Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Thursday Short #5

This short story was inspired by an exercise on the Creative Writing MA. We were given three words and asked to use them in a short story.

Can you guess the three words? Comment below if you figured it out and I'll let you know. But this may or may not be a clue:

by Fran Clark

When Ian Marsden sat at his desk, his new desk, in his own office, he smiled. I have arrived, he thought to himself. I have a door that everyone has to knock on to enter but before doing so they will read my name on the door. Here everyone will know who I am.
Ian hadn't been entirely unhappy with his last position in the firm. He had worked there for six years and, finding that he could do his job in his sleep and sometimes wondering if in fact he had been asleep for a large proportion of the day, he applied for and gained a promotion. Where he'd sat, in that open plan office, with the persistent hum of the air conditioning system and Tom Downes' constant rustling of sweet wrappers and biscuit packets, he thought he might slump backwards in his swivel chair and die - his death going unnoticed by the inexorable flow of colleagues walking past his desk leaving wafts of perfume, aftershave and deodorant just under his nose.
Of course there had been Katy Browne. Lovely Katy Browne who he'd glance at occasionally, her desk being only six feet away. But she never glanced back. Her eyes were always fixed on her computer screen and her right hand glided up and down and from side to side over her mouse pad as she held her mouse, clicking and double clicking, stopping only to raise her coffee mug to her mouth and sip.
With his promotion, his new desk and his new office, a new suit naturally followed. His mother urged him to wear the cuff links she'd given to him as a present when he turned thirty. They had been handed down by his grandfather but he'd never had occasion to wear them until now, just ten years after having received them. His mother, as a special treat, made him a packed lunch on the first day in his new position. She got up especially early to prepare it. She made a cheese and pickle sandwich, boiled and peeled an egg and rubbed a Gala apple on the front of her dressing gown before placing them all into a large, plastic food storage box and handing it to a blushing Ian before he left for work ten minutes earlier than usual.
The plastic, food storage box sat in the top draw of his new desk as his manager welcomed him to his new post, promptly leaving his office and closing the door behind her. Once he'd sat down and turned on his computer he became aware of the air conditioning system, the noticeable absence of Tom Downes' noisy snacks and the comforting click-clicking of Katy Browne's mouse. It had to have been the longest morning of his life as he thought longingly of his packed lunch and the undeniable knowledge that yet again he would be eating alone.
At the window in his new office, he stood with his hard-boiled egg in hand, the sun glinting off his right cuff link as he distinctly heard footsteps approaching his office door. Making a swift lifting and lowering action of his egg to and from his mouth he shouted, “Come in!” before he'd even heard a knock at the door. Startling himself by the volume of his welcome call, he dropped his egg and watched as it landed on his left shoe, rolled onto the floor and lay just inches from his foot. He bent quickly to collect it. Rising from a crouched position, he remembered that someone had been approaching his office. He stood to see Katy Browne holding the door open with one hand and a mug of coffee in the other, a warm smile on her face.

You might also like The Thursday Short #4


  1. Hard-boiled egg?
    I was surprised that this story had a happy ending!

  2. Yes, an egg was one of the words. A little twist to this tale - a happy ending for a change. I promise I do have them sometimes:)