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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Laura on March 15, 2010

Back to the Nest

Angelica listened to the whirr of her car's motor for several minutes without even thinking about it, before turning her stereo back on and drowning it out with music. She would never know if her car was making a funny noise, because there was always music to cover it up, and that was at least one issue to put temporarily out of her mind. Although with the timing of everything else that had happened over the past few months, a car break-down would not have come as a surprise, and her somewhat cynical outlook was poised to expect such a disaster at any moment.

She sighed. Buck up. It's really not so bad. You're not living in a ghetto or hitch-hiking to some unknown destination. She was glad to have her parents' roof over her head once again, even if it wasn't exactly where she had envisioned herself residing at this point in her life. Twenty-four years old and moving home. Even knowing that she wasn't the only person needing to make such a switch at this point in her life wasn't as comforting as she wanted it to be. College had come and gone like a flash. She rolled down the window a crack, despite the chill in the air. Something had to circulate in that vehicle besides her own tired emotions.

The speed limit rose and the trees started to fly by to the beat of a strained alternative tune that she'd heard at least a dozen times in the past few days, but couldn't be tired of because it was strangely sad, alluringly sweet, and yearning for some sort of resolution. Some songs were seemingly written for long straight roads, and grand, open fields with skylines racing by, but others must have found their conception in a mind running down twisty roads, with curves and hills continually pulling the eyes along with no promise of clarity in the near future. Trees standing out starkly and unexpectedly, branches pointing away from their trunks, proclaimed that the way was somewhere, but not here - it could only be sought further down the road at a later date. She would keep driving.


Tuesday morning brought the annual menagerie of costumed professionals into the office, but Angelica had chosen to opt out. The tried-and-true angel costume had been brought out of the moth balls the previous year, but this time she was just her regular self, administrative assistant, second in command to the office coordinator. Who was also technically an administrative assistant. So she secretly considered herself an administrative assistant assistant. It was a highly prestigious line of work, especially for an intelligent female in possession of a four-year degree.

She liked to think her history degree was especially helpful in recognizing Benjamin Franklin and Julius Caesar as they proudly arrived through the office doors. Caesar was a lawyer, one of the few who actually chose to dress up for Halloween. Nice man. He had also studied history as an undergrad, doubled with English, which made Angelica feel proud, but at the same time, horribly inadequate. That suggestion had often come up in well-meaning family and friend recommendations, implying that perhaps if she put two "worthless" degrees together, she could use them to pursue a profession she never desired to attain in the first place.

"Love your legal assistant costume! Did you get all your stuff moved in?" asked Stacia, the office coordinator. "Matt was using the truck but I really wanted to come help." No she didn't.

"Aw, that's fine. My dad helped Friday night, then I just got the rest of it Saturday." She'd actually spent three different evenings taking loads over. She plopped her things down on the pile under her desk - disorganized, but discretely out of the way and out of view.

"Nice top by the way," said Stacia as she checked her lip gloss in her pocket mirror, "it's way cute." She had a better one at home.

"Thanks. It was on sale." She'd bought it at Goodwill.

"Wow really! You're such a bargain-hunter!" She never purchased office clothes in the clearance department.

"I have to be." She was just glad she wasn't a diva like some other people who worked there.

"Right, the whole money thing. I know how you feel, honey." She was just glad she had a boyfriend to take care of her.

"Aw thanks. I know it'll get better." She smiled. Angelica didn't need to depend on anyone. Rats... technically she did. For now.

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