Why You Were Late for the Meeting

You’re at lunch when your smartphone buzzes with an e-mail from your boss: “Don’t forget, we have a meeting in 10 minutes.” Of course you did forget, so you rush out of the restaurant and attempt to make it before it starts. But a crazy chain of events stops you from getting back in time for the meeting.

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257 thoughts on “Why You Were Late for the Meeting

  1. Zebeen

    My girlfriends and I met for our monthly no- men- allowed lunch at our favorite restaurant not too far from work. This was going to be our best lunch yet because we had just completed 50 Shades of Grey and wanted to dish. No censorship allowed.

    After ordering our meals from a very delicious waiter-oh my I am going to jump him. Hold me back-we started getting down to business and lots of sex talk. We all wanted to know what activity we indulged in and did we freak the hell out our male partners. Bondage, releasing control and multiple orgasms were all had more than four times in a week. Just talking about the book and re-living our memories left me hot and moist and I needed to get out and get some. Then my phone buzzed.

    My boss left me a message informing me that our meeting was starting in 10 minutes. Did I forget? Um I had best intentions to get there on time, but when I get sex on the brain, all rational and responsible thought vanishes. Damn. I had to go. I paid my bill, hugged the girls and shot out the door in a sprint.

    I slipped behind the wheel, turned the ignition and peeled out of the lot at a high speed of 50 km. Yes, I said peeled. But I could not afford another ticket so I kept with the speed limit. I was getting horny and remembered I had a toy in my purse. I was only five minutes away and yes I may be five minutes late, but once I hit the big “O” I will be calm in the meeting. So I threw all caution to the wind and went in the back alley.

    I had enough battery juice and proceeded to get my groove on. As I was hitting high notes, I look up as I was meeting God again, and a cop was coming towards my car. I was so close. As my face contorted, the cop tapped on my window.

    “Are you okay mam?”

    “Yes, I am” I said, but I was having a hard time trying to catch my breath.

    “Can I have your license and registration? You are in an alley exposing yourself, doing who knows what. I run these streets and don’t like your kind doing what you do.”

    “I am not a prostitute. I was just taking a quick break. And yes, I am doing my own thing, but I am not doing it in public. Please let me go and I won’t be coming around your beat again. By the way, have you read the hottest book 50 shades of Grey?”

    Well I did not make it to my meeting. The Lady cop was interested in the book and well, let’s say I won’t be getting any tix on her beat, because once she gets the book, she would be occupied making herself feel good.

  2. JRSimmang

    Normally, our meetings ran on the second Tuesday of the month. We met for usually an hour or two, depending on who just shot whom in the foot. Being a creative professional has its series of ups and downs. Today was Friday, and I was in no mood to return to work from my lunch break.
    I have to go on record saying I hate my Samsung. Oh sure, all the apps are great. The phone functions like a dream. But, it always brings bad news. Last month, during the dry season, I lost my car. Yeah, lost it like a goddamned gerbil. So, I reported it thinking I was going to have it back by dinner. Well, the dinner bell rang and no phone call. The next day, they got me around lunchtime. Mr Worthen?Yeah? We found your car. Great! Where? When can I come get it? Um, it’s at the bottom of the Rio Grande.
    Today, my boss sent out a mass text reminding us that we had an “impromptu” meeting at 1, which was about 5 minutes from now.
    5 minutes from now when I was 20 minutes away. Let this be a lesson to you. Don’t go to lunch anywhere that takes you 20 minutes away from your work.
    “Damnit,” I muttered in between bites of pastrami, inadvertently spitting some rye crust on to the touch screen of my phone. The ‘nun’ sitting next to me coughed into a napkin and glanced at me in disgust. Whatever.
    I threw down my $8.16 and ran out the door.
    “Hello?” my Bluetooth shouted into my left ear.
    I hurriedly checked my phone screen. The stupid piece of rye dialed my ex. I sighed heavily. “Hey, Patrice.”
    “Darren?”
    “Yeah.”
    “Oh my gawd, I’m so glad you called me.”
    When was she not? “Oh yeah? Why’s that.”
    “We need to talk.”
    Shit. There are only two reasons why an ex would ‘want to talk.’ She either wants to get back together or she’s pregnant. Neither would be fun. “Oh… Well, sorry. I have to go. We have an impromptu meeting in about 3 minutes.”
    “Don’t lie to me. I know you don’t have meetings on Fridays.”
    “Normally, no-”
    “Normally? You mean normally when you aren’t talking to the woman whose heart you have?”
    There it was.
    “Tell you what, Mr Hotness, I’ll meet you right… now.”
    And there she was, standing in front of me as I turned to the corner up Probant St.
    “What the?”
    “Hi, Darren.” She clicked her phone off. She still had one of those folding phones, Razr or something like that.
    “Hey.”
    “Listen.”
    “I can’t. My meeting is in-”
    “Screw your meeting. This is far more important.” She reached out and grabbed my arm.
    Normally, and nothing about this day seemed normal so far, I would feel her fingers wrap themselves around my arm. I would feel her subtle warmth and faint pulse. I would feel the tenderness ensconced in crazy-ass bitch.
    This time, I felt a tingling, then a shock, then my body went limp.
    I awoke some minutes, or hours, or days later in an old, uncomfortable chair staring at a wall I didn’t know. Patrice was massaging my shoulders and neck.
    “Sorry, love. I had to. You were being stubborn. It just would have been easier if I could have told you. But, that’s kind of how our relationship was anyway. You never listened.”
    And then the throbbing started. If I had a headache beforehand, I didn’t realize it until now. And man, it hurt.
    “Why,” my throat scratched and my voice came out like paper. “Why did you bring me here?” I managed to say.
    “Why?” Patrice held her hand to her ear and whispered something I thought sounded like He doesn’t know. “Um. You can tell the difference, yes?”
    “What the hell are you talking about?”
    “The difference. Jesus, Wallace, he hasn’t seen it!”
    Who was Wallace? “Who’s Wallace?”
    “No, I haven’t probed.”
    That didn’t sound good.
    “No, I just thought that since we had been together so many times-”
    Pause.
    “Well, no, not normally.”
    Pause.
    “I supposed I could have gone ahead.”
    Pause.
    “Okay.” She spun around to me. “This won’t hurt.”
    She reached out with her left hand, touched my forehead, and I blinked into my office.
    “Darren, what do you think?” My boss smiled as he turned his attention to me.
    “Uh, um…”

  3. demigirl12345

    I was sitting in Arby’s one afternoon when my smartfone started to buzz. I looked at the screen. It was my boss reminding me that we had a meeting in ten minutes. Of course I hadn’t remembered. I hate meetings and tend to put them out of my mind until the last minute. I looked at my watch. It only takes 5 minutes to get to work. I picked up my drink and headed for the door. Suddenly a hysteric woman ran through the door. As she caught her breath she choked out, “Quick. . . a fire. . . five minutes. . . away!” Oh crud I thought. I sprinted to my car and drove towards my work. Suddenly a nondiscript vegiterian walked across the street, eating a huge hamburger. I hit her full on.The hamburger went flying and smeared across my windshield. Thankfully she just got up and limped towards the nearest bar. I raced off hoping I wouldn’t get caught with the windshield wipers working frantically at removing the ketchup and mustard. As I pulled around the corner to my work, I saw that the building next to where I work was on fire. Just as I was gaping at it, a brick wall fell across my path. I screeched to a halt. I climbed out realizing that I had just two minutes to get to my meeting. I started to run around the building through an alley. Just as I sprinted through the back alley, the building I was running behind caught on fire. Suddenly I was surrounded by flames. Understand that I wouldn’t make a very good first responder. Instead of doing something logical, I screamed “Jelly Beans!” then passed out. When I came to, I saw the firefighters roasting marshmellows whilest battling the inferno. One shouted, ” Who’s got the gram crakers and chocolate!” They are most certainly insane, I thought, as I ran towards the front door of my work. Just as I burst through the door, I ran smack into my boss. He was quite cross. He proceded to lecture me as any good/bad boss would do. As he was getting to the good part about how it shouldn’t ever be late, a fireman walked in and informed us that the fire had been started by a cigarette. Just then he looked at my boss and asked in a polite/slightly annoyed tone, “Sir, do you smoke by any chance?” I looked at him smugly because I knew he did, and walked away.

  4. SarahT

    It’s a lovely Saturday morning, Jane thinks to herself as sips her soy latte, vaguely watching passers by through the window at her side. As she reminds herself yoga beings in 20 minutes, Jane hears her iphone alerting her that a new text message has arrived.
    “Meeting in 10,” the message from her boss reminds her, “don’t forget”.
    “On a Saturday,” Jane is momentarily confused, but remembers the new account has been the topic of all conversation at the firm for the last week, and this special weekend meeting is to be the grand finale to hours of prep work.
    Jane grabs her sweater, wondering how late she will be if she took the time to change from her athletic wear and dashes to the door. ‘Much too casual for the office, but better not chance it,’ she decides.
    Three steps out the door and Jane realizes she must power walk like a professional if she is to make it to company building in 10 minutes. Around the corner and power walk has turned into a jog, and suddenly Jane is knocked off her feet by a runner heading down the slight incline.
    “Hey, watch it, lady! Don’t you have eyes!”
    To disorientated to notice the man admonishing her, Jane pulls herself off the pavement and picks up the pace despite a now sore ankle. There are only four blocks to go, with only two corners to turn, Jane refuses to believe she may be late to work for the first time since being hired at the firm.
    Three blocks left, and Jane has started to a sprint. Coming to a sudden stop, Jane sees the flashing lights atop multiple police cars blocking the roadway, and notices officers have hung crime scene tape across the sidewalk, barring all entry.
    Jane makes a quick right down the little alley between an abandoned office and a Chinese restaurant not yet open. ‘This adds three blocks, but I’ve got…’ Before Jane can finish the thought, a tall man appears from a shaded area next to a large garbage bin.
    “What’s the rush?” the man questions as he steps closer. Frightened, and on first impulse, Jane throws the only physical thing in her possession. The sweater flies toward the man’s face, giving Jane an opportunity to dash to the side of him and run like a lunatic. Out of the alley and into the sunshine, it dawns on Jane that her phone was in the pocket of that sweater.
    Torn between the importance of the meeting and the necessity of her cell phone, Jane opts to turn around and without having a solid plan of attack, enters the alley once more.
    With trepidation Jane retraces her steps and comes upon the garbage bin, but sees no one.
    “Excuse me, I need my sweater,” Jane speaks loudly to the empty alley but knows he couldn’t have gotten far.
    Shuffling noises come from the abandoned building and Jane see the door is slightly ajar. Quietly as possible, Jane makes her way to the building’s side entrance, puts her hand on the knob just as the door comes flying open, hitting Jane square in the forehand knocking her off her feet for the second time in ten minutes.

  5. Rachel

    Hannah stared down at her phone as it lay on the white tablecloth while she waited for her food. She pushed the refresh button again to see if Roger had emailed her. She was getting impatient. Instead the dreaded email of her boss displayed with a ding.

    “What could she possibly want?” Hannah growled.

    “Where the hell are you Miss Riley?” it read. “The meeting is in ten minutes and of course it looks as though you forgot!!! Get your soon to be jobless ass here immediately!”

    “Oh crap!” Hannah mumbled as she threw a twenty on the table and hurriedly grabbed her suit jacket from the back of the chair then bent to grab her purse on the floor. She rushed toward the little gate that separated the café’s patio from the sidewalk and began to run. Just as she rounded the corner she was enveloped into a rush of passengers coming from the ferry that had just docked and now filled the entirety of the walkway.

    The panic set in as she realized that she wasn’t going to make it and would have to deal with the evil that was Cora. She made it to the crosswalk and while waiting for the light to change she realized that she had left her phone on the table.

    “Shit!!” Hannah was close to tears as she turned to make her way back through the crowd to the cafe. She was in full sprint now and trying to think why she had even decided to go out to lunch? She knew why, it was Roger and her stomach jumped with excitement at the thought of his daily salacious emails. She was now at the table she had been sitting at and no phone in sight. She looked around and called out to a passing waitress.

    “Oh my God! This can NOT be happening!” She cried as she followed the young girl to the bar area where the lost and found was.

    She looked up at the clock above the bar that teased her with the fact that she was already fifteen minutes late. She wasn’t going to make it back for the meeting, which meant the bitch would surely fire her now. She sat down on the nearest stool to wait for the waitress when she heard the sirens. She looked up at the breaking news on the flat screen mounted in the corner and the reporter standing in front of the building where she worked.

    Hannah was listening but the words didn’t make sense. She watched as people were running from the revolving doors with their hands up, some bloody and some being helped. Police and SWAT teams were running inside along with paramedics. The waitress came back with her phone as she listened of the shootings on the 17th floor. Her floor. She looked down as her phone rang to life and Roger’s smiling face displayed on the screen.

    “Honey, I think you just saved my life!” She whispered.

  6. vodn

    “We can’t do this anymore.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Rebecca is starting to wonder why I’m working so late all of the sudden.”
    “Are you serious? You’re ending this now? When things are going so well?”
    “Are you two ready to order?”
    The two look up at the waiter. He is clenching his jaw and breathing heavily through his nose. She has the unfallen crescent of tears rimming her lower eyelids.
    “We’re going to need a minute.”
    “You told me you love me.”
    “I do love you.”
    “You told me you were going to tell her. To end things.”
    “I am. But I can’t right now. She just lost her job and her dad could die at any minute now.”
    “So that’s it.”
    “No. Just give me some time. We just need a break, maybe a month or two, and then we can pick things up again.”
    “Bullshit. I’ve given you 4 good years of my life. I’ve called in sick to see you on your days off. I linger in coffee shops around the city waiting for you to get off work. My life is a secret. My family thinks I’m gay. I’m not free to find someone of my own and I keep waiting for you to decide to be happy.”
    “Claire. Just gi…”
    He reaches for her hand which is sitting on her blackberry. When he makes contact, her phone begins to buzz. Startled, they both pull away.
    “Shit.”
    “What?”
    “Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.”
    “What?”
    “I have to go. I forgot we have the Pan Am presentation today.”
    “Claire, can we finish this.”
    “No, you already finished this.”
    “Claire.”
    “I’m sorry. I can’t do this right now. Don’t call. Don’t email me. Don’t try to contact me.”
    She slips into her jacket and almost collides with their waiter as she spins around. Either the momentum of her exit or the swell of the moment has caused the dam to break on her left eye. She’s glad that he can’t see her face. She just wants to make it to the door before the first audible sniffle. She almost makes it there.
    “Claire, marry me.”
    She stops as it seems does the rest of the restaurant. She can feel the eyes of the other diners on her back. In her imagination she doesn’t know if he’s standing, sitting, or kneeling, and she can’t resist finding out. She knows that this is a bad idea. She knows that regardless of what she says or does in the next few seconds there will be months of mess and heartache to follow. She knows she deserves better. But she also knows she will not be making it to her meeting.

  7. sarah15

    Sitting at the counter of the crowded café, I eye my greasy bacon cheeseburger with desire. Yes! It was finally lunch time, and now that I’ve lost those twenty pounds on Weight Watchers, I’m treating myself today to whatever the heck I want…even if I regret it later. I’m just about to dig into delicious, fatty goodness when my smartphone buzzes.
    Emitting an enormous groan, I return the burger back to the plate in order to excavate the entire contents of my cotton purse. Ah ha! There it is- right at the bottom, as usual. One glance at the new email on my phone, and my success quickly turns to defeat. The email is from my boss and reads: “Don’t forget, we have a meeting in 10 minutes.”
    Naturally, I had completely forgotten! And it wasn’t just any meeting. It was the meeting, the one that would determine my future at the company. Would I spend eternity punching numbers into a computer…or was I destined to have a corner office and credibility and the respect of my peers?!? This meeting was to be the determining factor.
    I frown at the cheeseburger.
    “We will meet again, my tasty friend,” I think as I scramble off the stool and toward the door. Just my luck, as I step outside, I happen to look down and realize my blouse has a ketchup smear on it. Never mind the fact that I didn’t get to enjoy my burger; it has nonetheless gained its revenge upon me. Disappointing.
    Trying not to feel frustrated, I remind myself that there’s a woman’s clothing store just across the street. I can run in, grab any old shirt that looks nice, and I’ll be on my way just in time. Fortunately, I didn’t stray far for lunch today; I’m only three blocks from work.
    It’s rainy out, so I pull my umbrella from my bottomless purse and wait to cross at the intersection, tapping my foot impatiently. Suddenly, I’m distracted by a loud squeal of tires followed by a resounding crash. Turning to my right, I can’t believe my eyes! Two cars have collided and someone is pinned between them; however, that someone appears to be a green-colored person with a giant head and one large, beady eye. I squint and blink repeatedly to clear my eyes. It must be a trick of the rain or something; no way can that be what I am seeing. As I watch, the green person/thing struggles to unpin itself from between the cars. The two drivers, instead of helping, are emerging slowly from their cars and staring in awe at the creature. And I’m just as bad as them- I can’t tear my eyes away.
    “What-?” is all I can get out before someone grabs my arm and begins pulling me toward an alley. I’m pushed up against a brick wall and find two people standing before me- both tall, both male, both wearing black trench coats, black hats, and matching sunglasses. My first reaction is to burst out laughing- the men look like something out of a movie; I’m thinking Men in Black or The Matrix. My second reaction is, damn, I am going to be late for my meeting. And my third and most reasonable reaction is to scream. Which I start to do when- before I can react- one of the men lifts a small device to my head and everything goes black.
    When I come to, I’m sitting at my favorite café just a few blocks from work. It’s lunchtime and there’s a juicy bacon cheeseburger sitting in front of me. I have the strangest feeling that something bizarre has recently happened, but I can’t put a finger on it. I glance at the clock- my lunch break was half over already- where had the time gone? Then I feel the sinking suspicion that I’m forgetting something. Is there something I was supposed to be doing during lunch today? I think hard on it for a moment, but nothing comes to mind. Oh, well. I shrug and dig into my cheeseburger.

  8. kennydude55

    I went through the plan for the umpteenth time, mentally calculating the time it would take for me to get from the sales girl desk and outside the door . Billy would be in the car the engine of his sedan running , in fact I could see him from where I sat in the restaurant opposite the store. Everything would take no more than 5 minutes . My mouth felt a bit dry and I was sure my heart was beating louder than the drums I often played in my garage . I checked my watch 10 minutes more.
    My smart phone buzzed I checked to see who it was
    ‘’Don’t forget the meeting in 10 minutes ‘’ It was my boss. Not now .It wasn’t supposed to take place until afternoon .Damn I stood up reached into my trouser pocket dropped a bill on the table , my last one and bolted out of the door . Billy saw me and watched from the rearview mirror I mouthed the words’’ now’’ to him and then slowed my pace as I approached the Store .It was a toy shop with a Kiddies Paradise sign boldly on the top .Our target was the new kiddies jet pack which was capable of lifting kids about 5 meters in the air and to a distance of 10 . I pushed the door back with my shoulder gun in hand.
    ‘’Alright everyone this is a sticky ‘’
    The sales girl a cute teenager with steel grey eyes looked from the gun in my hand to my face puzzled
    ‘’Don’t look at me ‘’ I barked at her “ this is a sticky …..i mean a stick –up ‘’
    ‘’Don’t move ‘’ Billy shouted .He pointed his gun at the people on the other side of the shop.
    “’Idiot ‘’ he shouted behind me “you should have worn your mask’’
    I realized only then that I was holding it in my left hand.
    The sales girl quickly lowered her eyes ‘’Please don’t hurt me ‘’ she pleaded
    ‘’Shut up just get me 2 kiddies jet pack , hurry it up and don’t you dare call the cops ‘’ less than 6 minutes later we had them each worth more than $2000 , while Billy took them outside when I remembered something .The sales woman was yet to give me a receipt but there was no time .
    ‘’Don’t worry’’ I assured her “I ‘ll be back for the receipt ‘’ as I ran for the door .
    Outside I was just about telling Billy to drive when I saw the rows of police car and men in blue guns pointed at me. Billy was cuffed and face down on the bonnet of a car. one of the officers grinned at me.
    I cursed and lifted up my hands now not only would I miss the meeting I would also miss my son’s birthday .

  9. Jeremysaysrawr

    His phone buzzes in his pocket; he takes a bite of delicious lamb ragout, a sip of a luxurious burgundy, then takes out his phone. He looks at the gorgeous, hotter-than-a-habanero male escort in front of him, says, “Excuse me,” and steps away from the table. Manners first.

    He pulls down the notification bar, taps the icon that says, NEW EMAIL MESSAGE. It’s his boss, and the message is labeled URGENT.

    “Smith,” it reads. “We have a major client meeting in ten minutes. You were supposed to be here an hour ago to get everything set up—where the everloving FUCK ARE YOU?! Get here NOW or don’t get here at all—no excuses.”

    Oh, crap, he thinks, his heart sinking. He rushes back to the table, throws a fifty on the table, sticks a Benjamin in the breast pocket of his escort, says, “Wait for me at the hotel,” and rushes from Carota, the Italian restaurant.

    The large letter C hanging from the front façade wriggles ominously in the wind, but Winston doesn’t see this.

    His office is less than two blocks away from the restaurant. He takes off at a leisurely run, trying not to break a sweat. He had only gone about ten steps when a shopping cart filled to the brim with aluminum cans swings around the corner, one wobbly will banging harshly on the concrete. His momentum keeps him from stopping—he crashes into the cart, does a somersault, lands amid a pile of Coke and beer cans, the fetid liquid soaking into his $10,000, pure silk Armani suit.

    “Da hell are you doing, ruining my shit?” spits the bag lady. He gazes up at her mouth; one tooth hangs perilously out over her lip. It brings to mind a can opener. Winston can’t help but laugh.

    The bag lady takes out an umbrella with a large, wickedly sharp metal tip, and swings at Winston’s head. “You laughin’ at me? Are you laughin’ at me, punk?”

    This makes him laugh even harder. Absurd, he thinks, ab-fucking-surd.

    She swings again, the metal tip catching the front of his suit, ripping the pocket. His neckerchief flutters to the ground, the silk soaking up raunchy beer and moldy Coca-Cola.

    “What the hell is wrong with you?” he asks, standing up, futilely brushing at the ruined suit. “You pushed the cart out in front of me, then you attack me?”

    She swings again, and he takes a step back. “Calm down,” he says, raising his hands. She slashes out again, opening up a gash on his palms. He’ll have to go to the doctor sometime today, too, thanks to this crazy broad. She probably gave him tetanus or something.

    He turns from the bag woman and takes off running again. He comes to an abrupt stop when he runs head first into a hard, metal streetlight. The homeless woman was right behind him.

    He was out cold.

    She took his wallet, phone, then leaned over and planted a big kiss on his lips, her herpes sore festering.

    He came to in the hospital. There was a bouquet of flowers on the table. The card read, “You’re still fired. Get well soon.”

  10. LASide

    Tales of an Accidental Superwoman

    “Oh, waiter…cancel my sushi order!” I say just before flying out the door. I was sooo looking forward to that Spider Roll. If only I’d taken my Adderall this morning. How could I forget again?

    From the looks of things below, all is well. No buildings on fire. No disasters. Not even a kitten stuck in a tree. I can be at the office in no time. But wait – I hear a wail, a baby crying. REALLY crying – like it’s been abandoned or something. I’d better go down and check.

    Just as I land, my cape catches on an ornamental curlique on a park bench. As I’m sprinting toward the wail my whole outfit rips off. Suddenly I am buck naked. What the heck am I going to do? I can’t save an abandoned baby in the nude. What if a reporter sees me? The headline flashes through my head “Naked Superwoman Saves Bawling Baby.”

    There’s a New York Post newspaper on the next bench. I HATE the New York Post. They would be the ones to publish that headline and intentionally ruin my reputation. Maybe that reporter who follows me around is sitting on the bench right now, gloating, with my glorious attire in his grubby little paws. No time for paranoia. I wrap a few sheets of the big fat paper around my torso and go.

    I follow the awful, piercing cry of the baby. I can’t look at my watch. I don’t care if I’m late for the meeting. I’ve GOT to save humanity first. Closer now, I can see that two policemen have cornered a young woman near a group of boulders. She is backed up against the rocks like an animal and clutching the baby to her breast. Hmm, now the baby appears to be nursing.

    “We caught her nursing her child in public,” chirps one of the cops, a stocky, fat-headed fellow with a smarmy grin. It takes me a minute to register that they’ve noticed my new garb and are suddenly eyeing me suspiciously. “It’s….temporary,” I mutter, “My cape and suit are…at the cleaners.”

    “It’s indecent exposure is what it is!” blurts out the other cop, a woman of all things, hissing like she herself is some wild animal about to claw my face.

    “Look,” I say, “Let this woman go. She’s nursing her baby for Pete’s sake. Just pretend you didn’t see it.”

    “No can do, lady,” says the ferrety female cop. “Ordinance 7150 says it’s a crime. We’re taking her in, and you. You’re in violation of Ordinance 6311 – display of semi-nudity in a public park.”

    Anthony, my boss, has to cancel the meeting to post my bail and pick me up. After I don my street clothes he rushes me down the steps to his car. The snap of cameras lets me know that there are six, maybe seven photographers taking my picture. “I’m afraid you are already all over the evening nudes, um, news,” he says.

  11. mjsca07

    The BLT I ordered was going to go down so good. My favorite spot for lunch was bustling with staff and customers, all adding to my headache and pit in my stomach. I eyed the kitchen across the room and the buzz in my pocket distracted me from my hunger.

    I navigated the menu on my phone until I saw the e-mail from my boss: “Meeting in 10 minutes, be there.”
    A panic wave hit me as I realized I spaced on the contract meeting. I stood up to look for my server, get my sandwich, pay, and bolt across the street to make the meeting.

    “Can I help you sir?” asked the server from the table behind me.

    As I was making my request for the bill and the sandwich, my eyes shifted past hers and noticed a man a few tables back. How did he find me?! Years had gone by, always looking over my shoulder, waiting for this day to come. As he was looking at me, I pretended not to notice as I asked the server to box my sandwich up. I needed to form a plan to make the meeting AND deal with him.

    “I’ll box it up, and have the bill ready in a few minutes.” she said.

    “That would be fantastic.” I told her as I grabbed my coat off the chair. I checked the mirror above the bar to see if he was making his move. Sure enough, he got up to follow me out of the café.

    I grabbed the bag, paid, and was out the door. I just needed to make it across the street and I could deal with him later. I started to eye an opening in the traffic to cross when the server yelled from the café door.

    “Sir! I gave you the wrong order!”

    “No, I checked it, it’s the right one!” I shouted. I didn’t care; I needed to be out of there. The man was coming up right behind her. I saw my opening and ran across the street, narrowly getting hit by a truck.

    “Hey, you! Stop right there!” A cop saw my j-running and didn’t look too happy about it. I pretended to not hear him and made my way towards my building. The cop might help with the pursuing man, but he was sure as hell not going to help me make my meeting.

    I was right in front of the building door, I was going make it. Suddenly, I was thrown forward. My body bounced off the door and hit the sidewalk. Before I saw the blood coming out from my shoulder, I saw the bag of food lying on the ground in front of me. The sniper had not only foiled my attempt to make the meeting, he had ruined my lunch. I guess I’ll never find out what sandwich I’d been mistakenly given. With my arm pretty much gone, I had bigger things to worry about anyways.

  12. darkwinter09

    Oh, crap!

    I’m so stupid. The meeting is in ten minutes. I completely lost track of time. I was so distracted by the video on my iPhone about the upcoming Avengers movie when I received the text message. My childhood obsession with superheroes like Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye captured my attention so well that the time escaped by radar. I’ll never reach eight city blocks and twenty stories in ten minutes. Even the fastest cab driver on the most insane death wish could not possibly get there in time.

    I barge out of the diner as ideas flood my mind. I don’t have enough time to walk, I will look like a loon if I start running, and I am not so sure about a taxi. As soon as I think of one, a black car arrives along the street. Nah, I don’t really trust car service, but I’m desperate.

    Alright, don’t panic. Well, yes, panic.

    I’m out of ideas as well as time. I could not get back in time even if I could…..

    Hold on, that’s it!

    I have an idea, but I shouldn’t do it now….. alright, I have no choice.

    I run through the alley adjacent to the diner. When I am alone, I skim through the main screen and find the particular app on my iPhone. As soon as I press the app, my black business suit and blue tie are completely transformed into a blue jumpsuit with blue calf-length boots, blue gauntlets, and a large blue cape.

    If you ever wanted to know what it is like to fly, it’s like trying to step on imaginary potato chips without crunching them and up you go. That is exactly what I do as I rise above the alley and the surrounding city. From the view which seems to spread hundreds of miles, I clearly see my building. I need to be in that boardroom in eight minutes and I can reach it in two.

    The wind rushes past my face like a thousand whips as I soar high above the ant farm-like city streets below. In one completely unexpecting surprise, I feel as though I just crashed into an invisible wall accompanied with a burning sensation. I stop in mid-flight and turn around to the source of the impact. Hovering in mid-air is Dark Omega.

    Yes, he is my greatest villain. I was just zapped by his energy beams from his gauntlets. I have the same exact utility. I fire the energy beams from my gauntlets and our battle ensues. Suddenly, I am zapped particularly hard and propelled incredibly far until I feel myself shatter a glass window and land directly on a table. Surrounding the table are my colleagues who look as though they were just stunned. The meeting is about to begin.

    “I’m sorry, but this meeting is cancelled.”

  13. docyoc

    “This is the best aloo matar I’ve had in a while. It’s really hit or miss around here.” I said.

    “I’ve certainly had better.” Monique replied. Her smile told me she was in quite a playful mood.

    We both jumped in our seats as my phone vibrated across the table; I had an incoming email. I pulled up the unread message, “Don’t forget, we have a meeting in ten minutes.”

    “I hate to dine and dash, but I just got a reminder from the boss that we close on a huge deal today. Here’s twenty for the meal, babe.” I was disappointed to leave my food and my woman.

    “OK, you go say hi to your horny little boss for me.” Monique flashed a knowing smile in acknowledgment of our inside joke.

    Stepping out of the restaurant, I broke into an all out run. I was at least ten minutes from the building I worked in. Against my better judgment, I decided to cut through the seedier part of the city, thinking it would save me about three minutes.

    Moments later I hit full on sprint speed. My legs were pumping hard and I started to gain confidence I would make it to the meeting on time. A smile spread across my face.

    Without warning a tinted glass door opened in front of my path. Stenciled lettering, “24 hour adult superstore” flashed before my eyes. I saw a short brunette exiting with a large yellow bag. And then – Wham! Crash! Smash!

    As I emerged from the darkness of my subconscious I heard a familiar voice. Am I at the meeting? Did I make it in time? I thought I heard the shrill voice of my boss negotiating with our future client.

    Opening my eyes I saw a friendly looking woman clearly dressed as a medical professional.

    “Mr. Williams, so glad to see you are awake.” she said. “You did your best to kill yourself running through that glass door, but I’ve got two pieces of good news for you.”

    “What’s that?” I croaked. My throat was completely parched.

    “First off, your lady friend is going to make it just fine. Second, your nasty little bag of sex toys made the trip here with you.” She smiled widely.

    “Huh?” I was confused. I didn’t remember having a lady friend or a nasty little bag of sex toys.

    “I need to leave. I need to get to a meeting, now!” An extremely shrill and very familiar female voice howled from the curtained off area separating my bed from the other patient sharing my room.

    Noticing the large yellow bag labeled “24 hour adult superstore” on my bedside table I finally put two and two together. Lunch – running – the door – the brunette – the sex toys.

    Although my jaw was sore and wrapped in gauze, a wide smile broke out across my face, “Hey boss? I don’t think either of us will make it to the meeting on time!” I yelled toward the curtain.

  14. annefreemanimages

    “Cattle and Oysters”
    A Rett Bonneville Story
    By Anne M. Freeman

    I was biting into a juicy cheeseburger fresh off my friends’ grill when I heard that sound. I munched a few more bites before I saw who called: my agent.

    “Oh, shit! I forgot all about my lunch meeting! Sorry, guys, gotta go!”

    I ran out to my car. I was 20 minutes from the restaurant. I sent him a text that I was on my way and to order an appetizer of fried oysters, which were in season and wonderful at the restaurant I’d chosen.

    The way to the Inn was a winding county road. I drove as fast as I dared. When I came out of a long S curve in the road, I was travelling pretty slowly. Good thing, too, because there was a cow and a calf running alongside the road next to me! I saw the open gate from their pen at the farm up ahead, where some other cows were staring at it, trying to decide. Where was the farmer!

    I slowed down immediately, pulled off the road, and backed up on the grass towards the animals. The calf looked frightened, and if it darted onto the road, mom was going after it. A driver would never see them, and a collision with a thousand pound cow would kill them all. I drove back and forth between the cows and the road, hoping they would tire and return to their pen, watching for the farmer, and praying the other cows wouldn’t decide to join the fun.

    A car zoomed around the corner, slowed down, and sped off down the steep hill just past the farm.
    “Thanks for the help, buddy!” I yelled out my window.

    Then I saw a man’s head slowly rising over the crest of the hill. Next, shoulders and a steering wheel. It was the farmer chugging up the hill on his tractor! I honked my horn to grab his attention. He turned the tractor sharply across the road and onto his property, jumped off and ran to close the gate. He grabbed a rope hanging on the fence, and high tailed it towards us.

    He slung the rope around the calf’s neck, grabbed it and wrapped his arm tightly around its neck. He ran the calf to the gate with its mother lowing and trotting closely behind. He opened the gate, shoved the calf in and called to the cow, which seemed torn between her calf and freedom. Finally, she trotted to her calf as the gate slammed behind her.

    I sped off, beeped my horn and he waved his hat. My agent answered my call.

    “You are almost here, right?” His voice had an edge.

    “Yes, and you won’t believe what just happened,” I said.

    “Oh, not another story about having to round up a herd of horses on a dirt road! One ‘Man vs Wild’ episode is enough,” he said with exasperation.

    Would he want to hear my cattle rustling story? Maybe not.

    “Save the last two oysters for me. There in five,” and I rang off.

    ###

      1. annefreemanimages

        Hi Icabu – you caught me! Yes, that did actually happen as described. I had a pickup-up at the time. Good thing, too, because the cow as an Amercan Devon, with are huge cows with very long horns. I was afraid she’d try to ram me with those horns! It was a very scary situation, and my biggest fear was the rest of the herd would decide to escape. My office had a good time when I had to call in that I would be late because I had to do some cattle rusting on the way in!
        ~Anne

  15. dsjackson221

    L..D..V..R..D..Q..K.

    “I can’t believe it… still no vowels!” Finishing my Words with Friends game was becoming quite the challenge. “Help me out here, Charlie.”

    Friday afternoon and Charlie and I were having our weekly lunch of wings and beer , then I was looking forward to a weekend of much deserved time off.

    “I’m no good at scrabble.” Charlie huffed. He was definitely put off with my disregard of his company. “Besides, we need to plan our fishin…”

    My I-phone interrupted with “Heartbreak Hotel” as a new message appeared.

    “Oh my God!” Jumping back from the table, I knocked over the beer pitcher directly into my lap . “The boss says I have ten minutes to get there or I’ll be dead! I completely forgot!”

    Charlie complained. “Geez… it’s not like there haven’t been five before this one. Missing one is not that big of a deal.”

    “You don’t know my boss… she eat me alive if I’m late. Take care of this for me, will ya? We’ll go fishing tomorrow.”

    Sprinting out the door and ignoring the other customer’s funny stares at the dark stain spreading down my pants, I dove into the first yellow cab available.

    “4750 Melbourne Ave. And fast! I’ll pay you well if you get me there in eight minutes.”

    “You got it,” The bored cabbie was so excited to have a customer, I didn’t even get the door closed before he’d punched the gas pedal. My shoe was left tumbling in the middle of the street.

    Four minutes left. If I didn’t get there in time, I’d be in deep trouble for sure. As we pulled up in front of the building, I threw a five dollar bill into the cab’s front seat before hopping out. “Thanks!” I yelled.

    “Hey, come back here! That‘s not enough!” The driver jumped out after me. “Stop that man!” he shouted to a policeman standing on the corner.

    The cop lurched toward me, grabbing my arm and ripping off my shirt sleeve as I ran by. But there was no stopping me now… I had less than a minute to get to my destination. Running into the lobby, I made the decision to take the three flights of stairs instead of waiting for an elevator.

    One more hurdle. A hefty security guard tried to block my way. “You can’t go in there.” she barked. Some people let a little authority go to their head. I ducked as she threw up her ample arms and knocked my toupee to one side, leaving it hanging on my head by a hair.

    With a cabbie, cop, and security guard on my heels, I finally burst through the doors of the delivery room. “I’m here sugar pie! You can push now!” I panted.

    Taking in my beer stained pants, shoeless foot, torn shirt, and disheveled hair, The Boss… already holding our sixth child in her arms… glared at me from her hospital bed.

  16. fuego

    Bring files, director wants update!

    A loud and inadvertent expletive escaped my mouth upon reading that message, which prompted me to quickly apologize to all the patrons sitting nearby as I dashed to the front to pay my bill in haste.

    Ready to leave the restaurant I realized I had left my phone on the table amid the rush. I immediately turned around but due to the alignment of the planets that day, the gentleman on table four got up from his chair to greet somebody.

    I accidentally bumped into him knocking his glass off and spilling wine onto his expensive suit. The litany of apologies was not enough to hide my embarrassment. He was visibly annoyed, but remained calm. Somehow he was able to read the anguish in my face and waved me off with pity.

    I returned to the table I was sitting to find a little girl, about six I would guess, who was playing with my phone. Not being an expert on how to deal with children I was scratching my head thinking how to take the phone from her without causing a commotion. I sat down and tried to negotiate it back. I was having no luck.

    The mother, who was looking for her, approached the table, took a quick glance at me with a watchful eye and asked her daughter why she had walked away from her side.

    Look what I found mom!

    No sooner she uttered those innocent words she tapped the application with all my pictures. I blushed. Her mother gasped, eyes about to pop out. She took the phone away from the girl – who started crying in anger – and with a very indignant expression on her face she called me a pervert.

    Everybody was staring at me in disbelief.

    Please take your dirty pictures with you and don’t you ever get close to my child again. You freak!

    Shamed once again I departed quickly.

    The sky burst open with soaking rain while I ran like a madman. I squeezed by the closing glass doors and then I slipped. Airborne for a fraction of a second I fell on my butt, my phone slid thru the floor away from me. The security guard helped me get up as the phone started ringing. A quick glimpse of the time revealed I was already late.

    All drenched, ashamed and limping I went to get the phone. An old lady that walked by picked it up and handed it over to me.

    Thanks ma’am. I said in a somber tone and answered the call.

    Where are you? The director is here already.

    On my way boss. Sorry, long story.

    Okay, hurry up. He said and hung up.

    As I rode the elevator back up to the 45th floor I got a text from my recruiter.

    Congrats, the job is yours! Call me when you get a chance.

    Thank God is freaking Friday I said with a sense of relief as I walked into the office.

  17. elclipo

    I was feeling the effects of the food coma I had just caused when my phone started vibrating. I fumbled with it but managed not to drop it. I touched the screen and read the email on it. The email contained a single line: “don’t forget, we have a meeting in 10 minutes.”

    I freaked out and bumped the table as I got up. The silverware rattled on the plates and a cup of water spilled over. “I’m sorry. I really need to go.” I handed the waiter a ten dollar bill and took off running.

    The café was only a block away from the office but I was already gasping for air when I reached the front door. I stopped for a second to catch my breath when my phone started vibrating again. This time I didn’t bother to check it and walked into the building. I looked across the lobby and noticed one of the elevators was open. I took off running and yelled “Hold the door!” The door closed as I was getting to it. I lost my footing as I tried to stop and ended up on the floor knocking down the trash can between the elevators.

    I got up and ran across the lobby and headed for the stairs. The stairwell was made up of grey concrete and grey railings spanning from the basement all the way up to the tenth floor, my final destination. I was about to reach the fifth floor when the door flew open. A young executive assistant came through the door carrying about two trees worth of paper and bumped into me. I grabbed her by the arm and steadied her. One more step and we would have had a Carnival in the stairwell.

    I made sure she was OK and continued on my journey. By the time I reached the eighth floor I had slowed down considerably. Then I noticed a hissing sound coming from above. I leaned on the railing and looked up towards the ceiling but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. I continued to climb becoming more aware of the sound as I got closer to the source. I reached the tenth floor to be greeted by a leaky water pipe. I put my hand in front of me to shield myself from the water when the pipe burst open. Cold water rained on me and within seconds I was soaked from head to toe. I managed to stay on my feet and staggered to the door, went through it, and shut it behind me.

    Everyone in the office stopped to look at me. I tried to catch my breath, then asked “where’s the meeting?”

    “You didn’t get the memo?” one of my coworkers asked chuckling.

    Dumbfounded I reached into my pocket and took out my phone. With wet fingers I unlocked the screen, touched the email icon and then selected the unread email. It read: “Meeting rescheduled for tomorrow. Same time.”

  18. JJerome

    DRINKING THE KOOL-AID

    “You’re in trouble,” said the man with the AK47 and a dark patch of sweat staining his shirt. “Serious trouble.”

    “Hand me the tire iron,” said the driver.

    “Yessir, you did it this time. Got yourself a flat tire and made yourself late. The reverend hates that. Yessir.”

    “When I walk into the compound late, guess who’ll be behind me?”

    “Let’s see. Your mother? No…”

    “Keep guessing and bring over that spare. We’re almost done.” The driver smashed a mosquito against his neck.

    The man with the gun rolled the spare tire in position and let it fall to the muddy road, not before it landed on the driver’s foot.

    “Jesus Christ! You’re deadly with that thing. And I’m not talking about the gun.”

    “Reverend don’t like that word.”

    “When I’m done, I’ll make the phone call that we,” indicating both of them, “will be late.”

    “I can help you know.”

    “Then stand by the back seat and guard the kool-aid from the local heathens. The jungle is swarming with them.”

    “Why did you use those funny little finger quotes?”

    Minutes later, the driver stood near the rifleman, his face lined with sweat and palpable desperation. “Listen to me. We were late because we got a flat and we had to find a spare. Got that?”

    “I got that. I ain’t no dodo you know.”

    “Let’s practice. ‘Hey dodo, why were you late?’”

    “We were getting a spare…”

    “Good…”

    “From the whore house. Ouch! Why you hitting my head?”

    “No whores. We did not stop to see the pretty senioritas. We picked up the kool-aid, got the flat tire, walked around town until we found a spare, fixed it, then went back to base. Did you hear any whores in that story? Now shut up so I can make the call. Hey! Gimme my phone. Are you going to make the call?”

    “That’s your job,” the gunman said, holding the phone high, out of the driver’s inferior reach.

    “How can I do my job if you have my phone?”

    “It belongs to the reverend.”

    “And you know his rules,” the driver said. “I have the phone, you have the gun.”

    “But you’re going to tell him we’ll be late.”

    “We are late you Neanderthal!”

    “Not if you don’t call.”

    “True. But if you have the phone, shouldn’t I have the gun? Those are the rules.”

    The Neanderthal nodded his head, then handed over the AK47 to the driver, who said, “Now, call the reverend and tell him we’ll be late.”

    “Hello, Reverend? It’s Carl. Yessir, we got a-”

    Gunshots punctuated the jungle, three in the air, and one in the body of Carl, who slumped to the muddy road, clutching his beefy, oozing thigh. “Why you shoot me like that?”

    “Attacked by the locals,” the driver said as he picked up the phone and hurled it into the jungle, then helped Carl to the front seat of the Jeep. “Let’s get you to a hospital. I know just the place.”

    1. catbr

      Funny stuff here JJ. This was a better ending than the mass suicide at Jones town, if that’s what this is about, or was it just an escape for the driver and the neanderthal? Good writing.

    2. JJerome

      Thanks friends! You make great rebars.

      catbr – yes, it was a Jonestown reference. I didn’t like my first story – too serious, too bloody. The real Jonestown story did not any help from me to make it worse.

  19. DMelde

    CHICKEN OR THE EGG

    “Are you some kind of stupid?” the waitress asked Bob.
    “No,” Bob tried explaining, “a lot of my friends are eggnostics, and we believe, and scientific studies have proven this, that it’s healthier if you eat eggs early in the day, and eat other protein, like chicken, later in the day. I just thought adding a notice to the menu would be of help to your customers, that’s all. Egg, then chicken. You see? Does that answer the question?”
    Oh, it answered a lot of questions for the waitress, like maybe this guy’s brain was a little fried.
    Bob’s phone buzzed. A meeting? In ten minutes!
    “Shit, shit, shit,” Bob mumbled, followed by, “fuck, shit, piss.”
    The waitress, looking a little alarmed, took a step back.
    “No, no, not you,” Bob soothed, “I read a recent study that said swearing was healthy for you. I didn’t mean…aw, fuck it.”
    Bob shelled out a twenty and pressed it into her hand. “Keep the change,” he said as he went out the door.
    The sidewalks outside were crowded with people. Some were sitting in lawnchairs, while others were seated on blankets. The band from Central High marched by the diner, as the Big Parade made its way down Main Street.
    “I’ll never get a cab!”
    Bob panicked, maybe from the recent stress in his life, but for whatever reason, Bob cracked. He ran out into the middle of the parade.
    “Who in hell schedules a parade on a Wednesday?!” Bob shouted, fist raised, shaking it in the air, “All you people need to get a life!”
    Two policemen started moving in Bob’s direction from the far side of the street. Bob moved to the near side, and he walked against the march of the parade. Now, everyone knows you don’t walk in the opposite direction of a parade march. That’s like swimming upstream, or pissing into the wind. All you do is make yourself tired and stink like pee. But Bob didn’t care. The police made a tactical mistake, and let Bob get a line of Tuba players between him and them. Damn, Bob felt good. He might lose his job, and the police were chasing him, but he was eating better, he was swearing better, and, God damn it, he was feeling better too. He ran into the open space behind the band, when out of the corner of his eye, he saw something red coming up fast. Bob skidded to a halt as a little red car came zipping by.
    “You God damn clown!” Bob yelled, fist again shaking at the sky, “you damn near killed me!”
    The police pushed through the Tuba wall, and two police were ahead on his right. So Bob went left.
    “I’m working!” Bob yelled at the police behind him.
    He bobbed and weaved, here and there, until one of the police tackled him from behind. Twisting, Bob fell to the pavement, where he landed, sunny side up.

    1. JJerome

      This was cheeky fun!

      “Damn, Bob felt good. He might lose his job, and the police were chasing him, but he was eating better, he was swearing better, and, God damn it, he was feeling better too.” Great line.

      1. DMelde

        Thanks JJerome. I rarely swear in person so this was a lot of fun. (About the closest I get to swearing in real life is to say Hel-sinki Finland 🙂

  20. Dan

    Jason repeated his order.
    “Two chicken and two fajita beef,” he said.

    This time the woman heard him and she slid the small door to the truck closed. This was Jason’s go-to taco stand. It was only a short walk from work and never crowded when his break came around. In the unpaved parking lot, there were a few cars with open hoods, a line of people, and an uneven stone bench.

    His phone buzzed in his pocket.
    Just a reminder. API conference in 10 minutes.

    Jason’s heart leapt into his throat. Had he mixed up his schedule this week? The Abducted Puppy Initiative meeting wasn’t until Thursday, he thought.

    He was in no hurry though, he could run this presentation in his sleep, besides, the building was only a couple minutes away.

    The tacos arrived and he made his way back to the office, unwrapping each package of foil to consume its innards. He took a second to pour the red sauce onto each taco making sure to get the delicious goop into every crevice. He spilled a glob onto his tie.

    “Ugh!” He said, pulling a napkin out of the bag and dabbing his tie. It did no good, he was just making it worse. On the drag he was walking along, there were houses; the one adjacent had a small spout sticking out of the facade. Jason looked left then right, and walked over.

    He propped his tie up to the small spout and twisted the metal pinwheel. Water sprayed out onto his pants and shoes; he hopped back a step. Using the water he dabbed his tie with a fresh napkin. No good, he thought.

    “Meow,” A black tomcat appeared around the corner purring loudly. Jason stood up and protected his tacos with his arms.

    “No! Bad kitty.” He said. The cat did not listen, and in its wake, two more cats, a tortoise shell and a calico, appeared. The three cats howled in chorus. Jason took another step back, but his foot caught on something and he stumbled backwards, falling onto the grass lawn.

    He had tripped on a fourth feline. This one large and white with a stunted nose. It meowed at him and walked over to lick his fingers. Panic was creeping up in Jason, as he was deathly allergic to cats. The first sneeze exploded out of him and the bag of tacos flew out of his hands onto the grass.

    More cats were streaming out of the house now. Another black, a giant grey, two Siamese, and an ugly hairless one. He slid back on the grass with his hands, but the horde pressed on towards him, the symphony of meowing ringing in his ears. He could feel his throat closing up from the flying cat hair.

    The cats already had his tacos, but they were still assaulting him. He knew that he would never make his meeting.

    He knew he would never make it out of this lot.

    1. JJerome

      Funny, dark, and twisted. Just the way I like ’em.

      “More cats were streaming out of the house now. Another black, a giant grey, two Siamese, and an ugly hairless one.” That was my favorite line.

  21. ScottP

    Sitting on the patio at Cafe Paresseux with my good friend Jimmy is always one of the highlights of my day. The cafe is two blocks from our downtown office. The patio has a decorative railing and is set with eight small, round, tables.

    That decorative railing is my barrier to chaos. I can always find peace on the patio of Cafe Paresseux. As Jimmy shares another story, I look at the chaos outside my barrier. There is a moving truck in front of the apartment building next door and construction workers are pouring concrete just beyond that.

    “Enough about Furbeast. How is the Bennett proposal going?”, Jimmy asks.

    “Don’t get me started.”, I answer. “Bill has been on my ass all week. Constantly looking over my shoulder is not helping.”

    My phone buzzes. “Ha! That’s probably Bill now!”, Jimmy laughs.

    It’s an email from Bill: “Don’t forget, we have a meeting in 10 minutes.”

    “Aw crap!”, I jump out of my seat. “Can you take care of the check?”

    Before Jimmy can answer, I’m bolting toward the patio gate. I slam the gate open. It slams back and catches me on my right thigh. I stumble from the pain. Now limping as fast as I can, I push my way through the crowd. The small woman walking the three large dogs gets especially upset. My apologies are met with angry shouts from her and deep barks from the dogs.

    As I approach the front of the apartment building my phone buzzes again and I check my phone to see another email from Bill. I am just about to open the email when I hear, “Watch it!”

    I collide face-first with a small cat kennel being carried by one of the movers. The kennel opens and the wide-eyed, grey cat jumps out, latching onto me. As the cat’s claws dig into my left arm I hear familiar deep barks behind me. I limp as faster.

    The cat is climbing my shoulder. I’m clawing at the cat. The dogs are chasing me. The small woman is cursing and chasing the dogs. They catch me as I reach the construction site. A loud bark and two large paws propel me face-first into the wet concrete. The cat jumps off, leading the dogs and cursing woman away. I push myself up to my knees and I am covered in cement from the waist up. I pry the cement from my eyes and look down to see my phone. My 10 minutes are up and I have 2 missed calls from Bill.

    Finally at my building, I am the image of defeat. Gobs of concrete in my hair, face smeared with dirt, shirt and tie stained grey, the left arm of my suit jacket is torn to shreds and my right leg really, really hurts.

    Bill is there to meet me. “What happened to you?”, Bill says with amazement. “Didn’t you get my calls? Mr. Bennett’s flight got delayed. He won’t be here until tomorrow.”

      1. ScottP

        Thank you and thanks for the critique! This was my first time posting and it’s great to get constructive feedback.

        In my defense, it was a very decorative and ornate…and redundant railing. lol

  22. Writer_Girl

    When my iPhone bayed like a hound, I muttered something I never would have said in front of my kids. Slapping a twenty on the polished wood table, I slammed my laptop shut and ran outside. As the bell jingled when I stepped outside the coffee shop, I ran into an elderly lady. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” I gushed, audibly flustered.

    “Amanda?” the woman grinned.

    “Grandma?” I gasped. “But…you’re dead!” I sputtered.

    She only smiled slyly. “It seems I’m not,”

    I leapt into my car and tore up the road while racing to the office. . An oddly green man lifted his arms to halt me. My eyebrow raised. “Is there a problem, officer?”

    The man warbled like a broken VCR tape before clearing his throat. “Yes, you cannot go further. You were…driving.”

    I opened my mouth to question his reasoning, but a loud whirring filled my ears. Instinctively I looked up. Was that…a flying saucer? I pinched myself. Yep, definitely real.

    Suddenly gaining karate skills worthy of Jackie Chan, I sent the spaceship spinning. Thousands of spider-like creatures poured out of the smoldering hole. My fists flying, they all lay sprawled across the asphalt within seconds.

    In the following minutes, I traveled to a parallel dimension to save my kids from an evil intergalactic warlord by using a comb to shoot him. Leaping through a shimmering portal, I used a lightsaber to fight off Klingons and phasers on stormtroopers.

    Returning home, I was greeted by the likes of Donald Trump, Ryan Seacrest and the president. “Whoa, guys,” I started to say, “It’s great to meet you all, but I have a meeting in…” I checked my watch. “ Half an hour ago! I have to get there!” My protest was lost in the clamor as I was swept to a podium in front of the White House holding a medal.

    “I would hereby like to give the ‘Multiverses’ Greatest Superhero Award’ to…” the president called out into the sea of cameras and extended microphones.

    As he spoke, his voice morphed into a beeping alarm. Blinking my eyes open, I saw my husband asleep next to me and that I had kicked off the sheets in my sleep. Weird dream, I thought, reaching my phone. I read the text from my boss, laughing halfheartedly. ‘Don’t forget, we have a meeting at ten’.

  23. catbr

    Merlin wasn’t much of a go getter. No, he was satisfied with his niche in life as an office clerk with the largest food processing plant in the country. “I get by. What more could you want in life?” This was his motto. But there was one afternoon he would never forget.

    He was out for dinner alone one evening at his favourite diner when his cell phone buzzed him. He looked at the text message which read, “Remember our meeting. It’s in 10 minutes. John.” Quickly scanning the room for his waitress to pay for his meal he started to sweat. Merlin was a nervous type of person. The least bit of aggravation would open up his sweat glands, like a heavy laden rain cloud. He spotted the waitress, handed her the money and dashed out of the diner to try to make it to the meeting on time.

    He jumped into his car but it wouldn’t start. He’d have to hail a cab to make it to the meeting. Luckily one showed up. “Take me to the McNabb’s Food Plant fast, please.” Merlin said to the cabbie. There were traffic jams on the way. By the time the taxi let him off at McNabb’s, Merlin looked like he had been walking in a rain storm, with his hair all sticky on his scalp and a drenched shirt sticking to his ribs. On the way through the front door of the building Merlin bumped into a bag lady making her land on the floor.

    “Oh, I’m so sorry Mrs. I was in a hurry and wasn’t looking where I was going. Are you alright?” He assisted the elderly run down looking old woman to her feet and was genuinely concerned.

    “Yes I’m fine. What’s your big hurry anyway?” She asked, wiping off her already dirty looking clothes with a twinkle in her eyes.

    “I’m late for a meeting and I’m afraid I might lose my job. Please take this money and get yourself a nice meal. I should have been more careful.” He said handing her a $20 bill.

    “Don’t worry about it. Is the meeting with John?” Merlin looked at her puzzled. “How about if I go with you up to the meeting. Maybe your boss will have some sympathy for you after I explain how you helped me up.”
    Merlin and the bag lady walked into the office where John was sitting.

    “You’re 15 minutes late. What excuse do you have and who’s this old hag?” John barked, eyeing the old woman with disgust.

    “Settle down Johnny boy. Seems to me they put the wrong person in charge here. You never did have any manners.” She squared her shoulders and spoke with authority. John looked at her and wondered just who in the hell she thought she was talking to him in that tone of voice.

    It turned out that the bag lady was actually the owner of the company, Mrs. Catherine McNabb. She liked to wander around the building in disguise once in awhile to see what really went on behind closed doors. This was Merlin’s lucky day. John was fired on the spot for being mouthy and other shady dealings. After looking at Merlin’s track record and his dedication to the company, Mrs. McNabb promoted him to take over John’s position. Merlin wasn’t a go getter but he did have a big heart and Mrs. McNabb had always admired this quality in people.

  24. Bumblebee83959

    The buzzing of my phone during the middle of my lunch hour was a norm for me. Not for my boyfriend, who looked rather pissed at my smartphone that whirred to life while I was in the middle of a sentence. I flashed him a sheepish grin and quickly ducked underneath the table to read the new e-mail that popped up.

    From: The Big Boss.
    To: Amanda.Durin@ceobusiness.com

    Meeting in ten minutes.

    Shit. I had forgotten about that meeting. I stuffed my phone into the pocket of my skirt and rose to my feet. “Sorry, hon. Got a meeting I need to be in that starts in ten minutes. I promise that we will have more time later, ‘kay?” He still looked a bit pissed, so I planted a light peck on his lips before grabbing my purse and coat and dashing out of the Little Italian Bistro’s patio. Thankfully, I picked a good day to wear flats versus my usual three-inch heels.

    The streets were jam-packed with people either rushing to lunch or rushing from lunch, like myself. “Excuse me. Pardon me. Step aside, please. Out of the way! Clear the area,” I murmured whenever I shoved someone aside or someone tried to shove me aside. They didn’t know how much of a rush I was in. I only had… eight minutes to get to the top of the CEO Business building and in my seat for the meeting. I had doubts about making it in time, but I was going to try my best to get there as soon as possible.

    Of course, then the unthinkable happened. It started raining. One minute, the sky was a bright blue. The next, dark clouds rolled along and it began to pour. I used my jacket as an umbrella. “You can do this.” I told myself. Just at the same moment that I slipped and fell butt-first into a pile of dirt, now mud from the rain. Great. Just great. Not only was I soaked, but I was also drenched in mud. Could this day get any better?

    I pushed myself to my knees and then to my feet. My phone, slippery and without a case, tumbled out of my hand as I took a step forward. It fell into the street and a car conveniently arrived at that precise moment and ran over it. Now I was done for. I was soaked, covered in mud, and my phone was ruined.

    Dignity was something I lacked at the moment, but I tried to pretend by holding my head high and marching into the building across the street, with a gloomy look at my destroyed phone. I marched through the building and pressed the elevator button. Nothing happened. I looked up and read the sign plastered on the doors. “Currently unavailable. Please use the stairs.”

    I forced myself up the stairs, my feet aching and screaming in agony, before I collapsed at my chair in the meeting. “So, what are we talking about?”

  25. onaway

    “Explain.” said the man. I sat down on the wood bench across from his desk as he eyeballed me.
    “We were working on the roof when one of the workers cried out. A bee had flown directly at him, gone underneath his sunglasses and stung him right on the eyeball. He fell flat back onto the deck, paralyzed. I knelt beside him as the crew gathered around, everyone panicked with suggestions:
    call a doctor, call his family, throw him off the roof
    You know on a roof there is no where to run to when bees attack,” someone said.
    I said: “Shut-up. We don’t have much time. Get me your Arkansas speed hammer. He handed me the channel locks. I knew if I didn’t act quickly it would get infected and he would lose the leg. I pulled out my utility knife. “Now look, don’t look,” I said to him. I’m going to cut out the stinger. You’re going to feel a light sensation before some excruciating pain.” I pressed the tip of the blade, worn from cutting shingles, into the eyeball. It made a slight dimple, like a water balloon about to burst. But it would not cut. The sweat dripped off my forehead onto my index finger and down the back of the razor blade where it beaded up and shined. I wished Hotlips Hoolihan was there to wipe the sweat from my brow. Speaking of hot, did you know it’s hotter on a roof because you’re closer to the sun?”
    “Get to the point…” said the man.
    “The point was too dull.” I insisted. “The knife wasn’t cutting it but I hadn’t lost my edge. We we’re all scared, especially the bee. I reached for the channel locks (also known as the Arkansas speed hammer). I tell ya that stinger was really in there, I felt like a mad dentist trying to rip out a wisdom tooth.”
    “Keep it short.” said the man
    “We were 3 stories up.” I went on, “Anyway there was a loud “POP!’ and I looked at my watch, hopped on my unicycle and rode straight off the roof, down the ladder and up the street to get here. The elevator was broke so I had to take the stairs.”

    “Ten flights of stairs? A bumpy ride…” said the man.

    “Indeed. But I made it. Now here I am.”
    “So… basically, you have no excuse?” said the man.
    I reached into my back pocket. “Look,” We gazed into my open palm which held the milky red, twinkling eyeball.

    “I see…” said the man, hypnotized.

    Then we all blinked.

    1. JJerome

      I loved it! Crazy wacky fun was had by all. My favorite lines…

      1 – “Now look, don’t look,”

      2 – “It made a slight dimple, like a water balloon about to burst.”

      3 – “it’s hotter on a roof because you’re closer to the sun?”

  26. Knight

    Jim
    I know how you feel. Today is the second time I’ve posted. Since I want to be a writer, and the only way to do that is to write, I post without reading what others have done. It’s all so good, I am afraid I’d not have the nerve. My first time I got some very good comments, which I hope I incorporated this time around.
    Re. your piece: I liked the description of the setting, and the perpective gained by the character’s experience. Separate your ideas in paragraphs, as it would read much better. Keep on writing.

  27. Knight

    “I can’t talk long; I have an appointment in 10 minutes.” That’s how I answer my phone. Conversations move swiftly and to the point, and if anyone stops by my office, well, I am always in some meeting somewhere else. It’s not that I loiter; I produce more than anybody working a 50 hour-week. It’s just that I am able to do it in 10 hours, spending the rest however I see fit.
    “Janna, please bring the Baghdad file when you come up. Mr. El Khawas will be here in 15 minutes, so I want all the people in the account in 10.”
    “Mr. Powell, there must be a mistake, I have a meeting today…”
    “No, Janna. The mistake will be yours if you’re not here on time.” Click.
    “Fuck!”
    A dark gentleman, impeccably dressed in an H. Huntsman suit, looked at me in surprise. I usually don’t curse; it’s so off-putting for gorgeous, elegantly dressed guys.
    I looked at my watch, and sighed. Ten minutes to get there, not time to flirt.
    I paid for my drink and left the dark bar, momentarily blinded by the bright light of day. I saw a cab on the other side, and strode to cross the street when the heel of my Balenciaga snake skin pump got caught in the grate. I flew into the street, made a quick recovery, hitting the pavement on middle of the street. The screech of the bus breaking behind me gave me a start, but I could not stop.
    “Fweehuee!”
    I gave the loud whistle that always works with cabs and guys. Nothing. The cab pulled away from the curb, not seeing me.
    “Fuck!” If I died cursing, I’d go to hell, according to Ma.
    I could run the few blocks to the office, but I wondered how to explain the sweat and the busted shoe.
    The 325 bus coming and I raced to the stop. I got there barely, but the bus did not stop. I thought I could see the driver’s smug smile. He foiled me.
    “Fuck, one more time.”
    I ran. I could clean off on the way up the elevator, and if I tiptoed, nobody would notice the shoe. A commotion gathered behind me. The elevator was too slow so I took the steps, two at a time.
    As I entered the conference room, I began to apologize. Mr. Powell did not even look in my direction. Next to my empty seat, the elegant guy from the bar was smiling sweetly at me. The phone rang.
    “I was surprised to see you at the Samara, as we had our appointment here at 10:10. I looked at my phone: 10:12.
    “What appointment?”
    Mr. Powel was saying, “Janna had a heart attack downstairs.” She’s being taken to the hospital. Everyone gasped.
    “Let’s go sweetheart. There’s nothing else for you here.”
    “What do you mean, I have a great life. I only work 10 hours a week!” I wailed.
    But you know Death. He’s implacable.

    1. jmiff328

      Cool story. The length of these stories make it hard to give early clues as to what the ending will be. You did a good job of just that. I like the premise of death setting up a meeting with her for her own passing. Nice!

      1. Knight

        Thanks for the encouragement. I always end up with 700 words in the first draft, it’s hard to go back and cut. But I think this constraint, and the practice, is forcing me to write better. Again, thanks for the feedback.

    2. Icabu

      Unexpected ending! Nice.
      I was a little confused at first, thinking she was in the office, then she was in the bar.
      Then the ending explained a lot – the shoe, the cabbie, the bus. Death.
      Good job.

  28. penney

    There was a meeting today that I totally ended up blowing off. Actually, I forgot all about it. Looking back I had known it was coming but I had a real brain fart. Both calendars at home and at work were marked, Post-Its were left everywhere and my phone had been tagged with an alert. So what happened?

    At forty-three I find that my mind is melting away, I have already done that thing my mother did, where you can’t remember your own children’s or pets names. I have resolved to yell, “hey you.” My peers at work laugh when I start a conversation and blank out. I won’t go into the Mommy Dearest moment I had the other day, lets just say there are no wire hangers in my house.

    Anyway, I digress. My morning started out getting the kids off to school and one of my boys was playing with the dog, making him dance to Lady Gaga’s, “I want your romance.” The poor dog’s paws swung in rhythm to “ra, ra, ooh, la, la.” I couldn’t even listen to my messages from the laughter.

    My other son was shadow kicking too close to the others face and before I could warn them to stop, the smaller son waved his hand over his face and yelled, “not my beautiful face, it’s my moneymaker.”

    By the time lunch rolled around, I felt like a tape cassette fast forwarding. You know that moment close to the end when it speeds up and you think it will snap at the end before stopping? My heart was that tape and I was at a panic as it pumped so fast I thought I was going to snap.

    My phone buzzed, it was the school nurse. My daughter, once again wanted to come home because she too was having a panic attack. After trying to talk her through it and hopefully get her back to class, we had resolved that I was to go get her. No problem.
    Once I got her settled at home my phone buzzed again. “Meeting in ten minutes.” WTF!

    There is no way I’m going to make it back to work in time. I felt like that darn commercial, I am the old 3G or worse 2G system and I need a desperate upgrade to the 4G system. “Mom, your so yesterday.”

    No, I am super mom; at that moment I could hear the old Transformers intro: “Transformers, more then meets the eye.”

    I called the office, said I wasn’t making it, and that my super human strength had dwindled. My alter ego, super secretary would be taking notes and I would be in tomorrow pending some alien taking over the mommy universe. Oh, what was your name again, maybe I should write that down.

    I hung up the phone, sat down with my daughter and realized I had left my coffee in the microwave. I waltzed across the house humming Lady Gaga, “oooh, la, la.”

  29. merlynn

    Her phone buzzed, vibrating against the table. She used one hand to pick it up and read the email while the other hand maneuvered the ridiculously large Ruben to her mouth. “Oh crap”. She dropped the phone onto the table and crammed even more of the sandwich in her mouth. She stood up, knocking her chair against the person behind her, stuffed the phone in her pocket, grabbed her purse, and carried her plate to the counter for a to-go container. The line was long, so she worked her way to the front, muttering “excuse me” to everyone. People grumbled at her, but she had to move it. The cashier was taking someone’s order, so she waited for a break in the conversation before butting in. “Excuse me, may I get a container for this?” “just a minute, honey”, the cashier sneered. “I am sorry, but I am late, can’t you just hand me one?” “In a minute” came the cold reply. She knew she had blown it. This woman would make her wait. As the customer who had just ordered moved away, the cashier called “next”.
    “Bitch”, she thought. She wiggled her way to the condiment counter. She opened the napkin dispenser and removed a wad of napkins. Opening them, she wrapped her sandwich as best she could and made her way to the door. She heard the cashier yell that she shouldn’t take all those napkins. The office was just across the street, she had time. She could finish the sandwich after the meeting. As she pushed open the door, a man pulled on it from the outside at the same time, jerking her forward into a stumble. “Thanks, buddy”, she called over her shoulder. Traffic was too heavy for her to dart directly across the street, so she had to walk the half block to the crosswalk. People crowded the sidewalk, walking slower than they needed to. She tried to go around and even stepped off the curb when she could, all the while holding tightly to her coveted sandwich. Finally at the crosswalk, she waited for the light to change. She worked her way to the front so she would be the first off the sidewalk. She wouldn’t really be late, but she would be rushed and unprepared. Her boss wouldn’t like it. The light changed and she stepped off the curb. Halfway across, the middle aged woman slightly ahead and to her left, slipped and fell into the middle of the street. The light changed. She hesitated. The woman was having trouble getting up. She sighed and reached down to help her as the cars began honking their horns and inching forward. She flipped them off, and stuffed her sandwich in her jacket pocket before using both hands to help the woman up. By the time she helped the woman reach the other side of the street she accepted the fact that she was going to be late.

  30. Amy

    The last bite of my cannelloni was perched enticingly on my fork and was halfway to my lips when my smartphone vibrated in my pocket, spoiling the moment. Retrieving it reluctantly, I saw an email alert flashing on the screen. It was from my boss.

    DON’T FORGET, MEETING IN 10 it shouted at me. No salutation, no sincerely yours. Where had manners got to these days?

    I shoved the last bite in my mouth, not even tasting it and pushed myself reluctantly away from the table.

    “Put it on my tab Mario!” I called, stepping outside. When had the day turned so blustery? The wind whipped my long hair into my face, and my skirt danced up my thighs, making me resemble a somewhat stout Marilyn Monroe.

    The meeting. I had forgotten. The library I worked for was in crisis and I’d been assigned the dubious pleasure of delivering a death sentence. All because of the increasing popularity of e-books. I clutched my briefcase tightly…it contained my presentation. It favored closing the doors.

    The wind gusted once again, mournfully howling between the tall buildings, and suddenly my briefcase disengaged from my hand. It was moving rapidly down the street.

    I ran after it-how was it moving like that?-my heavy lunch ascending into my throat. I saw a flash of red and realized a familiar-looking dog was the culprit. Could it be? I had to rub my eyes. Clifford, the big red dog?
    I shook my head and continued the chase. Something hard glanced off my brow, stunning me. What the…?

    A football bounced ahead of me on the sidewalk. Looking back, I saw a satisfied Charlie Brown, Lucy standing behind him, unbelieving.

    Continuing on my way, my ankle was seized between determined jaws. Was that Toto? Hadn’t he learned anything? Dorothy wasn’t far behind. She snatched Toto up, giving me a reproachful look.

    “You should be ashamed,” she scolded. “You’re about to deprive children of books! Think of all of the less fortunate who can borrow an escape, thanks to libraries!” She left me in a whirl of blue gingham, losing a ruby slipper in the process.

    I was prevented from moving forward when a lasso descended upon me, my arms lashed to my sides. Who…? Somebody gave the rope a jerk and I sat down heavily. When I looked up, Rapunzel was standing over me. I was immobilized by her hair.

    “People love real books!” she told me. “The heft, the scent and especially, the illustrations! Where would I be without pictures?”

    As she spoke, Snoopy flew by on his dog house, his Red Baron persona shooting at me. Rotten tomatoes exploded all around me, peppering me with slime.

    I held up my hands in surrender when I saw Snow White and the seven dwarfs advancing, a snarl twisting Snow’s pretty features. In her hand? A poison apple.

    To Hell with that meeting!

    1. hillsworth

      I thought this was very amusing. I too feel that the word is making a mistake by moving on and transferring everything to electronics. Kindles are nice, but you’re right about the heft and the scent of a real book. Plus the fact that you can drop one on the floor, pick it up and start reading again. Try that with a Kindle.

      1. Amy

        I agree, although I admit to loving my Kindle too! I like the large type option…no reading glasses! I do love real books. Anything I enjoy enough to keep is in traditional form. Thanks so much for the feedback!

    2. jincomt

      Of course, one of my favorite characters “Hank the Cow Dog” first came alive to me on cassette during long car drives with my kids when they were little. We’ve just switched the medium. Here’s to your heroes of books saving the written word!

    3. Icabu

      Enjoyed all the storybook characters.
      I recently lost my IT job at a printing company – it’s called ‘electronic substitution’
      Still, I enjoy my Nook and frequent the library.
      Entertaining read.

    4. annefreemanimages

      Delightful! Wonderful descriptions and colorful language. I especiall loved “As she spoke, Snoopy flew by on his dog house, his Red Baron persona shooting at me. Rotten tomatoes exploded all around me, peppering me with slime.” The best!
      ~Anne

  31. slayerdan

    It was a damned chilly day for certain. D.C. in April was fickle, but it was cold, that frigid cold that would make your insides wish you were fatter. John sat with his friend Mary, sipping tea and whiskey inside the Patriot Inn, keeping warm as they discussed the swirl of events.
    “It has to be!,” John uttered in a restrained tone, scanning the room of fellow drinkers and diners to make sure his words had not been heard. Moving forward in his chair, his eyes met those of Mary, his friend and owner of the boarding house attached to the inn,” I have already spoken with Lewis,George, and David,” he paused and took a small sip of his whiskey, his gaze never losing connection with those of Mary.Mary moved to reply, to protest it all, yet kept silent, a numbing fear locking her lips.
    “Well well my good sir,” came the booming voice of Harold Maddox, portly, red nosed owner of the local theater John had worked in some months ago,” why do you look so serious on such a cold night?”. The eyelock between Mary and John broken, John leaned back and addressed Maddox, obviously five or six drinks ahead of himself.
    ” The world is in chaos my well fed, and hydrated, friend,” he replied in a cynical tone, never once losing the stern look he had on his face. Maddox laughed, drowning out the sound of the others in the room, if but for a moment. He clumsily placed his hand on Johns shoulder as he walked by. “ You actors,” he continued as he wobbled off,” always so dramatic”.John didn’t even turn to regard the man as he disappeared through the wooden double doors in the rear of the inn.
    “We should eat, “Mary said,” before we are as drunk as he is and it not even 7pm yet,” she finished, offering John a slight smile as she took his hand. “ Your thoughts are foolhardy and will surely just land you in irons”.

    Before John could reply, a reply Mary would not like, the young messenger of his associate Lewis Powell,entered the inn in haste, heading straight to Johns table. “ What is it? Whats wrong young Smart?” he asked of the messenger. “ I have emergency mail for you sir,” he uttered speedily, breathing even faster,” from Mr. Powell.” He handed a small slip of paper, that simply reminded him of the final meeting they had originally planned, in about ten minutes. Standing, he pulled the messenger close,” tell Mr Powell and the others that no meeting is needed. Tell them to proceed as planned,” he said in a hushed tone, evenly delivered a tribute to his theatrical training. Slipping the boy a coin, he sent him on his way.

    The messenger boy entered the room of Lewis Powell and delivered the message as John had paid him to do. Powell, visibly upset by this reply, dismissed the boy and turned to the others, “ Hes not coming. He has said to go forward as planned.” George Azterodt, David Herold, and Lewis Powell looked at eachother for several seconds in uneasy silence, the wind blowing outside sounding like a lost soul, looking for peace.
    Azterodt stood,” I’ll have no part of this. I signed up for kidnapping, not murder,” he stated plainly, grabbed his coat and went to, and through, the door without a word uttered by the others.

    “ I fear our plan to kill our co-conspirator will not come to fruition my friend,” Lewis looked at David, a worried look on his face,” and since he will follow through with his end, so must we both.” He pulled a small pistol from his coat, loading it with bullets as the weight of this reality kept him seated.

    The Patriot Inn was always busy before a theater show. John usually took to a full room, holding many people captive with roles from past shows he had starred in. This night, he hated it, wishing every soul here had already passed, or at least bedded down for the night. Having said his temporary goodbyes to Mary, he headed for the door of the inn, and the darkness of the night. “Booth!!” came the call from behind him, “ John Wilkes Booth—come entertain us with your words,” came the request of an inn regular.

    Turning to regard the man, a young, blonde suitor with an even younger woman on his arm,” not tonight my good man, I have another appointment pending at the theater,” he replied.Turning, he exited the inn, headed for the theater and the last, greatest role he would ever play.

  32. Kae Lee

    “Feelin any better?” Tasha asked as I sat down across from her at our favorite Italian restaurant.

    “I don’t know what’s going on with me today. I’ve been having weird cravings all day and you wouldn’t believe the things I can smell that I normally don’t.”

    “Oh my God! You’re so pregnant, aren’t you?” She shrieked in excitement.

    “Seriously? Why in the world would you think I’m pregnant when I barely date?” I said confused.

    “Whatever Kass. I still can’t believe you got bit by that dog though.” She said stuffing more pasta in her mouth.

    Before I could taste mine, “Bad Moon Rising” started playing loudly letting me know I had just received an e-mail.
    “Who the hell is this?” I said as I pulled my smartphone out annoyed another evening was about to be ruined with work.

    “Don’t forget, meeting in ten minutes,” was the message my boss had just sent me.

    “Shit. I gotta go. I’m so sorry Tash. Maybe this weekend we can get together and do something.” I said while giving her the most sincere apologetic look I could muster.

    “Yea sure.” She grumbled in disappointment.

    I wasn’t far from the office so I decided to jog instead of take a cab. I didn’t exactly like being out on the streets right as the sun was setting but I was less than half a block from my office.

    I was almost to the back door of the office when suddenly a pain jolted through my stomach and I almost fell to my knees. The first thought that crossed my mind was food poisoning but another pain sliced through me and this time it did send me to my knees. I quickly got up and moved as fast I could towards my office. I could see the back door but the pain was getting worse and worse. I was hurting everywhere now. It felt like my bones were breaking.
    I stumbled through the door and fell once again. As I was trying to stand back up, I noticed my hands were bloody now and my finger nails were no longer the neatly manicured polished nails I had paid forty bucks to have done but instead were replaced with black, gnarled finger nails that resembled claws.

    Again the pain struck but this time it was excruciating. I screamed but it didn’t come out as a scream but more of animal sound. This time I felt bones begin to slide under the surface of my skin, reforming into something that wasn’t me. I screamed and writhed in agony as I changed from human to werewolf.

    But as fate would have things, Tasha burst through the doors. “Kass, what is going on? You forgot your purse.” She said with a horrified look on her face as she backed away from me.

    I responded to her question with a low deep growl as my mind succumbed to the animal within me. She was no longer my cherished friend but instead my prey.

    1. annefreemanimages

      I love the descriptions you created about the transformation. The bones slding under the surface of the skin. Great. My only comment is that I wanted her to see herself in the reflection of something to realize she was turning into a warewolf. Afterall, she wouldn’t have just assumed that in real life. Great job.

      ~Anne

    1. Knight

      Jim

      I know how you feel. Today is the second time I’ve posted. Since I want to be a writer, and the only way to do that is to write, I post without reading what others have done. It’s all so good, I am afraid I’d not have the nerve. My first time I got some very good comments, which I hope I incorporated this time around.
      Re. your piece: I liked the description of the setting, and the perpective gained by the character’s experience. Separate your ideas in paragraphs, as it would read much better. Keep on writing.

      1. jincomt

        You’re right- it IS intimidating to write with people you might think of as “real” writers. It makes you feel kind of like those dreams where you are the only one naked and you’re late for gym class. But you’re also right; we just have to keep writing and growing. Nice encouragement for us all.

        1. DRoberts

          Jim, Knight, Jincomt,

          Just remember that every writer who posts on this site are at different levels with their writing experience. We all have been “new” writers. Even some of us who may have been writing longer than you, still have room to grow as well. I know that I’m always working on my weaknesses as a writer. The more you write, the better you’ll get and the more confidence you’ll gain. If you’re seeing growth in your writing than you’re on the right track. Keep writing. You’re all doing great.

  33. jim

    Sitting in the little corner bistro its Monday and it is finally lunch. I crunch into what I have come to know as
    the best damned hamburger in this crazy town. The morning had gone as it usually does for a book editor. The slush pile seemed to grow over the weekend and I am stoked by a hot new submit that cut through the usuall crap that hits my desk. My brain is now untuned to reality when out of my serenity comes a fracturing noise I know all too well. I know before I look its Gary calling me about some new agent he’s gotten cozy with. Before I came to booktown I’d heard this kind of thing existed. I hoped one day down the line to develope that unique voice in my own at-home projects that I look for every day at work but if this is the way the business works I may never see the light of day. Chowing down on my half-eaten burger I see my smartphone is making me look dumb, “Damn its Mr. Bernstein !” The senior editor! I forgot the meeting which, by the way was in ten minutes! All at once I was completely unable to breathe, I was choking unable to clear my throat, I stood, pounding my chest, leaning foreward beginning to panick, panicking because I was embarrassed I was panicking. My eyes seemed to buldge as I began to feel desperate. As I fell forewards into the glass wall a pair of hands grasped my waist and sliding upward and around my epigastrium pulled me to them. By now I was completely helpless yeilding to the pair of hands and the body behind me. Whithout warning a powerful clench arrested my body and I heaved upward expelling the contents of my lungs forcing the cud from my epiglottis and against the glass wall creating the most wonderful collage to which I have laid eyes. Intune to reality, I gasped air like a newborn wiping my mouth. “To hell with it all!”, I said, ” I think I’ll go home and develope that unique voice. ” Realizing booktown wasn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and that the slush pile was really full of good work not currently marketable I am forever resigned to live among them. I now work for a small publisher not in booktown.

    1. slayerdan

      It seems you have some good ideas, but you need to take some instruction in writing. You have one large paragraph for all of your tenses, thoughts, feelings……a general rule of thumb is each new thought or direction requires a new starting point. Take some writing classes, online or otherwise, and write write, write……practice makes perfect. Or at least makes you better. Luck.

  34. HuffmanHanni

    My hopefully not pathetic attempt at humor. Enjoy!

    “Oh crap!” I said, looking at my phone.

    “What is it?” said my husband through a mouthful of pasta.

    “I have a meeting in ten minutes. I’m sorry. I gotta leave.” I jumped up from the table, bumping my knee into it, and kissed my bewildered husband on the cheek while wiping up a bit of sauce from his chin. “I love you!”

    Sprinting away from the restaurant, I was desperately trying to recall what meeting my boss was referring to and where it was at. “What day was it? Tuesday, right. So, what is happening on Tuesday?” I mumbled to myself and before I knew it, I had walked into a street performance.

    Great. A mime trapped in a box. He looked at me and acted out opening the box and pushing me in it and then locking me. I glared at him and just walked around him.

    I was frantically scrolling through my Droid when I bumped into someone. “Excuse me, sorry about that,” I said to a scruffy-looking woman. She was holding up a sign pleading for her student loans to be wiped clean. I looked around and saw a few dozen people standing in the middle of the park all with similar signs berating the government.

    Fantastic. An Occupy Wall Street rally. “Get a job!” I yelled out to the crowd. They turned and regarded me with contempt. Probably didn’t help I was wearing my best suit and holding my smartphone. I just turned and ran.

    “Come on, where is it!” Finding my calendar at last, I discovered the meeting was with Smith & Smith & Smith and it was to go over the audit we did on them. My nose was buried so far into my phone looking for the findings report that I didn’t even notice I had walked into a boisterous gathering of some kind.

    Spiffy. A parade. An especially excitable man decked out all in the local sports teams’ colors was shaking me. “I’ve waited my whole life for this!” he said.

    “Go team go,” was all I could muster. I turned and walked around and noticed I had five minutes before the meeting was to start.

    I found the document I needed and was just a few blocks away from work. This time, there were no crowds of people so I was in the free and clear when the phone rang. It was the doctor’s office calling.

    “Hello? Yes, this is she. I’m WHAT?” I just stopped in the middle of the crosswalk.

    “Move it lady!” yelled an irate driver.

    I hurried to the other side and as I opened up the doors to my office building, I dropped the phone. “I’m pregnant?” I said to no one in particular. Suddenly, the meeting didn’t seem as important.

  35. Imaginalchemy

    “A Very Important Date”

    I had never been late for an appointment in my entire life—punctuality is my most prized virtue. But while I was having the most succulent lunch in the park, on the grass next to me appeared a box. It is not unusual in my line of work for boxes and messages to suddenly poof into existence when needed. This box, accompanied by a card, had the royal insignia of a heart and crown on it, which indicated it was from my employer. The card simply read, “Croquet game in ten minutes. If you are late, ask the frog what I will do.” Naturally, the frog was what was inside the box…or at least its head was.

    Ten minutes! I hurried as quickly as my legs would carry me, back to the tunnel that had brought me to the park in the first place. If I had not been in such a panicked state, I’m sure I would have noticed that I was being followed. Apparently, rabbits in waistcoats were a curious sight in that particular park, and it drew the attention of one onlooker who, coincidentally, happened to be petite enough to follow me into the hole.

    I made my way down the tunnel and through the underground hallways with ease—until I realized I lost the key to the door I needed to go through to get back home. Soon enough, however, the key materialized out of the air, and I quickly unlocked the door and jumped through. But as I continued along, I was suddenly ambushed from behind by an unexpected tidal wave that washed me, and several of my animal neighbors, out into an impromptu sea. I knew that sort of thing only happened when someone was silly enough to consume an “Eat Me” candy and then cried. Why someone would cry after eating something delicious, I cannot comprehend.

    From there, I was only further hindered. I sprinted home to gather my gloves, but my housekeeper Mary Ann, who knew where my gloves were, was nowhere to be found. When I finally did find her (looking very different than usual—and having no idea what I was talking about, but she can be difficult that way), she turned into a monster and grew so large that she completely filled my house. I would tend to it later, as I was now very late. Along my way, I was nearly knocked off my feet by a runaway piglet in baby clothes, I was harassed by that awful grinning cat who likes to disappear and yank my tail, and I was accosted by that moping Mock Turtle who never stops moaning about not being able to dance.

    Thankfully I was able to don my court outfit and arrive at the croquet game before my employer noticed I was tardy, as she was distracted by an incident involving fraudulently painted roses (the gardeners were instantly liquidated and decapitated). I was just in time to oversee a trial; apparently the Knave was accused of stealing some of my employer’s favorite pastries. And my odd pursuer was there as well, clearly an insane person given how bizarrely logical she was acting.

    How I get through my days sometimes with my head intact is a wonder…

    1. JJerome

      Another dazzling spell brought to you by the Imaginalchemist.

      Friends, do yourselves a favor and check out the IA’s new blog. Just click on the name and take a ride down the rabbit hole.

    2. Imaginalchemy

      Once again, I need to come back here to check on things more often…
      Thank you everyone for the supportive comments, this was a fun weekly prompt to write. And thank you, JJerome, for the endorsement of my new blog 🙂 I am flattered and humbled by it. (and yes, I endorse your blog as well, very cool!)

  36. TEMiranda

    So there I am with a half-eaten Wendy’s cheeseburger on my tray in the middle of the Jacob Javits Convention center dressed as Hit Girl when my phone growls like an angry puppy. It’s my day off and my boss knows I am at Comic-Con so why is he calling me? I silence the puppy-growling ringtone and pop another fry in my mouth.

    “Is that him?” Joel asks with a wide smile peeking through his Kick-Ass outfit.

    “Yeah, he is driving me nuts. He knows I am off today.”

    Although I placed the phone in my purse I cannot stop thinking about the possible reasons my boss is calling me. A server went down. The site is crashing. Orders are not going through. The possibilities are endless and I succumb to the pressures of running a high-volume eCommerce site and check my email.

    “Oh crap. He forgot about the I.T. budget meeting today, in ten minutes. Crap. I have to go. I can get to the office in about five minutes if I grab a cab right now.”

    “But, you don’t have any clothes. Remember? We left them in the car parked by the tunnel.”

    “Shit.” I stand and take off the purple wig, the black cape, the black mask and the pink, shiny belt with the HG buckle. “Ok, how’s this?”

    Joel groans and shakes his head. “You still don’t look presentable. Take off the tights.”

    A guy dressed as Mathew Patel from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World hoots at me after the tights come off. “Awe, where you going Hit Girl?” he slurs at me and Joel stands to face him. “Uh Oh, Kick Ass is going to kick…my…ass.” His drunken laughter is accompanied by his friends’ mischievous chuckles.

    I put my arm on Joel’s forearm to turn him around. “Leave it. They are idiots and I have to leave. How about now?” I put my hands on my waste and turn around. What a mistake.

    “Woah Hit Girl. You look too good for Kick-Ass. You need a real man.”

    Before I finished blinking Mather Patel is on his back from Joel’s fast take-down. Joel snaps back to his feet and grabs the guy dressed as Todd Ingram into some sort of sleeper hold and had him begging Joel to stop. The other two dressed as the Katayanagi twins stood back and waited for Joel to let Todd go. The cast from Scott Pilgrim mistook Joel for the wimpy Kick-Ass comic book character instead of the black-belt jujitsu competitor he really is.

    Three hours later, after the convention center security and the NYPD let us go, I finally had a chance to call my boss.

    “Hey Ben, sorry I couldn’t make the meeting. Something came up and I got…detained.” I roll my eyes and Joel snickers at me.

    “No worries. I got it mixed up anyway. The meeting is tomorrow. I’m glad I didn’t put a dent on your day off. Enjoy Comic-Con. Later.”

  37. Dean Kutzler

    ARTO-THE-SHARKO

    Artie forked the last bite of mescaline salad into his mouth when his phone rang out an email notification. Chez Meurtrier was packed but he’d flipped the maitre ‘d a Benner and landed the window seat. It was pricey, but a pre-celebration was in order. He had a meeting with his boss next week. He was a shoe-in for the Hedgewood account. No one could touch Arto-the-Sharko. That promotion would put him on the map. Not that he wasn’t already freakin’ Magellan. Kapow!

    Mr. Kemper had kept the meeting agenda low key. Artie asked around the office, but no one else was on the docket or even knew about the meeting. Smart man that Kemper—that’s why he’s the sales director. The jealousy would cause uproar amongst the sheep. They all wanted a piece of Hedgewood. His Hedgewood account. He couldn’t wait to say, ‘In yo face Marto! In yo face!’ Martin was his biggest competition; not that he really had any competition. He ran circles around those bozos.

    The waiter cleared his salad plate and silverware and swept the table with a mini broom and dustpan in preparation for the entrée. Artie swiped a finger over the email-notification. Always a sale to be made—eat and sell—eat and sell! Kapow!

    “Crap!” he blurted out. The email wasn’t a sale! It was a reminder from Kemper! The meeting was in ten minutes. Tonight—not next week!

    The waiter arrived with Artie’s entrée. “Some freshly ground pepper sir?”

    “Sorry buddy,” he said standing up, “if there’s one thing Kemper can’t stand; it’s unpunctuality!” Artie tossed the napkin in the waiter’s face and sprinted for the door.

    “But sir—the bill?”

    “See the maitre ‘d!” he hollered back.

    It was raining. Artie spotted a cab pulling up on the corner. “What luck! Can’t keep ole Arto-the-Sharko down! Kapow!” he hooted.

    As he reached the corner, an old lady was caning it for the ride. His ride. “Sorry Granny! This boy is late!” he said shoving past her, hopping in the cab. “Ten Lexington Ave! Chop—chop! There’s a fifty in it—if I’m there in ten.” The cab lurched from the curb and delivered him with a minute to spare. He tossed the cabbie a Grant and went inside.

    He saw Martin heading for the stairs. What was that loser doing here at this hour? The sheep must have guessed about the meeting and wanted to beat him to the punch. Nobody steals Arto-the-Sharko’s just deserve. As he walked past the elevator, he pulled the ‘out-of-order’ tape from the frame, crumpled it up and tossed it into the potted fern. “Hey Marto—whatcha’ doin’ here bud?”

    Startled, he turned and said, “Oh—hey’a Artie! I forgot my briefcase,” sure you did, “in the office. You too?” Nice try.

    “Yeah.” he said, hooking an arm around him, leading him from the stairs to the elevator.

    “Isn’t that out order?”

    “No, Harry fixed it today.” he said punching the up-button.

    “You mean Henry?”

    “Yeah whatever. Beats the stair. Ole’ legs ain’t what they used to be.” he said eyeballing the numbers as they descended. Three…

    “I know what you’re sayin’. Jenna and I been talking about joining the gym. She’s all about the aerobics classes. Olivia Newton John? Spandex? —I don’t think so.” Two…

    “You never know Marto!” he said patting him on the back, “You might have missed your calling!”

    One… The elevator doors opened like a gaping black hole. With the last pat on Martins back, Artie shoved him down the elevator shaft. He screamed and bumped his way down to the basement and landed with a thud. Kapow!

    After the door closed, Artie hit the stairs running. Unlike his unfortunate coworker, he was Jack-Freakin-LaLane. A few minutes late is better than a no-show. With Marto out of the way, it was clear sailin’ for Arto-the-Sharko!

    Mr. Kemper’s door was open. Artie gave a half knock when Mr. Kemper looked up and said, “Artie, you’re late. Have a seat my friend. This won’t take long.”

    Artie sat down with a big smile, waiting for his just deserve.

    “Arthur, we’ve had far too many complaints for me to keep looking the other way. Aggression in a salesperson is generally a good thing. But you’ve taken it way too far for me to ignore. HR has left me with no choice. I’m afraid I have to let you go, Artie.”

    1. JonCallot

      Laughed the whole way. I like that the series of unfortunate events are hitting around Artie and then Kapow! He gets it in the end. You delivered a sweet ending that Artie truly derserved.

    2. Knight

      You have a good ear for speech. I need to develop that. I write like I am in a composition class. Did Martin die? If so, the ending is a little less than he deserves.;-) I like your stories.

      1. Dean Kutzler

        Thank you. =-) I’m pretty sure Martin’s tumble down the shaft finished him off. But you never know… If the right prompt pops up, he may just crawl back up that shaft and give it to ole’ Arto-the-Sharko good.. Thanks for liking my stories. I put my all into them..

  38. lalah74

    My smart phone chimed indicating that I received a text message; it was from Rhea, my girlfriend of two years.
    WE NEED TO TALK. LUNCH?
    Assuming she wanted to go over the details of our upcoming Jamaican getaway, I agreed.
    When I arrived at the restaurant she was already there, wearing the green dress that I loved, the one that squeezed her a little too tightly in all the right places.
    “I’ll make this quick. I’m seeing someone else.” She said.
    Blindsided and with hundreds of questions racing through my mind “what about Jamaica?” was all that I could manage to say. That’s when she reached into the designer bag that I bought her and handed me a check for my half of the trip. Apparently I was no longer going to Jamaica.
    “Who is he?” I demanded to know.
    Before she could answer my smart phone chimed, it was an email from my boss, the monthly sales meeting was starting in ten minutes. It was my turn to present. I had to be there on time.
    “Shit!” I cursed, “I have to go. I’ll call you later.” Out of habit I kissed Rhea on the forehead and ran out to hail a taxi.
    I didn’t realize that I left my phone on the table until I reached in my pocket for it to call the office.
    When I ran back inside to retrieve it Rhea was still seated at the table but she wasn’t alone. I was livid.
    “Is this him?” I shouted, nostrils flared and fists balled at my side.
    “Ethan, don’t cause a scene.” Rhea pleaded
    “Who the hell is this? Is this him?” I insisted.
    A hush fell over the restaurant as dozens of pairs of eyes were trained on us.
    “Listen I don’t want any trouble.” He said rising from the chair.
    I had been going to the gym for the past two weeks so I was feeling a bit confident. I swung at him but missed. I swung again, this time I connected with his jaw. He stumbled but did not fall. A fan of ultimate fighting there was a move I wanted to try out, I took the stance but in a split second my opponent swept my legs from under me, I landed on the floor-hard. The wind knocked out of me and a bit dazed I was able to bring myself to my knees. In a flash I was airborne then crashing into a nearby table. As I lay in a pile of broken dishes and food he was ready to finish me off. I picked up a fork in one hand and a pork chop in the other. He twisted and squeezed the hand that held the fork until I howled like a banshee. The louder I yelled the tighter he squeezed and twisted. I kicked him in the nuts, he crumpled to the floor. I slapped him in the face with the pork chop before blacking out.

    1. Icabu

      I’ve eaten some pork chops that would’ve been better utilized as a weapon.
      Appears that the new guy is a bit better at the ultimate fighting …
      Good read.

  39. Icabu

    Smiling over her fruit and bran muffin half, Lisa watched as Kevin wolfed down a heaping platter of eggs Benedict. She jumped at the ringing from her purse. With a muttered curse, she pulled out her Blackberry 957.

    “What’s that thing?” Kevin asked, mopping the last of his cheese sauce.

    “Boss’s cowbell.” Lisa frowned as she tapped the monochrome screen.

    “Shit!” Lisa shoved the device back in her purse and stood. “I forgot there’s an early meeting this morning. I’ve got ten minutes.”

    Kevin stood too. “Go. I’ve got this.”

    Warmed at his thoughtfulness, Lisa ran out of the restaurant. Swept along the sidewalk with the tide of people, she resigned that she’d be a few minutes late. Instinct made her look up as she neared the entrance to 1 WTC. The twin buildings towered into the crisp, blue sky. Even though rushed, Lisa enjoyed the view for a couple of beats before the shoving throng pulled her along.

    The crowds for the elevators were massive, so Lisa headed for the stairwell. She preferred them anyway; they got her pumped up for the day. She glanced at her watch, 8:43 AM – two minutes left. Maybe she wouldn’t be the only one a little late.

    She removed her heels as she passed the landing at the fourth floor. She’d make better time in her stocking feet for the final six floors. She’d catch the elevator at ten for the ride up to the office on 108. As she rounded the seventh floor landing, the whole building shook, throwing her off balance. Her feet slipped and she crashed down the flight of stairs, her head striking against the wall at the landing.

    “Ma’am? Come on, we have to get out.”

    Lisa stood, swayed a little as her head spun. “What?” The older gentleman grasping her arm had dirt smeared on his face and his white shirt. She smelled smoke and only the emergency lights were on. The stairwell was full of people, all going down.

    “We have to get out now.” The man pulled her; she stumbled after him. After a couple of floors, they had to stand aside as a group of firefighters trudged up with heavy packs of hose on their shoulders.

    “The building’s on fire?” Lisa asked. She couldn’t believe this was happening. It was crazy.

    “An airplane crashed into the building,” the man holding her arm said. “Flew right into it.”

    Unbelieving, Lisa staggered into the lobby. There were Port Authority officers everywhere and firemen, directing them out of the building. Her legs buckled as her vision blurred. The man picked her up and carried her out of the building. She clung to him.

    “I have a meeting. I’m late,” Lisa said as a med tech shined a bright light into her eyes.

    “No meetings today, ma’am,” the tech said, gently.

    “Lisa!”

    She fell into Kevin’s arms, shuddering with tears.

    “I’m so glad you were late for that meeting,” he whispered.

      1. Icabu

        Thanks for reading. I communicated with one of our NY Sales staff with that early Blackberry – all the way as she ran across the bridge to her home.

    1. TEMiranda

      This was great. I both hate and love reading stories of 911… gets you remembering where you were, people you knew. But in hindsight I guess that’s the kind of affect you want on a reader. I definitely reflected after the read. Thanks.

      1. Icabu

        Thanks for reading. I appreciate the feedback. Any ‘late for work’ story reminds me of our sales associate that had orthodontic appt that morning for her daughter so she was still in the stairwell, well below the impact zone, and escaped.

    2. Knight

      Wow. Icabu. I always enjoy your stories. They are touching, and so well told. Of course, you are one of the reasons I just post without reading first. You’re a tough act to follow.

      1. Icabu

        I appreciate the kind feedback. I, also, do not read any other posts before I write and post my own story. But I do enjoy reading the other posts, so please keep writing.

      1. Icabu

        Thanks for reading and the feedback. I had to cut out most of the Kevin connection. I was hoping the fact that he found Lisa again in the total chaos we know was there proved a closer relationship than the word limit allowed me to show.

  40. jincomt

    Spring in the mountains can be fleeting, so any chance to slip off my shoes, enjoy a lunch break on a restaurant patio, and let the sun lull me into a stupor, is appreciated. Of course, I should have known the lullaby of buzzing bees, soft conversation, and tinkling silverware would be interrupted. My phone started ringing, like an unwelcomed alarm clock. I sighed picked it up and was quickly jolted back to reality by the voice of my annoyed boss, making sure I’d be at a scheduled meeting in ten minutes. Shit.

    If I left now, I could just make it back in time. I slapped a ten down on the table and rushed towards the exit just as one of those bees, the very ones whose buzz I had just romanticized, flew up my skirt and stung my thigh. I yelped, drawing the stares of a few people and dashed back to my table to grab a handful of ice from my glass. I hobbled back towards the door, trying to hold the ice up my skirt when my toe caught the corner of a chair and I went sprawling, skirt up, legs akimbo, swollen red thigh exposed.

    Quickly, a man, jumped up to help me.

    “Thank you,” I uttered with pain and humiliation.

    “It’s okay, you look like you’re having a rough day.” He grinned, his hazel eyes amused.

    “Yes, in a hurry, but thank you.”

    Again I attempted to hobble to the exit, my knee now scraped and burning. It was then that I looked down and saw my ten dollar bill fly off my table, caught in the playful breeze. Why hadn’t I put the salt shaker on it? I lunged for the bill, its green edge just barely out of my grasp, and managed to hit the very same man who had just helped me up, as he was seated at his table. I was a spectacle of catastrophe.

    I closed my eyes. “I am so, so sorry.”

    He winced and placed his hand against the red mark where my fingers had made contact. The bill now lay calmly just beyond his little white café table. Without a word, he got up and retrieved it, still gingerly holding his cheek.

    Blood from my knee trickled down my shin. The lump on my thigh from the bee sting was hot and burning, and now this stranger, still holding his cheek, handed me my ten dollar bill. I returned to my table with as much dignity as I could muster, and sat back down.

    To my surprise, my Good Samaritan brought his sandwich over and sat down with me. His cheek was still glowing when he held out his hand. “Let’s do this right. I’m Drew.”

    I shook his hand and looked at my watch. Picking up my phone I texted my boss: Sorry. Won’t make it. Horrid bee sting. Catch up later.

    I leaned back in the chair, smiling at Drew. “Gorgeous day, isn’t it?”

  41. JonCallot

    Sandra rubbed her eyes and reread the e-mail on her i-phone. Ten minutes. She forgot about the business meeting with her partner. She tossed the phone in her purse and waved to the waiter. When he finally noticed her, he had a tray of dirty dishes.

    “I need the check,” Sandra blurted out.

    “I’ll be right with you ma’am,” he said, rolling his eyes.

    Once he disappeared in the back, Sandra tapped her Lee press on nails on the counter, looking to see the first moment the lazy waiter would return. She knew it would take at least three minutes to get back to the office. Nine minutes.

    She jumped upon hearing a crash of dishes from the kitchen.

    “What the hell!” A voice yelled.

    Soon the waiter and chef darted out into the dining area followed by a man wearing a black hood. She saw the gun. Seven minutes.

    “Everyone on the ground! I need peanuts!” the man demanded.

    Sandra sunk back to the other end of her table and saw the exit. She watched the man grab the chef. Six and a half minutes.

    She snuck closer to the exit and to making that meeting.

    “You!” the man called out.

    Sandra froze.

    “Go in the back to get the peanuts and my peanut butter!”

    Sandra turned unable to see the man’s face because how big the barrel of the gun appeared to her. It felt like it was going to swallow her. Five minutes and she couldn’t move.

    “I said my peanuts!” he yelled.

    Sandra snapped too and ran into the back. She found a sack of peanuts sitting on the floor, but it was twice the size of her slender body. She gripped the sac and dragged it on the floor. Soon she felt something crawl onto her hand. A cockroach!

    She screamed in her high pitched voice, slapping the disgusting thing away. Soon the hooded man appeared behind her.

    “You dropped my peanuts!”

    Trapped between the peanut robber and a disgusting insect, she knew she only had two precious minutes left. Sandra felt the man shove her to the side where an opened jar of strawberry jam rested on the kitchen counter. She thought it was odd. It wasn’t a hand she felt, but more like a foot.

    The man bent down and hoisted the sack over his shoulder. The trunk, gray skin, and loud blaring sound about him were characteristics she knew from her childhood trips to the zoo. She looked at her watch and realized only one precious minute left. A minute she that hinged on the man’s demands.

    “Since you have time,” he tossed her the jar of peanut butter to her. “Make me a PB & J!”

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Too bad the robber didn’t go to Texas Roadhouse…they have lots of free peanuts 😀 This is so strange, I love it! I think being held up by an elephant is a good excuse to miss a meeting (I think I shall try that next time I’m late for work)

    1. jincomt

      I had to cut over 170 words from mine– it really does feel like the story is diminished! I feel your pain. Interesting twist and does leave the reader with a “what next” anticipation.

  42. jmiff328

    The strawberry vinaigrette dressing liberally doused on a bed of fresh spinach made up one half of the perfect pair. It’s partner in crime was a lime grilled chicken breast with the freshest of vegetables. To drink was a microbrew wheat with a hint of sour orange peel. The combination was enough to lull Jonathan into a food coma, the likes of which were never experienced back east. These California trips were the highlight of the year for the sales staff at Highlink. This was the first year that Jonathan’s family didn’t come.

    A text message beep broke him from the thought and he checked the screen. A message from the boss read “Don’t forget, we have a meeting in ten minutes.” Crap!, He did forget. He had no idea that he had been there for most of an hour. It was at least a fifteen minute walk from the restaurant and he didn’t even have the check yet. No matter, he pulled a twenty and a ten from his battered leather wallet while walking towards the hostess stand. It was more than what the bill would’ve been but he had no time to ask for change. He told his story quickly to the hostess behind the wooden pulpit and gave her the cash. Out on the street he hurriedly searched for a cab that would get him there quicker. The street ahead was jammed from some kind of wreck and he gave up the cab idea quickly. He started to jog and was making good time until he spotted something that stopped him immediately.

    He stared at what he at first had thought to be the wreck. Upon closer investigation, it seemed that a shiny black sphere, the size of a passenger van laid in the middle of the road. The giant ball was perfectly round and landed hard enough from where it fell to buckle the concrete. Jonathan saw no trucks around that could have been carrying this thing and it had caused a pile up behind it as far as he could see.

    The closer Jonathan moved towards the sphere, a strange sense of wellbeing overwhelmed him. Images of himself as a boy flashed through his head and smells of fresh apple pie wafted across his nose. He managed to pull himself away from the loving embrace of the sphere long enough to notice other people moving slowly towards it as well. Everyone had a look of satisfaction on their face and somewhere deep down this hit a cord with Jonathan. The wrongness overwhelmed him, he noticed the victims of the car crash for the first time, bloody and battered bodies walking towards the black sphere. A woman with a toddler in tow, let go of the boy to follow the same path. The boy searched in desperation for his mother, becoming more and more panicked until he was lost from Jonathan’s sight.

    Jonathan knew something was wrong but he couldn’t quite understand it, not yet. He broke from the pack and entered a deserted McDonalds. Everyone had gone out to enjoy the warmth and inviting nature of the sphere. He picked up his phone and dialed home. The three rings that followed were the longest of Jonathan’s life until his daughter picked up. He could tell something was happening there as well. Her voice was on the verge of panic, “Daddy! Something is going on with Mommy, She won’t speak to me and she left me all alone here.” Jonathan responded with the most confidence he could muster, “Stay put baby, Daddy is coming for you.”

    1. JonCallot

      This science fiction piece has potential. I got the mundane meal in the beginning, but I wouldn’t reccomend it as a way to start your story. I would work on the first two sentences in the beginning that really “hook” the reader. Those first two, I find, are the most difficult to write because they set the inital pace of your story.

      The sphere is interesting and you have a strong basis to grow with this idea. If the sphere became a core problem of why Jonathan can’t make the meeting that could lead to other venues that you allude to in the piece such as “…other people moving towards [the sphere] as well.”

      My reccommendations would be to use more active verbs and stick to 3rd person POV.

      For instance: “The giant ball was perfectly round and landed hard enough from where it fell to buckle the concrete.”

      Modify to: “Jonathan watched the giant ball impact the street, blocking his way to the meeting. It buckled concrete and caused a fire hydrant to explode.”

      These are only suggestions. Picking the right words is difficult. Write on…

    2. Icabu

      Interesting diversion. Since kids don’t seem to be affected, does that mean Jonathan is a big kid at heart? 🙂
      Opens many avenues to explore.
      Good read.

    3. Knight

      Eerie! I liked the idea of the sphere, and the details of the setting grounded the sci-fi elements very well. I bet you had to cut a lot, though. I think it’s very difficult to create something new without a lot of description. Great job.

  43. hillsworth

    Frank and Janice were seated at the little table on the patio of Casa D’Oro, sipping their wine spritzers, reminiscing on their last romantic fling, trying to set up another encounter without their respective partners finding out. When Franks phone buzzed, he almost dismissed it as his wife, probably wanting him to pick something up for dinner, but he glanced at the Caller ID and was shocked to see his boss’ number, accompanied by the little flashing cassette indicating a message.

    With a furrowed brow, he said to Janice, “I better see what this is about.” Using his forefinger, he slid screen after screen until he got to his e-mail page, cursing the ‘smart’ phone for being so complicated.

    Reading aloud, “Meeting in ten minutes,” Frank bolted out of his chair, knocking the tray from the waiters hand that was just approaching the table with their meals. Plates were airborne and food went everywhere, landing on neighboring diners. As he made his way across the patio, he yelled over his shoulder, “Sorry,” to the waiter and, ” I’ll call you,” to Janice.

    The Maitre d’ heard the commotion and saw Frank rushing toward him. He moved to his right, blocking the only exit. Frank knew he didn’t have time to stop and argue so he just lowered his shoulder and plowed through like a running back on a third and short. The Maitre d’s feet came uprooted and Frank squirted free, heading down the sidewalk at a rapid pace.

    When Frank rounded the drugstore on the corner of Wellington and 8th, he glanced over his shoulder to see if anyone was in pursuit. He never saw it, but he felt the plastic ‘caution’ tape break across his midsection as he blasted into the ankle deep wet cement and lost his balance, going ass-over-tin-cups, face first into the mess. The two men putting the finishing touches on the end of the fresh walkway looked up at the splattering sound.

    Astounded, Frank pushed himself into the kneeling position and wiped globs of cement from his eyes. When he gained his feet, the two construction workers were beside him, trying to help him out. “Sir, are you alright?” one asked, grabbing his elbow to steady him.

    “Let me go.” Frank shrieked at him and jerked his arm away. “I gotta get outta here.”

    “Hold it, partner. You’re not going nowhere.” the other worker said, and stepped in to the mire, grabbing at Franks other arm.

    Frank turned to run, but his feet were tangled in the wire reinforcing mesh, and he only managed to fall to his hands and knees again. At this point, one of the workers moved in and grappled him into a restraining hold while the other pulled out his phone to call the local police.

    Charges were filed for resisting arrest, destruction of property, disorderly conduct in a public restaurant, theft (for the meal he skipped out on), and harassment. His wife filed for divorce the next day.

    1. JonCallot

      I thought it was good. I wish the ending was wrapped up with his perspective since you had me locked in from the beginning with his POV. Other than that I thought it entertaining.

      1. Amy

        Good read. Maybe if he hadn’t been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and cheating on his wife as well, things might have gone better for him! Thanks for an entertaining story.

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