Furious Fiction – April 2018

The brief of the AWC Furious Fiction—April 2018 short story competition was as follows:

  • The title of the story had to be THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.
  • The story had to feature the words “busted”, “emerged” and “key”.
  • The story had to end with “the clock struck four”.



The Elephant in the Room

I thought I was being the perfect employee, or at least as perfect as possible.

I always got to work early, stayed until 5pm and sometimes later, but not too late that it would cause concern. I’d always done what I was told, never complained or questioned, and I’d always wear clean and professional clothing.

Although I’d always been a perfectionist, lately with my new job, my perfectionism has grown out of control. I’m constantly anxious, my panic attacks have come back, and I’m always worrying about every little thing I do or say in front of my colleagues.

After one particularly bad day, I’d lost it, I’d busted and got emotional after yelling at a colleague over an error that had emerged, and caused major problems for the company. Everyone was shocked, maybe my constant perfectionism became the elephant in the room, so to speak, and they were surprised I was a short-fused human. My boss scheduled a meeting with me for this afternoon.

I’m sitting in a chair, office key in my hand ready to return to my boss, waiting for him. I want to cry but I know being emotional won’t do me many any favours; a good deep breath will fix it. I’ve got to be calm, collected and professional; even if I am fired for the one time I’m human.

My boss just stepped out, right on time as the clock struck four.


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