50 comments

Submitted on 07/08/2020

Categories: General

A perfectly square room, all in white, with one picture on one side, and a door on the opposite side. Two chairs of the uncomfortable type were in the middle of the room, and to top it out, the greatest hits of elevator music on surround sound. In the room are two men, one sitting with calmness, while the other is quite impatient as he walks back and forth. Ever so often he sits down, but that only lasts for a couple of minutes before he is up and moving again. The impatient one is named Doug while the calm one is named James. Two men on the opposite spectrum of life, but here for the same thing. The result will be a life-changer for one of them. The other will go back to the life they want to get out of.

  It wouldn’t take long for one observing both of these men to know which one is stressed out over life. Even though they were only a year apart, Doug looked like he was ten years older. He had thinned, brown hair that more than likely caused more by stress than the natural process of baldness. He also had many more lines on his face, making you think you were looking at a road map. But with that hawk nose and jutting jaw, most people stayed away from him. His steely, blue eyes helped with the intimidation. He worked out a lot in the past, but lately, he let himself go, his muscles starting to fade away. But what he had left he used to the max to get his point across.

  James is the complete opposite when it comes to intimidation. He had the type of face that grandmas would love to squeeze his cheeks and tell him how cute he is to the world. He had thick, black hair with a complexion that is slightly brown, and a physique that wasn’t muscular, but neither thin nor excessive. Just right to get him through life's trials.

  “How long are they going to keep us in here?” asked Doug as he paced.

  It was just a few minutes earlier that the two men met.

  “My name is Doug.”

  “My name is James.”

  “I knew we are here for the same thing, but I want you to know I have been working for this for a long time. That I better get this position.”

  James just nodded his head, knowing he would be wasting his time disputing this egotistical prick. Doug was not the first type of character of this type James has encountered over the years. He learned to keep his mouth shut and see what happens. James figured if Doug got the position he was not meant for the job. Move on to another opportunity.

  “Best of luck to you,” replied James.

  “There is no luck,” scoffed Doug. “It’s all skill.”

  Doug figured he had more skills than James, who he did not know. Ignorant to the max.

  The two sat down at first, but it didn’t take long for fidgety Doug to jump up and start roaming the room. He stopped at the picture of a desert with mountains in the distance.

  “Such a dull picture,” said Doug turning to James. “There have to be a million more pictures a lot better than this one.”

  James just shrugged, thinking it is a peaceful looking picture. He knew it wouldn’t take him long to rather be out in the desert than in a room with super Doug.

  “And what is up with this crap they are playing?” Doug asked, looking around, spotting the two speakers at the top corners. “I’m tempted to tear those speakers down.”

  “It’s quite soothing,” said James, trying to throw out a joke. He didn’t care for the music himself but dealt with it.

  “Soothe me to sleep,” squawked out Doug.

  That made James chuckle. The way Doug pranced around it would take a dart to the ass to knock this guy to sleepy land.

  Doug sat back down and looked around the room for a bit before landing his gaze on James. James immediately felt like he was prey from the eyes of an eagle.

  “He’s not going to pounce on me?” he asked himself. “Don’t be silly.”

  “Why did they pick you?” Doug asked him.

  “My good looks,” joked James then realized Doug wasn’t the joking type after the second one. He figured that is the way he is when it’s a nervous time.

  “Are you serious?” asked Doug with a serious look.

 James just shook his head. He wasn’t sure what they saw in this guy but must be some hidden talent.

  “Now, now James,” he could hear his grandma saying to him. “Don’t go around judging someone you do not know. That is being ignorant. You don’t want to sound like a dummy, do you? There are enough dummies out there that you don’t need to add yourself to the list.”

  James had to keep himself from chuckling, thinking about the numerous tidbits that came out of grandma’s mouth. He didn’t want Doug to think he was laughing at him.

  “They looked at my charts, and saw potential,” said James.

  Doug once again left his chair and started to pace once again like a tiger. James could picture a path being formed by Doug’s stomping feet.

  “My chart is spectacular,” muttered Doug.

  “I’m sure it is,” thought James. “You should be the president or prime minister.”

  James could picture his grandma giving him a stern look.

  For the next couple of minutes, there is silence, which fits James just fine. He is slow to anger, but he knows Doug is the type to take him there.

It looked like Doug was about to sit down again when the door opened, and a man and a woman that looked like twins entered the room, wearing white jackets.

  “The decision has been made,” the man said in a robotic tone. “Please follow me, Doug.”

  “Woohoo!” cried out Doug, jumping up with glee.

  The man turned around and exited the room with Doug strutting behind him, and the door closed.

  James stood up, turning to the woman.

  “He thinks he got the job,” he said to the woman.

  “He did get the job,” she said. “But you also got the job.”

  “I thought there was only one job available?” he asked.

  “There was until roughly ten minutes ago,” she said with a smirk. “One of our men went down on the front lines.”

  James smiled, knowing he is receiving the original job title.

  “You will be in charge of the operations,” she instructed him.

  “Will Doug be under me?” he asked.

  “Very good chance he will.”

  James' grin just went wider as the temptation blossomed.

  Grandma looked down upon him with a frown.

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50 comments

Niveeidha P
06:27 Jul 10, 2020

Great story! Perhaps, instead of saying "My name is Doug," or "My name is James," maybe something a little indirect? Use more descriptions, and try not to use the same old boring ones. Just those two to improve, on, otherwise, a neat story!

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Corey Melin
14:06 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you for the feedback. I wasn't sure how this one would pan out since I wasn't feeling well.

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Niveeidha P
22:37 Jul 10, 2020

No problem Corey, have a great day ahead!

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Jimmyisalone ?
05:33 Jul 10, 2020

great story!!

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Corey Melin
14:07 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you!

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Syeda Fatima
06:23 Jul 13, 2020

AHH! love stories with grandmas!! your story is epic! mind reading mine too?

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Corey Melin
23:25 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you for the comments and I just read your story. Superbly done!

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Soji Asaye
21:57 Jul 12, 2020

Amazing. I love your work. Please read and like my book

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Corey Melin
22:23 Jul 12, 2020

Thank you for the comments. I have read, commented, and liked both stories a while back.

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Kathleen March
00:38 Jul 12, 2020

One thing that will immediately pull the story together is to have your verb tenses mesh - either in the present or the past. Jumping around is disorienting. A couple of other things with vocabulary, but otherwise, nice idea. If I understood the end correctly, there may be a way to make what happens a bit clearer. I love it when arrogance gets its comeuppance!

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Corey Melin
23:20 Jul 16, 2020

Greatly appreciate the feedback. What I need to do is not only let autocorrect fix my mistakes, then fix my mistakes on a grammar check, but then re-read the story before sending it off. I did that with my current story and still found errors after all the checks.

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Justine mae D
10:36 Jul 11, 2020

I love how James remembers his grandmother's tidbits. Grandmothers really are gems. I was raised by one and the wisdom she had shaped me the way I am right now.

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Corey Melin
16:34 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you for the comments. I had a loving grandma I would see every Summer. She lived in Minnesota while we lived in Washington state

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Justine mae D
05:50 Jul 12, 2020

That's great. Mine passed away seven years ago. I still miss her every day.

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D. Jaymz
04:39 Jul 11, 2020

Well done. A nice twist at the end. Also, having Grandma as a conscience in the story was a nice touch.

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Corey Melin
04:40 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you for the comments

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Vicky S
06:26 Jul 10, 2020

Hi Corey, I really enjoyed the story. Think we can all relate.

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Corey Melin
23:26 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you and glad you enjoyed it.

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04:37 Jul 10, 2020

I love the passively planned revenge...he's gonna serve it cold.

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Corey Melin
05:08 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you!

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05:52 Jul 10, 2020

You're very welcome!

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Deidra Lovegren
02:39 Jul 10, 2020

Clever! Loved the ending.

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Corey Melin
02:40 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you!

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18:43 Jul 09, 2020

It is damn good, Corey. Your stories are reader-friendly. I am pleased with your writing...

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Corey Melin
19:05 Jul 09, 2020

That is what I'm all about. To make it reader-friendly and hopefully enjoyable. Thank you!

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Joanne X
15:29 Jul 09, 2020

Hi Corey, really nicely written! I like how you created such a realistic atmosphere and were able to bring the reader into this little square room. I like how your writing style combines a casual/simplistic language usage with many good description techniques - it makes your writing easy and enjoyable to read/understand. I also like how you added a moral to this story, which reminds us to be confident, but not overly arrogant. Nice job! :)

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Corey Melin
15:57 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you for the comments. I try to keep it casual/simplistic for two reasons. One is that I try to live that type of life. And I have read numerous stories where writers maybe intentionally or maybe not, write these complicated, big word stories that end up turning the story into a bore, where my mind tends to wander a lot. I say, what's the use of reading what many would say is the book of the decade or century if you are dozing off constantly.

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Joanne X
00:35 Jul 11, 2020

I totally agree, and it's really awesome that you've pretty much got that skill down! I personally have trouble with not overdoing it with unnecessary wording, so I really enjoy reading your work!

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Deborah Angevin
10:57 Jul 09, 2020

A well-written story, Corey. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Would you mind checking my recent story out too? Thank you :)

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Corey Melin
13:57 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you and I will give it a read.

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Roshna Rusiniya
08:53 Jul 09, 2020

This is a sweet story! Well-written!

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Corey Melin
13:56 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you for the comments

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Roshna Rusiniya
18:31 Jul 10, 2020

You are welcome. Please have a look at mine too when you get time. Thanks!

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04:41 Jul 09, 2020

Very good story

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Corey Melin
23:26 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you!

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:52 Jul 08, 2020

Haha, what a twist, Corey! Love your style, as usual.

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Corey Melin
13:54 Jul 08, 2020

Greatly appreciate the comments!

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18:03 Jul 29, 2020

It makes sense do not underestimate anyone

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Kelechi Okereke
11:37 Jul 24, 2020

Very good one, and simple.

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Kelechi Okereke
11:37 Jul 24, 2020

Very good one, and simple.

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Brittany Gillen
14:19 Jul 16, 2020

Corey - Thank you for sharing your story. It was a very interesting character study between the patient and impatient. My favorite part was where Doug says the music is putting him to sleep, and James thinks that only a tranquilizer could accomplish sleep for him. I also like James’s thought that he is slow to anger but Doug could take him there. You did a great job of capturing James’s POV and personality. It would be interesting to see this story rewritten just from Doug’s POV. He has so much energy. I was just waiting for him to wrip down...

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Corey Melin
15:00 Jul 16, 2020

Greatly appreciate the comments. Many times after I write a story I read it later and think where I could have written better, changed it, or enhanced an area. Usually try to write it all out in a day while I’m in the mood. Good and bad doing such a thing

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