Friday, July 2, 2010

Fired (#FridayFlash)

The twelfth response in the One Lovely Blog Award Series is to J.P. Cavit's proposed genre Skewed Reality. Read his story in this genre, "Don't Look for Too Long!" Also, I used the New Yorker's comic/image "Wind" by Guy Billout as a source for the scene.

Casey pounded his fingers against the keyboard watching the word count flash like a gasoline pump's display slowing as one squeezed the last few drops into the tank. The clock over the editor's office ticked as the hands approached the deadline. Everyone around him, madly typed on their stories. The clacking of his keys slowed. He looked up as one of the windows peeled off the building, leaving a patch of raw cement where the window had been. Casey's mouth dropped. His keys stopped, the word count stuck on 743. Another window, the corner bent to flap in the wind.

"Close that flap of a mouth," said the editor leaning over Casey and brushing his shoulder to peer at the word count. "You won't finish your story at the rate you're going. What do you think you're doing."

Casey pointed at the window. "The window."

The editor pushed the bridge of his glasses up his nose and stared out the window. "A beautiful day. If you'd finish your stories on time, I'd get to enjoy it."

Another window peeled off to fly on the wind leaving a block of cement paint peeling off of it in long strips. "No, the window can't you see."

"You're dillydallying over a streak in the glass? You're fired."

"What --"

"Tony can take your story for all I care, all you've caused me is grief," said the editor. "Get your stuff, and get out of here."

The editor retreated to his office and Casey let out his held breath before picking up the frame holding a photograph of his wife. He slipped it between his belt and his pants before walking to the only remaining window. The corner vibrated as it began to peel away from the building. He stood on the window sill wrapping his fingers around the edge of the window as the wind pulled it away.

Wind streamed through his hair as he rode the window through the canyons of New York City. Smiling, he didn't glance back.


  1. Great adaptation to Skewed Reality Aidan! I wonder what paranoia/obsession this character has…? He feels like he's losing windows of opportunity in his life? (Besides getting fired, that is…)

  2. huh. this is very interesting, aidan. had i not known that this was based on that genre, i would have been a bit lost. nonetheless, it works even without the mention IF you could carry the story forward. also, i think a bit more dialogue should be exchanged between the editor and Casey before "You are fired." Only because that would make it more realistic, I think.

    I am sure you had to be mindful of word count etc. given it is flash but just my thoughts.

    What I liked the best is the "skewed reality" that you chose to work with. That is truly original. :)


  3. Very dreamlike and bizarre. I admit to having skipped reading the introduction and was a little confused until I doubled back!

  4. This almost seems Monty Pythoneque in its absurdity. Well done!

  5. I hope he found a new adventure waiting out there for him. :)

  6. He's better off, I think. This is very imaginative and well done. Enjoyed it very much.

  7. JP, good question about his obsession/paranoia. I would go with living in the moment; although, I should revise to refine that obsession.

    Annie, thank-you. It is quite a challenge to get everything in a small space and I'm glad you enjoyed the reality.

    AM Harte, glad the introduction helped eliminate the confusion. Ironically, I've used dreams as ideas before, but this one wasn't from a dream but I'm glad I managed to achieve that effect.

    Ganymeder, Thank-you.

    Laura, I expect that he's going to have much better adventures now that he's left the job that was caging him in.

    Gracie, Thanks!

  8. I didn't need the intro at all; this piece was so imaginative, so well written that I enjoyed every single word. Loved the ending, loved all of it. Well done!

  9. I had a different thought reading this piece. What if he was just crazy, that he was seeing the windows peel off in his mind, and jumped happily to his death?

  10. I'm with Bazelli: there's two ways to read this, and both ways are potentially valid. The question hinges on whether we trust the protag's POV.

  11. Cathy, glad to hear that you didn't need the intro and liked it.

    Tessa, Stephen it does make a good "The Lady or the Tiger?" piece. I won't ruin it and tell you the "end". Googling the Lady or the Tiger, I discovered that there was a sequel, "The Discourager of Hesitancy".