Office Stories

Mystery Cookie

One day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk. Grateful to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it. The next morning you come in and find another cookie. This continues for months until one day a different object is left—and this time there’s a note.

I work in a law office as a runner.  I basically run errands for all of the lawyers here and, that’s about it. Exciting, right? Not exactly. But recently, I’ve been getting these cookies on my desk everyday for a while now. And they are always different. The first day it was a sugar cookie (my favorite), then it was chocolate chip, then peanut butter, then sandies. I don’t even know the names to all of them, but they are all so good! But, I have no clue who has been randomly putting them on my desk. I’ve asked everyone in the office and they are just as intrigued as I am. The receptionist hasn’t noticed anyone peculiar to just drop it off. I’m not dating anyone, so it’s not that.

One day I come in at my usual time and walk over to my desk. Lo and behold, another cookie. But–what’s this? There’s a note. I look around the area to see if I can see anyone strange in the building who would’ve left it. It’s just me. It has my name on the outside. I open the flap and it reads: “I hope you’ve been enjoying your treats. Would you believe me if I told you these were actually dog biscuits? I know your family works for Pedigree and you’ve been secretly sampling my products. I have my business card attached. If you enjoyed what you’ve tried for these past few weeks. Please give me a call!”

I wanted to throw up immediately after reading that. I later found out that he was a client of ours trying to start his own small business for dog treats and pet supplies. I will never eat a cookie again for the rest of my life…

Day 4 below. Sorry ya’ll. I was sick yesterday so we are cramming both into one!

Sent to the wrong printer

You’re at work and you print something personal (and sensitive). Unfortunately, you’ve sent it to the wrong printer and, by the time you realize it, somebody else has already scooped it up.

Alright, I have to do this today. Even though my printer at home broke, I need to get this printed off, but without my nosy co-workers finding out. I’m quitting my job today after 20 years and the new boss will only accept a resignation letter printed off and handed to him. We cannot email it. Such a weird dude. Alright here we go. Flash drive is in place and the document labeled “Adios Assholes” is ready to print. As I click the button to print, I run over to the printer, ready to grab it from anyone seeing it. But something’s wrong. The printer is staying quiet. At this point, it should be revving up and doing something. Oh shit. Where did it go?! I sprint back to my computer and look again at which printer it was sent to. Holy fucking shit. Why is it going to the one in sales?! Who fucked with my computer?! Stacy, I swear to god… If she sees that letter, I’m so screwed. She would make my life a living hell if she found out I’m leaving. And what I mean by hell is she would be constantly trying to convince me to stay. Little does she know, she’s a big reason why I’m leaving. The most naggy, gossipy, annoying twat I’ve ever had to work with. And she’s only been here a year. Enough worrying, I need to find where that letter went. As I make my way across the office, and into the hell that is sales, my stomach twists as I see Stacy reading something right next to the damn printer. Her mouth drops to the floor and eyes look like one of those bug eyes monkey things you see on the discovery channel. I was too late. She spots me through the glass wall and I’m caught. Fuck it. I turn back around and head for the exit. I would rather be on unemployment for the rest of my life than deal with her shit for 2 weeks. As I stand in the doorway of the main entrance I put both my middle fingers up and scream out, “Adios Assholes!” Best day of my life.

Sorry for the cursing, lol Hope you enjoyed! ##

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One That Got Away.” What happens?

Today is by far my least favorite day of the year. Stores filled with hearts, candy, flowers and unnecessarily giant teddy bears. The site of anything love related makes me feel ill. Especially the site of couples kissing and holding hands is enough to make me walk the other way. As I walk past a tiny store decorated in red and pinks, my heart sinks at the man I catch walking towards me. My entire body forgets what normal functions are and my hands shake like butterflies. I feel my face matching the red of the artificially colored teddy bears in the window, when he glimpses my way. He smiles. I nervously laugh like a bumbling idiot. Every step that touches the pavement, is so smooth and sexy. I don’t remember him looking this good. My heart pounds harder the closer he gets to me. His gentle but rough, hand waves at me. I remember those hands. Not only did they know me better than myself, but I watched them as they explored soil in his garden, skillfully pluck the strings of a guitar and play hide and go seek with his son. I rub my fingers together as I think of something witty to say. ‘Funny running in to you here’ with a wink? No, that’s stupid. Maybe ‘Hey bud, how it’s hangin’?’ Oh my god, no. I’ve never called him ‘bud’ before. Okay. Just act cool, like you barely even notice him. Like, ‘Oh my. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you! I think you grew, didn’t you?’ Ugg, stop it. Just be yourself.

Here he comes. As I open my timid lips to speak, he looks right past me and embraces a woman standing behind me. I look behind me to see if I recognize her. A sister or mother. But I don’t know her at all. My heart pounds for other reasons now and my eyes fill with tears uncontrollably.  He’s moved on. And that’s fine. I guess I’ve moved on too. I storm into the Valentines decor store, rip off the bears head and walk out. I fucking hate this holiday.

If you’re unsure what a writing prompt is, go here.

Feel free to add your own responses in a comment!  ##

 

Breaking Up

 

Breaking Up With Writers Block

It’s time for you and Writer’s Block to part ways. Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s
Block, starting out with, “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me …”

Dear Writers Block,

It’s not you, it’s me… I mean, don’t get me wrong. You’re so great. You can’t help who you are and I really admire that. But, lately I’ve come to terms with who I am too, and I’ll be honest with you, you’re just not good for me. We spent so much time together that one time in September and while it may have been good for you… I was getting sick of you and just wanted you to go back home to your family. I’m sorry if this comes off as blunt, but I feel like you deserve to know the real reasons why we can’t ever, ever, ever, get back together. And you have to stop coming by my house anytime I’m in the middle of writing a really great ending. I see you and, well, old feelings come back. It’s so easy to melt back into your arms and forget everything about my stories. But, you’ve even caused me to start drinking again, and you know how I get when I drink too much. It’s not pretty. What I’m trying to say, Writers Block, is please don’t come around anymore. There are plenty of other victims for you to leach onto, like college freshmen and George R. R. Martin. I mean, are you ever going to let him end his Game of Thrones series? It’s just cruel. You have a serious problem and I worry about you. I hope that you can find help and become Inspiration, rather than a Block. ‘Cause no one likes a block… am I right? Anyways, I wish you well and hope you find happiness without me.

Yours truly,

Laura and the rest of the world

##

 

Flash Fiction

This is from a Flash Fiction challenge in my writing group. The theme is “beginnings” and could be no more than 150 words. Enjoy!

 

I’ve been trapped inside this microscopic room my entire life with no trace of how I got here. It’s so cramped that I can’t stretch my legs out fully. No lights, no sound, no fun. The walls are ever changing, expanding, but still restrictive.

I can’t do it anymore. No more excuses; I need to get out of here.

Using what little strength I have, I thrust my extremities out as far I can. But the room shifts in a way I never expected. My body changes positions unwillingly and I suffer a callous breeze. I was wrong. This is too fast and sudden; I’m not ready. Please forgive me, I didn’t mean to speak ill of my creator.

But my resistance is futile as I am forced out of the snug, familiar room. This is the beginning of the end; goodbye old friend. I’m so sorry.

##

Cover Art Advice

I am probably the least experienced person to be covering this topic, but, I don’t care. Let’s just say, I did not have the best time getting my cover art worked out. Granted, I am satisfied with the finished product, but it’s not fantastic. (Not as great as I had pictured) But trust me, this is NOT the worst thing to come out of all of this. Let me try to help you to get the best cover art you possibly can.

  • Cost really matters. I did my cover art on Fiverr.com, recommended to me by a member in a writing group. I never heard of this site before and I was curious. If you’re unfamiliar, Fiverr is a freelancing website full of artists that do “budgeted” work. In other words, they don’t work for some massive corporation, which honestly I really loved. I thought it would be cool to save some money AND help out independent artists. Win, win, right? Mmmm, not so much. While this site is cost effective, you really get what you pay for. And not in the good way. The first person I hired from Fiverr was only about $40 and her art work and other cfacepalmover arts were really nice. I thought that $40 was a bargain for what I may get! I was so very wrong. I won’t go into detail, but I asked for a fairy on the cover, and she wasn’t sure what a fairy was. [insert Patrick Stewart face palm here]
  • Be clear what you want. This was a huge mistake I made… but not really. After I got rid of the last person, I then hired another person on the same site, but with slightly higher prices (and better quality). Her requirements were to pick 3 pictures from Pexels.com of images you want to have in your cover. I had some idea of what I wanted it to look like, so I picked 3 images like she said and she made 3 mock-ups. None of them were very good. It took a long time to really get a product that I wanted. Here’s a good way to tell your artist what you’re looking for:
    • Provide Samples.  And LOTS of them! Best way I did this was too Google book covers in the genre I was writing in and saved 6 pictures. I recommend 6 at the very least when doing this. Also, add a couple that you really hate or dislike. This will help them better understand what to stay away from, too.
    • Explain Why. With each picture you provide be as detailed as possible. Highlight what you like and what you don’t like and explain your reasons why. With the ones you don’t like, put what you don’t like about it specifically. The type, the colors, the background, ect. I seem to be strict about the type I like and don’t like.
    • Type. This might just be me, but type is probably more important than anything else on your cover. The picture can be great all on it’s own, but if you have a really hard to read type face, or too many different kinds of fonts (3 should be the maximum) it can turn people away. Be clear what fonts you really like, and even what you like about them, and what fonts you want to stay clear of. Comic sans, I’m lookin’ at you.
  • Why I didn’t want a big company to do my cover. As I explained a bit earlier, it came down to money. I had no idea the cost of self-publishing (still less than traditional, though). I put more money away for my editing than I did for the cover art. I think that was well worth the price too. But, I didn’t want to go to a big company because I cherish my book soooo much, I was afraid they would TELL me what should be on it. I wouldn’t have much of a say and little to no control of how it turned out. I’m now learning the hard way that they may have been the best choice for my first go around. They know the business really well, and what sells and what doesn’t. They will tell you exactly what size, what market, what colors are best for that market, ect. I had to just wing it, other wise. Needless to say, for my next book, I will be looking for a company and spending a lot more money to get exactly what I want.

I hope this helps you self-publishers like me. Don’t learn things the hard way like I did. I mean, you can if you want, but I was here to warn ya. ##

Silas’ Interview

Interview Questions for Silas (before the story begins)

Can you tell me your full name please?

Hey, my name is Silas Hidelman.

How old are you?

I am 51.

What race are you?

I’m mostly white, but have some Spanish roots on my moms side. And I’m a flier.

Gender?

I’m a guy.

What is your favorite animal? And why?

I love dogs. They’re so loyal and protective. I grew up with bernese mountain dogs who are these beautiful long hair beasts and they were so great. Man, I miss those guys…

What’s your favorite color? And why?

Black. It literally goes with anything. And it’s slimming.

What’s your favorite season, and why?

I don’t really have one to honest.

What did you want to be when you grew up and why?

I wanted to be a cop. Put bad people in jail and praise those who treated others well.

What would you dress up for halloween?

I haven’t celebrated Halloween in a long time, but I was less of a kid that dressed up and more of a kid who egged houses and T.Ped random places. It’s way more exciting and fun doing that.

Do you have a favorite movie? Why?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s just all around great.

Favorite kind of music? Why?

Rock/Alternative. I play the guitar a little myself and do mostly alternative.

Where did you grow up and did you like it?

I grew up with an abusive father. So, no, didn’t like it too much.

What was your first job?

Bag boy at a grocery store when I turned 12. It was a’ight. Had to make money somehow.

How do you feel about kids?

I love kids. I would like to have one someday. Show him what a great dad I can be.

Marriage?

Someday, yes. Just has to be with the right person.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Why were you proud?

When I got this sweet tattoo on my arm that is like a ying/yang dragon. I designed it myself and it took me months. I call it “the beast of inner peace.” Being one with others and yourself, but also being fierce and brave when you need to be.

Anything you’ve done that you are ashamed of? Why?

Leaving Raymond behind… he was my little brother.

Any talents or skills that you can boast about?

I can do sign language. But I don’t really boast about it, I had to learn it to talk to my brother. I’m fluent in it though. Other than that, I can juggle like no ones business.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where you go? Why?

I don’t know. Haven’t put much thought into traveling. Kinda just go where life takes me. Like now, living like a hobo in the woods. Can’t complain though; it was my choice.

How do you want to die, if you could choose.

With a loved one.

What’s your stance on abortion?

Uh… Do I really need to answer this? Fine. I think that a woman should be able to do what she wants, but also, needs to take the child’s life into consideration. If you are doing it for selfish reasons, then no. But say you are having complications or were sexually assaulted, that’s something forced on the woman, and shouldn’t have to be the only one dealing with the consequences.

What are some bad habits that you have?

That went from a really heavy topic to me saying I hate getting haircuts. Don’t ask me why, but I just can’t stand it.

What is your ideal life partner traits? And what orientation do you prefer?

Well, it would be great if the woman I am dating it straight like me. But if she’s lesbian, that would just dandy too. And I don’t ask for much, just be smart, beautiful, like all the same things I do and that’s it. Easy peasy.

On a scale of 1 – 10, what is your self confidence level?

Oh. Ummmm, 8? I guess with my unsureness it should be lower, huh? Let’s go down to 6.

What’s your favorite food? Why?

I love Mexican. Dunno if it has anything to do with my genes, but I’m always down for tacos or enchiladas.

Have you ever done anything illegal? What was it?

I’ve had a DUI before. Had a couple rough patches in my past and whiskey was my best friend. Luckily, I never hurt anyone, but did get pretty messed up and spent the night in jail. It was not a good time…

If you could have 3 wishes granted right now, what would they be?

Interesting. If I had 3 wishes, I would wish that I could see my brother again. Uh, have the money to get my own place that isn’t my ex-girlfriends. And be healthy for the rest of my life. No doctors or dentists or anything like that. I hate the doctors..