Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)
TITLE: Please Don't Fire Me
By Cherie B.
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She paced around her office grumbling over her assignment. Hour five and Sheri still had nothing.
She tried to sit back down and think of something to write, but nothing came. Her foot tapped impatiently on the floor and she let out a moan.
“Grrrrrr,” she growled angrily at her computer screen. “Autumn? Seriously?” she let out an aggravated whimper. “Oh… come…on!” She thrust the chair out from under her and stood back up. She couldn’t sit still; it was driving her crazy.
“Cutesey-Wootsey pumpkin patches, lovey-dovey Thanksgivings, happy-sappy festivals; ... Blaahh, blaaahhh, blaaaaaah!” She vented.
She dropped her head into her hands and grumbled. “Ey-yie-yie! It’s all so nice!” Her shoulders drooped dejectedly. “How in the world am I going to write something griping when all they give me is, … AUTUMN: the perfect weather, the perfect scenery, and the perfect, ... everything! I can’t pull drama out of this! This is ridiculous!” She ran her hands back through her hair as she let out another frustrated sigh.
She was pacing again when the phone rang. It was the editor, Fred Whitegate (or F.W. as the writers called him).
“How’s that article coming Sheri?” He asked.
“How’s it coming? … I’ll tell you how it’s coming!” She let it all out. “This thing is seriously kicking my butt!” She whined. “You know I don’t do this kind of work Fred; … I don’t do lovey-dovey, happy- sappy writing. How could you assign Autumn to me? Give it to Jan or Deb; … they’re great at that kind of story. But not me!” She gave a small whimper.
“It’s just a small article about Autumn,” F.W. tried to explain, but Sheri was too upset to listen to reason.
“If you want something serious, or gripping, or sad, or heart wrenching, … I’m your girl. But this! This, … fluff. Don’t come to me with this!” Sheri pleaded. “I don’t do fluff! I want to work for you guys, I really do. I want to do my best, and give you the best articles in the world, but please, please give me something else to work with.” She begged.
“Sheri, … It’s only one page.” He rationalized. “Besides, this will help you grow as a writer; broaden your horizons. Think of it as a challenge, not as a job.”
“But I can’t write an article like that.” She said. “It’s all frou-frou and fluff, sweet and pleasant and cheerful autumn - goop! Give me a theme with some meat I can pull out of it: the excruciating heat of summer, the fragile life at spring, the deathly cold of winter, … but autumn? Seriously? Don’t do this to me. I’ve been on such a roll lately.
“I mean come on, what is there to write about in autumn? Harvest time: perfect, Thanksgiving: perfect, beautiful colors: perfect, and delicious smells, and soothing breezes, and nice cool weather,… pumpkin patches, scarecrows, family time; …perfect, perfect, perfect. What on earth is heart wrenching about that? … Nothing!”
F.W. didn’t say anything and Sheri started to panic even more. He was going to fire her. Her heart pounded. He didn’t want a complainer on his team. He wanted someone who could write about anything. She held her breath waiting for him to explode; to tell her to pack her bags and leave.
Oh, God. She prayed. I’m gonna need some extra help today. Show me what to do.
Suddenly Sheri saw a blinking light on her telephone; it called her back to reality. She pulled herself out of her daydreaming outburst and reached across her desk. Real life beckoned.
She picked up the receiver and answered the call; “Sheri Luceno, Drama Publications, how may I help you?”
“Hello Sheri,” It was F.W.!
Sheri’s jaw dropped.
“How’s that article coming?” He asked.
Her stomach dropped. Deja vu.
Sheri gulped and sat up straight as a board. She tried to hide the shaking in her voice and sound as professional as possible as she answered her boss; “It will be on your desk in an hour Mr. Whitegate, … Sir.”
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