Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Top of His Work

Today's post is a piece of Flash Fiction that I wrote in attempt to become a member of the Dude Write Flash Mob.

It's weird.  I made this card.  Now I have to earn it.

Our prompt for this month (given by the oh-so-manly Wily Guy) was: "If you'd told (me, him, her, them) two weeks ago that..."

So here you go.  Weighing in at 372 words, I present to you, "On Top of His Work."

*   *   *

If you'd told me two weeks ago that Jed's work ethic would lead to his death ... I totally would have believed you.

It's just the way that his work ethic led to his death that was surprising. 

I figured he would have had a heart attack from all of the stress from all of the projects that he took on.

See, Jed was always doing something.  You know, multitasking.

The guy was always in a rush and always had something in his hands. 

Today, for example, he's carrying tons of files, right?  He has all these stacks of papers in his hands, his laptop case over his shoulder, and a rolled up poster board in his armpit -- for a presentation or something.  And he's got his lunch on top of all these stacks of paper and a metal spoon in his mouth.

But what is most impressive about all of this is that he's on the phone at the same time.  And able to hold a conversation!  Even with the spoon in his mouth and him walking with his arms full at lightning speed, he still has the multitasking prowess to be able to hold an intelligent conversation.

Never a dull moment with Jed.

However, with all that crap in his hands and his immobile neck (because the phone is sandwiched between his cocked head and shoulder), he doesn't see the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet that is open, and he trips right over it.

His teeth clench down on the spoon and he falls face first into the floor.  The spoon lacerates his larynx and he gurgles for a while and dies in front of all of his coworkers.

It’s why your mom tells you to never run with scissors, I guess.  Though scissors would have been less painful than a dull spoon. 

The worst part is that his wife is on the phone and she hears the whole thing.  She just listens to him gurgling as he dies face-down on the floor, his legs still lying on top of the drawer of the filing cabinet. 

Which is kinda funny if you think about it, you know?  Even in death, he is still on top of his work.

-Youngman Brown

If you liked this, check out some of my other Flash Fiction.  

And if you want to read some other awesome Dude Write authors, or even enter this competition and become a part of our community, come on over and hang out.

Dude Write


  1. Awesome, yet gruesome story here. As soon as you said a stack of papers and a spoon I felt that I knew his fate. It reminded me of two separate incidents.
    One was when I was but a wee lad. I had a handful like 25 of my favorite books in Hand and was asking my parents which one they wanted to read, did I mention I was on the steps? I dropped a few, stepped on me and slid and tumbled to the bottom and got stitches for my trouble.
    The second was a girl in my neighborhood fell outof a tree and landed on a small her mouth. She survived but had a weird scar and a speech impediment.

    Anyway, thanks for the memories, lol.


  2. Glad you decided to accept your award btw! Waiting for you to link up to the club.

  3. Great piece! And yes, gruesome. That is the right word.


  4. Sure hope Jed enjoyed his lunch, er last meal.

  5. Excellent story! Damn, I'm going to have to bring my A-game if I stand a chance against shorts like these.

    That's sure an imaginative, yet greusome, way to go. I love the final line.

  6. Poor dead Jed's bride...that gurgling was probably the longest conversation he'd had with her in a long time.

    Excellent work! Seriously, I know you say you don't have the attention span for a novel, but you really should make that happen.

  7. How did I end up chuckling at the end of this tale imaging his legs still on top of the drawer? Just plain sick but loved every minute of it! How do you get in a place to even think of this stuff? Nicely done!

  8. Death by spoon! What a way to go! Poor old Jed, his wife had to listen to the whole thing.

    I loved how you ended it!

  9. All I could think was, "I hope there was something yummy on that spoon so his last memory was of peanut butter or something."

  10. I will admit that I at first thought the first line said "Jedi's work ethic" and expected a very different story...

    However, this was an awesome piece, love the tongue-in-cheek gruesomeness of it. Sad how such a small overlooked detail could derail this dude's life, it really is the little things in life that matter. And the ending line was just gold.

  11. Totally the reason I no longer work in an office environment....

    You really have a thing for flinging these witty/smart pieces at your anxious followers! Love it!

  12. Good God. That's gross. I love it.

    Janie Junebuggery

  13. Good story! I was trying to work out what would happen and was expecting him to fall down stairs. Totally didn't expect the spoon!

  14. Once again, you da man. That was awesome, especially the last line. Having worked in offices all my life, I can vouch for how much stuff you carry at one time and the things you trip on too.

    Aloha nui loa

  15. So much for hard work never killing anyone. Dig your story, Dude.
    Some Dark Romantic

  16. Zing.

    Prepare for the pun...

    A spoonful of his own medicine helped him go down.

  17. Note to self: do not walk around with a metal spoon (or even a plastic one) in your mouth. Oh, and don't work too hard.

    Thanks for the life lessons. :)

  18. Very powerful piece, as well as disturbing- excellent last sentance. Overall, great work.

  19. Hehheee black humour at its best! Well done man!

  20. Oh wow! That sounds like a scene right out of Final Destination!! Poor Jed... some of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but not many die that way!

  21. Thanks for coming by ...that would suck to die like that...on an empty stomach good!


  22. I love your fiction writing. Very well written, great flow, and always that punchy ending. I know people like Jed who are just waiting to die like this.

  23. Omg!!! That was totally not expected, and very clever!! Message received. I'll be slacking at work tomorrow ;)

    Great piece and best of luck in the competition!!

  24. Very clever. Man, what a death. You usually hear about people being born with a silver spoon, not dying with one! Great job!

  25. Very interesting, top-notch and lovely post.

  26. You manage to skillfully combine humor and grimness. I read this twice and I keep smiling, although I feel that I shouldn't. There goes the smile again....

  27. I think I may be speechless.

    You are so amazing. Also, I shall never walk and talk with a spoon in my mouth again. I fall a lot.

  28. What a splendid closing line! Well done, my friend, well done. As always, your writing is not only beautifully executed, but also filled with emotion. It's a pleasure to read.

  29. GYB, nicely done my friend. The ending sealed it. A++

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

  30. Bit grizzly but I had to lol in the end.

  31. Wow! I'm more impressed with every short that I read. Well done Brown.

  32. Brilliant. If you can't work up to a full-length novel quite yet how about a book of your short stories? Go for it Youngman Brown. One life buddy, one life!


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