Saturday, October 2, 2010

They're People Too - A blogfest

The story below is for Tessa's blogfest - They're People Too. The challenge was to write a piece of fiction using an abstract concept, like love, hate, death, etc. At first I had a lot of trouble writing this. I stared at the page for a good thirty minutes before anything came to me. I even tried using a mindmap to get my creative juices flowing. Eventually, the story below came to me.

F.E.A.R. Itself

I grabbed a cup of coffee from the break room and trudged over to my desk. Mornings were not my strong point. I thrived during the night, but then that’s when our department was busiest.

The coffee pulsed through my veins and my heart pumped faster. I sat down for the long day ahead of me. The first thing I did was check the schedule. The Fall was always busy. As regional supervisor of the Federal Extension of American Rationale, or F.E.A.R., I worked long hours this time of year to be sure everyone in my district was scared in the appropriate dose, at the appropriate time.

What was on the list today? Tara Schomblatt of Minot, North Dakota would see a spider on her bathroom wall at 11:42 AM. This was an easy task that even a rookie could take care of. I’d send Nick. He just came out of training, but Spiders were good first jobs.

The next item posed a problem. It required coordination with the Department of Endings and Terrible Happenings. I could count on one hand the people on my roster who liked working with D.E.A.T.H. I couldn’t blame them. I’d worked with them once, and to say it went terrible would be an understatement. The pleasure D.E.A.T.H. agents got out of taking life made my stomach turn. I still remember my partner’s grin as the life drained out of Evelyn Smith-Parker.

I scrolled through the list of available agents.. After three times through, I found a perfect candidate. Cybil Tierney had been here just over a year and her toughest job so far was working the haunted corn maze in Apple Valley, Minnesota. She could use a real assignment.

“Hello, Cybil speaking.” She answered the phone on the first ring. Eager. I liked that.

“Hi Cybil, it’s Doug Botts. You’ve been called up to the big leagues.” I tried to make it sound as exciting as possible. I hoped she hadn’t heard the rumors. “The Department of Endings needs you to assist them on a breaking and entering.” No need to tell her it would involve the person’s life ending, it always did when D.E.A.T.H. was involved. “Turns out this is one of…” I scanned the entry again for the target’s name, “Riley Thomas’ biggest fears.”

There was silence on the other end of the line. I gave Cybil a minute to process.

She cleared her throat. “Great. Thank you for the opportunity.”

I could tell it was all lip service, but hearing those words was better than the tears I got the last time I put someone on a collaborative assignment.

“Perfect.” I clicked around with my mouse to forward her the entry. “The details should arrive in your inbox. And Cybil…”
“Yes?” she answered.
“Good luck.” I placed the receiver back into its holder and leaned back in my chair.

A message popped up on my screen. And then another. And another. Why were so many kids afraid of the dark?

There's still time to enter this blogfest if you want to get in on the fun. Just click here to sign up. It ends at midnight tonight (October 2). Remember Tessa is in the UK though, so it's earlier than midnight EST.


  1. Hi,

    This brought a chuckle. I simply loved it! You could do so much with this theme. ;)


  2. That was really great!!! Loved it!!!

  3. This. Was. Awesome. You have the beginnings of a great YA/ MG novel on your hands. The voice is incredible.

  4. Just another day at the office :)

    I can so relate. Loved the silence on the other end of the phone and the "thanks for the opportunity" response.

    Well done.


  5. This was really well written!

    I really enjoyed reading about F.E.A.R.

    Incredibly clever

  6. I'd love to see a book expanding on this. Really great idea!

  7. *grins*


    I love it! This exactly my sort of thing. And I love the D.E.A.T.H. -acronym thing, that's just inspired!

    Thanx for joining in the fun, this is definately one of my favourites!!


  8. I also love the acronyms. This reminded me a lot of "Monster's Inc." a good way. haha Love this!!

  9. How funny that KM said this was like Monster's Inc., I was thinking the same thing. Cool premise. Loved it! :D

  10. I thought this was great. I would read more to this story, to be honest. Very unique!

    Scribbler to Scribe

  11. Wow, you've created a whole department and world for fear! So awesome. And I love the acronym!