Writespiration #22

22

Here’s my go – posted on Esther Newtons weekly writing challenge.

I knew I didn’t like her as soon as I saw her. New girl or not, those permanently puckered lips were going to irritate me.

From across the desk and before she even popped a sweet in her mouth I sensed her arm stretching for the packet. My skin prickled. Her pout ignited a warm tickle of rage from somewhere deep inside me. I flexed my fingers and slapped my keyboard in frustration. I didn’t care if it wasn’t the computers fault, she was about to suck and slurp at those bloody sweets. It was totally distracting, and more annoying no one else in the office seemed to notice.

“Bitch,” I whispered under my breath.

“You say something?” My manager asked.

“No, no, talking to myself,” I replied through gritted teeth.

I watched her arm waltz across the table in slow motion. I shot her the filthiest look I could muster. Of course, she was oblivious. She continued to shout obnoxiously down the phone to someone who was clearly an idiot.

“No, Tom, no. Its not about broadband any more,” she chuckled leaning back in her chair and swinging an arm behind her head, “It’s about supercharged broadband,” she snorted a laugh out and threw her headpiece down abruptly hanging up on Tom.

She bounced a sweet up and down in her hand for a moment, testing my patience, she threw it up once more and caught it in her mouth. She caught me looking at her and winked, clearly impressed at her own confectionary Olympics.

I gave her a curt smile and turned back to my screen trying not to vomit indignation over the computer.

“Arrogant bitch,”

The harder I begged my ears to ignore her, the louder her incessant sweet torture became. She sucked, and slurped at the sugared pastel like it was trying to escape her open mouth.

Your mouth should be a prison for each morsel, a final resting place for the edible. Not a paradise for opportunistic escape artists. Any convict in an orange jumpsuit with even a quarter of a brain cell could escape her jaws.

My eyes darted furiously around the tables next to me. Why wasn’t anyone else looking at her? She was so loud. It just isn’t possible for anyone to work through the noise of his chamming.

Her candyfloss coloured nails tiptoed across the table toward the eagerly awaiting sweets.

“Hell. No,” I bellowed.

It took a moment for the wave of unease accompanying the awkward silence in the office to hit me. I appeared to be on top of her desk, on all fours, a wild animal, fist clenching her packet of sweets. I took a moment of satisfaction from her lips puckering at the sight of me panting salivary rage in her face.

“I…I just mean…” I desperately searched for a rational explanation for my behaviour. The anger dissipated to my now flame red cheeks, “it’s just, er, that’s my favourite colour, and you ought to share them round. Office tradition an all.”

I climbed off the desk, and chucked the sweets on to the next table. She wouldn’t make it through probation.

16 comments

  1. Magnificent in her bitchness. What a lioness. I relate. They tried to introduce something called pink noise in my last office job which we assumed meant YMCA on a loop but apparently deadens the sorts of slurping your heroine hates. It was a slobbering failure. My worst faux pas was to bellow At one man to stop his irritating cough only to find he had a dodgy heart valve and needed open heart surgery. Oops.

    1. Haha, pink noise! BRILLIANT, hahahahahahahhahahaha that poor old guy! Did u feel bad? Not sure the character would have, they would have still found it annoying!!

      Why are you not writing this comedy I am demanding? ?

      1. I am surrounded at home by my own monstrous regiment of women: and now blogging! We mere quintessences of dust stand no chance! But I will, I will. The sequel to my first book will hopefully strike the balance between humour and a good story – three quarters written during Nano but on hold atm. For now I must finish a different book (more serious – final edit from me before it goes to a proper editor). A writer’s life, hey? Seriously thanks for the poke, I need to be nudged.

        1. Monsterous… Watch what gender your calling monsterous MIster!! ?? OOOH. You have an editor?? Tell me more. I wrote in NaNo too. Loads of old bollocks MAJOR rewrites underway. Draining the life out of me!

          1. I decided I needed to pay for someone to do the job properly when I eventually bit the bullet and convinced myself to self publish Dead Flies. I asked around and a blogging friend, Dylan Hearn recommended his editor Ben Way. I used Ben with, I think, really good results. Not only did he clean everything up but he made copious plot suggestions (most of which I ignored) and he helped reformat everything so when I did got the Kindle and Createspace route the whole thing didn’t blow up in my face.
            And of course you’re not monstrous, just quoting a 1588 unreconstructed male – we were at school together. My mother brought me up to believe it isn’t a question of which is the stronger sex; there’s only one, genetically, we just happen to have this little hip height deformity!

          2. AHH I was of course, only joking! I know you didn’t really mean monstrous! but you did lose me at ‘1588 unreconstructed male’ no idea what that means?! Thats great advice, I have been thinking about a professional edit at some point, I was also considering a literary critique of a synopsis and or couple of chapters, its just all so darned expensive! but i guess if you want good work to pitch then it has to be done 🙂

          3. Soz. It’s a quote from John Knox a Scottish dude who had it in for female monarchs, esp Catholic ones – female rule was against the Bible and some such. His work is titled ‘The first blast of the trumpet against the monstruous regiment of women’. The title has stuck even though I had to remind myself of the source (thank you Dr Google).
            And do get it done if you can afford it; making it professional is critical, everyone says so (and not just editors after the business).
            Who are your beta readers? Anyone there who has a sharp eye for detail.

          4. oooh, you quoter you! you scuppered me! Despite having a degree and two masters I have appalling general knowledge, and some residual baby brain, so things like that sail right through me ears!! Yeah, I think I will. Been considering it a while to be fair, and once I have a first draft done I will start saving for an edit. I don’t have any formal beta readers. 🙁 I have one friend who is pretty good with grammar who reads my genre and she has offered and I accepted. So that’s good. I have a lot of people who have offered to read it. But I am not sure who I want to read it, you know? I want it to be people who a) read that genre or at least know about it, b) have a decent literary grasp so that the advice they give me isn’t ‘average’ or useless because they don’t understand that genre and c) I know they will give me advice that I can handle because it’s given in an appropriately constructive way. Sounds like a big list, and maybe I am expecting too much, but I read an article the other day (by an editor) that discussed this concept of ‘average’ and it was fascinating. She was basically saying that there is an explosion of average coming into the market because of the ability to self publish, and that average writers get ‘average’ readers to beta read who then give ‘average’ advice and the result is an average novel… I dunno, part of me thinks any criticism is better than none?

          5. Toughie, for sure. I did a creative writing MA and picked up two now good friends who read and critique very thoroughly. Neither write in my genre but they understand good writing so their comments on plot, character, arc, structure are all sound. And I’ve had many people want to read who’ve been useless (‘Nice book geoff. I liked the hero.’) but one or two who have come up with gems. To my surprise my son is becoming a rather good critic though like me he reads so slowly and he’s up to his gills in legal exams that I’m having to pass him by just now.
            So what’s the genre? I think you said by the aging mind is sieve like these days.

          6. Yeh, you are right, it is those things like plot flow and structure that are more important. And I also think the more feedback you get, the better, anyway. Certainly for someone like me who is so early in their writing life. So maybe I disagree with myself – It happens! – and also I guess the more feedback you get the better you can see what’s ‘quality’ feedback and what isn’t and you can ignore what you don’t like. I would LOVE to to do an MA in creative writing. So jel! Major good luck vibes to your son 🙂

            It’s er… Well, I guess it’s a fantasy novel… Maybe edges towards some elements of dystopia, and magical realism. But broadly speaking the easiest explanation is fantasy! Aimed at older teens probably 17 plus. What do you do when not writing?

          7. Like me, have difficulty defining the genre. What do I do when I’m not writing? I’ll make you jel again, I’m afraid. I was a lawyer in the City for 30 plus years and squirrelled away enough cash to do what I want to do which is write. My wife is back at Uni doing the textile degre she’s wanted to for years so apart from writing and keeping house I volunteer at the local youth club twice a week. It’s in a deprived part of outer London – Streatham – and the proceeds of my first book such as they are are going to the club. So I call myself a writer which feels fraudulent but hey I’ve published so why not, eh?
            If you’d like me to read yours when it’s fit I’ll do so. I can be kind or I can be honest, whichever you can cope with. Sometimes both but generally it won’t seem that way to you, as it never does to me! Still my career in law hardened me to criticism so it had some benefits ( and I have loads of material for several books).
            I actually tried my hand at a YA novel for nano 2013 sort of magical elements to it. It’s in my to be edited and maybe published pile but about four down just now.
            But if that life sounds fab (I adore cooking btw so I do a lot of kitchen time too) let me say that, when I worked full time which meant some unconscionably long days and weekends I still managed to write three novels all of which are sitting waiting for me to attack them with vigour and knock them into shape. I loved squirrelling away time to write and I could be incredibly productive. I bet you can and are too. Not sure I’d have done it when my kids were one though! They’re now your age (well nearly – said son is 25 soon; daughter 22 on Sunday) so they were in their early to mid teens when I started (2006, July sudden urge to write a book – best mad moment after asking my wife on our first date at 18 – and I’ve not looked back. I read a few of your posts about your challenge starting a family and it must have been quite the most extraordinary time especially with a brilliant outcome. Oh and btw the terrible, twos are a myth and the terrible 10 months shows. Your lad will make up his mind exactly when to be terrible. If you ask me secondary school was the worst. My lovely articulate funny charming boy begpcame a grunting armpit sniffing fela grooming simian overnight. That pupae stage lasted for about two years when suddenly he rediscovered the Homo sapiens part of his nature and he’s been a charmer ever since. We just had to rock with King Louie for a while.

          8. You know I forget that for such a long time this blog space was about fertility. It’s frustrating actually because my most popular posts are on fertility!! For a while I tried to do both, but now that I have a child it makes me feel like a fraud trying to write about fertility and it’s not current anymore plus the doctors aren’t sure if they got it wrong I should never have been able to get pregnant by IUI nor as quick as I did if what was wrong, was actually wrong. But I haven’t gone back for tests to confirm one way or another so who knows. It’s funny too that all that information about my life is laid bare here and yet so many friends know nothing!

            So what genre do you put yourself in?!

            Ohhh wow a lawyer 🙂 what specialism? Ok so I am moderately green with envy that you are able to write full time. BUT it gives me hope that one day I can have saved enough to do the same. Fingers crossed Im doing ok for a 28yr old!! Hopefully I’ll be a CEO before too long! ?

            Streatham? South side of central London? I’m just outside London – live in Hertfordshire so just a few miles north of the M25.

            HOW DO YOU HAVE SO MANY BOOKS written?? I mean seriously HOW???? I struggle to find time to write one bloody novel! I exercise a lot and have this blog to run and my son and I am trying to do nails on the side because it’s another creative outlet!! Haha as if I’m not busy enough – oh I also happen to be doing a creative writing course with the writers bureau!

            Also it’s not fraudulent to call yourself a writer – it’s what you do – what else could you be called?!

            Thank you – I would love you to beta read it – when it’s actually going to be finished is another matter. I hope a first draft will be done by the end of the year 🙁 seems miles away. But I want all the character development and a plot synopsis written by end of feb – March is for editing the first 50 odd K then I’ll crack on writing so maybe sooner? But will need to self edit of course first!

            You do make me laugh, king Louie!! LOL I’m not looking forward to the grunting although I have to say the boy whilst ferociously intelligent and knows precisely what your saying refuses to speak anything other than grunts – well the odd word but still! I’m going to have to have a root through your posts see what I can learn about you! Haha 🙂

    1. Haha, well you know I actually wrote this because it’s my partner that feels like this over the sound of eating. Perhaps it’s a little exaggerated but it made me giggle! 🙂

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