Baring my soul – my first ever short story

OVER a year ago now I wrote a post where I had been experimenting with Scrievner. Well, even though I write this blog on the fantastic WordPress, I’m still using Scrievner for most of my offline writings.

The main subject of the post, however, was that I had written a short story at the time and submitted it to a competition in Writing Magazine.  Looking back at the original post I realised that I promised to publish the actual story and I never had.

Well the update is that, in my first ever outing of flash fiction, I didn’t have any success! That probably isn’t a surprise but it served as a useful exercise in writing to a challenging word count and I also learnt about preparing stories for submission to competitions.

So in order to fulfil my promise and bare my soul, here is my first ever short story in its entirety.

Never Complain…

“Hi. You’re through to the Customer Options Team. My name is John. How may I help you today?”

“Hi. I’d like to complain about my life please.”

“I’d be happy to help you reach a solution for this problem sir. What seems to be the issue with your life?”

“It’s dull, depressing and I can’t seem to make it work”

“I see sir. And when did you take delivery of your life?”

“About 40 years ago”

“Are you aware, sir, that the returns policy on lives is rather strict and that all problems with lives should be highlighted to the Customer Options Team within 7 days?”

“7 days? That would have been rather difficult since I spent the first 3 years learning to talk!”

“Unfortunately that isn’t my problem sir. I can certainly discuss options with you at this stage”


“Yes sir, you can either have option 1 and stick with your current life or option 2 to give it up”

“What? What kind of options are those? Carry on or don’t bother?”

“Those are the only options that I am authorised to offer you at this time, sir.”

“How the heck does option 2 work?”

“We take possession of your life and then your life will be rehoused with another individual.”

“Give my life to someone else? Not a chance. I’d rather take my own life first”

“That would invalidate the terms and conditions of your life’s warranty and unfortunately, you would have to be prevented from doing that”

“How on earth would you stop me?”

“You activated a penalty clause in your life when you called the Customer Options Team.”

“What clause?”

“The clause in your contract documents sir”

“I never received any documents”

“The penalty clause would have been clearly outlined in the contract documents you would have received on the first anniversary of your contract sir”

“Do you mean my first birthday?”

“Yes, after one year of the contract sir”

“I couldn’t read when I was one!”

“Again sir, unfortunately, that isn’t my problem. It was part of the terms and conditions that go with your current life and are effective after one year”

“So how do you propose to stop me taking my own life?”

“Your life would be temporarily put on hold and reallocated as per the terms and conditions”

“Why would anyone want my life?”

“All life is precious sir and someone else would be given an opportunity to maximise the potential of your current life”

“I don’t think that you understand me. I am unhappy with my life. I wanted to complain about it to someone not give it up”

“I understand your frustration sir, but I am not authorised to offer any other options at this time. Do you need me to repeat your options sir?”

“Options? You call those options? I don’t. There must be something more to life than this”

“Those are the only options I am allowed to offer you at the moment sir, as per the terms and conditions”

“Terms and conditions?”

“Yes sir. That you would have received…”

“Yes, yes. I know, one year. Can I get another copy of those terms and conditions?”

“I’m afraid not sir. That would be prohibited by the terms and conditions that…”

“My birthday. I get it. I get the message. I am sorry I called. I think I’d better just go now and get on with things”

“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that sir”

“Can’t let me do what?”

“Go sir. I’m afraid you’ll have to stay on the line”

“Why on earth would I do that?”

“Well sir, according to the terms and conditions of the contract sir, if someone calls the Customer Options Team to complain about their life, we have no option but to start the process of reallocating their life”

“But you said that I had options! I could carry on or give up my life!”

“I know sir but, by complaining, you have automatically given up your right to take up option 1”

“This is crazy. I want to talk to your supervisor, right now!”

“I understand sir but I have no supervisor you see. I’ve never needed one. Ever since I called to complain about my life I’ve been stuck doing this job on my own. There have never been any calls until now. Now, please hold still sir while I reallocate your life. It won’t hurt a bit…”

If you want to leave any feedback, then please feel free in the comments below.

Thank you!

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