At Least She Has a Job to Complain About

100 words about hating your job
(c) Ron Pruitt

The sparkling motorcoach leaves the lot and turns towards the passenger terminal. It arrived late, they were short-staffed and had to clean up the inbound passengers’ mess in record time.

She feels a spark of satisfaction over achieving the almost impossible.

It doesn’t last long – as the vehicle vanishes from view, she wonders how many minutes until another piece of gum is discarded in between its seats, until a spill of soda makes the floor sticky again and until someone misses the mark on the toilet.

Cleaning busses ain’t pushing a rock up a hill, but it ain’t far off.

***

Been a while since I’ve joined Friday Fictioneers, but this week’s photo handed me a story on a silver plate, so how could I resist? Find all stories here.

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Language Barrier

(c) Sandra Crook

Her shoes make a sound like a pony cantering over the cobbles. She ducks behind one of the arches, takes off the shoes – she mustn’t attract attention.

They’ll notice she’s gone soon. The one who came to fetch the American girl said they’d keep her for last because she’s a nice white girl – their ace. She likes the American girl, she’ll fetch help.

Someone gets in her way. She can’t avoid bumping into the person, but it seems she wants to be bumped into. She’s wearing uniform. Police. Help.

‘Qu’est-ce qu’il y a, ma petite?’

‘I don’t understand,’ she howls.

***

I’m sort of Friday Fictioneering, but not really because of the reliable internet connection thing (yes, still going on, that…). I won’t add my story to the link-up because it wouldn’t be fair   for others to come and read my story when I can’t go and read theirs. I love Sandra’s photo, though – I had to use it.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Note to self: No more peas for dinner when Ollie’s friends join us. Who knew peas make irresistible ammunition? Between them, they’ve eaten fewer peas than they’ve shot across the table – and I’ve served them with ketchup.

Jack has been picked up, but Leo’s mum texted – she’s stuck in traffic after picking up Belle from ballet. The good news is, Ollie’s tired himself out. Bedtime might not turn into a struggle for a change.

Keep going, Em. You’re almost through the tunnel, and at the end, there’s a light: a glass of Shiraz and extra dark chocolate.

Just keep going.

(Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, in case you’re wondering.)

Self-Sowing Seeds

‘It’s time.’

‘How do you know?’

‘Look at their colour, must mean they’re ready for harvest. And we’d better get them into the barn before the rain.’

‘You reckon rain’ll do damage? They should be able to withstand it – they grew, after all.’

‘Haven’t you heard what happened at Kev’s scrap yard? He left his out. They rusted away in no time flat. They grow, but once they’re above ground, they become surprisingly delicate.  Wouldn’t want to risk damaging them.’

’S’pose you have a point.’

‘Yep. Also, with Kev losing his, we’re the only yard with fully grown wild cars.’

***

I wrote this based on this week’s Friday Fictioneer’s prompt:

(c) Jean L. Hays

 

A Walk in the Park

I hope my Friday Fictioneers story will work on its own, but you might want to read the two previous instalments of the Salvage Series for context.

(c) Santoshwriter

A Walk in the Park

Tina comes to the park because she doesn’t want to hear the sea. She thought if you respected it, it’d respect you back. The sea used to be home. But when they climbed out of the sub, barely alive, she was set adrift without a compass.

She watches dew pearl off a leaf. Maybe she should retrain as a landscape gardener. She loves fresh air. How could she forget that? Was the accident the sea’s way of telling her that raiding wrecks for treasure is not respecting the sea?

Time to step ashore. Maybe not for good. But for now.

***

More Friday Fictioneers stories can be found here.

The Silo

(c) Marie Gail Stratford 

‘Rumour has it there’s still grain left in that silo.’

I shake my head.

‘Even if, it’ll have rotted.’

‘We don’t know that.’

‘People have died trying to raid it, right after the collapse.’

But I see in Cal’s face that he won’t change his mind.

‘I’ll be careful.’

‘You’re not going alone.’

My turn to put on unrelenting face.

The door has been welded shut, so we climb to the roof. One of the panels is loose. The silo is empty, raided by birds.

‘Now we know.’

But Cal is pointing at something sprouting at the bottom.

‘It germinated.’

***

I’ve used this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt for this story, but I’m not adding myself to the link-up because I won’t have time to read other people’s stories.

Stag Don’t

(c) Dee Lovering

I stagger through a crowd. Why am I wearing posh trousers, a white shirt and a wonky bow tie? No jacket, though.

‘Excuse me? Where am I?’

No reply – in many languages.

‘Help.’

People give me funny looks and a wide berth. I catch my reflection in a window: I look hungover, but not as bad as I feel.

Señor? Vuestros amigos lo buscan.’

Amigos. The boy points. I tell him merci – the only thing I can think of.

‘Mate. Crap, you had me worried. Better bring you back safely or Sharleen’ll have me bludgeoned.’

Who’s he? And who’s Sharleen?

***

Friday Fictioneers, Story a Day, I do like to keep busy, don’t I? Add plenty to read to the list…

Pretend it’s Star Wars

(c) Douglas M. MacIlroy

Hoth. That’s what I dress for. Going for a ride on my TaunTaun. I’m so far away from home, I might as well have gone to another planet.

There are no TaunTauns, actually. Walking is better for me, anyway, helps me keep warm. So do the layers I put on. First layer: thermal underwear. When I bought it en route, with money I should have handed over, the implications of my decision hit me. Bye, bye tropical paradise.

But where I come from, nobody dreams of running away to Fairbanks. I didn’t. They won’t come looking for me on Hoth.

Tuesday Street Sweeping

(c) Roger Bultot

Bad enough with the fire engine blocking the road, but it’s the parked cars that rile me most. Any excuse for not following the rules. I’d bet my savings there will be complaints to the council because I missed parts of the road. It’s that type of neighbourhood.

‘Dreadful, isn’t it?’ The woman’s standing on her doorstep, nursing a cup of tea.

‘Dreadful? Ain’t the word I’d use. How am I s’posed to sweep? And the soot. No picnic, cleaning soot.’

She gives me a funny look and goes inside – no doubt to watch my progress from behind her curtains.

***

I’m taking a break from Writing 101 today.  I’m Friday Fictioneering instead. There are plenty of fire stories to read here.

And if you’re still looking for more flash fiction, here’s the link to new version of All About Patience on FlashFlood again.

FlashFlood Journal Open for Submissions

FlashFlood Journal is going to unleash a flood of flash fiction for National Flash Fiction Day on 27 June. They are open for submissions now, but only until 15 April – so send them something fast.

They accept previously published pieces, so anyone who participates in Mondays Finish the Story, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and/or Friday Fictioneers should have plenty of material.

Good luck!

Edit: Would help if I could read, wouldn’t it? According to the FlashFlood submissions page, the stories will be published on 17 April, not on 27 June.