What makes an office is the space — the physical and mind space to do one’s commercial, professional, personal or bureaucratic work. Offices go beyond cubicals to the dawn of a new day, wherever the work might go. And sometimes the office worker holds a position known as an office.
This week, writers had the space to explore the parameters of an office. Different sorts and takes make up a compilation of stories as lively as tales told around an office cooler.
The following are based on the July 27, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write an office story.
The Office by Ann Edall-Robson
It’s dark as I quietly gather up my tools. Making my way up the stairs for yet another early morning visit to my temporary office. I pull the door closed behind me. The crunch of gravel under my feet is the only sound.
The freedom of the outdoors. Displaced from the real world. It’s where I go to find the written words that bob in the darkness. Waiting for the emerging day to push them to the surface and flow across the paper.
On a hill, overlooking the valley, the sun slowly lights up this office.
My day begins.
Lawman by Bill Engleson
He had no doubt that Caldwell had put out the call for a brigade of ruffians.
The west was littered with them, brigands with the morals of rats, the conscience of the dead.
The Banker had suggested the town Marshall, Giff Barnaby, might be of some use. “Not much, but he’s an honest man. As much as he can be.”
Dobbs opened the door to Barnaby’s Office.
A thin sad-eyed, weedy boy of about fifteen was sitting at an old desk, rough-hewn, wobbly.
“Marshall in?” Dobbs asked.
“Know when he’s due?”
“They killed him, sir.”
Hello Spain by Elliott Lyngreen
You are not here to run the show. You are here to pick it up and ignite the thrusts to get us to the next check point. Qin terracotta warriors corona around building structures~~ fractal scarring farm of my mothers lawn. Clean until its all gone. Pick up… Next morning, they post flashes of fiction while im typing addendums. Just a day, a breath. the world moves on. Did you hear what happen in Saigon? Mysteries and magic, what really happen? Their lives into identical scenes, as if bomb went p-tew! ~~while the rest carried like weeps in brickwalls.
Office Know How by Irene Waters
My long-distance boyfriend gave me the order to reinvest. Power of attorney in hand, I headed into town, wondering if my boyfriend was wise. I knew the market’s instability despite his trust in his broker. I squashed into the peak hour train packed full of
workers going to the city. Arriving, I made the one block journey to the broker’s address and took the elevator to the ninth floor office. Removal boxes filled the reception area. An old man, his face lined and haggard, sat amongst them.
“Sorry, wrong office.” I turned and left.
My boyfriend later thanked me.
High Office in the Office by Anne Goodwin
“We considered asking Frankie. But he wouldn’t do as good a job as you.”
“But if you think you’re not up to it … After all, it’s quite a responsibility for one so young.”
“The whole office depending on you …”
“But if you did it well, who knows where it might take you.”
Donning the rubber gloves, Nick didn’t feel as upbeat as his new colleagues seemed to think he should. Water gushed from the tap, filling the basin with foam. They’d even given him a badge. CHIEF WASHER UPPER. It wasn’t the office to which he’d aspired.
Officing with Critters by Charli Mills (from Miracle of Ducks)
“Don’t forget to water the chukar, Danni.” Ike called, as he entered the house.
“I’m setting the birds free.” Danni didn’t even look up from her scattered documents.
Ike walked to the dining room Danni had claimed for her office long ago. Since they never entertained, it was her space.
“Babe. The eagles will eat them.”
“Which is a natural process.” Danni looked up at Ike. “Living in a wire cage in a man cave is not.”
“It’s my office and I need those birds to train my staff.”
Danni clenched her teeth. Ike’s office was a dog circus.
Offices Can Be Fun by Geoff Le Pard
‘This is my room.’
Paul stood back, wondering what Penny would say. She’d looked forward to Kids at Work but he feared she assumed the fact he spent hours here meant it must be exciting.
She clutched the hot chocolate (‘Cool. It’s really free?’) and sat at his desk. She tapped his computer. ‘What games do you play?’
He smiled. ‘I don’t. I read, I have meetings. I…’
‘It’s a conference phone. It..’
‘Cool. Can I call Amla?’
Paul picked up his paper while his daughter conducted a seven way call. Offices can be fun, it seemed.
Office Story by Diana Nagai
Alice reflected as she pushed the 5th floor button. She didn’t grow up poor but her family was far from wealthy. She wore hand-me-downs. Her mother cooked with canned vegetables. They vacationed on camping trips in the woods, not in Hawaii like friends.
Alice didn’t resent her parents for not providing luxuries, but she always wanted more. So, she left her admin job and life in a cubicle for a QA position at a tech company. Alice would now have money for extravagances.
She walked down the hall and proudly opened the door to her new office.
A New Beginning for Sarah Shull by Charli Mills (from Rock Creek)
Sarah carefully unpacked her inks and quills. She checked each nib for wear and placed them in a clean Mason jar. She unpacked her ledger and opened the blank pages. Cobb bought the leather and canvas book for her in Missouri. Hers. Her desk, though crude, was space for the work she loved – calculating accounts and inventories. Sarah’s father taught her when she showed interest and aptitude. She had been the accountant for Shulls Mill and Store several years before…before her infatuation with Sheriff McCanles.
That was behind her now. She opened the ledger to a clean new page.
The Principal’s Office, Take Two by Norah Colvin
“Ah, Robert, come in,” she said, extending her hand and shaking mine as if I was an adult rather than a work experience student. As she returned to her desk, she indicated for me to also sit. I was puzzled. I knew I’d done a good job in the classroom. Why would the principal want to see me? I waited. She looked at me quizzically. “Robert, I’ve heard a great deal about you this week …” I squirmed. “… and all of it positive.” She smiled. “I’d like to suggest, if you’re still undecided, that you consider teaching as a career …”
Sacred Space by Ruchira Khanna
Morris squealed,”Get out you wrinkled hairy creature!”
The girl panicked and ran out of that four by four space that was her shrine, and NO one was allowed in there!
As she stood outside her sacred space, she was in tears while pondering over the invasion that was an intrusion into her privacy.
“I shall investigate and get to the bottom of this!” she said while wiping her tears and banging her right fist to her left palm.
While at a distance, a set of giggles could be heard that were secretly hiding the cage in their backpack.
Self Empowered by Jules Paige
It was a small room. Not really an office. We counted coins
from who knows where – Can’t even remember the company
I worked for. Briefly, I got moved to a little room to check the
figures of the guy who was going on vacation. That was up
until the one gal got me blamed for jamming one of the
machines. And then I got canned.
There is always ‘that’ office where you are called to for
‘corrections’ or to be told that your services are no longer
required. I only ‘work’ for me now…out of my ‘home’ office.
Concealed Carry by Pete Fanning
Jerry couldn’t understand why people freaked out, it was his right to carry it. They told him he couldn’t bring it in so he left it in the car. But he couldn’t do that either.
So Jerry took it home and cursed bureaucracy. He kicked and screamed then sped back to the office. He applied for a concealed carry.
More hoops to jump through, but he got it. Jerry practiced feverishly, in the mirror and at home, until he had successfully concealed his grudge against the world.
The next day Jerry holstered his grudge and took off for work.
Where Her Heart Is by Sarrah J Woods
The phone rings and jolts Kaitlyn back into her office. She had been flying over mountaintops with her heroine, searching for signs of the evil sorcerer, as her pen flew over the pages of her notebook. But now her novel will have to wait—again.
“Straight Bar Insurance, Kaitlyn speaking, how can I help you?” she says, quelling a sigh.
It’s a young man calling to get a quote on a new auto insurance policy. Kaitlyn musters up a professional, friendly tone and goes through the motions of providing the quote.
Meanwhile, her heart is still hunting the sorcerer.