Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Car Trip (07/18/05)
TITLE: Quiet Desperation
By Kurt Youngdale
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He didn’t want to go to work. His current project was causing him stress and he wasn’t sure he would complete it on time. He felt his family didn’t appreciate his sacrifice.
He parked his car and proceeded up to his office. He had purchased a monthly parking pass and although his company provided him a parking allowance, it was not enough to cover the cost so he had to make up the difference.
When he got to his cubicle, there was a not with the words URGENT written across the top of it. He read the note and proceeded to his supervisor’s office. It made him think back to when he was in elementary school and the teacher had sent him out for unacceptable behavior.
“Floyd, come in and close the door behind you.” His boss instructed him. His voice was as someone who is trying to make the best of a bad situation. There are tasks that as a manager are unpleasant but necessary for the continuation of business and this was one of those unpleasant tasks. He didn’t want to do it but the decision was made and the mandate came from those with more authority than he had himself. “I’m taking you off the Wilson project. I know you’ve worked hard on it but you’re just not getting the job done. I’m handing it off to Perkins to finish. I’m sorry.”
Floyd heard the sound which was very much like the sound of his career being flushed down the toilet. His face turned pale and he started mumbling under his breath.
“Are you ok Floyd? Maybe you should take the day off?”
Floyd stumbled out of his boss’s office and he bumped into someone who was coming down the hall. He got back to his desk and sat down to catch his breath. He had worked hard to get to this position and he really felt like all that hard work had been for nothing.
A feeling of desperation overcame him and it’s force caught him completely off guard. Like someone who was determined he left the building. Those he passed and who witnessed his condition seemed concerned but not concerned enough to involve themselves in the situation.
He got into his car and started driving. He rolled down the window to feel the wind pressing against his face. He headed out of the city. He forced the drudgeries of life into the back of his mind and felt as if he were on a precipice. Once he got out of the city, the openness of the country soothed his nerves and he started daydreaming. He realized he needed a vacation.
He heard a noise and realized it was his cell phone ringing. “Hello?” he answered.
“Where have you been? You didn’t get fired did you? If you got fired I’ll”. It was at that point he turned his cell phone off. He wasn’t going to put up with that anymore or anything else for that matter.
He continued driving. He passed trees and fields. He passed cows and sheep and goats. It started getting dark and he looked around but he didn’t know where he was. He was on a country road in the middle of nowhere. He pulled over and got out of his car. He looked to the North, South, East and West. He leaned against the door of his car and scratched his head.
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