TL;DR: I'm trying to build a daily creative writing habit. This post is the result of an exercise toward that end. It's probably an awful first draft of a little flash fiction scene, unless I've tried something especially weird or decided to write something meta. Let me know what you think!

Konnor had never seen so many zeroes in his bank balance before. At least, not with a positive number in front of them. He could make rent. He could fill the fridge. He could even pay off a few bills outright.

He triple checked the transactions to be sure it wasn't a mistake. As far as he could tell, it was legitimate. The deposits were his signing bonus and a first paycheck, both landing at once in his account. The numbers shouldn't have been a surprise—they'd been in his offer letter when he accepted, after all—but he kind of hadn't expected it to become real. He almost found himself crying at his laptop. He managed to take a shaky deep breath and let it out slowly.

"You okay over there?" They weren't quite sitting shoulder to shoulder on the long table that served as a communal desk. But, the open office arrangement put him uncomfortably close to his co-worker Bjarni. It was hard to have much privacy.

"Yeah," said Konnor, "I'm good."

Bjarni shrugged. "You looked shook for a sec there, bud. You should cheer up: it's payday!" He kind of yawped that last bit and clapped Konnor on the shoulder for punctuation.

"Hell yeah it is," shouted Anwar, from the other side of Bjarni. "We should celebrate!"

Then, Anwar rolled back from the table in his chair to look at Konnor.

"Oh hey," he said, "newbie buys lunch, right?"

Bjarni chuckled, adding, "Yeah, it's company tradition. Picks up the bar tab, too."

Konnor sighed and just kind of looked down at his keyboard. "Guys, I can't really do that—"

"Sure you can," said Anwar. "Have a little team spirit, huh? You just got paid!"

A sigh from across the table, Ricarda looked up and rolled her eyes. "Anwar, you're a dick," she said. "If anything it should be our treat. That is, if Konnor wants much to do with you shady assholes after this foolishness."

Bjarni rolled his eyes back. "You call him a dick, both of us assholes—and then the harshest word you can come up with is 'foolishness'?"

"I'm working on my level of professionalism," said Ricarda. "Fuck you very much."

Konnor had developed a kind of baffled expression. He wanted to shrink and vanish from existence.

"Seriously, they're assholes," said Ricarda, meeting Konnor's eyes. "Don't ever give them money."

Anwar clutched at his chest. "I'm hurt!"

"And broke," said Ricarda, "you owe me fifty dollars. How about lunch is on you, Anwar?"

Bjarni leaned over to Konnor and whispered, "They were dating before she got him get hired on."

"Yeah," said Ricarda, "and I still haven't seen that referral bonus."

"This is inappropriate workplace harassment," cried Anwar.

"It kind of is," said Bjarni, nodding.

Konnor just looked back and forth between the three of them, blinking and out of his depth.

"If it puts an end to all this abuse," said Anwar, "then, yes, I will be so magnanimous as to buy us lunch."

"So magnanimous," echoed Ricarda.

Bjarni leaned over to Konnor again and asked, "So, what do you like to eat, bud?"


A 3-card spread from my Tarot Thing: