Author’s Note: If you watched one of my writing sprints LIVE on my facebook page, you can click on the corresponding date to see the text in full. I am not going to edit these, just copy/paste from my working document onto this page. -J.R. Nichols
Click Here to Return to the Writing Sprints Main Index
Today’s Prompt: : Sentence you have to use “I’ll let you know when I have the skeleton.”
It had been a long time since I had seen anything like it. The lion had been put down in the most inhumane way possible, and the recovery of the remains required resources beyond our usual. I had to call in a specialist to remove the blood and entrails from the ceiling fan, for example.
“Ain’t right for any of God’s creatures to be treated this-a-way,” the toothless helper said, hauling in the second bucket of foaming white cleanser and slopping it summarily about the place while I tried to get a handle on the scene. “Especially the king of the beasts. What a shame.”
There was plenty of tongue clucking and head shaking to go around for the next few days as I combed the place looking for any indication that the animal had attacked, unprovoked, as the keeper had claimed.
Sitting at my desk later that day I thumbed through his file. Ned Bakerton, age 47 – lifelong animal lover and advocate. His record showed many citations for exemplary service at the zoo – an award for an enrichment he’d set up in the chimpanzee house, for example, and several “proud to be a zookeeper” trinkets were found among his personal possessions, including a cheap plastic gold-colored medal apparently awarded for participating in something called the “Seahorse Fun Run”.
I closed Ned’s file, sliding it across my desk, and once again slid the image of the destroyed feline nearer.
What had caused Ned Bakerton to loose his mind, and do what had been done to that poor creature?
I am going to leave this piece as is, though the time has not been called.
Today’s Prompt: Use these five words in a sentence.
Watch me write this short story during a LIVE writing sprint!
“It was a simple misunderstanding. A dropped a cup of coffee on her desk and soiled the folder containing the formula. No one was able to cross-check to the original.”
Mel held her breath, wondering if the lie was going to land. It was preposterous, of course, to think that the simple act of spoiling the original document would ruin an entire batch of foundation. No one would have had a reason to compare the original to the batch until after the problem was discovered, after all, but this flimsy excuse was all Jack had provided her before the two of them had been ushered in to speak to Mr. Merriweather.
“A dropped cup of coffee? Confound it! A cup of coffee can’t buy up all the Promay stock for pennies on the dollar now that it’s been gutted! A cup of coffee can’t save the big deal we had aligned with Fox Factor! I supposed you’ll be telling me it wasn’t even a person drinking the coffee. Is that it? Perhaps it was a chimpanzee, and not one of you worthless, thankless morons I had the misfortune to trust enough to hire.
His face had never been so red. Mel wondered crazily if she should open a window. She twisted her left ankle, her foot slipping sloppily out the side of her pump. Jack’s own anxious and jittery movements weren’t helping, either.
“I want to know,” Merriweather raged on. “And, ALL I want to know, is who – what human being, I mean – was unfortunate enough to be born with the burden of bearing my wrath for this calamity?”
She found it impossible to swallow – much less open her mouth to inform the boss that it had been his very own pride and joy – his beloved son – who had caused the mishap.
Just as Mel was questioning for the millionth time her decision to get on that bus out of Otisville, Jack stepped forwar and slammed his fists to his sides. “I did it,” he said, taking a step forward and slamming his fists to his sides. Mel’s mouth fell open.
“You?” Merriweather seemed incapable of saying another word. His face went the color of pastry dough so quickly, Mel again thought about taking impulsive action, this time reaching across the desk to slap her boss.
He was in shock, after all – here was his right hand man, the confidant to end all confidants, admitting a mistake so colossal, it was in danger of ending the company.
“Get out,” Merriweather said to Mel, in a voice low and sinister. She slipped her foot hurriedly back into her shoe and scuttled toward the door. As it closed behind her she sighed against it, then pressed her hand to it and whispered a prayer for Jack.
It would be so much better for him if Mr. Merriweather started yelling again.
Want FREE short fiction and FREE e-book offers sent directly to your inbox? SUBSCRIBE NOW to The Writing Shorts Newsletter!