Short Story Submission
By Adam Huddleston
Here’s a short story I submitted to WritersDigest.com. It was based on a picture of a young lady peeking her head over the edge of an office cubicle partition.
Macy’s head slowly surfaced over the edge of her home-away-from-home like a tiny periscope.
“I see another one, over in Bill’s cubicle.”
The woman in the square opposite Macy’s rolled her eyes and took another sip of coffee.
“Girl? What are you talkin’ about?”
Macy lowered herself back into her seat and spun around to face her computer. Jessie never believed her, and why should she? When you’ve only been released from the “facility” for a few months, people don’t want to put any credit in your perception of reality.
“I know it sounds…crazy, but there’s a little pink dog in Bill’s cubicle. Can’t you see it? It’s right over there, chewing on his seat cushion.”
Jessie made an over-dramatic effort of standing up and craned her neck in the direction of Bill’s workplace. She gave his station a once over then plopped back down.
“Nope. Nothin’ there but Bill, Macy. Why don’t you get back to your calls?”
The brunette temp resisted the urge to poke her bottom lip out; a habit her parents had thought endearing when she was a child, but now came across mildly irritating.
Macy spent the next few minutes rearranging the office supplies on her desk, typing a few lines into the computer, and disinfecting her phone. She hoped the urge to look again would lessen, but eventually, it caught back up with her. Chewing her ragged nails, she poked her head over the cubicle’s edge again.
“Bill,” she whispered. “Bill, its Macy. Don’t turn around too fast, but there’s something in your cubicle.”
Bill Johnston had his earbuds in. The only sounds he heard were coming from the iPhone in his pocket.
Macy watched in agony as the pink dog (she was pretty sure it was a poodle), nibbled ever-closer towards Bill’s backside. It was inches away when she sprang into action.
In a rather impressive exhibition of athleticism, Macy hurdled the partition between their workstations and dove at the little canine. She crashed into the back of Bill’s chair and the pair of them went sprawling onto the carpeted floor.
“Macy! What are you doing?” Bill screamed.
When she finally got to her feet, she looked around for her prey but the cubicle was empty save for the two co-workers.
“I…I was trying to…help you.”
Bill stared at her with his mouth dangling open. Gently, Macy reached over and lifted his bottom jaw back to where she felt it belonged.
A huge guffaw came from behind her and she spun around to see Jessie with her hand pressed over her mouth, wiping away tears.
“Wow. Just, wow. I can’t wait till corporate hears this.”
Bill looked over his assailant’s shoulders at the woman laughing at them. He popped the speakers out of his ears and tossed them onto the desk.
“Quiet, Jessie.” Then he turned his attention to the temp. “What exactly where you helping me with, Macy”
Macy stood in silence, her bottom lip slowly edging away from the upper.
“I thought I saw something.”
“It doesn’t matter. It’s not here. It never was! I’m so stupid!”
Bill let out a sigh and slowly pulled the girl into a hug. He held her for a second, then approached the woman still giggling behind them.
“I wouldn’t laugh too much.”
“Why is that,” Jessie asked.
“Because something left a little pile of pink poop by your computer case.”