Flash Fiction

Bob Breaks up with His Office Girlfriend

Hi Carol. Thank you for coming in. Please shut the door behind you and have a seat. How’s the day treating you? I know, I’m absolutely swamped. Hopkins used the wrong slide deck template again, so I’ve been playing catch up all day. TGIF, am I right?

Look, I wanted to touch base with you this afternoon because I don’t like the direction we’re going in. To be honest, I’m not finding you to be much of a value add anymore. We’ve gotten way off target over the last few months, and as much as it pains me to say this, I think it’s time to table this relationship. In Q3, I was willing to give you another chance. We put you on a PIP, and it really did seem like things were improving. You tried to double down your efforts, you really did, but if I can speak frankly, your performance has been less than satisfactory, and going forward, I think we should see other people. I know this is unpleasant, but come next fiscal year, I think you’ll see a lot of growth. Give it some time. You’ll love the margins.

To your point about the apartment, I’ve already terminated your access and had you removed from the lease. I’m sure you’ll find another apartment in no time. It’s a great market for it and demand for your pay grade is high this year, so I wouldn’t worry too much. You can always stay with a friend and live remote. I think you’ll find that’s more than reasonable.

I’m sorry, I just don’t have the bandwidth to follow up on this anymore. I’ve used all my cycles reaching out to you, and, I have to be honest here, I’ve been pinging Jeanine. I know you’re going to want to circle back with our mutual friends, but there’s been a re-org, and they now all report to me. I can reevaluate your candidacy next quarter if you stay heads down working on a solution, but for now, let’s put a pin in this. I’ll give you back the rest of your hour, if you can close the door behind you. Kindest regards, Bob.

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A Most Satisfying Tale of Revenge: The Blu Cantrell Story

Writer’s note: As I have sent this to a few friends for review, it has come to my attention that the inspiration for this story, this absolute masterpiece of a song (also embedded below), may not be as widely recognized as I had hoped in writing this. I feared that an introduction might sap some of the drama of the story itself, but then I thought, who gives a shit? Everyone should listen to this song every day. In fact, how do you NOT know this song? Blu Cantrell is a genius and a treasure. I burned this song on three consecutive mix CD’s in high school because it’s a banger, and because I don’t know a lot of other music. And the story is utter nonsense without context, so just do me a favor and give it a listen. You probably already know it, you just don’t know you know it. I bet you grinded on some sweaty guy in a puka shell necklace at your freshman turnabout to this song, clammy palms hoverhanding over your rainbow spaghetti straps, your platform clogs putting you a solid three inches above his sticky middle part. You remember. Either way, this is a story of betrayal, unabashed misdeeds, and the most gratifying vengeance. This is thrilling stuff. This could be Shakespeare. But it’s not, it’s a one hit wonder from 2001 (but one that I truly adore.) And with that, I’ll leave you to it…

Written After Four Days of Quarantine Due to a Nasty Bout of the Flu in Which I Have Had Zero Social Contact with Actual Human Beings and Am Starting to Freak Out

Captain's Log: Day Four

Cabin fever is beginning to set in. I haven't seen the sunlight or known a man's touch in four endless days. The cat paces wearily about the apartment, longing desperately for the stimulation and companionship my enfeebled mind can no longer provide. As the sun stretches lazily across the afternoon sky, I seize an opportunity. Clad only in soup-stained sweats and salty snow boots, I descend the stairs with the tepid anticipation of one who has nothing left, a husk of the woman I had once striven to be. Timidly, I open the door and the wind rushes my face, stealing my breath. I set an intrepid course for CVS, strangers floating past me like ghosts, as if in a dream, their faces contorting before me with such hideously transparent ponderings as, "The shadow of death is imminent upon her" and "Egads! What’s that smell?" I can no longer comprehend their horror. I have been gone away too long.

I return fifteen minutes later…