Flash Fiction: Each Afternoon

A small pad of Post-It notes.

Today’s blog post is an account of, well pretty much every day at work. Although the end of each day is especially harrowing. The thoughts shown below were running through my mind at the time I wrote them. I didn’t mention myself by name I preferred to write as an unknown person rather than in 1st or third person.


Time ticked on. The clock said 15:11. It was nearly an hour before he got to leave for the day. The day being as dull as he had learned to expect.

His desk was covered in bits of scrunched up bus-tickets, empty plastic coffee cups and a handful of copper coins stacked up in size order.

In a desperate attempt to fill the last part of the day, he decided to write something. He re-arranged the glasses on his head, opened up ‘Word’ and just started to type the first thing that came into his head. He didn’t know where it was going or what it was going to say. Though the writing didn’t have to say anything, the plot didn’t  have to go anywhere. All the writing had to do was occupy time.

15:14, The plan wasn’t working. How could it not, he had seen whole hours disappear in a flurry of typing before. “Why was it not working today?”

15:15 “ok this is stupid” he thought. “Stop looking at the clock. Scarcely a minute has gone by since the last time you looked.”

He pulled a new yellow post-it note off the pad and stuck it over the clock showing in the lower right of his screen. If he couldn’t see it, then it wouldn’t be a problem.

‘A Tell-tale Heart‘ by Edgar Allen-Poe flashed in his mind and he thought about the similarity between the buried heart in the book and the time hidden behind the post-it note. Although he couldn’t see the time the tick-tocking of the virtual clock became louder in his mind until it thumped in his skull.

“Maybe another coffee would help?” he thought. He started to shake his head and then stopped realising that no-one had heard the question, he’s gesturing the answer to. “I’ve had five black coffees and a double Espresso already. Another one would be crazy.”

He put the thought from his mind and continued typing. More words spilled out onto his page with little to no meaning. Each word might as well have had a time etched on it, each word was a second, each paragraph a minute.

He was distracted by a small pinging noise. It was an email. Someone had emailed him. “Is this something for me to do, for the last half hour? Something that will push me to the end of the day.”

He double-clicked the email, and it opened pausing temporarily on his screen as a blank file. That second was enough for his hopes to be raised.

‘OK, Thanks’ it read

“Bugger!” It was nothing but a final response on one of the very few emails he had sent earlier.

His eyes glanced at the unreadable time behind the Post-it “I’ve gotta look” he thought “Ages could have passed. It might be 15:45 now or even 16:00.“ He gingerly peeled off the post-it note and his heart sank once more. It was only 15:26. On the plus side over ten-minutes had gone since he last looked, but there was still 34 minutes left to go.

“Sod it! I can spend the rest of the day going through this. Spell checking it. Grammar checking it. Then getting the links sorted. After all it’s not like this has any other purpose than to fill time.”

With that final thought, he doubted whether this should even be posted. Though ultimately if these words were never visible, the time would have been completely wasted.

It was now still only 15:30.


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