Will Write 4 Food: Winning Stories February 2009
By Polly Dunn
I promised myself that I would start the year 2009 off with a positive attitude. My first mistake was to announce it to the entire office staff. They seemed to find this humorous. True, I have been known to be less than optimistic in the past and perhaps even negative on occasion, but never again.
When new desk calendars were handed out, I retreated quietly into my office, filling in the calendar with plans for the next month and trying to show a little creativity. I used different colored pens to signify the importance of various meetings I had to attend. Little pastel stickies containing affirmative quotes decorated some of the days. The calendar was cute and it was symbolic of my new disposition.
I loved my new attitude. I boasted to my co-workers that it was the way that we look at things that influences our lives. It is the difference in seeing the glass as being half full versus seeing the glass as half empty. One day I was explaining this to Jeremy, the IT tech, in my office. In my exuberance, I swung my left arm a little too close to a glass of water that had been setting on my desk and, as it spilled, I yelled out an expletive. It was a bad one.
“Well,” Jeremy chuckled, “Your glass is no longer half full, but your calendar is and it looks positively soaked.”
Apparently neither my glass nor my attitude held water.
By Victory Crayne
What a day! I got picked up by the cops. The detective grilled me for hours but I protested my innocence. With a silly burglary and suspended sentence in my youth, he was convinced I had removed the five thousand dollars from my employer's backroom.
That was grand theft and I faced five years in prison. But it was all wrong. I had an alibi.
I had a date, but with all the pressure of his questioning, for the life of me, I couldn't remember the lady's phone number. I couldn't even remember her name! She was a good looker too and I had high hopes.
The detective leaned over me so close I could smell his tobacco breath. "Prove it!"
With two officers at my side, I rushed into my home. Down the hall and to the right. Nervous as hell--who wouldn't be facing that kind of sentence--I ran into my small office.
"You see? There it is!" I looked at the detective and with just a glance, pointed at my calendar pad, next to a very cold cup of coffee. My hand bumped the cup. "On Wednesday the 16th I had a date. You can call her number and verify that."
The slime ball leaned over my desk. "Oh yeah! Says who?"
Alarmed, I turned to my desk. "It says so right there!"
With the hardest shock of my life, I watched as the coffee obliterated the number.
Another Boring Day
By Joyce Wheeler
Eloise lifted her dress hem and bit it with her dentures. She could ascend without tripping. She showered and robed to prepare for re-visiting his downstair's office and removing anything that might implicate her. She would call 911 once accomplished.
She glanced in the mirror at a killer reflection. Murdering him had not altered her facial expression. Nor had it been exciting. It was like a ritual similar to when she would tap her foot three times before swinging it in the driver's side of her car. Checking the murder scene might be stimulating. Her seventies had been flat line.
His cup was knocked over. Had he written her name beneath it? She located a grip device in his tool box, slipped a stick from the base of a window shade grasped it with the tool and used it for leverage to look beneath the cup. Nothing was written anywhere on his calendar pad. She returned the bloodied knife to its sUtted wooden block after cleaning it with lemon and salt which she then ingested.
Decades of lemon and salt had been a major cause of her eventual dentures. Cause and Effect was such a bore. She wished she believed in something divine but that might mean the inevitability of flames and suffering. Forget that.
Her innocence secured, she dialed 911 and thought about her liberated daughter. Maybe now Jennifer would have time for mother. She licked the salt at her lip edge.
Last of a Dying Breed
By Mike Dunn
The oak beast opened with a growl, revealing a pair of pewter eyes peering out from the infinite darkness within. I began the routine I had thirty-six times previously that day, explaining to the octogenarian that as a representative of the ACME Cleaning Company, I had a fantastic new opportunity for her: not only would "Towel-Riffic" revolutionize the way she'd clean... it would revolutionize her life! Much to my surprise, lucky thirty-seven was the first time I crossed a threshold that afternoon.
Finally, I'd have the chance to utilize my extensive training, which consisted of viewing a four minute film on "proper" sales techniques. Just like the actor in the video, I too complemented the woman on her lush shag carpeting... a statement that surely caught her off guard due to her hardwood flooring. I then rattled off the list of facts given to every ACME salesman: how "Towel-Riffic" was designed by ex-NASA scientists who gave up the space program to develop towels, why "Towel-Riffic" never creases no matter what you do to it, and of course "Towel-Riffic's" legendary absorbency. With the stealth of a Puma, I grabbed an adjacent coffee mug and spilt its contents on the octogenarian's calendar. "Towel-Riffic" made quick work of the mess and the woman's weekly itinerary.
"Does it work on blood stains?" she asked in the cutest little voice.
My grin faded when I saw her revolver.