Contemporary Fiction Friendship

Morning News

By Jalissa Mooney

I had chosen the Army Bugle Call as my alarm for seven am. Turns out it was a bad idea. When it went off at seven o’clock on the dot, I fell out of bed and plopped onto the floor. At least there was carpet. Of course, one sniff, and I realized I needed to vacuum. Since my bed wasn’t even twenty-four inches off the ground I knew that I hadn’t broken anything. So I lifted myself up and onto my knees to reach across my bedside table and turn off my alarm. 

As I stood up I groaned. I had slept on my leg the wrong way and now it was half asleep. Limping, I made it to my bedroom door and opened it. My cat, Pepper, was standing in front of my door like she did every morning, waiting for her breakfast. As soon as she saw me, she raced into the kitchen and went straight to her bowel. I slowly followed her and got her food out of the cabinet. Once she was preoccupied with her morning meal, I was free to seek out my own. 

I poured water into the kettle and set it on the stove. While that boiled I took out ingredients from the fridge. Just then my phone rang. Reaching into the pocket of my pajama pants I saw that it was Sarah, my best friend. 


“Hey, sorry if I woke you, but we gotta talk.”

I turned the call onto the speaker and set the phone on the counter next to the stove.

“Talk about what?”

“Your next book release,” she said. “The word on the street is that this next launch is going to be the biggest one yet. You could be on tour for a month or longer.”

“Sarah, I can’t be away from home for an entire month,” I said.

“Relax, I told them that and they said we can do it in increments of two weeks. Two weeks in one city then fly home for a week of recuperation. Afterward, fly out again. Everything will be paid for by the publisher.”

After cracking eggs in a bowl, I started to whisk them before pouring them into a hot pan on the stove.

“Alright, I can make that work, but are they ok with this kind of plane?”

“Would I have brought it up to you if I hadn’t already cleared it with the people at the top? They want you working for them as an author so badly that they are willing to go the distance. Trust me on this.”

“Thank you, God.”

“Hey, God isn’t the one who got you a great contract with Hamelton Publishing.”

We both laughed as the kettle started to whistle. I took it off the stove and poured the water into a mug. Then I added the tea ball I had filled with a blend of loose leaf tea. As it seeped I finished cooking breakfast. 

When the eggs were done I laid them on slices of toast and added a sprinkle of salt and pepper, before taking my plate and heading into the living room. I watched the latest episode of my favorite crime tv show, Dead Man’s Case while eating breakfast. After breakfast, I took a shower, got dressed, and headed into my office.

It was the mudroom that separated the back door from the rest of the house. I had no real use for a mudroom so I had transformed it into an office. My desk, leather chair, and bookcases filled with notes, notebooks, stacks of blank paper, and a large arrangement of pens were what the room mainly consisted of. I sat at the desk and turned on my computer. Opening the notebook to the page I had left off the day before, I reviewed what I had written. Turning back to the computer, I began to type.

When I was in the zone, my writing state of mind, I could go hours typing away and not even remember to feed the cat. That’s why I had several alarms set throughout the day on my phone. About two hours in I got another call from Sarah.

“Hello, Sarah.”

“Hey, so I have some news you may not like.”

I paused with my fingers hovering over the keys. 

“What happened?”

“First, the powers that be, they are insisting that you extend your time with the book launch. They are willing to compensate for one of the two months that the launch will take place, but you have to be on the road the entire time for the other month.”

“Away from home, one-hundred percent of the time for an entire month?”

Sarah sighed, “Yes, and they won’t allow you to bring Pepper with you. Hotels that don’t accept pets and cheaper than the ones that do.”

“Pepper is my emotional support animal.”

“I know, Kelly. I know all this and I told them but they are digging in their heals just as much as you are and someone has to give. I’m not saying that it has to be you but I can’t keep going back and forth on this.”

I rubbed my eyes and breathed deeply. My anxiety made it difficult for me to be away from my normal routine and habits for too long. I need normalcy and order in my life and being away from home for an entire month would shift things. But, if I had time to prepare for the period that I would be gone, maybe I could take precautions that would help me avoid the anxiety that usually came with being out of my norm. 

“If we can to the entire month during the second half of the launch, I might be able to better prepare for being away for so long. If they can do that for me, then I’ll agree to both months.”

“Yes! Thank you, Kelly. I promise I will go the extra mile to make this as painless as possible for you.”

We talked for a few more moments before saying goodbye and hanging up. I gave another sigh and took a long drink of my tea. 

“Oh, yeah. Thank you, God. Thanks an awful lot.”

February 12, 2022 00:33

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Val Hickey
13:43 Feb 19, 2022

Hi there - I got this from Critique too. I was also intrigued that the protagonist suffered from anxiety, well portrayed. I noted these edits: 'straight to her bowel' - bowl 'I could go hours typing away' - suggest 'go for hours...' Hotels that don’t accept pets and cheaper than the ones that do.” - 'and' should be 'are' but I can’t keep going back and forth on this.”- Sarah is her best friend, a best friend wouldn't be that impatient, I think? “If we can to the entire month during the second half of the launch - missing a word after...


Jalissa Mooney
18:15 Feb 19, 2022

Hello Val, looks like I forgot to use Grammarly in this story. That happens sometimes. Thank you for the comments on my writing though. It's nice to know there are people who enjoy my work.


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Sheryl Thomasson
02:52 Feb 19, 2022

Hi Jalissa! I got this from Critque. Nice to see someone write about a very real affliction for some people. Kudos for that! It was easy to visualize your character and her day. Fun to read!!


Jalissa Mooney
18:14 Feb 19, 2022

Thank you, Sheryl. I also suffer from anxiety and I try to add personal experience to my writing when I include such a disorder. It makes it feel more real. Thank you for the comment.


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