One of my favorite author’s deals out a fiction challenge every Friday with a deadline of the following friday. Last weeks challenge was to go to a random phrase generator and then use that phrase somewhere in the course of a short story of no more than 1000 words. So lucky for you my dear 4 fans, you get a short story to read today.

My phrase:

Agnostic Thigh Slapping Pagan

by Nicole Sharp

It was a feel good day, the kind when you get up with the sun, all seems right with the world, birds sing and the sky is glorious. Then life is introduced and someone ties your good will toward men to back of a bumper and drags you through the mud all the while you wonder if all the positive energy you’re putting out into the universe has ever been worth it.

So lunch comes with a bah humbug feel and a side of leftover mashed potatoes and meatloaf cooked too long in the microwave and now resembles a comically crusted version of a dinner that hadn’t been any good to begin with the first time around. Might as well throw the experiment in the trash and go back to work.

“Catherine K.,” after five years, the bald fat mess of a boss that fits so perfectly into every 50s stereotype uses my last initial whenever he talks to me, like there is a plethora of Catherine’s around this place, which there isn’t. I even looked into the past ten years of the company, I’m it. The one and only.

“We have the Boston group coming in at one and you need to do a presentation on our progress with the Borough account.” The florescent light shines off his head and he winks at me as if that move right there, that’s going to make me swoon and do his bidding. “Okay?” He wants verification that I’m going to jump through hoops in the next hour to get a presentation completed on a project I was just given yesterday. Right before I left for the day.”

Still, for the same reason a person nods after a horrible accident when asked if they are okay, I gave a nod and old bald-head-boss-MacKnob didn’t wait around for questions or comments.

You can do a lot of soul searching staring at the pencil cup of your cubicle for 56 minutes. And you can do an awful lot of nonsensical searching on the internet that isn’t blocked form employee use. You can find out that moms are taking over the internet, that Ellen DeGeneres has her own clothing line, and that my boss, who does 7 hours less work a day than I, makes five times more than I do.

The buzz of my phone screams it’s time to take my ass saving presentation to the conference room. I picked up the jade Buddha I kept on my desk for luck and a postcard from my sister when she went to Paris and put them in my purse. Emptied a warm diet coke onto my computer keyboard and computer, then ripped the phone out of the wall, placed it on the ground and stomped on it with my sensible heeled shoe.

On my way to the conference room I stopped by the desk of the only bearable person in the company and smiled, “Hey Janet, I’m not going to be able to pick up those cupcakes for the picnic on Friday. Sorry for the late notice. You have a nice day, okay?”

That greasy bastard smiled when he saw me through the glass and gestured to the suits around the table, I peeked my head in, keeping my body out the door, just in case I felt the urge to take my sensible shoes off and pummel them at his head.

“Catherine K.?” He waved me in and I snarled at him.

“It’s Kelly, Catherine Kelly. And I’m the only Catherine that works here you lazy fat good for nothing idiot.”

“Miss Kelly.” He chided.

“Just came by to tell you I quit, you need to find someone else for this project, to explain to these fine men and women that I was told about this project last night at 4pm and y’all might want to go with a different company.” I turned to leave but remembered something from the previous Christmas Party, “Oh, sir, your wife is having an affair, and I do believe she’s slept her way through most of the major partners here and because of her legal expertise, she’s going to get everything when she leaves you. I sure do like your wife.”

It was a good note to leave on and helped that feeling of being dragged through the mud cease. I handed my badge in at the front desk and asked if they could call me a car. Mr. Fat ass was still probably stuttering so much he hadn’t had time to call the front desk and take me off the approved list.

When the car pulled up and the driver jumped out to get the door for me I waved him off and climbed into the front seat.

“Ma’am?” He had a full head of black hair and sparkling eyes.

“Catherine Kelly.” I offered as I put my hand out to shake his.

“Dan.” He frowned but shook my hand. “Where are you going today?”

“Well, how far are you allowed to drive?” I asked.

“Ma’am?”

“Catherine,” I supplied again, “how far are you allowed to drive us? Is there a cut off?”

“Well, I guess I have about a hundred mile radius.” He said.

“Oh, well then. North, about a hundred miles. That’s where I’m going.”

He licked his lips and frowned at the traffic passing us by. “Ma’am, Catherine, is everything okay?”

“Well, I just told that agnostic thigh slapping pagan I quit and after 8 years and now I need an adventure.”

“A hundred miles north is Hartford.” He said, then as if I didn’t understand what that meant supplied, “Connecticut.”

“Well Dan, if I had Tina Fey’s address, I’d make you take me there, but I don’t have that information now, do I? So Connecticut it is.” I pointed as if we were atop a horse drawn carriage heading our way into the new world.

He shrugged and put the car into drive.

Giddy-up, I thought.

©Nicole Sharp 2015