My first and last short story (till date)

I thought that it was quite brave (read: dumb) of me to submit the following story as part of course work. Anyway, read on………………

A Day At The Office

Mr. Editor, as he liked himself to be called, woke up to the cacophonic tune of his alarm and was immediately alarmed on noticing that his clock had gone off before sunrise. This experience had become a common occurrence during this time of the year over the past few years but somehow it never ceased to amaze or rather, alarm him.

He could still quite distinctively recall all the vivid memories of his childhood mornings, when the sun would have been almost halfway through the eastern skies before he had an opportunity to lay an eye upon it (during this time of the year).

After some private thought, which was attended to whilst he was indulgent in his early morning chores, Mr. Editor decided that he could fill up a column in his newspaper with the help of this topic.

With the decision being made, all that was now left to be done by Mr. Editor was to find some ordinary men for the ordinary job. He would have loved to do the job on his own but he knew, more than anyone else, the dangers that came associated with the association with the thoughts arising in his mind.

Spring may be famous for its pleasant weather but McManus was certainly famous for his foul temper which was evident not only in spring but through out the year. The fact that he was awoken from his sleep early in the morning didn’t help tip the scale towards pleasantness either.

McManus hadn’t always been the ordinary person that he is today. He had seen both good and bad times in his past.
His professional career had got off to an exceptional start and was in fact a darling of the critics for quite a considerable amount of time. He had been a writer for whom words came as easily as floods in an Indian monsoon. Even though he was aware of the envious status that he enjoyed amongst his peers he was never quite able to put a finger on the reasons responsible for his position. But now with the words having deserted him he came to realise what he had back then and no longer had, an inherent ability to put things in perspective with the help of words.

When he first realized that words were no longer something that he could summon at will he began to get worried and ultimately this worry of his transformed itself into frustration which in turn led to violent outbursts from his side.

These actions of his left his wife with no other option but to leave him. In the weeks following his wife’s departure McManus continued to slide at an exponential rate towards depression, and finally when he could slide no more he made up his mind to put an end to it all by putting a bullet in his head.

When the moment to pull the trigger had arrived McManus was left  with a smile across his face. He was so impressed with his suicide note that he felt that “there was life in the auld dawg yet”

However, that turned out to be a false dawn and McManus began to live a new life playing the part of an ordinary writer with an interesting past.

“Hello”, bellowed McManus as he answered the phone. “As far as I can recall, I am your Boss and I don’t remember ordering you to treat me with such disdain?” complained Mr. Editor, as he began to get dressed for the day ahead. “I am really sorry sir, I was speaking half asleep”, said McManus, trying to sound apologetic.

“Apology accepted, McManus. Now stop wasting your time and hurry along to the office. I have an interesting task for you” said Mr. Editor whilst scrutinizing himself in the mirror. He became so deeply occupied with his reflection that he had no room left in his mind to reflect upon McManus’s reply.

When Dilbert reached the publishing office, he was taken aback at the sight of McManus so early in the morning. “So, did you come all the way early in the morning just to beat me to my cup of coffee?” asked Dilbert, trying to sound jovial. “ It seems that the old man’s got a task for me” said McManus as he continued to stare into the distant emptiness. “I’m afraid the ‘old man’ can still hear”, said Mr. Editor as he came thundering towards them in a I-mean-business manner.

“I don’t want to waste any more of my time stuck in this office, lest I should become a Bartleby. So, here’s what I want you to do for me and my paper. Write an article exploring the could-be reasons behind the sun’s recent late appearances on the eastern horizon in the mornings”.

“Maybe you should start looking towards the west, sir. The other day our rival newspaper published an article which predicted that the Sun would rise in the west in the not too distant future” said Dilbert, laughing out loud.

“I always knew they were nut cases”, said Mr. Editor, in a pleased manner as he got up to leave the room.

The very next day a column appeared in Mr. Editor’s newspaper which explored all the various plausible explanations responsible for the alleged delay of the sun rise. The article, co-written by McManus and Dilbert, touched upon many a reason but excluded the most important of them all, and that was the change in the geographical location of Mr. Editor.

The Newspaper Column:

Rapid Industrialization bringing about our planet’s slowdown?
It’s unofficially official folks. Our planet has begun to slow down and experts believe that global warming might be the culprit yet again. In a startling revelation made late yesterday evening, some leading scientists offered to let the cat out of the bag provided their identity be held within the bag. On being assured of leak proof anonymity, the scientists finally came forward to put forth their ideas………….. (the end)

What I tried to do was write a story which in essence has no plot or basis. I know that my premise doesn’t quite make any sense but then I thought if Tarantino could pull it off, then why can’t I ? At the end of it all, I was quite surprised (read relieved) that I got 6.5/10 for my effort. There were also some 4-5 lines of feedback which I haven’t been able to decipher till date (from what little I could make out it sounded pretty positive, 🙂 ).

p.s:- The material presented here is the crude form of the story. I couldn’t produce the refined version since it was hand written.


4 thoughts on “My first and last short story (till date)

  1. it took me a while to realize that the story ended when i was reading your 2nd last paragraph 😛 … as far as the story goes, the writing is good as always but about the plot, I feel that it was lost.

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