Friday, May 13, 2022

Boss Level

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

cocktail ~ screen ~ secure ~ dirty ~ book

It was submitted by:

Thanks to reddit for another great idea for a story.


The officer looked tired. Beyond tired. Soaked to the bone with exhaustion. But in his defense, he'd probably been up for most of the last couple days trying to make sense of what happened. He looked like he'd just found out an alien race had been living on this planet for the last 3 decades disguised as scientologists.

He asked me a few preliminary questions, mostly my basic info, and then tapped a few times on a touch screen tablet in front of him that laughed a recorder and asked me to tell my story. So I did.

Here's the transcript.

Sam Mitchell: I'd had a cocktail at lunch which probably helped me out when things went down later that afternoon if I'm being honest.

As I waited for my food and drink, I'd felt a little...dirty? about it, like I was doing something I knew was wrong, but it was Friday just before a long weekend, and The Boss had been on some kind of ultra tantrum all week. No one even knew why this time. Not that there was ever a good reason for an adult to act like that with their employees, not in my book. So I'd also felt like I deserved it. The coming week wasn't shaping up to be any better.

The boss is--sorry--was one of those people epic quiting stories on Reddit are about--a sexist pig who couldn't even do his job but micromanaged everyone else. If you wanted to make sure your job was secure you had to attend his little after hours "team building" functions where he got drunk and hit on all the women. There was no pleasing him. Nothing was ever done right even when we were praised by HIS bosses. No one ever, ever got praise from him. He'd once screamed at this poor woman, I can't even remember her name now, who dared have a donut in his presence because he said she was too big to be eating like that. When James' wife had cancer, he absolutely refused to let us donate PTO time to him to stay home with her. When she died, he was at work...and he had to work from home to be able to take some days to deal with her funeral and his grief. We were all underpaid but that was especially true for the people who aren't men of course. Of course. I honestly have no good explanation for why I stayed. Afraid of change in part, I suppose.

Officer: had a reason to dislike the guy did you?

SM: look, don't roll your eyes about this, but I listen to true crime podcasts a lot and I know people who kill their spouses can't ever resist talking shit about them like not even 5 minutes into the interview, but we both know every single person you talked to already said he was a piece of shit.

Officer: yeah, yeah. True crime. Y'all think you know everything. Go on.

SM: So I'd been back at my desk for about half an hour when we heard the front door to the building blow open. I'd thought we were in experiencing an earthquake and hid under my desk--not a great decision or my finest moment, but I hope you'll let me blame the cocktail here. Anyway, we heard a bunch of yelling and then some screaming and then some shots and I thought for sure one of the people that had quit had come back to shoot the place up. I don't even know if I would have been that mad about it.

Officer: miss, please just stick to the facts.

SM: fine. I thought we were being real here? Anyway, I could hear voices in the hall outside my office yelling at everyone to stay out of the way and no one had to get hurt, that we didn't have to protect The Boss anymore. They were saying we could finally be free if we would just mind our own business. I really almost peed myself in relief. You can sigh all you want by I want it on record that despite what Keith in accounting says, I did not fully piss my pants. Right. Nothing. No laughs? You must be fun at parties. Ok so, I was still pretty scared, but I'm also insanely nosy--i mean just look at my screenshots album at all the other people's drama. I crept out from under my desk and over to the window to see if I could watch what was going on.

Officer: what could you see from your office? It's near The Boss?

SM: not like right across the hall, but I could definitely see in his office if I got in just the right spot. I got plenty of dirt on him that way. So that's where I went which is, to my benefit obviously, not really easily spotted by someone in the hallway or his office unless he's standing by his personal coffee maker that he never used because he made Debbie in sales go get him coffee at least twice a day but got mad if she got anyone else anything because his coffee wouldn't be boil your skin off temperature.

Officer: ok back to your story

SM: listen it's not a story. This is what actually happened.

Officer: you all do realize it sounds more like something out of movie that you all wrote together though, right?

SM: sure but that doesn't make it any less true. Or funny. God, it's so funny.

Officer: ma'am, a man died. Shouldn't you have a little decorum?

SM: oh yeah right. Have you ever met The Boss? No? Don't tell me about decorum then. Fuck that. He was an absolute monster. Whatever. So when I looked out the window there was a group of 4 people. 3 men, 1 woman. She looked, well, a lot like that game tombraider. Tight, kinda casual dommy mommy clothes? A gun in hand. Slicked back pony tail. Dark hair. 1 man was not white and was wearing camo and had a rifle. I'm not great with guns. One of the white men or at least more white? What's the correct way to say that? Either way, he wore all black and had blonde hair. And one had reddish brown hair and wore a long deep brown duster. I couldn't see much else about their faces or their weapons. When they entered the office there was a whole lot of yelling. I couldn't make it all out but they fanned out like they were facing their greatest enemy and then opened fire. The Boss fell to the ground, and I swear I heard this music play, like victory music? But I don't know. I couldn't have right? Right?

Officer: I don't know, miss. Did you or didn't you?

SM, low: I think I did.

SM: and that was it really. The group started to turn around and I ducked. I wasn't taking any chances after that. There wasn't much of anything after that except they were celebrating on the way out and kept screaming they finished the level. "Good game, good game." And congratulating each other on not having to kill anyone else. And then they shouted BE FREE, MINIONS. ... But like, we hated him? How were we his minions?

Officer: if I were you I'd be more worried aboute thinking you're a murderer not a minion

SM: I tell ya...I thought about murderering that man in a million different ways. At least. But I didn't do this. None of us did it. Check the cameras. I know, KNOW, he watched us.

Officer: we will, we will. But until then don't leave the city. you're free to do whatever it is you do otherwise

SM: yeah. I finally am.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Part-time Working Hockey Mom

What TF Sarah

Friday, May 6, 2022

Cluttered But Happy

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This month 5 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

My “Secret Subject” is:

Would you be able to live in a tiny house with very little stuff?

It was submitted by: