Slide down the rabbit hole or step behind the curtain. Here you will find the wonders of an epic workplace. From young entrepreneurs going door-to-door to ranch pals riding the range, there’s a world of epic places to work.
Writers set about their own workplaces to draw upon imagination, stories, or memories to write about the place many of us will spend the majority of our adult lives. It best be epic!
The following are based on the September 6, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an epic workplace.
PART I (10-minute read)
Door-to-door by Bill Engleson
“He’s so young,” I can hear my mother say.
“He’s fourteen,” my father states the obvious.
“That’s what I mean. Delivering papers is one thing. People ask to have the paper delivered. They want kids delivering the news. But this?”
I’ve been delivering the Snuffle River Clarion six days a week for three years. Seventy customers. That’s been my bar. It goes down every so often. People move. A few have died.
But I ain’t a kid any longer.
The future is in door-to-door.
Vegetable Oil Soap, ‘Pure Enough To Eat!’
I’ll make a fortune.
Epic by Reena Saxena
“Can I meet one of the seniors before I join?”
“Sure! They are happy to meet prospective employees.”
I find myself opposite the legendary whistle-blower of the topmost bank. I forgot to blink.
“I know, kid! Many people believed that no other firm will offer me employment after that courtroom battle. But this is a company that values integrity. Integrity doesn’t mean just not stealing. It means that your thoughts, words and actions always match.”
Now, this was a tough one. Most of us cannot lay claim to such a lofty value system.
“Actually, I have another offer, Sir…..”
Retreat by Sarah Whiley
I’d been away for work at a beautiful spot, facilitating a retreat for carers. The aim – respite and pampering, for three days.
I’d worked hard to ensure they’d had everything they needed, and could truly unwind from the demands of looking after the person they cared for.
I opened up a package that had arrived for me in the mail that day.
I held a flat rock with a detailed image of the mountain landscape where we’d been.
“Thank you” the card read, “I’ve found the inspiration to paint again”.
What an epic workplace, I thought, choking back tears.
Workplace by The Dark Netizen
A new day begins. Can’t wait to get to work!
I love working here. Our work areas are customizable. Today feels like a day for a sky blue theme. Also, I’m thinking a nice ten inch pepperoni pizza for lunch today. Oh! And a nice pitcher of wheat beer to wash it down with. All this on company expense. Sounds like a great day already. The best part about my workplace and job, is my boss. He’s such a fun guy. Speaking of which, need to take his call now.
“Good morning, sir! Righto! On my way, Mr. Santa!”
My Workplace My Heaven by Deepa
the kitchen was the best
but aroma disturbed me
then settled to my balcony
but eyes grazed the crowd
the park would be perfect
but the emotions stirred deep
and saddened me further
finally found a place of peace
uninterrupted and serene
because no one dares me here
when ideas trigger me
I make an excuse
and rush to the hole
I sit on top of it
with my legs dangling
in water cold
I love this place
because ideas don’t just
happen in certain places
they happen at
in the loo too
Opportunity by Abhijit Ray
“We are investing big money to set up new research center,” Human Resource manager pointed at the aerial photograph, identifying research center, administrative building, crèche, jogging track, “we are the best paymasters; we arrange relocation and accommodation, we take care of health and welfare of employees and their families. Other routine benefits you can find in your letter.”
The scope of this Epic opportunity impressed him. “This is the right time to move back and contribute,” he reasoned. Afterall, his initial education was the basis of his higher studies and current life. Question was how to convince his family.
Heaven by Floridaborne
Most people say they want a great view, presidential fringe benefits, or freedom to work anywhere outside an office when asked, “What’s your epic workplace?”
After 40 years of office intrigue, being targeted by the cliques I wouldn’t join, and enduring lighting levels that left me with daily headaches, I’ve finally achieved my idea of heaven.
I’m a sub-contractor working with people I consider family. I have autonomy over a specific job in a corner office with window blinds to control the amount of light inside, a 32” computer screen, and the fluorescent lighting outside my office is off.
Flash Fiction by Robbie Cheadle
“Where did you say you worked?”
“I didn’t say but I can work any place and any time. My mobile office is comprehensive. I have two laptops, two cell phones and an ipad.”
“Really, that is interesting. Do you work from home then?”
“As I said, I work from anywhere. Sometimes I work from home, but I also work on planes, trains and when I am a passenger in a car. I work from hotel rooms and while I am at swimming lessons with my children. I even work while they attend music lessons and karate. It is epic.”
First Day at Work by Anurag Bakhshi
Maria could feel the hills come alive with music as the magnificent scenery unfolded before her. Mother Superior had been right, this WAS an epic workplace.
With renewed confidence, she gazed into the eyes of the handsome but stern-looking man who was standing next to to the seven unruly little ones…her future wards…if she could somehow impress the man, and that dazzling beauty standing next to him.
But before she could say anything, the man spoke up, “Miss Maria, let’s start at the very beginning. This is my wife Snow White, and these are the seven dwarfs.”
Epic by Ritu Bhathal
The door opened into a room where the atmosphere was teeming with enthusiasm.
Everywhere, industrious individuals attempted to solve their own problems in inventive manners.
There were specific areas for everything, from creative, to constructive, collaborative to computing.
A second door led to a huge outside area, filled with opportunities to stretch ideas.
Turning back into the room, I knew this was it. This was the place I wanted to be, the most epic workplace I’d encountered.
A classroom that put the children’s interests first, that stretched their thinking and allowed them to grow as individuals.
This was it.
Epic Work by D. Avery
One woman told about her daughter the pilot; she mentioned three children that were pilots and one that worked for NASA.
A man bragged about his son the writer; she enumerated her journalists, artists and published authors.
She shared her pride for her children that served in the military, fire, rescue, and police forces, beamed about those that had become nurses and doctors, spoke warmly of the children that stayed close to home and were good citizens.
Finally someone cried foul.
“You can’t possibly have so many children!”
“As a teacher I’ve made a difference for hundreds of children.”
Flash Fiction by oneletterup
“I’m doing my works!”
The little girl demonstrates.
Carefully pouring water from cup to bowl.
The silent visitor watches in surprise.
She’s never seen such a grand school.
Small wooden tables and chairs. A low matching sink.
Sun pouring in on many bright, happy faces.
The little boy calls out “Me too. Look at my works!”
Red cubes stacked high.
A place for important work. For all.
Pouring. Sorting. Counting. Writing.
Girls and boys. Older helping younger.
Just like her.
The teacher, sitting on the big rug, smiles.
“Please join us for circle time.”
“Welcome to Greenwood Montessori school.”
It’s EPIC by Norah Colvin
Roll up! Roll up! Come one, come all. This new attraction will have you enthralled. Bring parents, bring partners, siblings and friends. No one’s excluded. It’s Earth’s latest trend. Your eyes won’t believe. Your ears won’t deceive. It’s a sensory explosion, for all to explore. It’s entertaining, electrifying, edifying too. It’s a universe first, and it happened on Earth. It’s empowering, engrossing. There’s so much to see. With no space left empty, it’s elaborate, exciting, extols energy. With exquisite exhibits and enlightening exposures, it’s the most, enticing, enriching, educational environment, established on Earth. It’s EPIC, the Exceptional Pinterest-Inspired Classroom.
Devil Boat by TN Kerr
I read that she was called “The Devil Boat” in reference to Revelations Chapter 13. We never called her that. The USS HAWKBILL SSN666 was a highly decorated Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine.
What was most grand about her was the crew.
Every crewman on a submarine stakes his survival on the skills and knowledge of the rest. This creates a bond. It builds pride in self and in others as, daily, you do more than you ever thought possible.
It’s a dangerous and cramped workplace. It’s not for everyone. It sometimes stinks. It frustrates. I’d undoubtedly do it again.
When You Always Get Your Murds Wuddled by Geoff Le Pard
‘What’s up mate? Looks like you’ve just been told you’re the love child of the Donald and Kim Un Kardashian?’
‘My mum. Given me a right bollocking. Apparently I just called my grandma and told her that I’d just “waxed her high and wide” as promised.’
‘Geez, mate, that’s a bit… saucy.’
‘I taxed her Hyundai. I was trying to help but she’s Mrs Malaprop made flesh.’
‘Poor old thing.’
‘I know. She told dad how pleased she was that my new workplace was epic.’
‘You told me it was manky.’
‘I said, quote, “it’s totally septic, grandma”.’
Flash Fiction by Pete Fanning
“Noah, Noah, Noah…”
I broke off my thoughts, elbow deep in the murk of dishwater and some epic plotting. Rhonda stared at me over a haphazard pile of pots and dishes, used napkins, trash and utensils. ‘I swear kid, sometimes I wonder where you go in that head of yours. Anyway, this is the last of the buffet.”
She stalked off to smoke. I turned to the load. A three-gallon pot of Clam chowder with a day’s worth of insulation around the lip. I picked up my scraper and smiled. I had all night to get this chapter right…
Games Omniverse – Epic Workplace by Kerry E.B. Black
They’re all so much younger than me, but I find their Millenial energy invigorating. I know they look on me as the Grandma of the bunch. They turn eye-rolls when I’ve fouled another computer task and hide their smiles when I say something about “me me’s” instead of saying “memes.”
Yet somehow, I bring something to the group. I’d never be so vain as call it wisdom, and my experiences aren’t always helpful. However, it works. When they need copy, I pound on the keyboard until some small magic occurs, and the Angel in charge nods.
“This’s good. Thanks.”
Dream Job by D. Avery
“I have had a lot of other jobs, but this is by far the best. I mean, it can be intense, but I enjoy the challenge. In my present work I am able to really use and incorporate all my previous experiences and prior knowledge to advantage. And I have a lot of latitude, a lot of freedom. I often work outside, I can dress how I want, set my own hours… it’s pretty awesome. Dream job. I am really enjoying myself.”
“Uh, Dude, you’re unemployed. You haven’t worked in months.”
“But I have been working at writing! Epic!”
The Amazing-Magician-From-India-With-Love by papershots
On-the-subway-for-spare-change, “with a white string I can make stand straight and hard, look!” leaps into the intermittent morning waltz of in…and-out, back…and-forth, you…getting-off?. When in the middle of his feat of magic the poor-Bosnian-I-live-in-a-shack with-this-little-girl please-help-me “20 cents to buy milk” gets on and sees the Amazing-Magician-from-India-etc…
The who-drowns-out-who challenge is on! Yeah! No.
“Please,” she starts, “ladies and gent…” then breaks off, gets off, the code of conduct of the beggars who can’t choose which train to ticketless-ly attack. “The white string stands straight and hard, look!” Not much change, though, in the worn-out Kullu cap.
The Call by Anne Goodwin
Bile stinging her throat, she pressed the green icon.
“Homer here.” His tone gave nothing away.
“Thanks for …” Her whole future in that pause.
Joy of joys! She didn’t need to hear more. But was she up to it? Could she bear to uproot herself and begin again somewhere new? “Sorry, I’ll have to turn it down.”
Excellent? They didn’t want her after all? She reran his offer in her head: I’m calling to invite you on the adventure of working with us. Of course: to earn the elixir, an employee must first reject the call.
PART II (10-minute read)
My Log Cabin by Kelvin M. Knight
Briefcase in hand, I kiss my wife at the patio door. ‘See you tonight.’
‘Have a great day at work, darling.’
A short stride across our lawn and I am here, where everything’s clean and pine fresh. Varnish shines the floor. An uncluttered desk smiles. There are no pictures, no ornaments. This empty space. This creative space.
Free even from books, those to be read and those to be filled – my precious notebooks.
Relaxing in my chair, I open my briefcase, remove my laptop. Tranquility washes over me. Nodding, I let this blank screen write its story upon me.
Cloud Covers by Chelsea Owens
“How’s it goin’, Nim?” called a breathy voice. He looked up. And up. And to the side. There was Cirrus, waving and smiling.
“Er… it’s a breeze.” He paused. “How ’bout you?”
“Clear skies here.”
“Cool, cool.” Nimbostratus faced forward again, his harness jangling. With utmost care he applied another layer of white. Now just to add a touch of grey…
“I saw Cumulo yesterday,” Cirrus flurried. She never could stay still.
“Mm-hmm.” Dip. Paint.
Cirrus also disliked inattention. She dropped in altitude. “He said: BOOM!”
“AAAH!” Nimbostratus yelled.
“Looks a bit greyer than initially predicted,” the weatherman noted.
Epic Workplace by Ann Edall-Robson
The room is pristine to start, but soon takes on a look somewhat chaotic. Books spread out across open spaces where once there were thoughts of organization and streamlining the hours to make them as productive as possible. Sounds of thunking, banging, clinking as doors open and close revealing needed tools. There are small marred bits of paper, tattered edged recipes, speckled from age and use. No one interrupts in this epic workplace where the tantalizing smells and mouth watering finales meld as one. To do so would jeopardize the anticipation of savouring the memories coming from the kitchen.
Flash Fiction by Susan Sleggs
If someone asked where I would like to have an epic quilting space, I would answer, on a bluff overlooking the Oregon coast, or high in a sky scraper with lots of windows to admire the scenery day and night, or perhaps on Flathead Lake in Montana to view the mountains and water. But let’s be logical about this; if I’m sewing I’m not looking at a view. I think I’ll keep the 600 square feet in the basement of my current home. Peace resides there and my cats keep me company. Besides I’m usually working in my pajamas.
Space…the Final Frontier by Kayuk
Words, like hammers, pound into me …again. “Isn’t there ONE SINGLE SPACE in this house I can put my things?”
Tears beg release. Manly things are piled on sofas, beds, tables, and floors in every room. A year after moving in, I’m still an intruder in a man’s sanctuary.
The tirade continues but, through patio doors, a shady table and chair await me. Abutting the grass is a lovely pond, with a serene view of ducklings following mama.
He storms out and, laptop in hand, I sigh and step through the door to a warm breeze and epic workplace.
Epic Workplace by Frank Hubeny
Eric was a loner. That’s why he liked people. They were rare like deer or bear in the distance. He took a break from thinning paper company land with brush saw holstered on his back and his head lost in his helmet.
He saw the hikers coming. One of them asked him if they were still on the Appalachian Trail. “Yes! Keep going. It’s right over there.” The trail wasn’t easy to see.
Eric wondered why people walked that trail, but he was glad to see them. He was glad he could give someone good directions on their way.
Green Crater by Saifun Hassam
Jeff, Valerie and Carmen trekked from the rim of Green Crater to Green Crater Lake, formed millennia ago. Wind and water had weathered the extinct volcano’s steep ravines to valleys with gentle slopes. Every year, the rangers visited the Crater area, one of Special Ecological Habitats.
For Jeff, the Crater was his epic workplace, one he explored in the winter as well. By late spring the snows had melted. The lake and its marshy shores, attracted deer, egrets, migrant ducks and geese. Last summer, Jeff saw a bobcat. Today, a rattlesnake, basking in the sun on smooth rounded stones.
In the Cards by D. Avery
The guys had circled their beer coolers for poker night in Ernest’s garage, where it was less humid than the trailer.
“Marge, I can’t believe you quit being shop foreman to work in this two-bit two bay garage. Left the largest dealership around — state of the art equipment, only working on newer vehicles–”
“Yeah”, chimed Lloyd. “Epic.”
“The work here’s actually more interesting, our customers bring us all sorts of mechanical mysteries to be solved. It’s more personal. And I got tired of babysitting.”
“Oooh, personal! Marge and Ernest up in a tree…”
“Like I said…”
“Epic”, Lloyd repeated.
Upward Mobility (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
Mist rose from the pond with the morning coolness of a mountain camp at 7,000 feet. Danni stretched in sun salutations on the sagging porch of her Forest Service cabin while coffee percolated. The aroma grew strong, and she padded back inside on bare feet to pour a cup. The rest she saved for her thermos. As she drove her quad toward the archeological dig, Danni spotted elk, a skittering coyote and a Cooper’s hawk. At the worksite, trenches waited for the volunteers who would follow. She contemplated her epic workplace. At last, Danni would be the lead archeologist.
A Sign of the Times by Di @ pensitivity101
Scott loved his job at the Living Museum. It was inspired, and different.
Admittance was free, but there were warnings about laser lights and flashing images.
Only fifty people were admitted at any one time, the doors closing behind them.
The room was dark, save for a single spot of light on the far wall.
The music started, loud and upbeat. Lights pulsed to the rhythm, and the magic began.
Holographic figures moved amongst them, through them, so real and yet only a projected image. Patrons felt themselves drawn into a time past, present and future all at once.
Working on The Unsinkable Ship by Peregrine Arc
“They’re wanting sheets in cabin four, Miss Elizabeth.”
“Yes, miss. I’ll get them right away,” the maid said politely with a curtsy to her matron.
“And be sure you’re minding your place. Just because we’re working in first class doesn’t mean—”
But Elizabeth was already down the hallway, gathering clean linens in the laundry room. Her friend Gayle was there, in the corner where they whispered their secrets and dreams.
“Just think of it, Liz! Us—on the Titanic!”
Epic Workplace by Anita Dawes
The cleaning job I had in my twenties holds one sad memory.
Springfield Hospital, a building held together by sadness. The people inside, old, forgotten.
A woman of about eighty, taken for her daily bath, left alone in this cold room. Her arms reaching over the bath edge, pleading to be taken out.
Matron caught me, told me to get on with my work, which I found hard to do.
Now a block of posh flats stands where the hospital used to be.
I wonder what kinds of sounds echo around those walls now.
Do they drip with sadness?
Average Day At Work by Heather Gonzalez
Marcus stepped heavy steel-toed boots into his coveralls. Zipping up with a firm grip, it shielded the majority of his body. Then putting on gloves and safety goggles, he was now ready to start his work day. The odor that permeated the scene had become commonplace for him. Even before he reached the body, he noticed that the decomposition process had already begun. Climbing under the caution tape, Marcus surveyed the environment to make sure that all of the evidence was tagged beforehand. Whoever did this, definitely didn’t think about who would have to clean it up this mess.
New Beginnings by Kelvin M. Knight
Blades of grass lifted the stones like they were grains of sand – stones bigger than me. Walking over this grass, I felt as though I were walking on springs – those metallic contraptions Father used to create timepieces – despite time measuring being forbidden.
‘Forbidden yet fantastical.’ These words flowed from a forest whose leaves rose into the sky, over and over, like rippling water.
Ignoring them, I sat crosslegged and thought, Hullo, I’m your new apprentice.
‘I know.’ A man appeared before me brandishing two crystal balls.
‘For yours. For mine.’ Laying them at my feet, he disappeared.
Virtual Reality by D. Avery
“Jeez, Kid, that post was kinda trippy. Had ta wunder ‘bout Shorty fer a bit there…”
“Trippy? Have ta wunder ‘bout you, Pal.”
“It’s a wunder we git anythin’ done aroun’ here what with all the yackin’. Saddle up, Kid, it’s time ta ride.”
“Pal, do we ride or write? This kin be punny place, I git confused.”
“Reckon, you an’ me, we ride, jist do ranch-like chores.”
“Good, writin’s too much work. I’d ruther be herdin’ strays, tendin’ the stock, ridin’ the range… It’s beautiful here.”
“Yep. We really have an epic workplace, Kid.”
“I imagin’ we do.”
I love how more and more people are joining in on the 99 word fun!
I’m enjoying it, too!
There are a lot of stories here. I love the different takes by different writers, all on the same prompt. It fascinates me how separate the stories are.
Every week, this is my favorite part. There’s no end to creativity and the collection of responses to a single prompt shows that.
You did it again, Boss. This is all together an amazing collection of flash! Buckaroo Nation- together we write.
That’s a fine anthem for this epic place of epic write-riders. All I did was gather them li’l doggies.
That’s all… Yeah, write.
Truly epic entries!
Writing that lived up to the prompt!
Some great posts here again Charli.
Epic writing, Di!
I didn’t get to read and comment much this time around. I enjoyed reading these ‘shorts’ of epic workplaces.
Hope you had a good trip, perhaps even an epic one, Jules.
It was a quick, yet exhausting turn around. Then I had some on call Grama duty and Neighbor stuff… and life.
But hey did you know that Canada has black squirrels!
I’ve seen a few here, too! They must be Canadian.
What an epic collection of 99 word flash fiction stories, Charli. Thank you for collating them and for all the partners who joined in with this fun prompt. Well done, one and all.
And epic collection, indeed! This is always my favorite part of the challenge, seeing that creativity has no bounds.
[…] story was published in the Carrot Ranch collection for this photo prompt – see Part II – 1st story. Many thanks to Charli and […]
[…] story was published in the Carrot Ranch collection for this photo prompt – see Part II – penultimate story. Many thanks to […]