Flash Frenzy Round 65

Posted: April 25, 2015 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Who is ready for Round 65? This weekend, Judge Jaime Burchardt is back and hungry for your flash.

Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the rules.

Deadline: Sunday at 6:00pm MST. You all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title) and post it into the comments below. Please include your word count (required) and Twitter handle if applicable. For complete rules, click here. 

The winning author and their story will be featured as Wednesday’s Hump-Day Quickie, receive a winner’s page, and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

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Comments
  1. stevenstucko says:

    THE FAMILY ZOO (354 words)

    The pandas were on back order, the elephants were sick, and the anaconda had already escaped from the snake house. Yet Noah and Joseph Norden put on a brave face and met the crowd and cameras for opening day of the Norden Family Zoo. For father and son it was a dream come true and a real team effort.

    Noah’s son Joseph was the money man. He had created an app that could translate dog barks into human language. He started with the basics. Fido wants to go out to pee: “Arf.” Fido wants to go out and play: “Aarf.” Fido wants to go out and pee, then play: “Aarff.”

    This information would be translated into English, but Spanish (chihuahua) French (poodle) and German (shepard) versions are soon to follow. The software program takes into account the dog’s breed, general health, and relationship to the owner. Mutts, and little yappy breeds (you know who they are) do not do so well with the application. Also, if your dog doesn’t like you it is probably using curse words and the program has a block which excludes all profanity.

    Joseph sold his software to Google for $830,000,000. The company plans to release the application in 2016 after it advances the technology to include little yappy breeds and a few “light” curse words.

    Noah Norden’s expertise is animals. He had owned a string of highly successful pet stores up and down the East Coast. Fish, reptiles and birds. His whole life he has dreamed of owning an actual zoo. Big animals, lions, tigers and bears etc. With the windfall his son has been blessed with, the dream is coming true.

    Father and son spent two years constructing buildings and a multi media visitors’ center. Noah still spends hours online purchasing animals and arranging for transportation. He is quite skilled at getting the best prices for the most unusual and exotic animals and is presently working on a deal to get a white lion from Siegfried and Roy.

    Doris, Noah’s wife, quipped that they should probably learn how to translate: “Grrrrrrrr.”

  2. joshbertetta says:

    Josh Bertetta
    “Evolution”
    359 Words
    @JBertetta

    Dean and Martin were going to change things, make things for the better. You might wonder why Martin there is holding an extra-big pair of scissors and Dean’s appears regular sized. It’s an optical illusion, really.

    See, Martin’s are “regular” sized and Dean’s are extra small. How is that an optical illusion you might ask?

    Dean and Martin, as are those present, are extremely small by 21st century standards. Martin is actually holding a pair of 21st century scissors.

    I imagine you shaking your head, saying “What?”

    The explanation first by analogy: Six hundred years ago, 20th century biologists discovered that when a given species becomes isolated, say, on an island environment, the forces of evolution will shrink said species so it might survive on its limited resources. For example, the remains of an extinct species of pygmy elephant were discovered on the Catalina Islands off the coast of what was then known as “California.”

    What does this have to do with Dean and Martin?

    Our observations have led us to the following assessment: Humanity, with all its technology and its ability to allow people to communicate anytime with anyone anywhere on the planet, continued more and more over time to isolate themselves. In a sense, people, who’d long prided themselves on their sense of individual autonomy, became islands.

    Of course, the desire for happiness, which found its most immediate expression in the form of wealth and possession, only exacerbated the issue.

    So they continued seeking for themselves. To satisfy themselves, that is. And in this continuous search for satisfaction, they wanted more and more and more. In the meantime they expressed less and less care for others. Of course the process took centuries, and went, for all intents and purposes, unnoticed by the masses. Meanwhile, they did not see they’d grown smaller and smaller all the while.

    The ancient Chinese, we have found in our records of humanity’s past, equated what they called the “Small Man” with the “Petty Man.”

    Our conclusion is as follows: Humanity’s pettiness—its emphasis on individuality and personal gain at the expense of others—is the primarily evolutionary force behind their shrinking size.

  3. Cath Barton says:

    Smiles all round

    360 words
    @CathBarton1

    We are meant to be collaborators, equals for heavens sakes. Never mind that it was all my idea. I long ago stopped reminding Ed of that, because I am a fair-minded person. Or so I like to think. To me working in harmony for the good of the company is what matters. We have all sworn allegiance to this company and that is more important than personal gratification, which matters not one iota to me. No Sir. So I don’t mention the extra hours that I have put in while Ed was away on the golf course. Week after week. No Sir. I have never, ever, mentioned to another member of staff the things I have seen Ed doing with my own eyes. The disloyal, verging on illegal things. Things which I am definitely not going to commit to paper. No Sir. I am a person of integrity. I will support Ed. We are colleagues. We stand side by side. Yes Sir.

    And now the project is done and we are opening the new facility and everyone is gathered, with great wide smiles all round. I am happy that we are cutting the red ribbon together, Ed and me. Yes Sir. Ed makes a magnanimous speech, praises my work, how much I have supported him and how he couldn’t have done it without me and, for a minute, I nearly believe him, the little lying toad. But only nearly. He smiles as he hands me a pair of scissors and, for all that I would like to stick them in the back of his neck I smile back till my cheeks hurt.

    And then Ed goes and produces the biggest pair of scissors I’ve ever seen and proceeds to cut the ribbon. Himself. Alone. Without me. The ribbon which, if you please, we were meant to be cutting together. And all I can is keep on stupidly smiling, like the good company man I am. Yes Sir. No Sir. Three bags full Sir.

    But I have been humiliated and I do not like this. From now on things will be different, very different. Ed had better watch out. Yes Sir.

  4. joshbertetta says:

    My smile got bugger with every paragraph

  5. voimaoy says:

    Pretty Beauty Day Spa
    @voimaoy
    360 words

    “They’re opening everywhere,” Pansy said, “Just look at this picture!”

    Agnes glanced at the paper, shook her head. “Well, they’re all the rage, now.”

    They were talking about the latest opening of a Pretty Beauty Day Spa, just a few blocks away from the Senior Center where they lived. The Mayor and the Regional Manager were smiling in the photo, cutting the ribbon together. Indeed, Agnes was right, the spas were all the rage, now, springing up everywhere, like Starbucks and Whole Foods.

    The article went on to describe the services offered–facials and full rejuvenation treatments! Look years younger! Glowing testimonials from celebrities, who seemed to be glowing with an unearthly light. Granted, movie stars and rich people were not like ordinary people, but it seemed they did not look quite human. They all looked so perfect.

    “Look at this,” Pansy continued. “Grand Opening Special –all services are half off.” She patted the paper with a wrinkled hand. “Do you think we should go?”

    “To a spa? Oh my goodness, what’s got into you.” Agnes scoffed. “Even half off, it’s expensive.”

    “It would be worth it, to be young again…”

    They agreed to at least walk by and get a closer look. The Pretty Beauty Day Spa took up the whole block. It was like a great box of glass and steel. Inside, they could see a line of people moving through the spacious lobby. Technicians all in white directed them to the treatment doors. In contrast to the patrons, they were taller, younger, glowing with vitality and enthusiasm. The line moved quickly.

    “Look, there’s Violet!” Pansy spotted one of their fellow residents at the head of the line. Like them, Violet was an ancient relic in comparison to the beautiful people working there. Violet nodded meekly and followed the tall blonde girl through a black door.

    It seemed only minutes later, Violet emerged, smiling and glowing, a different person. She looked at least 50 years younger, now.

    “Violet is that you?” Pansy and Agnes rushed up to their friend, then stopped. The Violet they had known was gone. Her blue eyes were empty and vacant.

    “Next in line,” the technician said.

  6. Sal Page says:

    Fit for a Queen

    Welcome to the hub of the coronation dress committee. This tent is a hive of activity. We’re here to talk to Frink and Jum about their important roles in this project. And it’s been quite a project, hasn’t it Frink?

    ‘It most certainly has. Three months in all. Forty tailors and their assistants. We’re both pattern cutters but we’re on the trimmings now. Ribbons like this. Extra wide. Everything’s scaled up. See those foot-wide buttons over there? And over a mile of lace on the hem alone.’

    ‘Can I just interject, Frink? The colour scheme echoes our country’s glorious landscape. Purple heather on the moors, lush lime-green grass and azure sea.’

    ‘Great stuff. And how to you feel about this job, Frink?’

    ‘Its hard work but such an honour to be dressing our queen. And remember this? She’s not becoming queen because she’s a hundred feet tall. It’s not, as the press of some countries have insinuated, because she could crush us or stamp on us like ants beneath her feet.’

    ‘Well, it has been …’

    ‘She’s very careful in her movements. Graceful, beautiful and majestic. Ever since she arrived here from a far-off land – not another planet like some have said – she’s worked tirelessly for us. We’re a better nation with her here. She’s pulled us all together by her presence alone. A fine figurehead for out modest little country, holding a precious place in all our hearts.’

    ‘Okay, thanks for that Frink. And Jum? You have a special job on the big day, don’t you?’

    ‘Certainly have. As part of the fitting team, I’m going up the ladders. I volunteered. Not scared of heights like some folk I could mention. Eh, Frinkie? I’m going to look her royal highness – she has true highness, as you know – in the eye and perform a tricky bowing-on-a-ladder manoeuvre. That will be something to tell the grandkids, won’t it?’

    ‘Thank you, Jum. And on that note … yeah, just wait there. Keen to get back to work on the ribbons. So, live from eight tomorrow. The big day, when we finally get to see the dress in all its glory.’

    @SalnPage
    360 words
    #FlashDog

  7. stevenstucko says:

    Now that’s a big queen. Who makes her shoes? Great take on the pic Sal.

  8. Allotted Apportionments

    Eyelids down, pitch; they sleep unknowing in their beds, as a slim form glides into view, illuminated here and there by the streetlights’ pale glare. Do you see her yet in your mind’s eye? Does she call for you, tonight, the dark daughter?

    The woman’s steps are sure, as she walks, the minimal breeze blowing her long skirts from her ankles, here and there. A pattern of knots is twined throughout, interspersed at intervals. The scroll is crumpled in her left hand. Aisa pays it no heed. No need.

    The Spinners crowd about her feet, either side, gambolling, gossamer threads flying from their limbs as they jump – up down – at her heels. Their eyes gleam; their lips upturned – the knotted strands binding them together straining slightly as they seek to part from their partnership. They need no telling. They never raise the unwary before their time. The measurements are too precise for disruption. So has it been written into the Weaving. Such is the command.

    With a nod, her arm stretches, fingers pointing. “There,” she says. Her crouched companions hop in front to the nearby doorstep, fading briefly from view as they reach the burnished wooden frame. She nods again and approaches it, after them. She, too, passes beyond its barrier.

    Inside, alone, she pauses at a doorway. “My son,” she says. Looking towards the one alongside it, she says, “My daughter. We will see one another soon. So states fate’s sight.” With that, she turns, continuing along the corridor to the final room. Entering, she makes her way to the bedside, where the Spinners sit grouped, waiting. Their heads turn en masse, looking up towards their mistress.

    Aisa leans, her shadow falling across the long length of the body beneath her. A breath in, before beginning.

    “Night night. Sleep tight, child mine,” she says, smiling infinitesimally, eyes a solemn contrast, as she wields the sharp shears. They snip – a single cut of separation. One more, one less, is in their bed. No outward sigh. “Come, little ones,” she says. “He’ll follow after. The twins are still waiting.”

    How many remain in her wake? How heavy her toll tonight?

    (360 words)

    @FallIntoFiction
    #FlashDog

  9. zevonesque says:

    In Three Pieces
    A.J. Walker

    The two men stood before the invited throng, their baby – the newest hotel in the city – finally ready. Photographers jostled for position jagging elbows and lenses into their enemies, just wanting to get the picture and go; probably to the corner bar.

    Gerry looked across to Harold and his giant scissors. “Overcompensating?”

    “You don’t want to know.” Harold said, through gritted teeth.

    Gerry looked at the small set of scissors Harold had given him earlier. Prick.

    Scissors: a neat device for precision cutting. Two pieces useless without the simple pin holding them together. You can’t cut with one half of a pair; you can stab with it.

    “What are we waiting for?” Gerry asked.

    “The Times.”

    The two men held the satin ribbon, both wanting to get the morning over.

    Symbolic: An opening. An ending. The building finished, relationships over.

    The pin.

    “Where’s Caroline?”

    “She’ll be here. Won’t miss the chance to get in the papers.” Harold said.

    “These guys won’t wait long. Neither will I.”

    Gerry surveyed the cold marble foyer. Photographers. Journalists. Cameramen. Politicians. Bankers. But no Caroline.

    “Henry Ellis from the Times.” Henry smiled at them as he arrived before them, seemingly untouched by lens or elbow. “Any comments for our readers on this magnificent, if tardy, hotel?”

    Gerry wanted to punch his smug face through the back of his head.

    “Yes, it’s been a trying project. But we are where we are and I think I – we – have delivered an outstanding development which will be the hotel of choice for the city.”

    “For those who can afford it.” Henry said.

    “Of course. There are different markets. Let’s not get into that.”

    Harold’s practiced smile bloomed across his face. “Gerry and I will cut the ribbon. Cameras ready?”

    The red satin ribbon floated in three pieces to the floor. A few posed photographs together, with cloying saccharin smiles, and it was over.

    Caroline trumped them – all over the front pages. Their opening relegated to a single photograph and line under Announcements.

    Caroline: The pin between two egos. Broken. Fallen from the penthouse window. A scissor blade through the neck. A bloody white dress, picture perfect as always.

    (360 words)
    @zevonesque

  10. stephellis2013 says:

    Cutting the Cord

    348 Words

    @el_Stevie
    #Flashdogs

    Every year the apron-strings tied them that little bit tighter. And every year, they grew to both hate and fear their mother that little bit more. Mother was never going to let them go.

    “A boy will always belong to his ma,” she’d said. “There’s no stronger bond.”

    They’d had a father once but he’d vanished between scraping the liver from their plates one teatime and slicing up the tapioca; an unremarked event coinciding with the cellar being placed out-of-bounds.

    Life was constricted. Schooldays turned into homeschool turned to housebound and the world turned without them.

    And as their world shrank, their mother grew, became a monstrous figure. Then one morning she did not appear.

    “Do you think she’s ill?” whispered Jason.

    Mark shrugged.

    “We should go up and check,” said Jason.

    Mark nodded but let Jason lead the way upstairs.

    They crept silently up to her lair, pausing at the door. No sound could be heard from the monster within.

    Jason pushed the door open gently. She was unconscious, her breathing irregular. The men, as they were now, as they decided they had to become, cast off their youngling selves.

    “This is our chance,” said Jason, eyes gleaming. “It’s time to cut free, once and for all.” He prodded her bulk. “Look, she can’t do anything.”

    The body let out a groan and then returned to stillness.

    Jason reached into the sewing box that always sat on her bedside table and armed himself with the fabric shears. He handed Mark a pair of scissors.

    The blades they held glinted in the early morning sunlight now peering through the curtains.

    “Both of us. Together,” said Jason.

    Mark nodded.

    Razor-sharp blades scythed their way through the bedding, through the beast. This was the moment when they were truly born. The monster cried out in her labour but was ignored as contracting muscles delivered another surge of pain.

    Eventually the flesh of that poisoned womb fell away as her sons cut the final cord, leaving the bed awash with the meat of the afterbirth.

    This would be their first meal.

  11. Sal Page says:

    Excellent! ‘The pin between two egos’ … and the foreshadowing of ‘you can stab with it’

    • Sal Page says:

      Okay. That should have been the comment for the previous story. Messed up again!

      For Steph – amazing! I especially love the para starting ‘they had a father once …’ sad & funny at the same time!

  12. AT THE FINISHING LINE

    Brian S Creek
    293 words
    @Brian S Creek
    #FlashDog

    Do you remember the day it all changed for us, Elliott? Do you remember when we cut the ribbon on that crappy little building, our first company headquarters? We were just two brothers setting out to change the world. We were going to do it all. We were going to live like kings.

    What happened, little Elliott? What went wrong?

    We had the money, the fame, the success. Our company still dominates the globe. We were fixing it, making the world a better place for the people living in it.

    So why am I sitting here, now, feeling like I lost.

    Of course, you don’t know what I’m going through, do you? The coin always turns up heads for you, little Elliott. You lived the dream and then some. What I don’t get is why I didn’t get the same. Where is my super model wife? Where are my beautiful children? What did you have, little brother, what did you have that I didn’t? Why did the whole God damn world love you and not me too?

    I wasn’t a bad person. I never gambled. I never fought. I never cheated. Hell, how could I? I’d need to be with someone in the first place to be able to cheat on them.

    It’s, it’s not that I hate you. I’m not jealous of you, merely your success. I did everything right, I was with you for the whole journey, brother. So why am I sat in my penthouse apartment all alone?

    I can’t handle being your shadow anymore. It wasn’t enough to have the success. I wanted more. I wanted to be someone. I wanted to mean something.

    I love you brother. Guess I’ll see you on the other side.

    BEEP. END MESSAGE

  13. Cut To Fit

    “What d’you think to that one?” The voice, slightly nasal, carries from beyond the racks to where Carey is standing near the till.

    “Colouring wouldn’t suit me,” another voice replies, dismissive. “Plus, you know Bart wouldn’t approve, considering the expense.”

    “He would the end result! Don’t deny it!” the first voice says, tone loaded. “Sure I can’t persuade you this time ‘round? It’s nice sometimes to slip into something different – try it on for size. Cut from the finest! Great if you’re jaded.”

    “See, how much do you know about the cleaning processes, Maddy? I’ve always wondered about that side, not that I’ve looked into it,” the second voice jabbers.

    “We maintain our standards rigorously,” Carey says, stepping from behind the hanging rail, scissors in her belt. “The inspection accreditations are just over there, if you’d like to take a look?” she adds. Both heads, red and dark, swivel towards her quickly. “Ms Cain, my pleasure,” she greets the first woman quickly, holding out a hand to take the lady’s with her own, smile wide. “Madam,” she nods towards the other. The redhead’s brow tilts towards him, cheeks flushed with sudden pink. She gestures towards the framed certificates, encased behind glass on the wall, one eyebrow raised. The red haired woman shakes her head slightly, cheeks burning red.

    “Shall we check your measurements?” Carter asks, looking at the long haired brunette. “They’re on file, of course,” she says, “and surely won’t have altered. Still, it’s standard for any new issue, as you know. Particularly so with the permaskins, though you don’t need to worry about that, seeing as this is an overnight loan only.” A pause, then, “Your made to measure’s wearing well,” Carey appraises, looking the woman up and down.

    “Thank you,” the lady, Madeleine, simpers. “I fancied blonde tonight. Dinner date.”

    “Indeed, Ms Cain,” Carey says, face expressionless. “Everything tallies,” she adds, winding the measuring tape about her wrist. “Here you go.” She passes the bagged tempaskin to the woman. “Return due pre noon tomorrow.” Eyes rolling as the doorbell tinkles she murmurs, “Hope she doesn’t stretch it. There’s a pre-order for that one next week already.”

    (360 words)

    @FallIntoFiction
    #FlashDog

  14. Stella T says:

    @stellakateT
    344 words
    #FlashDog

    Nepotism

    We had a competition at work and I won. I was supposed to cut the ribbon not him.
    Mr Saunders came to see me, found me in the broom cupboard, washing the mop heads. Can’t understand why they won’t renew them more often. Its not as if money is tight, surely hygiene should have priority over fancy coffee dispensers and ball point pens.

    He told me the CEO had vetoed it. Had to go home and ask my neighbour Mr Hussein, he’s a very educated man, what a CEO is and I thought only Presidents, Prime Ministers and countries could veto. CEO is a Chief Executive Officer and he can veto absolutely anything and everything. I’ve written that down in my diary, I try to learn one new thing every day and that’s two things.

    Seventeen offices I have to clean, all on my own, Mr Saunders jokes that I am team leader. He says he will have a badge made with that on and my name. Not sure that he knows my name. Most people don’t. I start early in the morning and finish late at night. It’s easier to clean when the offices are empty. People tut at me when I try to vacuum around them and empty desk bins. Its amazing what I’ve found discarded. I could write a book and it wouldn’t be a clean one.

    Can’t remember anyone saying that I couldn’t cut the ribbon if I won, it was open to all employees and I get a wage slip at the end of the month with the company name, Thatcher, Reagan and Turner. The first two are long dead. I remember them well.

    The CEO is to cut the ribbon, Mr Saunders tells me, to add dignity to the occasion. The opening of a new office block, the firm is expending. My younger sister Marguerite has the job of cleaner there. Maybe she should have cut the ribbon.

    There’s a photo in the local newspaper, my son looks very handsome alongside Mr Saunders as he cuts the ribbon.

  15. stephellis2013 says:

    The line where he notes down the things he tries to learn each day really made me warm to your character. Nice story.

  16. Foy S. Iver says:

    Foy S. Iver
    @fs_iver

    WC: 357

    Stephen Steinhart, Ribbon Cutter

    Am I the only one who finds it odd that severing something in two symbolizes new beginnings? Just me? I suppose I have a more reason to reflect on this enigma than most, being a close friend of Stephen Steinhart, Centerville’s go-to-ribbon cutter. Whenever there’s a strip of cloth or human tissue that needs slicing, he’s the one they call. Last week alone we attended 5 inaugural openings, 3 unveilings, and 9 umbilical detachments.

    Of course it didn’t start that way. Centerville, like every other town with plenty of personality and no Starbucks, would give the honor of ribbon ceremonies to whomever was most relevant. Bank Managers and Project Coordinators would produce scissors they’d stolen out of craft bins at their kid’s kindergarten. You know the ones, colored with chompers so dull they couldn’t cut through butter. But after Steve’s first public snipping everything changed. He brought something that no one could define, let alone mimic:

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, our Town Hall Rec Center, newly renovated!”
    Snip.
    “Steve just has that technique,” Mayor Gilbert says, holding red fabric remains still trailing around the government building. “I don’t know, it’s like…an art.”

    Others point to Steve’s eagerness to contribute:
    “Nurse, umbilical clamp.”
    Clip.
    “Steve, will you do the honors?”
    “This won’t hurt a bit, ma’am.”
    Schlick.
    “WAAAAAAH!”
    “I think it’s all in that smile of his,” adds Joanna Terrance, new mother and proud “Steinhartlot.” “He looks so fulfilled doing it. Made me forget I had a squirming watermelon coming out of my shoot.”

    Some believe it’s all in his tools:
    “The Moxi apartments are once again termite free! Applications online.”
    Slick.
    “Steinhart? Love that guy!” says a Big Bob’s construction worker who asked to remain unidentified. “I think his secret’s in those scissors he whips out. Have you seen them? They’re longer than my arm.”

    And they’re all right. The way Steve separates tape, it’s like magic. No one else has his perfect precision, rabid enthusiasm, or big ass scissors. It’s a destructive hope and he’s good at it. Sometimes I wonder if Steve sees the irony, too. But what do I know? I’m just the instrument.

  17. mariemck1 says:

    Tin Men
    (144 words)
    It took the altruists a while to find it. The surgeons thought, at first, they could treat it, fix it. But it was too far gone. The disease was deep-seated.

    When it was exposed, they could smell the rancid stench of greed.
    They saw the fat that had accumulated there, the effects of rich lifestyle- so much pumped in, so little going out.

    They heard the angry beat of generations who filled sweatshops instead of schools, the constant tick of those who never clocked-off, the forced rhythm of hard labour.

    They witnessed what it had burned-up. They recognised what it had broken.They  saw through its tissue of lies.

    So Big Business did have a heart, but no compassion at its core…and in the end it was for the best: they snipped at its thick veins and brought down its huge walls.
    @elaine173marie

  18. Shannon says:

    Shannon
    @fabuloushanny

    Living the Dream
    (360 words)

    This was what he spent 11 months campaigning to do? he thought, standing in front of a sad little storefront, smiling so big his face hurt. This sucked. As the president of the Chamber of Commerce rambled on about… something…. he thought back to when he decided to run for State Senate. He had been a little drunk when he said yes, which was probably exactly what Steve (Chair of the party) and Joe (a young – absolutely gorgeous – political operative) had planned when they came over with six bottles of wine.

    He stopped drinking the final month before the election. “To really focus,” he told people, but it was really because he was terrified he would do something stupid, and blow their tiny three point lead. Actually, he spent most of those 11 months terrified. Not of losing. He was terrified the way he had been when Sarah was pregnant. He wanted this for years, it was his dream, but…. could he do it? Could he actually be a Senator?

    What he didn’t realize was, actually, being a Senator wasn’t very hard. Or fun. Press staff told him what to say on the floor, and to cameras outside the chamber. Legislative staff told him how to vote. He had a color-coded schedule on his iPhone telling him where to be and when. They even picked out his ties.

    When he asked questions, they said things like, “You have enough to worry about, Senator,” and, “This is our job, not yours.” Soooooo…. what exactly was his job?

    Today, it felt like it was his job to shut up, smile, look statesmanly. “Senator?” The Chamber of Commerce guy was speaking to him.

    “Yes, congratulations, Mr. Peabody,” he said, shaking hands with the bespectacled man whose sad little computer repair shop was opening today. Mr. Peabody was awkward and not very good-looking. “How does it feel?” he asked, pausing with the novelty scissors, smiling so the cameras could get the shot.

    “It feels amazing. I’ve dreamed about this my whole life.” This was his dream? The Senator held back a smirk. “Finally,” he breathed, “I get to be my own boss.”

  19. […] latest from The Angry Hourglass based on the photo […]

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