Bitterness – Flash Fiction

 Flash Fiction. I listened to this today, looked at the picture and just wrote the below. Enjoy.

Flash Fiction, this is a story I made up with the help of my mates complaining about work, music and of course my own insider info from my time served in the IFSC! Enjoy!!!

I know about bitterness, you see me and assume I am happy, loved and appreciate. Not so, maybe by small pockets of people, but sometimes these people can’t really see me. Oh sure, they nod and smile at the right times, they hug when they are suppose to. But it all just feels scheduled. Like my day job, scheduled down to a tee. I sneeze, you say “bless you,” I look glum you turn your head and smile; I get excited about a random musing, you passively smile. There is a strange mediocrity in it all. Life and its main participants have become average, with a grey blandness and a schedule to it all. What I want, what I need is the unexpected, not your numbed, prepared response. “It’s not fair,” I say. “Ah sure, that’s life.” You say. You have pre-recorded comments, up your sleeve, for every occasion. Since when did you become an automatic, show me some God damn gear change already. I hate it here in the fine line of suburbia; I want The Ghetto or The Hills. Not this greyness, you face is grey now. Do you even notice? Your steady job, your work number, your pay cheque have made you grey. The greyness has attached itself to my small pocket of people.

I lie to myself with Starbucks, “if you go to work today, I will reward you with a Starbucks,” I say. It had worked until I saw the office bin, cluttered with the cups. I smiled with surprise, expecting there to be some colour in the office. I share a smiley remake; it is met with a raised eyebrow and a deadpan look. I throw away my coffee and never go there again.

I do the work for two, my colleague is away. I sit at her desk and spend too long fixing her chair, moving the screen, putting books under the screen so it meets my eye level. Harsh words about missed deadline are ignored, water off a ducks back by now. She arrives back to work after lunch. She opted to “pop back for the afternoon,” like its fun here. “What’s up with my desk and chair?” she asks. Crap, now I will have to actually talk to her, we normally just exchange emails. Eye roll, clear throat and go to talk. I squawk, haven’t spoken since the “Metro paper man,” one word all day….a small “thanks.”

“Amm, yeah that was me, we are the same height, right? Well your set up needed to be changed, you need to sit up tall and make sure your eye line meets your pc.” She moves about in her seat, sits up taller than I have ever seen and says; “oh wow, my neck feels so much better now. If I had known about that year’s ago, I wouldn’t have arthritis.” I get awkward, I say “you are like young, how could you have that?”. She meekly smiles, “ it’s in my neck, might get early retirement form it, never knew it had to do with the way I sit at work…least that’s what the doctor said. Where were you 20 years ago, ha?”

“How could you not know, we have loads of courses on ergonomics here.” I demand. She shrugs, “I never had the time, deadlines had to be met, ah well sure…that’s life.” She rubs her neck and moves about in the seat and goes back into her work trance.

“Don’t worry,” I think to myself, “I can be bitter for the two of us.”

By Michelle Moloney King

Artist. Poetish.

7 replies on “Bitterness – Flash Fiction”

Im at work reading your post and its BRILL!!
I have a pain in my back all the time from the way I sit, I never sit in my chair properly as Im always running to the printing room or to the Bloomberg pc (I work in finance)
Im going to take the time to sit back in my chair!

Thank you!!!!


thansk fo your comments lads, i based this FICTION piece on watchin the news, talking to people who worked in he IFSC and from my experience oh and of course Pink Floyd.

It is not a real story, it is fiction…..but delighted I can make ye believe its real.

PS on my phone so cant really see the little screen!!


Your story really mad my heart go out to you. I can't imagine living a life like that and I hope my children never have to. How do you explain or justify living such a life? I don't mean that in a bad or critical way but more out of curiosity. I have only ever worked at what I wanted to do and enjoyed doing. If it got boring or too much of a chore I changed. I never thought to stay doing something that didn't make me feel happy and fulfilled. So why do some people choose to live such unhappy lives when we have such a short time here? Thank you for sharing this very personal story.


Great voice-just the right amount of bitterness, just the right amount of desperation. I like her, and I worry for her and she is everywhere, we all know her, just need to watch for the tell-tale signs! Made my morning this read! Thanks!


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