Sunday, August 28, 2016

Procrastination Will Inherit the Earth

   This week's Flash Fiction Challenge is Behold The Idiomatic!  All I can say is, where has this website been all my (online) life?  This is amazing!  If your actions tell who you really are, then I'm the UNIVERSAL GRAND FUCKING CHAMPION OF PROCRASTINATION! *Raises a glass to toast no one in particular.*
   Anywho, here's my contribution to the world of creative literature:

Procrastination Will Inherit the Earth -- That Is, Whatever's Left of It

   Leslie hit the alarm clock for what must have been the fifteenth time that day.
   With one swift move, she pulled the covers over her head, blocking out the sinister sunshine that penetrated into her room, piercing her eyes with its mirthfully sadistic beams.  Just a few more blissful minutes of rest.
   "Fuhuhuck! I fucking heard you the first time," she whined, batting at the nagging alarm clock.  Whoever decided the general public needed to work between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. was a sick, twisted fuck.
   Leslie groaned as she rolled out of bed, her eyes rolling to the back of her head.  As she weaved back and forth under the shower head, last night's one too many cocktails exacting its revenge with agonizing pressure inside her head, she realized she still had a personal day she could use.
   Fuck it, she thought, I'm calling in.
   After she dried off, savoring the thought of crawling back into her warm, cozy bed and going back to sleep, a deep sense of satisfaction enveloped her like a cocoon.  Leslie was not leaving the house.  Not today.
   She picked up the phone with a barely controllable glee, and dialed the human resources extension. No one picked up.  This day could not possibly get better.
   "Hi, this is Leslie.  I'm taking a personal day today.  I'll be back tomorrow."
   And with that, she hung up and set her phone to silent.  So fucking easy.
   This was going to be a wonderful day.  No bullshit office politics.  No micromanaging middle management to hover over her cubicle.  No unconscionable assholes stealing her yogurt from the fridge.
   The bed called to her.  Its fluffy comforter, memory foam pillows, and lavender-scented sheets were so inviting.  She found her eye mask, hastily tossed to the floor in her drunken clumsiness from the night before, and slid it over her eyes as she wrapped herself up in her comfy surroundings.
   Four hours later, Leslie stretched and yawned. It was midmorning, and there were mimosas to be enjoyed.  She made herself a cocktail, logged on to World of Warcraft, and set about the business of battling monsters.
   Three hours and four mimosas later, she decided to get some food in her stomach.  She ordered some pizza, and went to the couch to binge watch a show on Netflix.
   When the doorbell rang, Leslie suddenly realized she was still in her boxy black-and-white polk-a-dot pajamas.  This was the first time since she graduated that she could remember being in her PJs all day, and it felt fucking fantastic.
   She went to the door with no shame for her disheveled appearance.  This must be what it's like to be a man, she thought to herself.  Zero fucks given. 
   If the delivery guy was surprised by her appearance, he did a good job of hiding it.  She double-checked the pizza for accuracy, and then tipped him ten dollars.
   "Are you off work today?" he asked.
   Leslie smiled.
   "Uh, yeah.  Is it that obvious?"
   "You're lucky you didn't have to go anywhere today," he explained.  "There was a huge meteor that leveled some buildings over at highways 17 and 86.  I had to take a different route to get to work."
   "Oh wow!  Did you see which buildings?  I work over by there!"
   "No, I'm sorry.  But it's all over the news."
   "OK.  I'll check it out.  Drive safe," Leslie said as she closed the door.
   She turned on the news, and, sure enough, her office high-rise building was reduced to a stump, belching out smoke and flames.  Eyes wide and mouth gaping, Leslie held a slice of pizza in suspension as a reporter described the scene.
   Oh, shit, she thought to herself as she watched the update.
   "... coming out of the building.  First responders are unable to confirm any survivors."
   After a minute of watching in stunned silence, cheese sliding off of the hot slice she still held in mid-air, Leslie came out of her spell and took a frantic bite of the comfort junk food.
   Chewing slowly as she listened to witness accounts, Leslie learned that no one had survived.  She felt terrible.  Not so much for the loss of life, because she felt nothing.
   One one hand, she knew she should be devastated at the loss of her coworkers.  But, really and truly, they were all just a bunch of condescending, passive-aggressive, gossiping bitches she couldn't stand.  She never received an invitation to hang out with them.  (But that never stopped them from discussing all the fun they were going to have on Sunday Funday, or making a big deal over their past adventures, right the fuck in front of her, as if to rub in the fact that she wasn't part of their clique.)
   She never cared for the bullshit.  She didn't kiss up to the lead bitch, and she may have, on one or more occasions, been a little less tactful than they cared for.  Apparently, in their minds, all of these social crimes warranted exiling her from their circle.  She tried not to let it bother her, but being in a new city with no prior connections there made her personal life a lot more solitary than she cared for.
   And now, they were all gone.  If her sense of duty and adult responsibility had overridden her overwhelming sense of dread in regards to that day, she would have died, too.  It was eery, realizing how making a decision most people would have frowned upon, was the very thing that saved her life.  As if the same instincts that tell farm animals when it's about to storm were warning her that morning that something terrible was coming.
   Maybe she should feel guilty.  That's what a good person would do at this moment, right?
   But all Leslie could feel was relieved.  The cognitive dissonance was more than she cared to deal with right now.  She was too drunk to think about anything.
   She opened up a bottle of Reisling, grabbed another slice, and switched the TV to Netflix to binge watch another great show.

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