Sunday, April 3, 2011


Bzzt, bzzt, bzzzt.

"Ughn." She rolled over, smacking the alarm. Her tired fingers missed the massive snooze button and the plastic contraption tumbled from the nightstand, yelling at her like an angry bee.

Groaning again, she rolled out of bed, landing on the floor on her knees as she searched for the irritating noise. Her hand touched the cool plastic and she grabbed at it, fumbling with the off switch. She couldn't make it work, so she reached behind the nightstand and yanked the plug out of the wall. Tossing the dead alarm onto the bed, she levered herself up and trudged to the bathroom.

She turned on the hot water and looked in the mirror. Her short hair was a mess and stuck up in clumps all over her head. The makeup she'd worn to the bar the previous night was smeared and looked almost as bad as she felt. Her head swam and she leaned on the counter to steady herself.

"Too many whiskey sours," she chided the trashy girl in the mirror. "Never again." But she knew it would happen again. Every weekend. She was almost thirty and still hadn't found the incentive to settle down and quit acting like a freshman in college.

Groaning again, she stepped into the shower, letting the hot water run over her, cleansing the bitterness of the evening away. She opened her mouth to get out the sour taste of her own vomit. When she was as clean as she was going to get, she stepped out, towelled herself off, and headed to the kitchen.

The programmable coffee pot had already finished its cycle. She poured herself a cup and went to the fridge to grab the half and half. She opened the door and found that all she had left was milk. Milk? When had she bought milk? Shrugging, she picked up the cardboard container and took it back to the coffee pot. She opened it, sniffing gingerly. It smelled borderline, so she took a sip. The clumpy, bitter mess had her running to the kitchen sink to gag. What was left of last night's disaster joined with the turned milk at the bottom of the stainless steel bowl.

Growling, she dumped the milk down the drain and threw the carton in the trash. She pulled out the emergency powdered creamer, added twice as much sugar as normal, and plodded out the door to her car. The traffic on the freeway only added to her irritable mood and she arrived at work twenty minutes late.

Walking through the door, she was greeted by the ever-bubbly Bonnie, a twenty-something blonde bimbo who never seemed to have an off moment or bad hair day in her life. The woman glared at the receptionist's cheerful greeting and hid in the elevator.

As it reached her floor, the doors opened onto her own personal hell. She walked down the rows of cubicles, all designed the exact same with very few personal touches, She plopped into her less-than-comfortable chair and sighed.

"Why are you always in such a sour mood?"

She looked up at her boss. He was middle-aged and hated his job as much as she hated hers. He took his pleasure from irritating his employees until they either blew up so he could fire them or quit on their own. She gave him a bitter smile.

"I'm not in a sour mood, George. This face just shows my absolute joy at being in this wonderful office and spending days on end in your lovely presence."

He laughed and walked away as she shoved the headset on and logged into her computer.

"Customer Support. This is Ronnie. How may I help you today?" she greeted the first angry customer of the day. 

**Origin of the story: There are 15-minute writing dashes at Milk Wood in Second Life every day at 5amSLT and 6:30pmSLT. This story is from the 3-29-11 morning dash, using the prompt "sour."**

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