Hope you don't mind me exploring the dark corners of my twisted yet imaginative sense of humor every now and then in the form of stories. Even if you do, I'll probably still write them. These two short pieces are 100% fiction. Not inspired by actual events, not based on real people, just ideas I had that I decided to roll with. Enjoy? ~ JH
Hattie didn't like her boss – it wasn't personal, she just didn't care for him. For one thing, he was short – incredibly short. Almost dwarf-like, her boss was. Of course, his stature did not, in and of itself, make him a better or worse person, but it certainly contributed.
As is sometimes the case with short people, Hattie's boss tried to overcompensate for his small height with an extra-large attitude. Anyone whom he felt looked down on him, figuratively speaking – everyone looked down on him literally, even Marvella in the mailroom – was fair game for his abuse. Hattie, being the type of person not prone to dishing it out but also not content to take it, often challenged her vertically challenged manager's irrational requests.
In retrospect, she thought, maybe it was personal after all. Hattie's boss had had it in for her ever since he'd been promoted six months ago. Hattie had interviewed for the job herself and was, by most accounts, a better candidate. But she'd refused to compromise her personal integrity to complete the deal, so to speak, and was passed over for the job by her diminutive colleague. Getting the job had given the little guy a big power trip and he'd been tripping his brains out quite regularly ever since.
Hattie knew that something had to give, but she was reticent to give it. Until one day she wasn't.
It was a Thursday, in fact, when Hattie's boss crossed the line, stepping over the threshold into her office to do so, and issued forth his most unreasonable demand to date. It would, her wee manager informed Hattie, now be her job to take out the trash each morning, seeing as times were tough and the company was cutting back whenever and wherever it could, and the first poor schmucks to go were the housekeeping staff (his words, not hers). When his superiors had asked his opinion as to who would be the best sport about taking on some added responsibilities, Hattie's boss said that he'd instantly thought of her.
"Take out the trash?" she asked.
"Indeed," he replied.
"Remove the garbage?" she confirmed.
"You got it!" he reiterated.
That was when Hattie snapped. She grabbed her shrimpy little boss by the back of his collar, stuffed him head-first into the nearest trash can, then swiftly rolled the can – boss and all – to the nearest Dumpster, which happened to be right outside his office, and roughly deposited him inside it.
Immediately following, Hattie turned in her resignation, drove home, and enjoyed a nice cup of chamomile tea.
"Hey, Skippy." My dad was always fond of calling me by my childhood nickname, even though I was now forty years old.
"What's going on, Dad?" I sighed.
"Not a whole heck of a lot," he said. "You?"
"I can't complain," I answered honestly.
"What'd you do to your arm?" he said, and pointed toward it.
"Oh, that," I said matter-of-factly. "Nothing much. Shark."
"Vacuum cleaner?" Dad asked.
"Great white," I replied.
"Really?" Dad sounded surprised.
"Yeah," I said. "Tore it clean off. One bite."
"It did," I admitted. "But it's alright now."
"How'd it happen?" I could hear fatherly concern in his voice. Appropriate.
"I got too close," I explained.
"Aquarium," I replied.
"That right?" Dad said, apparently amazed.
"Yeah, I fell in," I sighed.
"You get in trouble?" he smirked.
"Well, I lost the arm. I think they figured that was bad enough."
"Makes sense," Dad mumbled. "You doing alright now, though?"
"I said I was, didn't I?" I said, and I was. "No complaints here."
"Well, that's good."
"How you doing?" I asked, wondering if he'd come for any reason in particular.
"Fine as frog hair," Dad said. "Still got three months left."
"On what?" I inquired.
"Earth," he said.
"Too bad," I replied. And it was, too.
"Ain't it, though?" Dad sighed.
I nodded. "Other than that?"
"Can't complain," said Dad.
"That's good," I nodded again.
He put his hand on my shoulder.
I buried my face in his chest.
We stayed like that for a while.