Flash fiction: Stop the presses

Last year, I entered a writing contest in the local newspaper and placed in the top something but didn’t win (I did win a gift certificate to a great bookstore). The rules were you had 250 words and had to include: arm, feature, harbour, press, tide, type.

This flash fiction piece was inspired by the increasing consolidation of media outlets.

I sit unnaturally erect, arms tensed, hands gripping either side of the seat as I read words on my screen and they start to resonate. I rise from the chair and put on a calm façade, smiling and nodding as I pass coworkers, and stride briskly from the room.

Once I reach the stairs, I take them two at a time bounding upward. At the top, I pause, gasping for breath.

When I first started working here, the executive floor was a mystical place. Floor to ceiling windows overlook the harbour, providing panoramic view of ships coming and going at all hours; much like the important people who bustle about on this level night and day, making important decisions that impact our lives.

I stop to regulate my breathing and notice a tugboat struggling against the changing tides as it hauls a barge of crushed cars. My mind starts to wander as I think about those cars and the type of people who used to own them. At one time, each of those cars was probably a cherished possession. Now they’ve been discarded for something new and shiny with fancier features.

I reach the rich mahogany door and compose myself. Through the wood, I recognize the raised voices of at least two of the ‘very important people.’

I take a deep breath, press down on the handle and step into the room. The conversation stops and suddenly all eyes are on me.

“We’ve been sold!” I blurt out.