Monday, June 29, 2015

End of Shift - SHORT STORY

Hey, friend! I want to write more and exercise my skills. To do so, I am going to start writing short stories based off of writing prompts. Maybe I'll try to do one a week? Maybe every other week? Maybe this will be the only one. But let's be optimistic, shall we?

I found an awesome tumblr called One Sentence Writing Prompts. Along with writing tips, this site provides sentences that can serve as the first sentence to whatever you are writing. Pretty nifty. 

I picked a sentence out and wrote a little story below, called "End of Shift." Hope you like it! (The prompt is in bold.)

End of Shift

"I don't have to do anything," he frowned, then pulled the trigger.

Larry Richard was quite done with everything. 

His girlfriend was bored with him. His friends were all moving away or getting married or acting distant. His parents were busy being retired and traveling the world. Even his cat, Mr. Hubble, didn't want anything to do with him. 

Larry saw Mr. Hubble (named after Edwin Hubble - the man who discovered the cosmos) cuddling up to his neighbor the other day when he was taking out the trash. That sneaky little bastard thought he wouldn't notice. But he did. The bastard. And he would definitely be remembering the next time Mr. Hubble wanted his ears scratched. Yes, he would. 

This morning Larry's toaster oven burnt his toast, he stubbed his toe on the doorframe of his bathroom, and he almost forgot his cell phone. Then his car wouldn't start, it was falling apart, he was late to work, and his boss got smart. Those may be lyrics to the Shania Twain classic, Honey, I'm Home, but that doesn't mean it wasn't true. 

At the end of his shift, Larry was staring down the clock. Ready to bolt out like a runner waiting for the starting pistol to be fired. The minute hand slowly moved. 56... 57... 58...


Larry's boss, Todd, yelled from the back of the Pizza Hut. Larry rolled his eyes and pretended not to hear. 

"Larry! One more delivery! Take those pies out at the end of your shift!"

The minute hand moved to 59. It was past the end of his shift.

"Larry! Do ya hear me?!"

The minute hand moved to 00. Larry walked out the door.

"Larry! You got those pies? Larry! You have to get that order out!"

"I don't have to do anything," he frowned, then pulled the trigger.

The front right tire of his car went flat. 

"I don't have to do anything."

Larry was tired. He started the long walk home and left his old, falling apart car behind. It was time to get a new one anyway.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Feeling Like a Failure

So I quit my job today.

This job was my first big step into adulthood.

I wore professional clothes. I worked in a cubicle. I was offered benefits. I took a coffee break everyday about an hour after lunch. I brought my lunch from home everyday, except Fridays. Fridays I went out and explored new food places with my work friends.

This job was my first big step into adulthood.

I was subject to bigotry and unprofessionalism. Found out things about the company that were not in line with my morals. Was hired as a writer, but discovered that no one was actually reading my work and that what I was doing 7 hours a day, 5 days a week did not matter. I couldn't even point you to one of the hundreds of articles I wrote at this company, because I a) have never been told where to look and b) do not know how to access copy that is embedded into the coding of a website. That's right. No one, other than my editor and possibly supervisor, has or will ever read what I have spent the past 10 weeks of my life doing.

As someone whose one goal in life is to create things that audiences consume... This was heartbreaking.

These are some of the reasons why I decided to quit this job. Many would applaud me. A few people have called me brave. How big of me to stand up for what I think is right and hold on to my morals.

I do not want people to think this was some kind of grand gesture. Yes, I had to do something extremely scary. Yes, I think what I did was right. Yes, I still have morals at 22 years of age.

But I am no hero.

I do not, in any way, shape, or form, feel heroic.

I feel like a failure.

I am terrified.

I am terrified of failure.

I am terrified of not getting things right.

I am terrified of letting my parents down.

I am terrified of never feeling accomplished.

I am terrified of not living up to expectations.

Most of the time, the people in my life (friends, professors, classmates, family) believe in me way more than I could ever even believe in myself. Because I am inside my brain. With my fears. With my anxieties. With my self-loathing.

I am terrified of falling into the deep, dark place I was about three months ago before I landed my first job out of college.

I don't like that place. I never want to go back.

But I can feel myself inching down.

Ever since I made the decision that I needed to get out of this job, face my fears, and actually pursue my dreams, I have had a crazy combination of jubilation and fear mixed up inside of me. I could feel it in my stomach, head, palms, and twitching left eyelid. I felt it as I drove to work. I felt it when I drove home from work. I felt it when I sat at my desk. I felt it when I sat in my car at lunch and had to put my book down because I had just read the same sentence over and over again five times and none of the information was actually entering my mind because all I could think about was how fast the last 47 minutes have gone by and how I really hoped that the next 13 would somehow stretch to another hour of lunchtime.

As of today, I no longer work there.

I had maybe an hour of confusion and joy before that transformed into confusion and anxiety and failure.

I feel like a failure.

I hope it will pass.

I hope this next week of commencement ceremonies and graduation celebrations will give me a sense of accomplishment.

I hope I will hear back from one of the dozens of companies I have applied to in the past month.

I hope I do not fall back into that place that I do not like.

I hope I believe in myself again.

I feel like a failure.