Kreative Kue 169

Kreative Kue 168 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

My thanks to John W Howell, author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, and who blogs at Fiction Favorites, who sent:

The Discussion by John W. Howell © 2018

“So why did you hit me?”

“You’re being a jerk.”

“I still don’t think that is a reason to slug me in the arm.”

“Quit being a crybaby. I didn’t hurt you.”

“Yes, you did. I think I’m going to have a bruise.”

“Oh please. I barely touched you.”

“So what makes you think I’m a jerk?”

“What else would I think. Did you hear yourself?”

“My self? What about you? You marched in here and without a howdy do and started issuing orders. I could report you to HR you know.”

“Oh, Come on. You and I have worked together long enough that you don’t have to resort to chicken tactics.”

“Now you are threatening me and denying me due process. There’s another charge.”

“Come off it. Take a look at these papers, and I think you will be pleased enough to forget all this foolishness.”

“What do you have there?”

“Just the biggest order we have ever had.”

“Let me look. My goodness, this is big.”

“And all the credit will fall to you.”

“You’re the one who wrote the order. Why would I get the credit. You trying to bribe me?”

“Come on boss. You know that everything I do, people believe it’s because of your fine leadership.”

“Well, I am a good leader, aren’t I? Just no more punching.”

“Yes, boss. Anything you say.”

My effort was:

The annual bash

“What was that for?”

“Do you have to ask?”

“Damned right, I do. I’ve done nothing wrong by you.”

“You think? So, what’s this note all about?”

“What note?”

“The one I just took off the staff noticeboard. The one where you’re talking about organising your own Christmas do. What’s the matter? The one I lay on every year not good enough any more?”

“Honestly, Boss. I have no idea what you’re talking about. OUCH! Stop it.”

“Stop lying, and I might.”

“I’m not lying.”

“Look at this. Is that or is it not your signature on the bottom?”

“Yes, it is, but—”

“And what does it say in large letters across the top?”

“Different ways to celebrate Christmas. A few thoughts. But—”

“But nothing. It’s clear to me that you’re putting forward ideas for a Christmas party. What’s wrong with the ones I set up every year? It’s a tried and tested formula; all the staff love it and everybody, and I mean everybody comes back every year. Every belssed year.”

“My notice has nothing to do with the works party, Boss. Have you even read it?”

“No need to. The headline tells me everything I need to know.”

“So you read the headline and react, without even trying to find out what’s behind it?”

“Well… yes. What are you suggesting?”

“Only that you’re not alone in doing that, but that doesn’t make it right, or even a sensible thing to to.”

“So what is your notice talking about?”

“Read it for yourself. It’s not very long.”

The boss reads the notice. His expression changes.

“So your notice is about making the celebration of Christmas more inclusive; adding in elements that will make the parties more attractive to people of other religions—”

“And none.”

“Quite. And does that apply to my parties, too?”

“With respect, Sir, yes it does. You do know, don’t you, that there are two reasons all the staff come to the party every year?”

“Go on…”

“Firstly, you make it clear in the invitation that attendance is compulsory.”

“And the second?”

“Well, that’s it, really. There is no other reason.”

“So you’re telling me that everyone turns up because I say they have to.”

“Not exactly that, Sir.”

“What then?”

“It’s more the implied threat.”

“What implied threat?”

“The staff know you, Sir. They believe that they could end up with anything from loss of seniority to their marching orders,, were they to fail to turn up for the annual shindig.”

“I take it by shindig, you mean our annual Christmas extravaganza… and stop laughing while I’m talking.”

“Sorry, Boss.”

“Our annual do is very important to promote staff morale and as a team-building exercise. Anyone who doesn’t attend would soon find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.”

“That’s the worry, Sir. We all read that in your invitation. That is the implied threat I mentioned.”

“That’s no threat. It’s a statement of fact; there’s much to be gained by attending. You’re just reading the words and not trying to find out what’s behind them. That’s as bad as… ah… perhaps I should address the staff before the festivities start, so they’ll understand better.”

“Or perhaps, if I could offer an alternative suggestion, you should speak quietly with your section heads; explain the situation to them and leave them to propagate it…”

“Why? Addressing the assembled staff always gets me the result I want.”

“I don’t think you need to talk to the staff.”

“I don’t?”

“No, Sir. You don’t. I think you need to talk with the staff.”

“What’s the difference?”

“It’s the difference between dictating and discussing.”

“Are you calling me a dictator?”

“I wouldn’t dare, Sir. OUCH!”

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here – pingbacks don’t often work.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.


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