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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Brian Sloan on May 22, 2017

A Good Excuse

"Jerry! That report was due last Tuesday! What's taking you so long?"

I sighed as the harpy-like tones of my boss, Linda, pierced the secluded airspace of my cubicle. She was a good boss, as far as bosses go, but her voice reached a level of screech I can only assume is possible through years of vocal training.

I tried to rub the bleariness from my eyes and re-arrange my hair before she rounded the corner in her usual "you're-late-again" huff. I was half-way through steeling myself when she landed.

"You're late again, Jerry. I try to be a good boss, I try to be understanding, but honestly--again? I can only give you so much rope. What is it this time?"

I gazed at her shoes, sleepless mind attempting to find its track while the real events of last night ran behind my eyes. My left shoulder probably wouldn't be the same for a week, but at least I managed to save--

"My dog ate my flashdrive again? Is that what you're trying to come up with?"

I glared, frustration waking me up somewhat. "That operation cost me $600! I showed you the veterinary bill!"

"Whatever, Jerry. I'm tired of the excuses. Have it on my desk by this Friday, or else!" She glared at me, walking away from my solitary desk, backtracking only her head for a moment to add: "And Jerry, get some rest. You look like hell."

Most didn't know that side of Linda, but most people got their work in on time. I groaned outwardly, but smiled on the inside. For as much as she put on airs of being a no-nonsense manager, Linda had a soft spot for all her employees deep down.

Friday deadline or not, the report would have to wait until I figured everything else out. I'd been running on little sleep for the past three days, all of which was due to the stretchy fabric I was hiding under my rumpled button-up shirt and seven missing dogs.

Being an amateur super hero isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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