitting position. “What do you want, Isobel?”
    “Hm.” She considered for a second. “You’re popcorn will do. For now.” She took it over and wiped imaginary sweat from her forehead. “All that lying about you being the model Sister of the Year has exhausted me. Phew.”
    “Okay. What else?” I resigned myself wearily to a dessertless rest of the year.
    “The stash of Snickers you keep under your bed.” Isobel stuck a couple kernels of popcorn into her mouth and chewed cheerfully.
    “Fair enough.” I agreed, not even stopping to think about how on earth she knew I kept Snickers bars under my bed.
    “Aaand…”
    I moaned quietly. This was going to be a long movie.

  3. ndokken says:

    “The Proposal”

    Rachel is not the kind of woman that takes “no” for an answer, especially when it comes from her boyfriend which is me.
    “C’mon, I really want to go to the movies tonight!”
    “I’m not in the mood. Another time, ok?”
    “But you’re never in the mood, Eric!”
    “I am too! Well, you know?” I winked.
    “Ugh, is that all you men think about is sex?”
    I shook my head.
    “Well, I’m strongly recommending that we go!”
    Hear that? What she means is “do it, or else!” It was an instant check-mate. Quite honestly, I hate the movies! I hate the syrupy goop that sticks to the bottom of my soles. I hate the rustling sounds made when people dig their hands to the bottom of the popcorn bag as they shovel a handful of artery-clogging kernels down their throats like primates. I hate all the sneezing, the sniffling, and the coughing from people who think the theater is a bacterial germ convention. Then there was that jerk seated directly behind me who just could not for the life of him keep his legs to himself! Every damn second he kicked the back of my seat and all I wanted to do was turn around and punch the living daylights out of him.
    Rachel turned to me and smiled. I squeezed her hand gently to make her think I was enjoying every second, but she had no idea how badly I wanted to get up and leave. The movie was almost over and by that point I had completely lost interest despite the explosions and last wishes of the characters on screen. My mind began to drift away as I wondered what my buddies were doing at that moment. They were probably playing darts and drinking beer, or making fun of me for being pussy-whipped or something stupid like that.
    Suddenly, a guy sitting in front of me had just answered his cellphone. I simply could not believe how rude he was even though his distraction was a relief compared to the sea of pigs gorging their faces with their buttery slop. I gently tapped on his right shoulder and asked him to take his conversation outside the theater. He whipped his head around and sneered.
    “Eric?”
    “Sam?”
    My heart plummeted to the ground. It was my boss from work.
    “I thought you were sick?”
    “I was! I mean, I am! Well…”
    Now was the time, I thought to myself. Right now!
    “Well, what, Eric?”
    I lowered down to my knees and grabbed Rachel’s hand. She gave me that look of confusion mixed with rage.
    “Rachel, will you marry me?”
    She crinkled her nose as a single teardrop sparkled in the corner of her eye, but before I could slip the ring on her finger she was suddenly two inches away from my face.
    “Ugh! Wake up! You’re always falling asleep!”
    “Huh?”
    “C’mon, let’s go!”
    What did I do this time? I thought.

  4. AaronDavid says:

    The chiseled jaw and black-mustachio’d face of Vince Williams soars across the massive pearlescent screen and into the longing arms of a woman so beautiful it sends throngs of pained jealousy through my chest. You could almost hear the collective eye-roll of the audience inhabiting the chilly, cavernous auditorium, as if no one could’ve seen THAT coming.
    With the itchy threads of the otherwise comfortable chair digging irksomely into my neck I begin to hear the barely perceptible pulsations of what can only be someone’s cell phone. Don’t even think about it, my inner-Luddite begins to protest. The instructions could not have been clearer: turn all cellphones OFF, as even vibrations can be disruptive of the movie-going experience.
    As Vince and the gorgeous female lead linger graphically into minute two of a sloppy makeout-scene, the vibrations are answered.
    “Go,” a man says in the darkness behind me and the familiarity of his voice sends butterflies fluttering through the pit of my abdomen.
    No, no, it couldn’t be. It can’t be. Could it?
    A quick, nervous glance over the rounded cushion of my seat verifies the suspicion that the owner of the intrusive voice is Mr. Treadstone, my domineering boss, and the man whose face has served as the backdrop of my dartboard since the day he humiliated me in front of my co-workers and family.
    Of all the movies, in all the theatres, in all the malls, this prick walks into mine.
    And now Vince is trudging through the debris of fallen comrades and swirling sirens, tears trickling from periwinkle eyes that seem to be peering straight into my own; turning dramatically in the gritty air encircling his ruggedly handsome face, Vince sighs deeply and says, “I will never–
    “Absolutely not! Flip it and ship it,” Treadstone commands loudly. I can hear the saliva being discharged from his wicked tongue as his words drown out those of the largely untalented, probably overpaid actors before me. Dolling out $9.75 for this ticket has officially become a regrettable act.
    It occurs to me that this is precisely the situation Dr. Gabriel often warns about. ‘Beware of your triggers,’ she implores from the comfort of her chocolate-colored leather chair. ‘Empathize with the perpetrator,’ she must’ve said a million times last week. ‘And breathe. You must always breathe!’
    “Not if he knows what’s good for him,” Treadstone blathers on obliviously and I’m starting to perspire as my butter-greased fingernails, which are in desperate need of a trimming, grip into the empty plastic cup-holders beneath my hands.
    Vince Williams limps into a yellow Humvee and glares melancholically into the rear-view mirror above him as the pace of my breath quickens and my upper molars push into their lower counterparts with all the strength my jaw muscles can muster.
    “That man wouldn’t know metrics if they slapped him across the face.”
    My trigger has been realized; I cannot empathize with this monster of a man; and I’m having trouble breathing. Dr. Gabriel will understand.

  5. james.ticknor says:

    This Ain’t That Kind of Movie

    He wouldn’t shut up. I glared at the back of his head. ‘Yeah so you know that one time by that one place by the thing with all that stuff that one time at band-camp?’ I was sick of it. Annoyance festered in me an perpetuated into anger. I kicked the back of his chair- hard. “Hold on a moment.” The guy turned around.
    “You got a problem?” It was Joe, my boss of all things. “I should’ve known it would have been your gaping hole making all that noise. I’m surprised you don’t have someone stopping it up with a big, fat-“ “Shut the hell up. You’re the porn star, I’m just the director. I believe that big, fat whatever would be going,” he clicked his tongue and pointed at my mouth, “there.”
    “Yeah, and my fist is about to go in yours if you don’t take that nonsense somewhere else.” Joe was a sleezeball, even to a skin gin like me. “It’s just a movie.” “Yeah, but it ain’t that kinda movie, Joe. So you need to take that crap somewhere else.” “Whatever, Carl.” People turned in their chairs to watch the showdown between the gay porn star and his director.
    I snatched his phone and threw it down the aisle. “What the hell?” He shouted. Everyone turned to look at us. “I’m gonna knock your teeth in you little homo!” I punched him in his fat little cheek and sent his sprawling into the row down, old ladies screaming in terror. Joe got up and swung wildly at me, but I easily avoided him.
    One of the little old ladies got out their pepper spray and sprayed him in the eyes. He roared in pain and reached in his coat. I thought he was going to pull out a gun, but instead he pulled out a mini-bottle of vodka. He tried to throw it at me, but missed terribly. Instead, it hit the aisle lights behind me. The bottle exploded and the lights sparked, catching the wall on fire.
    Everyone panicked and for some reason I thought of the Phantom of the Opera. As the people vacated, I slipped in the crowd. I didn’t have to think to decide to leave his fat behind there with the fire he started. “One more thing,” I called as I left, “I quit.” I followed the swarm of people out of the theatre. “I need to get laid.” I muttered. Sirens sounded as I said to myself, “I guess it ended up being that kind of movie.”

  6. don potter says:

    I grew up believing no one talks in the movie theater. A simple shush usually did the trick when people decided to break this rule of edict. Today, it seems consideration for others has become extinct for many, except dinosaurs like me. So it didn’t surprise me when my wife and I were annoyed by someone talking on their cell two rows in front of us and disrupting the show on a recent Saturday afternoon.
    “Ahem,” I said.
    The person kept talking.
    “Please take your call outside,” I suggested.
    To show disdain the person raised their voice.
    “I’m going to report you to the manager,” was my final plea.
    With that, the person raised their free hand and flipped me the middle finger.
    This was more than I could endure. I jumped to my feet and quickly made my way down to the row where he was seated.
    “If you don’t want to take the call outside maybe you’d like to go outside with me.” I was ready to get into it with this jerk.
    “It’s a free country and I’m not bothering you,” he proclaimed.
    “I paid for my ticket and you’re robbing me of my right to watch the movie.”
    “So sue me.”
    Suddenly, I realized who I was confronting. It was my boss.
    “Charlie is that you?” I asked.
    “How do you know my name?”
    Now other patrons were starting to shush both of us.
    “It’s Rex from the office. Please come outside with me. It’s important.”
    When Charlie got up he spilled his drink and dumped popcorn on those around him.
    Somehow we made it to the lobby with no further incidents. One look at my boss showed he was drunk.
    “Are you alright?” I asked.
    “I was at the office catching up on some paperwork and got a call from mom saying that my sister has cancer. Devastated, I went to a nearby bar and had a few drinks to drown my sorrows. I had too many to drive home and walked over here to sober up.”
    “Who were you talking to on the phone?”
    “Guess I got a little sentimental sitting alone in the dark. Next thing I know I’m on the phone with Sis and somebody in the back is hollering at me to shut up. Made me mad enough to want to punch him in the nose. Then you came along. Thanks for keeping me from doing something stupid.”
    “No problem. Glad I could help.”
    “Think I’ll go next door and have a cup of coffee before going home,” Charlie said.
    “I’ll stop by after the movie. If you’re still there, I’ll drive you home.”
    “That’s great. What would I ever do without you, Rex?”
    “Oh, you might end up having a fight with somebody who takes exception to people talking on cell phones when the movie’s on.”
    We both had a good laugh.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      Saved by a whisker. You have a way to weave an entire story out one small moment. That isn’t easy to do but you certainly have mastered it. I really enjoyed this. Kerry

    • Amy says:

      I really liked this one, don potter. Though the emotional out-pour from the boss felt a little forced, It was enjoyably believable and grounded.

      • don potter says:

        My cut and dry, minimalist approach, which you seem to like, oft times results in forced situations rather than smooth transitions with time (words) allocated for build up and closure. That’s why I admire your poetic style, Amy. Thanks for the comments.

    • JR MacBeth says:

      Good story Don, a couple of nice twists.

      Something that didn’t feel quite right to me was the use of the word “person” several times. I’m guessing you wanted to hold off on revealing the sex of the offender (also using “their”, instead of “he”). I sort of think that this is fine to do maybe once, because situations like that probably would begin less than clear, but it doesn’t seem like it normally should take that long to identify the sex (voice, and these days, the glowing cell in the face). Also, I think that a lot of people have a “default” mode with these things, for example, guys might often assume it’s a guy, and just be surprised if it wasn’t.

      Also, not too sure about how smooth the transition from “their” to “he” was. The (guy) put up “their” middle finger, and only then could Rex tell that it was a man. Everything is “he” after that. Didn’t feel exactly natural. Maybe it’s because it reminds me a bit of the stereotypical cheating husband, who awkwardly says “their” because he knows that saying “she” is going to get him in trouble with the wife. Definitely doesn’t flow naturally in that instance anyway:)

      • don potter says:

        You are right, JR. A more careful edit would have picked up the their/he mistake. I noticed it after posting, but the train had already left the station. Thanks for your comments.

    • smallster21 says:

      Good thing Rex decided to confront the perp instead of staying in his seat. Sounds like the boss was about to go back and pummel him!

    • mfdavis says:

      Great conversation and action. Very real.

  7. smontmonster says:

    I can’t even remember what movie it was. Alison Thompson was the Summer Blockbuster I’d forked out the $20, plus an extra $10 for Raisinets, to see that night.

    I remember the opening scene: Alison’s lily-white hand wilted over the armrest, coral painted fingertips suspended in air.

    Alison was my bosses daughter at Fat Joe’s Market, where I worked after school and on weekends. Alison and I were in Summer school for failing Geometry. We started skipping class to smoke Menthols and listen to PJ Harvey behind the oil rig at Freeman’s Park.

    One day she said, “Be a man and take me out on a real date.” So I took her to see a Zombie movie.

    The point of conflict: “Would you like some Raisinets?” I whispered sweetly into her ear so that my lips just barely touched her earlobe.

    “I hate Raisinets,” she whispered back.

    I didn’t know when the right to kiss her was so I waited for a sign. When the lead guy kissed the sultry redhead amongst a pile of dismembered limps and heads, I grabbed her hand and went for it.

    The climax: We made out for a solid two minutes before she grabbed my hand and put it on her breast. Awesome.

    A cell phone rang in the front row an the audience groaned as the computerized version of “Sweet Caroline” blared over the heroic scene where the hero saves the convoy by trailblazing over an army of the undead.

    Alison pulled away from me and pushed my hand off her chest.

    “SHUT UP, ASSHOLE!” I shouted.

    Then I saw him. All 300 pounds of him. Fat Joe, making his way up the aisle as the screen faded to credits.

  8. jen says:

    Too late, he turned off the phone that had been illuminating him and his date. I headed back to my seat but couldn’t keep my eyes on the movie I kept returning to them. Their body language was different, no longer the fumbling and moaning of hormone addled teenagers, instead Jamie was trying to create a sense of distance between him and Kellie.

    I felt guilty; my boss, the company man. He was the guy who wasn’t embarrassed to have pictures of his kids as his screen saver. I liked him. I respected him. I took a breath in through my nose, held it and let it out through my mouth. I mustn’t be judgmental. I didn’t know all the facts. Maybe he and his wife had an open marriage or they were separating.

    As soon as the credits appeared I pulled at Steve’s arm.
    ‘Come on’ I said, making for the aisle. He wasn’t moving instead he tried to look past me to catch the credits.
    ‘Hang on’ Steve mumbled. He fiddled around with his coat and satchel long enough for the house lights to come up. I tried to manoeuvre him to the aisle.
    ‘Hey Kellie’ Steve said as he spotted our work colleague coming up the aisle. I turned and attempted to silence him with a frantic gesture. His psychic abilities were at an all time low.
    ‘Oh, hey Jamie,’ Steve said and a huge smile erupted across his face.
    Jamie gave us the briefest of nods, not making eye contact. Kellie on the other hand did make eye contact and a faint smile played across her features.

    ‘Wow’ Steve said to me when we’d finally made it to the car park. He had been almost rubbing his hands with glee at the turn of events. ‘Unlucky for them they picked this movie. I wonder how long that’s been going on’.
    ‘They weren’t unlucky’. I said. ‘Kellie knew what our plans were tonight’.

  9. smallster21 says:

    VAN HELSING’S LESSON ON THE POISONED BREATH OF AN EX-LOVER

    The tub of popcorn slipped through Arianna’s hands, scattering dozens of kernels across the theater floor. The back of her neck was moist from the hot, sweaty air that left a sticky residue and smelled of a dead skunk that had crawled up into a car engine and died.

    It was his breath—Blake’s.

    Arianna thought she’d never see Blake again. She had only let him live, because she had been the reason he had died. When Van Helsing found out she had let him escape, he was infuriated. Helsing’s woozy, grey Garcia hair had shook in anger, but his two cataracts allowed Arianna to escape his chiding and slip out of his office.

    She had skipped training for the movie, so Helsing had no idea where she was at.

    Arianna hadn’t seen Blake enter the theater, but there was no mistaking the distinct breath that blew from those lungs in the row behind her, like a steam engine clouding her senses. A spasm of pain tore through her heart as she remembered that same breath blowing across her legs interspersed with soft kisses.

    An usher entered the dark theater with a flashlight, making his way down the aisle. The usher stopped, shining the light in her direction. Behind her came a sudden crackling, like that of a potato chip bag rumpled up and thrown in the trash—Blake had gone invisible. She squinted holding her hand up, unable to see the man behind the flashlight. After several moments, the light disappeared.

    Blake leaned forward. His hands slid down the sides of her seat, his cold fingertips brushing her arms, stopping to rest on her waist. Seductive vibrations coupled with the hunger of a predator pulsated from him, hitting her skin like 4th of July sparklers.

    His nails sliced through her shirt as they slowly and gently pierced her skin.

    She gasped.

    The couple in the front row turned around and frowned. Of course, they couldn’t see the vampire, digging his claws into her flesh.

    A laugh rattled in his throat. His cursed, ragged breath that smelled of a hundred victims blew on her cheek as he snaked his tongue out between his lips, circling her ear lobes. She felt his gaze focused on her profile, reveling in the fear that sizzled off her skin.

    “Stop it,” Arianna gasped.

    “No. I’ve forgotten how good you taste,” Blake said, squeezing her waist tighter, “I could eat you right now.”

    Arianna clenched her teeth, holding in her scream.

    “Ready to join me, my sweet? It’s the least you can do. You owe me.”

    “Sorry you died, but I don’t owe shit.”

    He growled and sank his teeth into her neck.

    “Time to say goodbye, bloodsucker!” A voice shouted, dropping down from the projector room. It was the usher. His long, grey, stringy hair and glazed eyes flared with triumph, brandishing a wooden stake. “Van Helsing’s still got it!” He shouted as he shoved the stake into Blake’s chest.

    Helsing wiped his hands off as Arianna stared up at him incredulously. “Could you not have gotten down here before he bit me?” She spat.

    Helsing narrowed his eyes. “Nope. I didn’t see him biting you, because, hello…” He gestured to his glazed, cataract-infected eyes. “Next time, I don’t care if it’s your pet poodle, kill the vamp when I tell you to, and don’t skip out on training.”

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      A blood-juicy story smallster. Descriptive tale at it’s best. ear-lope licking vampire, gives me the willies. I love the sentence, “Seductive vibrations coupled with the hunger of a predator pulsated from him, hitting her skin like 4th of July sparklers.” This is as good as it gets.

      Bad breath in it’s extreme. It didn’t help reading this at five in the morning, but I have my 20 pound cat at my feet to protect me. Really a great story. One little “at” to drop, “She had skipped training for the movie so Helsing had no idea where she was [at.] I read your stories very carefully because I want them to sink int my brain.

    • You nailed this write. Well done. I love the sultry underbelly of your stories lately. Smoldering fun.

    • JR MacBeth says:

      Great story. The only thing that bothers me (a little) is the title, which is sort of an immediate spoiler on small pieces like these. Not that the title was bad, not at all, certainly a good one…BUT, some of the fun in reading comes from the little surprises, and the unknown that we walk into as we begin a story.

      Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, not sure how others feel, but here it goes: Your first paragraph is strong, and engaging, but some of it’s power is sucked out by already knowing its going to be a vamp story. Without the title, the reader must wait until halfway through para 3 to read “Van Helsing”, where it then would start to make sense.

      Of course, this is a potential problem anytime anyone decides to use a title, but I find that the titles I end up really liking are the ones that don’t spoil, and yet still end up making perfect sense by the time the story ends. Then, the title becomes part of the denouement, adding to the readers experience, without have taken anything away.

      For me, titles are tricky, and I only use them in these small posts if I feel inspired, and if I feel I can get away with it without spoiling anything. I wonder how others feel about this?

      JR

    • don potter says:

      Very imaginative. Loved it.

    • Amy says:

      Always so creative with your responses! Very entertaining.

  10. Amy says:

    CINEMATIC RENDEZVOUS

    I leaned against the gray tile, one foot still out in the hall, listening for the movie we were supposed to be enjoying. If I missed the steamy love scene because of Tessa’s tiny bladder, she was walking home; never mind that we had been friends since kindergarten.

    “Hurry up, Tessa!” I yelled.

    A quiet moaning sound came from a stall near Tessa’s. It sounded a lot like the lovin’ I should have been watching on the big screen. I crept closer to the stall and looked underneath the door. A pair of black stilettos was facing the wall, along with a pair of decidedly masculine brown loafers.

    Tessa opened her door and followed my wide eyes to the stall two down. Another moan escaped from the inhabitants and we both did our best to stifle our giggles until she had washed her hands and we were back in our seats.

    “Oh my god, that is just nasty!” Tessa whispered, tossing popcorn into her mouth.

    “This, however, is the exact opposite of nasty,” I whispered back, pointing to the hottie on screen stripping off his shirt much slower than necessary.

    I was just getting my fix of eye candy when some douchebag in the back started talking on his phone. Tessa turned around to give him the evil eye.

    “We are never coming to this theater again,” I said as I contemplated all the obscenities I was going to fling at the guy if he didn’t get off the phone.

    It sounded like he was actually working on some kind of business deal or something. In the middle of the most epic vampire love triangle of the summer. Not happening, I thought.

    I peeled my feet from the sticky floor and snuck out to the aisle before Tessa could protest. I was going to teach this jerk a lesson. I took the stairs two at a time and walked right up to where he was sitting. The dark theater made it hard to see his face, but his glasses reflected the movie. He was still in the middle of his conversation when I started my rant.

    “Listen buddy, I didn’t pay nine bucks to listen to your crappy voiceover. Aren’t you a little old for Twilight, anyway?”

    The screen turned white, revealing an embarrassed blush spreading across his face as he dropped the phone from his ear.

    Oh crap, I thought, recognizing the face I had seen every Friday night and sometimes Wednesdays when his wife, Diana, worked late and his daughters needed to be picked up from school.

    “Mr. Sherman? What are you doing here?”

    “Oh, hello Riley. Sorry, it’s just… Diana really wanted to see this movie. You know, spending more time together and all that. The girls are at her mother’s. Hey, you haven’t seen her, have you? She’s been gone a while.”

    I was about to respond when the click-clack of stilettos echoed through the theater as they made their way up to the back and stopped next to Mr. Sherman. Diana sat, crossing her black stilettos to the side and smoothed the back of her hair. She smiled at me and I had to clamp a hand over my mouth on the way back to my seat. I was pretty certain Mr. Sherman didn’t even own brown loafers.

    • smallster21 says:

      Oh, my goodness! LOL, very well-played. I must say, there are many adulterers and movie house love-making scenes happening this week. Must be something ingrained in our culture, a common experience. I loved this, because I did not expect that ending. At first, I was wondering what the beginning bathroom stall tryst had to do with the story. I knew right when Mr. Sherman said his wife had been gone a long time, what she was doing. Geesh, I wonder who she was with? It seemed out of place to me, as a casual sorta date, to be wearing stilettos to the movie, but that is just my opinion. Good story, enjoyed the unexpected tension and conflict you created.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      Oh, this was really good Amy. Forbidden trysts at the picture show. What a hoot. The bigger the danger, the better the lovin’, not that I really know about such things. Great tale telling.

    • This came out really well, Amy. Dark theatres are a great adult playground. Apparently.

    • don potter says:

      Great tale. Didn’t think about the brown loafers until you disclosed that Sherman didn’t own any.

    • mnj1193 says:

      I like this. Good Job.

  11. jake1126 says:

    Second time writing here, looking for feedback, but this one just seems fun to write.

    “Yo man, ready to head out?!” I asky excitedly to my friend on the phone. It was 9:00 p.m. and I had just left my apartment to catch “Melting Thoughts”, this summer’s release of the most anticipated film as of late.

    “Aww yea brother, got the stuff right?” he replies with a slight laugh.

    “Of course my man, of course, try to make it there for 9:30 so we can enjoy the previews to the max. Remember, movie starts at 10:00, so don’t be late. See you there”

    I glance over at my girlfriend and see that everything is going according to plan. She has just started rolling the second joint of high-quality Marijuana, or ganja, as we called it. She always rolled the fattest ones that resembled cannons. It isn’t often that me, her, and my best friend are all off on a Saturday night to catch a movie together, especially with me being a late-night software programmer, and my friend being an overnight stocker. We decided to celebrate tonight with an old favorite pastime of ours, seeing a 3D Imax movie at the mall theater, while completely blazed.

    As we pull into the parking lot, I see my friend’s black Honda Civic, and park next to him. “Perfect, it’s 9:32, we have just enough time,” I announce.

    Trevor, my friend, hops out of his car and is in my backseat in no time. It was a warm summer and we still decided to cut the car off, to increase the effects we get from that awesome herb. The next 30 minutes fly by as we proceed to completely hotbox my car and buy tickets using the kiosk.

    We proceed to “float” through the theater, wearing our 3D-glasses, and successfuly find a clean empty popcorn container for free popcorn refills, in the trash can. Gross, I know, but it’s the price you have to pay for something so deliciously-free.

    The stadium was packed, but we found seats somewhere near the bottom-middle. The movie was a complete mind-trip.

    Halfway through the film, an annoying ringtone goes off and some complete inconsiderate movie-goer starts to loudly repeat witty remarks followed by obnoxious laughter. “Of course, this asshole has to be sitting behind us,” I mutter to myself.

    Being this high, combined with that waste of life, made it impossible for me to stay concentrated on the events unfolding before me on that huge screen. I decided I had to get up to see what such a douche would look like. I pretend to get a popcorn refill and purposely walk down the aisle above ours, where the offender continues to blabber, to get to the exit on the other side. As I approach him, the familiar figure of my Project Manager starts to fill my mind. He looks up at the same time and I feel slightly embarrassed.

    “Hey Scott,” I say and we quickly shake hands. He doesn’t reply, but looks almost ashamed, as if he himself was completely stoned. His eyes were indeed extremely watery and red. I slightly smile and continue on my way to the bathroom.

    • don potter says:

      If they’re both blitzed, there is nothing to worry about. Neither of them is going to remember what happened. Your story seemed a little wordy to me. Reading it out loud might indicate where the cuts can be made.

      • jake1126 says:

        Ah true. Thanks for the feedback. Needless to say, I was a tad bit blitzed myself. I guess I was more into reminiscing about doing what I wrote about, than writing the prompt itself lol.

    • Amy says:

      A good start. It flowed pretty well. Some tense changes and a lot of setup. In revision, I would suggest shortening a lot of the beginning because it was all setting up a prompt that was already spelled out for us. Good ideas.

      • jake1126 says:

        As stated above, thanks for the feedback. Can you point out a “tense change” or two for me, if you have the time? I also felt the intro was a bit too long, but I was just having too much fun writing this prompt lol. 500 words is a pain. But yea, my “confrontation” wasn’t much of a confrontation; sounded more like a quick insignificant part of the story.

  12. JR MacBeth says:

    “Shh!”

    “Take it outside.”

    “Put it away already!”

    “Can it, bitch!”

    Things were heating up, but it was all cool with me. I hated rude people. Someone a few rows up didn’t seem to think that chatting loudly on her cell during a movie was a problem. People were getting pissed. Just then, she shuts up. But seriously? Two solid minutes, right at the best part of the show? People suck.

    She had shut her trap, but now she was fidgeting, or something. I tried not to look at the back of her head, but couldn’t help it. I wanted to smack her so bad!

    Shit. She just let out an obnoxious laugh. I swear, I’m going to tell that bitch…

    It’s over now, and I’ve got a bead on that head. Sloppy hair. Come on. Get up. It’s over. Of course. She’s one of those who has to watch the credits. Why am I not surprised?

    OK, there she goes! I’m up and right behind her in a flash. I reach her and tap her shoulder.

    “George? Georgie?”

    I couldn’t believe it. It was Brenda, my boss!

    “Brenda?”

    “Georgie Boy! What the hell? What is wrong with you?”

    “With me?” This woman was an outrage. “I wasn’t the one rudely talking during the movie!”

    “Shut up Georgie, and tell me, what in the hell are you doing in only your underwear?”

    I looked down. Oh my God! What was I doing in my skivvies? I froze, feeling my face flush.

    Wait a minute! I must be dreaming! That’s it. It’s my lucid dreaming. I must be getting better at it.

    “You sure have pink cheeks Georgie Boy! Are you a little ashamed, or ashamed that it’s so little?” She laughed. I couldn’t help but stare at her large breasts as they jiggled behind that thin blouse.

    “Brenda, you are such a rude bitch!” What the hell, it’s only a dream.

    “Georgie! Have you gone crazy? This is another one of your walking dreams, isn’t it?”

    I froze again. Holy shit! Maybe I was dreaming. Could I have fallen asleep during the movie, and went sleep walking again. This could be bad.

    “Georgie? Are you dreaming?” Brenda smiled, a sly look on her face.

    Suddenly, in one swift move, she pulled my briefs down to my ankles. People had gathered around us, and everyone was laughing, with Brenda’s cackle the loudest of all.

    “George!”

    “George! Wake up!”

    I opened my eyes. It was Dennis, my roommate. He had pulled down my blanket and was shaking me.

    “Dude, you were talking in your sleep again. Sorry, but I need to get some sleep around here too.”

    “Dennis? What was I saying? Could you tell?”

    “Well, same shit, different night bro. Brenda this, Brenda that. And, not that I was looking, but your shorts look like a pup tent.” I pulled the cover back up.

    “George, you need to talk to that woman.”

    “Yeah, I guess I do.”

    • DMelde says:

      A dream within a dream. Lucid dreaming is a great idea. Good story.

    • This was a very creative take on the prompt. Well done.

    • smallster21 says:

      As soon as you said he had his pants down, I was like, whoa, what’s going on here, lol  I liked when he realized it was a dream, he could call his boss a bitch. That would have been bad if it hadn’t been! One critique note: “Things were heating up, but it was all cool with me.” I don’t feel like the second part of this sentence fits in with how the character is feeling. George seems angry about the woman talking on her phone and waits to confront her, so I don’t think he was cool with it.

      • JR MacBeth says:

        Thanks DM & DL for your comments.

        Thanks smallster on your take on this little piece. Yeah, that first line probably could have been done better. The character is supposed to be passive-aggressive, so I was trying to get that out upfront. The intent was to see that he was as pissed as everyone else, but was happy that the crowd might take care of business for him, since P/A types often prefer to avoid confrontation. But, she stopped talking, which left her “punishment” up to him. No doubt if it hadn’t been a dream, all he would have done is sit there and boil. Of course, in his real life, he never would have chased anyone. (Sort of like most of us I think.)

        I sure appreciate the feedback!

        JR

    • don potter says:

      I had trouble jumping from dreaming to reality and back. It never happens, but it makes for an interesting story.

  13. blanderson says:

    I typically become annoyed when people’s glowing phones light the theater during the previews, and really have no tolerance once the movie starts. I understand that people have emergencies, or even that sometimes people have business to tidy up, but this guy had been on the phone for a full ten minutes after the movie started.

    For a suburban family man, there are few times more sublime than the opportunity to spend some time alone doing exactly what you want to do. I had seen the commercials and watched the trailer for “the summer’s biggest blockbuster” for months, and wanted nothing more than to enjoy an afternoon at the movies. But this fucking guy was ruining it. I had to confront him.

    In fairness, confronting in Midwest terms was typically a clearing of the throat or a sideways glance. One might take it up a notch by offering a barely audible “shush” coming from an unidentifiable location. I used these passive-aggressive tactics to no avail, and wasn’t particularly enjoying the movie as a backdrop to this guy’s annoying, slightly more than whispering, conversation.

    Determined, I stood up, leaned over the back of my seat and said, “Hey, buddy, put the damn phone away.”

    We were simultaneously startled; him from the confrontation and me from the realization that he was my boss.

    “My apologies, really,” he responded, appearing fearful that I was going to hit him. He fumbled with the phone and slipped it into his breast pocket.

    “Uh, it’s OK,” I responded, mortified. I worked for a large company and he obviously didn’t recognize me out of context.

    I had long thought I was the forgettable type. Whether in business or social settings, I was “introduced” to people I’d already met. Usually I was annoyed, but today the realization that I was forgettable empowered me. There is a great amount of good—or bad—that can be done when someone has anonymity.

    And my mind began to race.

    I don’t think I remembered another scene from the movie as I contemplated the things I could do. I believe we all have capacity for the diabolical and most of us have capacity to be good. There is, of course, a vast, gray in between that is open to interpretation.

    The following Monday I returned to work. I didn’t always encounter my boss during the work day, but this day I had. We crossed paths, exchanged a few business points of order, and he offered no indication that we’d had the confrontation at the movies.

    I smiled. As I look back, it was a diabolical smile.

  14. LEVERAGE
    =========

    Stuart fidgeted with his tie in a fit of discomfort and boredom. He looked around the sweltering room. Yup. He didn’t suffer in solitude. Larry stood in the corner by the door, eager for an escape. Jimmy was opposite, holding up a wall, wearing his lady-killer sunglasses, probably sleeping. Missy stretched out on the leather couch with her shapely pins on display. Her eyes kept drifting to the window. Screw-ups, Bill and Fred hovered near the coffee machine, slurping the hot mud with the urgency of the addicted. Fresh meat, Andy, sat in rapt attention. Amid this small crew of idiots, Marty spoke from his pulpit. He droned about sales and the poor economy. Peddling used cars stood as a tough gig at the best of times. In the middle of a summer heat wave, even the veterans struggled to make book.

    “Now, get out there and move some junk,” said Marty, trying to be inspirational. The team trudged off.

    Stuart caught Larry’s arm just before he slipped away. “I have a better idea.” He nodded to the left. “Jimmy, come here.”

    “What’s up, Stu?” asked the voice behind the shades.

    “Let’s blow off the day. ‘Gun Runner’ and ‘Gun Runner Too’ are playing at the Cineplex. Think about it. Air conditioning, explosions and hot chicks. There ain’t no sucker looking for wheels today.”

    Larry piped in. “What about Marty?”

    “Screw him,” quipped back Jimmy. “He’ll be sleeping in his office all day, hiding from his wife. The bastard even has a beer fridge in there.”

    Stuart continued. “Fuckups One and Two are taking Andy on delivery up Route 9. They’ll milk that all day.”

    “That leaves poor Missy to hold down the fort.” Larry grinned eagerly. The day’s potential increased considerably.

    The friends reveled in the comfort of the cool darkness of the theatre. The movies boomed in exposition and ridiculousness. It was right up their alley. All men become pimply fourteen year-olds in the face of a great action flick. Hero and villain battled from dueling cars against a backdrop of destruction and noise. Ah, yes! A glorious moment of timeless violence.

    A cell phone rang from behind them, shrill and loud. Then a beep as it was silenced. Stuart could not believe it. Of all the rude gall. You gotta be kidding me. His heart was already pumping hard from excitement of the screen. He stood up and turned to face the perpetrator. What he saw, stopped him cold.

    Stuart recognized Missy’s shapely features immediately. Rumpled clothing and flashes of skin relayed an oft-told tale of secrets, lies and indiscretion. Not much needed to be said. Stuart finally gained what he needed. Leverage.

    “Gladys won’t be happy, Marty.”

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      Caught with his pants down and his dilly-wanger hanging out, how hilarious. The goods are bought and sold on Marty. His ass is over the horizon. I loved your line, “All men become pimply fourteen-year olds in the face of a great action flick”. You could add, “And also a lay in the movie house.” You hit a hundred on this one.

      You’re descriptive first paragraph, is a work of art. Now, I’m ‘gonna’ try to catch up to you. Kerry

    • DMelde says:

      Good story. I liked the lingo. At first I thought the story was taking place in the early 20th century with the “shapely pins” description. It sounded gumshoe to me. Then I thought 1970′s with the movie titles “gun runner”, it reminded me of Burt Reynolds racing down the highway for some reason. Then the cell phone ring and beep brought me back to the present day. I was popping through eras when I read the story, which I kinda liked. I’m going to have to think about how that can be used in a story.

    • JR MacBeth says:

      Some really great lines in here Doug! “Fuckups One and Two are taking Andy on delivery up Route 9. They’ll milk that all day.” Good stuff.

    • smallster21 says:

      This doesn’t sound like a very profitable business with nobody at the store to sale tires to customers—all the employees out catching flicks and making out with their boss. Lol, nice story. As usual, your pacing is right on and your descriptions are very vivid. Oh, did you mean ‘Gun Runner Two’? You have ‘Too’ instead of ‘Two’.

    • don potter says:

      Loved your opening scene. Good story.

    • Amy says:

      I liked the feel of this one- a sort of “Brat Pack” collaboration, with each character having their own sort of moment. Nice. So was there anyone left at the dealership?

  15. slayerdan says:

    Charles kicked the back of the empty seat in front of him like he was stomping out a fire. The plump woman that had all but inhaled her jumbo tub of buttery death looked at him with concern as she siphoned the last of her sugary soda from her two gallon vessel of diabetic deliverance. Charles paid her no mind aside from moving his own drink to a safer location to his left. It was the idiot some four rows back that had him stomping out movie seat fires. For twenty minutes he had engaged someone named ‘Monica’ in a laugh filled conversation about ‘later tonight’.

    Twenty minutes of his outbursts. Twenty minutes of his laughing. Now, at the crux of the movie, he got even louder. The whole theater had to be annoyed, but to Charles, the half packed house of confectionary corpses were too close to coma to react.

    It was up to him to shut this loudmouthed theater ogre up.

    Charles gripped the armrest to his right and slammed it down three times. He hadn’t ditched work today to see Sharknado 2: Now They’ve Got Guns to listen to this oaf plan his evening. The jackhammer and machine gun scene was coming up and Charles had no plan to miss it.

    He slammed the armrest down one final time and as he went to stand up he looked over his shoulder as the movie briefly provided some light for his intended prey some four rows back. And as fast as he had stood, Charles dropped back into his seat, sinking lower than he had sat previously. He had made visual contact with the loudmouthed object of his intended rant. Charles felt a grapefruit sized lump work its way down his throat as the sheer misfortune of it all gripped him.

    It was James Rutherford. Owner, operator, and manager of Rutherford Industries.

    Charles’ boss.

    Hearing him on the phone still, Charles realized that Rutherford had not seen him rise for his planned verbal assault. Machine gun sounds filled the theater as laughter and ‘oohs and ahhs’ permeated the theater crowd as their comas seemed to subside. Even plump, popcorn Annie had thrown a fist in the air, showering those in front of her with popcorn from her newly acquired bucket of hydrogenated sludge. Though those she showered barely seemed to notice as a great white shark with a machine gun mounted on its back swirled through a random harbor.

    ‘That’s it!” he said to himself and with the speed of a desperate man, he snatched that bucket and in the same motion threw it over his head, into the rows behind him. His eyes met with the angered and shocked face of the woman as he shouted, “ you can thank me later,” as he then launched his own beverage over his other shoulder and as loud as he could let loose with the only battle call he could.

    “Food fight!” and as if it were planned, all manner of sticky, wet, gooey substances were flying throughout the theater. A grin on his face, Charles ran down his row to the left, and out of the theater as machine guns blazed and Sno Caps whizzed through the air.

    • Sarah Elizabeth Butler says:

      Great spin on the prompt – better written than I could have. By way of constructive thoughts: avoid the two separate “as” in the first sentence of paragraph 5, and in the second sentence of paragraph 9. Also, I would have put “Food fight!” at the end of the next to last paragraph, and started the last paragraph with: As if it were all planned . . . But that’s just my opinion.
      Good job!

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      I haven’t been a food fight since I was twenty. Sounded like a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the great white with the machine gun mounted on his back. I think we’re ‘gonna’ have some “Far Out” stories on this prompt and your’s is in the head of the pack. Enjoyed it.

    • Nice and quirky, Dan. Sharknado and food fight. I’m in!

      • slayerdan says:

        Thanks. I started with two other options but both were standard fare–ending up in a fight or something–so i went comedic. I write enough darker stuff, just a momentary aside for a few laughs.

    • DMelde says:

      Loved the descriptions.You could have written about anything as long as those descriptions kept coming, Very fun read. Great job.

    • don potter says:

      Shades of Animal House. Fun read.

  16. Sillenve says:

    Popcorn buckets and half-empty soda cups were littered around the otherwise spotless theater floor. Dropped, forgotten, like a child’s playthings. Countless pairs of eyes roved over the 200 inch movie screen as the villain, stereotypically clad in black, proceeded to bash the hero’s face into a chair.

    Jamie would’ve rolled his eyes and lamented on how cliché the movie was, if he wasn’t receiving the very same treatment in the back of the theater.

    Jamie clutched his bleeding nose, wincing as he spoke. “Look, Mr. Tobias-”

    Mr. Tobias grabbed ahold of his head and slammed it into the back of the cheap, comfortable plastic seat. His eyes were narrowed in righteous fury. “You. Don’t. Touch. My. Wife!” His words were punctuated by the oddly melodious sound Jamie’s skull made as it crashed into the chair.

    When the mildly peeved bloke let go of his head, Jamie looked up, pain welling into his eyes. “Sir, with all due respect, your wife is a very nasty hag. It’s your niece I’m dating.”

    Mr. Tobias’s plump face contorted with rage. He reminded Jamie of a cherub. A cherub without his wings and was now screaming obscenities and what he’d like to do to his mother and uncle.

    Jamie backed away from his burly boss, who’s hands balled in fists as he attempted to pile a haymaker on Jamie.

    Nicole, who’d been peacefully watching the movie at this point, calmly looked up. “Uncle, you’re making a scene again.”

    His fat body twisted around faster than deemed possible. His fat finger hovered in front of her face. “Don’t even get me started on you,” he roared. “Dating a tramp like this? You know I don’t appreciate workers dating my family anytime.”

    Jamie piped up.

    “With all due respect, sir, I’m single, 21 years old, workout 7 days a weeks, and love watching the Notebook and asking about my girlfriend’s day.”

    asMr. Tobias began to charge Jamie, who’d retreated to a safe distance. Like a clumsy matador, Jamie clambered over to the next aisle, barely avoiding his boss’s outstretched hands.

    Nicole turned around to face her enraged uncle. “It’s true.”

    Mr. Tobias glared. “I promised your dad that I’d tolerate no nonsense when I’d have you under my roof.”

    Her eyes hardened, the blue irises freezing into ice. “Did he now. He wouldn’t want me being held at the end of a leash. Sound familiar?”

    Mr. Tobias faltered, a look of shock and suspicion rising on his face. “You-”

    “Don’t you remember what happened in Graves when I was five? When I lost my parents?”

    A dumb silence fell over Mr. Tobias. He looked uneasy. “Not the clowns. Not the clowns.” He sank into a vacant seat, breathing heavily.

    Jamie warily slid past his boss and sat next to Nicole. Her gaze softened. “Your nose alright?” she cooed.

    “Yeah. It’ll stop bleeding eventually.”

    “He’s always cranky on Saturdays. Don’t worry. It’s a sort of initiation to show he’s fond of you.”

    Jamie raised his eyebrows. “Really?” He turned to face his boss. “With all due respect, sir, can I get a promotion?”

    • Sillenve says:

      Whoops, meant to erase as in front of Mr. Tobias.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        It’s a well-written story. I’m a little confused. I understand he had leashed her like a dog when she was a little girl but I don’t know where the clowns came in. Did they abuse her when she was little and did her uncle join in with the clowns?

        Obviously her mention of the clowns brough severe memories back to her uncle.

    • Nicely written, but I’m confused. Did I miss something? Clowns?

    • DMelde says:

      Good story. Well written. I agree about it being too vague with the clowns. Clowns killed her parents? I believe it, clowns are scarey. Hospital clowns? Her parents died in a hospital?

    • don potter says:

      Weird, confusing and interesting. I kinda liked it.

    • Amy says:

      This story began well and interestingly, but then it veered into confusing and strange waters. I also felt the beginning was a tad bit haughty and pretentious, especially when the characters are bashing each others’ faces or whatever was going on. I suppose the contrast is what you were going for, but it didn’t jive for me. Just an opinion. You might want to explain why clowns are being thrown into the mix, because I have no idea.

  17. Marco Kenen says:

    Evelyn didn’t have a violent bone in her body, her parents had raised her well, and it just wasn’t in her nature. But every now and then, out of the blue, all the anger inside her boiled to the surface. This was one of those days…

    Jack, her boss, and nominee for a sleaze-bag of the year award, would soon wish he had never answered that call.

    She grabbed him by his beloved manes and pulled him down with all her strength, while at the same time bringing up a knee. She could hear his nose break, and feel warm blood dripping down from his smashed face onto her bare leg.

    He tumbled backwards, bewildered, and unable to fathom the situation.

    “Evelyn! What the…”

    She didn’t even let him finish, shoving the still active phone down into his throat.

    “Jack? Are you still there?”

    Yes, Jack is still there, although, he probably wished he wasn’t. Evelyn lashed out again, scoring a solid hit with the heel of her foot. Judging by the sound: a broken jaw, mangled up teeth, and a whole lot of pain.

    “Damn! Jacky, my man. You cry like a little baby.”

    Jack’s left eye was closed shut, and the other one looked like it’d pop out of its socked any moment now. It widened even further when Evelyn picked up Jack’s beer bottle…

    … The sound of annoyed moviegoers snapped her back to reality. Painfully aware that she was just standing there, the grin on her face slowly changing to a sheepish look.

    “Evelyn! What a surprise to see you here. I didn’t think you’d like movies like this. It’s kick-ass isn’t it?”

    Evelyn didn’t reply, instead, she pointed towards a sign that read: Please turn off your phone during the movie.

  18. jhowe says:

    The Deepthroat Theater was crowded and smelled of stale sweat. Paul looked at the floor as he walked into the lobby which doubled as an adult bookstore. Racks of DVDs and assorted magazines lined the walls and the aisles as men, also with downcast eyes browsed.

    Paul pretended to look at the DVD titles and made his way to the movie listings. “Try Butt Bongo,” said a short stocky man wearing stained gray sweat pants. “It’s a hoot.”

    Paul quickly went to the cashier without acknowledging the man and bought a ticket to Butt Bongo. This was his first experience with porn theaters and he was worried sick he would see someone he knew. He swore to himself that this was the last time he would do something like this.

    Ticket in hand, Paul walked to the door the cashier had pointed him to. It was dark enough inside that he had to pause a while at the entrance while his eyes adjusted. He chose a seat in the middle of the theater in an aisle empty of other patrons. The movie was in progress with lots of moaning and carrying on. He noticed all the people around him were men sitting by themselves. Paul considered leaving right then but the scene on the screen began to heat up and his mind began to relax.

    During a rare quiet moment, the cell phone of a man in front of him rang with a “Bad to the Bone” ringtone. Paul had heard this ringtone before and it gave him an uneasy feeling. “Dude, give it as rest,” said someone behind him.

    The offending party turned around and glared at Paul, thinking he had been the one to confront him. Paul froze in horror at the sight of Dave Hanson, the vice president of the office furniture factory where Paul worked as foreman of the die cast line.

    Mr.. Hanson also froze when he recognized Paul. After a long pause Mr. Hanson said, “I won’t say anything if you won’t.”

  19. AnandG says:

    Couldn’t do well.

    SECRETS

    THURSDAY
    It was the biggest blockbuster of the summer and I can’t hold on to book a seat for myself. I saw that the tickets weren’t available for the weekend. I can’t wait until the next weekend, so I booked a seat for the next day and though it was a working day, I thought of taking a leave by managing a lie.

    The phone rang. It was from my boss.

    “Ricky, I want you to book a suite for me for tomorrow at Hotel Maynard, 4pm to 8pm right now?”

    “Sure Bill, client meet?”

    “Yes of course.”

    “It’s done. Suite 114 of Hotel Maynard, from 4pm to 8pm”

    “Thanks”

    “Bill, can I get a leave tomorrow?”, I paused and said “I must visit my aunt who is sick”

    “Can’t you manage coz Ginny is on leave tomorrow”

    “Please Bill, try to understand the situation”

    “Where does your aunt stay?”

    “150 miles from here”

    “Sure, but come to office if your trip gets canceled”.

    FRIDAY
    The movie was exciting. The climax was more interesting than anything else.

    “I have to leave you here Mary”, Leonard, the lead character of the movie, who’s a solider, said to his girlfriend, leaving her in the wrecked but safe town, while he had to travel to another place to continue the war. The actors were superb. The music, the scene, the screenplay, and everything struck a perfect emotion in the audience watching the movie. It mesmerized so well that I did not want to get distracted by anything else surrounding me. But then I hear a distraction.

    “Well well, hold on. I wasn’t all right. The prints are not here with me now. I am out of town and in an important task followed by another. I am busy today and….”, the man in the front row kept conversing over the phone.

    “Excuse me?” I asked him politely, but there wasn’t any response. The conversation was still on with big laughs.

    “Could you please get out and speak? Don’t you have manners?” I exploded

    When the man turned towards me, I was in shock. It was face that I hated the most and it was of my boss’s. I had no words to say. We kept staring at each other for a while and bingo, the movie was over. I did not know what the climax of the movie was but I am sure that the climax of my job has come.

    Nervous, I went to the pub. I took a shot and turned my face to the door. I saw a lady in red dress. She looked quite familiar to me. She was with a guy. I couldn’t see her face clearly. I started taking more shots.

    “That bitch is hot”, I said to myself.

    “Sure she is, and she is quite a hooker. She hooks you up and pays you in return. He is the lucky guy today whose pocket would thicken”, the bartender said.

    “I don’t care who she is. Your pub is nice. Can I take a picture here?” I asked the bartender.

    “Sure”

    I took a video of the entire pub and people, although I wasn’t able to see what all was captured in the camera, as I was on a high due to repeated shots. I went home at night.

    MONDAY
    “Ricky, I want you in my cabin, right now” Boss ordered me over phone.

    I was sure my job was gone. I knocked the door and went in.

    “How was the movie?” my boss asked

    “Movie?” I tried to be innocent.

    “Don’t act smart. We have seen each other at the movie, didn’t we?”

    “Sorry Bill.”

    ‘That’s alright. I am sure you must have been to the Hotel also, following me? Are you spying for my wife?”

    “Spying?” I asked not understanding what he was speaking about.

    “I know you want a promotion and you will surely get it if you don’t tell my wife that I was with Ginny yesterday at the movie and Hotel. Not just my wife, but to any third person, including Ginny. Get it?”

    For a moment everything seemed vague and meaningless to me, but then the clouds on my mind cleared off. I understood that Bill was having an extra-marital affair with Ginny.

    “Yes Bill, you can trust me completely”, I said taking the advantage of the just revealed secret.

    “Thanks. You may leave now”

    I went to my desk boisterously laughing inside but painfully controlling it from coming out of me. I opened the phone gallery and saw the video that I took at the pub. I saw the lady in red dress, sexy and sizzling, walked into the pub. Beside her was a macho man, her date for the day I suppose. They sat at the corner, where there is no crowd; a reserved seat maybe. The rave music was on. Strip show began. It was all getting sleazy and the lady in red dress was being fondled by the macho man. I zoomed in to see the lady, and to my utter shock, she was my boss’s wife.

    “Who’s betraying who?” I thought and kept minding my own business.

  20. Kerry Charlton says:

    THE ELECTRIC TOILETS VERSES THE PRUNE ALIENS

    [Co-written by Shallow Hal]

    Sally Easyleigh, my latest squeeze and I went to see the big summer movie of seventy nine, ‘The Electric Toilets Verses The Prune Aliens.’ It was premier night and most of the audience had emptied the dusty town of Dime Box, Texas to see the blockbuster.

    We sat in the last row of the balcony of the Bijou, a time-forgotten art deco movie house from the nineteen thirties. Floors boasted thirty year old paisley carpet and walls shimmered in a dusty, rose beige.

    “Are you comfortable?” I asked Sally.

    “It’s too cold in here,” she said, so I put my arm around her.

    “I’m still chilled, Billy.” She unhooked her pushy up and slipped my left hand through her blouse.

    On the silver screen, the Electric Toilets had lined in battle formations, large water hoses aimed at the enemy. Meanwhile the Prune Aliens has dissolved into the ground, surrounding the toilets, oozing toward them through the slime mud they had created.

    I could have cared less, for Sally had slipped her hand down my pants, looking for action. She found it and my eyes rolled into the back of my head.

    “Can’t you wait?” I said. “It’s bound to get messy in here.”

    Meanwhile, the screen filled with an epic battle, destined for the ages. I recognized Brenda ‘Jiggles’ Tightset, sitting two rows to my front with Judy Pearhips and Nancy Nopants, all cashiers in the tire department of Sears Roebuck, my employer. Brenda turned around when a small groan emitted from my lips.

    “Looks like you’re having a good time, Billy. Wish I were there.”

    “Ppe down,” I heard to my right.

    Brenda turned back to me again. “I’m next,” she said.

    The gentleman to my far right, rose in his seat and snarled,

    “Mr. Notworthy, conduct yourself accordingly, you represent Sears.”

    ‘Good God,’ I thought. I stared at Percival Lackluster, a beady-eyed, paunch-bellied old man of forty, the Sears store manager. ‘Why was he sitting next to Miss Crotchgrab, a high-steppin’ floozy that he hired to run the appliance department?’ I thought. ‘He’s married with four young children.’

    “Where is Mrs. Lackluster?” I asked.

    “It’s none of your damn business,” he said. “If you want that promotion to be tire manager, forget you saw me.”

    We settled back in our seats as two burly movie ushers paced the aisles between us, waiting to throw all of us kaput.

    ‘Everything will work out,’ I thought.

    My career at Sears took an upward swing. I introduced Sally Easyleigh to Mr. Lackluster. They ran off together after Mrs. Lackluster had gotten the goods on him and had thrown his ass out. That left me as the Sears Roebuck, assistant store manager and of course, Brenda ‘Jiggles’ Tightset came with the store.

    Our grandchildren all call her ‘Darlin’. I’m regional director for Sears in the Midwest section of the country. For some reason, my secretaries all look the same, like Ma Kettle. Of course, Brenda had a hand in this. Oh well, it’s still a wonderful life. For you see, with a tuck here and a tuck there, ‘Jiggles’ still deserves the nickname.

    {I can’t believe I really wrote this.]

    • jhowe says:

      You really wrote it and I’m glad you did. You must have had a ball thinking of those names, Judy Pearhips being one of my favorites. I stumbled on this forum a couple of days ago and I love it.

    • Sarah Elizabeth Butler says:

      Ha ha ha . . . I really am laughing out loud! Sometimes it’s just fun to write offbeat stories, and it’s not as easy as it looks. Thanks for a lighthearted read.

    • DMelde says:

      You wrote it, you own it. Ha! I thought this was a fun, over the top, read. As far as your reputation goes…..well….I think that’s still secure. :)

    • Over the top and off the hook. I liked this a lot, Kerry. It’s too bad you had to wrap the story up. It would be great to see the second half expanded without worrying about word count. Well done.

    • blanderson says:

      Really enjoyed reading about these caricatures of the “people that we meet when we’re walking down the street.” Clever, fun ending, too.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Thank you, blanderson, we all need to “go over” once in a while. After I wrote it, I thought it would have rung better, to substitute Montgomery Wards instead of Sears. Sears Roebuck had too much going for it in the seventies to have had Nancy Nopants work for them. Montgomery Wards would have promoted her.

    • smallster21 says:

      Oh, my land, this is just shameful. Tut, tut. How could you write such a thing…

      Lol, kidding :) I liked it. I was already smiling when I read the title. It was very odd, but the kind that makes me laugh, because it is so weird. The same goes for the movie. Very off-the-wall nonsense that had me shaking my head and laughing.

      I agree with jhowe—you must have had fun creating the names of all the horny harlots. Very creative. I also thought your description of the theater was beautiful, despite all the sticky action sleazing it up. Nice, vivid setting.

      And. Oh. My. Goodness. What a Sleazy Sally. I laughed when she was all, “I’m cold, maybe your hands on my breast will warm me up,” because she obviously wasn’t cold, she was just being a Slutty McSlutterson. Well-played.

      Just a few grammar errors that stood out to me: Close the appositive in the very first sentence with a comma. It’s push-up not pushy up, unless you were poking fun at these types of bras. At, “Meanwhile, the Prune Aliens has…”, there was a switch to present tense there. Start a new paragraph at “I recognized Brenda ‘Jiggles’…” new subject. It goes from the movie description to the three girls. It just gave me pause for a moment. Misspelled pipe at “Ppe down…”

      Overall, this was a fun read Kerry! :)

      • smallster21 says:

        Oh, I didn’t realize I typed so much. Sorry, sometimes I ramble when I’m tired.

        • Kerry Charlton says:

          The more you type, the better I like it. I need all the help I can get. Glad you enjoyed the movie, now what was it about? I used ‘pushy up’ for emphasis. I figured Billy would have called it that. I also know what a “Merry Widow” is and where the clasps are. They’re extremely hard to undue when you’re facing each other in the dark.

          Thanks for the grammar. [My worst fault.]

          • smallster21 says:

            Oh, lol, okay, that’s funny he’d call it a pushy up. Wonder why it’s called a Merry Widow? And, I wonder why my spellchecker automatically capitalizes it?

    • don potter says:

      You had to have fun writing this. I certainly had fun reading it. Best of all, I love the names of the characters.

    • Amy says:

      Haha, I can’t believe you really wrote this either, Kerry! Bravo! I am kinda wondering why the entire staff of Sears Roebuck is in the movie theater together, but aside from that, I got a good laugh out of it. An over the top good time.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I tried writing completely against my grain; now that I’ve hopped the fence, it’ll be easier. At first post, I kissed my rear end goodbye.
        Thankfully, I still have it.

  21. calicocat88 says:

    It was an incessant babel behind my head. He was here. It had to be him. Just like the other five times I’ve caught my boss stalking me after work, I was fairly certain he had followed me to the theatre.

    My “Spidey senses” had been on fire for weeks. I looked to my right and left to make sure I wasn’t being paranoid. The theatre was fairly empty. There was a group of teenage girls to my left and the only thing that could have been suspicious was a pair of women in dark clothing and shades sitting to my bottom right. But those could have easily been fancy 3-Ds. I nodded when they both looked up at me, but they quickly snapped their heads back to the screen.

    Okay…

    I was intent on keeping my focus entirely on the movie. But as soon as Jamie Campbell Bower skewered the demon with the glistening Seraph blade, the talking got louder.

    “Fake,” came a disgusted voice.

    I peeled my eyes from the screen just when Mr. Bower decided to go dramatically shirtless and glared up into the dim rows of people. He was there, two rows above me and wearing a leather jacket and a maroon beanie that made his auburn hair flip out and look more like orange spaghetti grease. The people around him were distinctly annoyed. Shawn. I had to do my service as a good patron of the theatre and shut him up.

    I grimaced. He was like Christmas lights left on a house during the summer. The social atmosphere didn’t mix well with this guy. I didn’t mix well with this guy. I squeezed out my row and headed up the stairs to where he was still running his head.

    “Shawn?” I jabbed in him in the shoulder. “Why are you here?” Here was my boss—the owner of a local bar—and a grade A bull-shitter. Somehow becoming the respectful female underling in this situation wasn’t appealing to me.

    He glanced at me, raising an eyebrow. “Looking for a sexy woman to lure into my den of love,” he gestured widely across the rows of people and then back to me. “I wasn’t expecting it to be you, but I may be willing to lower my standards.” I held back a gag. “Is this where all that money I pay you is going?” He nodded to the screen just as a four eyed demon exploded into purple guts. “Don’t come into work whining anymore about your lack of funds.”

    “Why have you been following me?”

    “Get over yourself, Mika. Not every guy wants you,” He said.

    “Screw yourself.”

    “I don’t have to. Unlike you, I have a sex life.”

    My hand was raised ready to slap it across his boney cheek when he pulled me down into the seat beside him.

    “Get off me!” I hissed. I had a slew of hateful words perched on my tongue when his words stopped me.

    “Do you see those chicks down there?” he said. I followed his eyes to the two creepy women in the shades. “They’ve been coming in the bar on your day off asking about you. A few weeks ago I noticed them tailing you on your way home. I think you’ve got a problem.”

    “You think!”

    “I’ve been following them around and they always lead me to you. Not that you have a particularly interesting life, I do have to ask,” he gave me a funny look halfway between a grimace and a smirk. “Have you been involved in any kind of…illegal trafficking?”

    I bared my teeth.

    “All righty then,” he said unfazed. “I think we need to hit the road before your friends decide teen dramas ain’t their cup of tea.” He stood up and reached for my arm.

    “We?” I jerked away from his touch. “How do I know you’re not full of—“

    “Are you that suicidal that you’d risk it?”

    “No…”

    “Then shut your pie-hole and let’s go,” he said. “It’s not like I’m a rapist for God’s sake. And if I were you’d be last person I’d pick up.” I let him guide me down the stairs and glanced back at the seats where the two women were sitting. They were empty. “I hope you don’t have an aversion to helmets because we’re taking my Harley and I don’t want the guilt of your splattered brain on my conscious so you’re wearing it.”

    So that was it. I could either get murdered or God knows what from two strange women who looked like special agents out of The Rocky Horror Picture Show or I jump on the back of a motorcycle clinging to the back of my boss as we, what? Drove theatrically off into the night? And still then…possibly die? I searched the theatre for the two women and came up with nothing, like they had never existed. An eerie feeling began creeping up my spine.

    I adjusted my bra and in one deep breath said, “Get me the hell out of here and don’t even think about touching my boobs.”

  22. Sarah Elizabeth Butler says:

    Patting myself on the back for my latest conquest, Jennifer Worth, who is by my side as we enter the packed movie theatre, I continue with the stories of my prowess in business – how can she help but recognize my brilliance? Yep, just like that, I snagged those sold out tickets I heard her pine for last night at my sister’s dinner party; she needn’t know that I had won the tickets on the B98.5 Morning Show just today.

    After months of rejected invitations, her barriers melted upon my midday call announcing that I had easily obtained the tickets to the opening showing of “Step Back, Jack”, the hottest movie of the year. “Oh, William, I had no idea how important you were,” she had gushed, “I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to accept your invitations before, I was just . . . “

    Yeah, yeah, all would be forgiven, I had assured her, how could she have known, etc.

    Over dinner she was putty in my hands. Only a little did I sweat, hoping my credit card was not declined – but by then she was hooked on William Wellington, man about town.

    Now, watching the film, I’m imagining myself in every move of the action hero – “hold on little lady, I’ll save you from the inferno”, “back off Bart, I’ll shoot” – when she whispers in my ear, “Can you believe the nerve of that guy down there on his cell phone? I can’t even see for the glare.”

    “Tsk, tsk, I’ll take care of this in short order.” I confidently stride down the aisle toward the old man who oddly has the same gray, male pattern baldness as my boss. What fun! How better to assert my manliness than chiding someone who reminds me of Mr. Harrington; lording over the likes of him for a change would be a treat. This will seal the deal with Jennifer, without a doubt. Watch, and learn, mere mortals . . .

    “Excuse me sir, I don’t believe you realize how the light from your cellphone . . .” the guy looks up, illuminating an unmistakable pinched forehead and set of hairy nostrils – Oh, dear God in heaven, it IS Mr. Harrington! Though my heart skips several beats, my cadence misses none . . . “shines onto your face. I couldn’t help but see that you were here and I wanted to come acknowledge you. I do hope you are enjoying the movie?”

    Tapping the phone off, Mr. Harrington twists in the seat, squints up at my face, grunts, “Not now, son, can’t you see this is the best part of the movie?”

    Straightening my lapels, I feign success and stroll back to Jennifer who beams and snuggles so close that I am oblivious to the rolling of the credits and the shadowy figure looming over me. Until it speaks.

    “And Bill, make sure you get my cleaning on the way in tomorrow, along with my usual latte of course.”

    • DMelde says:

      Nice story Sarah. I loved the twist at the end.

    • reba_O says:

      I really enjoyed this. How you described Bill becoming cocky and inspired by the hero was amusing and I couldn’t figure out how the story would go so it was a nice ending.

    • Nice write. Characters were quite believable. The only thing that stood out for me as jarring was Jennifer’s last name. Only used once and without context, it didn’t add anything. Of course, I’m just being picky. :)

      • Sarah Elizabeth Butler says:

        Picky is good. I appreciate it. It does add bulk, but I guess i was going with the value of the last name “worth”. Probably better left out. Thx.

    • smallster21 says:

      I like the voice in this one too. You really inject Bill’s personality in the narration. Just some punctuation issues, and I think the “etc.” can be left out and end on a question mark with that sentence. I liked the ending, lol! That’s what he gets I guess for trying to act like Mr. Big Stuff.

    • don potter says:

      Poor Bill is a double loser. He is finished with her, actually it’s the other way around. And his boss knows he owns him. I loved the hairy nostrils description.

  23. DMelde says:

    John Claude Van Damn sat in the back of the theater and quietly invoked the Dark Lord to appear. It was a complex invocation, but he said it well. He knew the Dark Lord might ignore his request, so Van Damn picked a theater showing one of the Dark Lord’s favorite movies, the end of the summer blockbuster children’s movie, “Hello Kitty”, as an enticement to show up.

    “Who knew?” Van Damn thought, regarding the Dark Lord’s taste in movies.

    He intended to ask the Dark Lord for a job, because he was tired of working for The Boss, and he wanted to switch sides. He had his résumé with him, but it was pretty thin in the skills section. Try as he might, he just couldn’t be mean to small, defenseless creatures. He hoped the Dark Lord wouldn’t hold it against him.

    The end of the invocation was the hard part. It required complete concentration, and Van Damn became tongue-tied, mainly because someone in the front row was talking on his cell phone.

    “The nerve of that guy,” Van Damn thought, “that is so rude!”

    He stuck his fingers in his ears and he finished the invocation. Then he got up and went to tell that noisy so-and-so just what he thought of them. As he got closer to the front, Van Damn caught a whiff of heaven, just a faint scent. He froze and looked around. “Which one of my coworkers is here?” he asked himself. Then, he spied Him. “HOLY CRAP” he almost shouted, but the words stuck in his throat. He tried slinking away, but The Boss had already spotted him.

    “John…John Claude Van Damn, come over here.” God commanded. “What’s that in your hands?”

    John showed Him his résumé, and he started sweating.

    “Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here?” Van Damn wondered.

    A moment later a portal opened, and through it walked the Dark Lord carrying a big tub of popcorn, his black robes billowing, with a “Hello Kitty” baseball cap on his head. The Dark Lord smelled heaven too, and he too, froze.

    God looked at the résumé, then at John, and finally at the Dark Lord. His eyes narrowed into slits as He looked back to John.

    John had heard tales of people being smited, and he really wasn’t interested in seeing it done today, so he gave The Boss his best smile.

    “I’ll talk to you later.” God told John. “Go home.”

    John slinked away and God looked at the Dark Lord.

    “Nice hat.” God said. “You know, there might be hope for you after all.”

    “Thanks,” the Dark Lord mumbled, his head was hung low and he shuffled his feet, “I bought it online.”

    “Why don’t you have a seat?” God said. “We can watch the movie together.”

    “All right.” the Dark Lord said.

    As the Dark Lord sat down, God eyed his big bucket of popcorn.

    Smiling, He asked, “Are you going to share that?”

  24. JRSimmang says:

    My fists were balled up, my heart was racing, and I took each step in the shadowed theatre, knowing that I might not come out alive.

    It ain’t what it used to be, my father used to tell me. He said that kids nowadays don’t feel like they have to work. They feel like they should have everything handed to them. He tells me that back in his day, kids would be mowing lawns, pumping gas, working in theatres. I couldn’t argue with him. (Seriously. He died in a car crash when I was eight.) I sat in Math class and looked around at my peers, texting, sexting, sleeping, talking. It was true. I wanted to be different.

    I found a job at Cinemark. It didn’t pay but minimum wage, not to shabby for this part-timer. I never held a job before, so if this was my baseline, my first experience, not too bad. I stood at “The Ropes.” It was a fancy way of saying ticket checker. Everyone starts there. My boss, Charles Dugan, said he started there, and I could manage a theatre one day. Gag me with a spoon, but at least the possibility was there. In a few weeks I got move to The Case, and then, I got moved to “The Silver.”

    The Silver. Man, I had it made. Mr Dugan said very few kids, nay people, make it to The Silver. I got to stand in the theatres and make sure people aren’t making out, talking on their phones, throwing trash. It was kinda cool, being a Cinematic Bouncer. And, when it’s a good crowd, and a good movie, all I have to do is watch. For free! Which was perhaps the best part of the job. Mr Dugan must have had his eyes on me.

    I was in charge of training new people in my down time, twice a week. I guess that means I did a pretty good job.

    I worked The Silver for a few months when I got my first trouble maker. This loud bald guy sitting in C14. Right in the middle of the theatre. And there he was, mouth open, the blue light from his cell magnifying every little glob of spit. Nasty. He wasn’t talking too loudly; I couldn’t hear him. And, the light was mixing in with the blue lights on the screen. I guess I didn’t have to interrupt him. It looked like I would have caused more of a scene if I walked over there. But, there are rules in The Silver. We have to keep the environment silent and dark so everyone has the best experience possible. It’s just like in Math class: some people just think they should be handed everything. So, I took a deep breath, balled up my fists, and marched to him. Behind me, things were blowing up. Another Michael Bay disaster. People were watching the high-dollar explosions, not me. I couldn’t hear them, anyway, over the sound of my heart beating.

    I marched over there, tapped this guy on the shoulder, and when he turned, I saw it was Mr Dugan, smile across his face. He hung up the cell phone and patted the seat next to him. Disbelief must have shown on my face, because he motioned again.

    I walked around and sat next to him for the rest of the film.

    When the credits were done, and the lights came on, and the people had cleared out, he turned to me.

    “Ryan.”

    “Yes sir?”

    “Good job.”

    “Sir?”

    “You know, there are very few people who care about hard work. There are even fewer people who will do it morally.” He stood and walked out.

    On payday, I noticed a dollar bump on my hourly rate. In my locker, I saw the badge for “Floor Manager.” I went to thank Mr Dugan, but his office was cleared out. In his place was an empty chair.

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