Desperate Times

Charlotte stared at the computer screen and wondered for like the fiftieth time today what she was doing here.  She knew it was her job, but really, why was she here?  There were so many other things she could be doing, but instead here she was staring at this stupid spreadsheet.

Charlotte looked at the clock again.  Another minute had passed.  Maybe it was time to go get a coffee.  Nah, did that ten minutes ago.  Did she need to go to the bathroom?  Nope, since the coffee hadn’t worked its way through her system.

Maybe she could get lucky and a handsome man would whisk her away to some exotic place and feed her grapes while she swayed in the breeze in a hammock.  Charlotte looked over her cubicle wall.  Nope, no one was coming to free her from this hell, except that creepy engineering guy with the red pens in his pocket protector.  He never left any woman who even glances his way alone for like a week.  Charlotte shook her head.  How could anyone get that desperate?

Charlotte looked at her spreadsheet again and sighed.  What?  Only another two minutes had past?  Maybe I can give myself a colored pen tattoo.  Nah, that wouldn’t look good if the boss came byOf course he usually sat in his office and worked on his great American novel.  It was the story of an orphan boy who wins the lottery, but since he is underage and has no family, he chose a homeless man to move in with and share the riches.

Charlotte wondered if she could write a sequel to that.  Probably not since she just wanted the homeless guy to run away with the lottery ticket and buy a circus that would then employ the boy now grown into a man.  The boy would be a sword swallower and one time would stab the used to be homeless man with a sword the boy had swallowed, killing them both.  The symmetry of the boy giving birth to the homeless man’s dreams and then taking them away while doing something like sword swallowing would get an Emmy or whatever prize they give to book people. 

Of course that meant writing which was something Charlotte like less than reading.  Charlotte liked reading less than she liked spreadsheets.  Sigh.  Only five minutes had passed.  This day was agony.  She looked at the red on the spreadsheet and imagined the sheet bleeding all over her desk and onto the floor.  Arterial red would stain the carpet and soak into her beige pencil skirt.  That would give her an excuse to go home.  She would need to change before the red stain marred her, and the skirt, for life.

Really, only another two minutes?  Surely it was time to get that coffee.  No, not really.  But still if she didn’t do something soon she was going to go insane and start attacking people with her Swinger Rio Red Stapler.  There was only one thing to do.

Charlotte stood up and batted her eyes at creepy engineer guy.  Look, he may not be grapes in paradise, but it sure beat spreadsheet hell.

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2 thoughts on “Desperate Times

  1. I can feel the boredom… It sounds like you aren’t sure who she is though. Is she shallow and listless? Is there a creative person struggling to get out? Maybe this is the start of a character arc?

    • Don’t know. The genesis of the story was trying to capture an emotion that didn’t have killing. :). I almost made it through with that premise, but the idea of stabbing someone with a sword you had swallowed was too good to be true. Oh, and impossible, but it was so poetic. I might one day rewrite this one into a longer story. There was a lot of story planted, but not as much harvested.

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