Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A to Z: J - Jelly & Job

My A to Z Challenge: Flash fiction written using two words and a photo for inspiration. How did I chose the words? First I brought up a noun list for each letter, then averted my eyes, scrolled the mouse down, stopped and double-clicked. That was the word! The second word was chosen the same way but from a dictionary list of words.
NOTE: Photos are from free to use photo sites such as Pixabay.com and Morguefile.com. No attribution necessary.



Perry hated his job. Jabbing the specially carved tool into the vat filled with a weird gelatinous substance, he stirred before taking it out. He'd been told it was jelly but it didn't taste like any jelly he'd ever had and it sure didn't smell like it either. The tool gave him the creeps. His was shaped like a human leg - not the bone, but the whole leg. Other workers had ones shaped like an arm with the hand formed into a fist. It took him weeks to not shiver every time he entered the warehouse.

Once he had the tool coated with the goo, he rolled it onto a special paper. Then holding it with two hands, he lined up the blunt end with the designated spot. He had to be very careful to position it inside the designated area. Too many stamps outside the box, on the lines or deemed in any way to be crooked, and BOOM, you were fired.

He needed this job. The pay was decent, the hours weren't bad, if it weren't for the smell. He had tried wearing a cotton mask but it didn't help and he had trouble breathing through it. So he did his best to breath through his mouth, keeping the odors at bay. Somewhat. The downside was his mouth got very dry and seemed to be coated with something gooey. He had asked his supervisor if the jelly was causing his symptoms but was reassured that couldn't be possible.

He jabbed the tool into the jelly, then stamped the paper. Jabbed the tool into the jelly, then stamped the paper. Over and over and over. Hour after hour after hour. Day after day after day. Soon he didn't notice the smell or the coating inside his mouth and nose.

At lunch one day, he realized his co-workers were all starting to look the same. Flat hair, dull complexions and a vacant expression on their face. Do I look like that? he wondered. "Jorge, c'mere." he motioned to an old school chum.

"Yeah, howya doin?" Jorge sat on the bench beside him.

"You notice anything different about me? I mean, us. All of us."

Jorge looked around and shrugged. "Same dull lot that's always worked here. Why?"

"Seems like we're all changing. Or maybe it's the jelly. I don't smell it anymore. Do you?"

"Now that you mention it, I don't. They musta changed something in the stuff. Gotta go, bells gonna ring and I need the john."

After Jorge left, Perry took another look around the lunch room. Physically, everyone seemed to be morphing right in front of his eyes. Their faces appeared to be getting waxy, gooey. He touched his own cheek and started. His fingers came away with something that resembled the jelly in the jars.

As he stood, a claxson sounded, calling everyone into the general room. His movements seemed slow and the other workers seemed to be in slow motion as well. Once everyone was assembled, the shift supervisor walked over to the microphone and addressed the crowd. "Sorry to pull you all away from your jobs but we need everyone to go through the decontamination room."

When he'd been hired, he had heard about the room but hadn't really thought much about it after they assured him it was rarely used. Now he wondered what the process actually entailed.

The supervisor continued. "Some of you have mentioned finding our proprietary jelly on your bodies. This contamination requires a massive sanitation of all employees and their work stations. Please form a single line at the door to my left and we will start the process."

There was grumbling and muttering as well as laughing and small talk as the procession moved forward towards the decontamination room. As Perry approached the door, he felt butterflies in his stomach. What was actually going to happen? Would it hurt or sting? The door opened and he stepped inside.

At the exit door of the "decontamination room", no one was exiting. The pile of specially carved tools grew, waiting for the new crew of workers due to arrive the next day.


Stay Calm and Read Flash Fiction!

  


16 comments:

  1. Ew, ew, ew! That was incredibly creepy! Nice job.
    <a href="http://melaniecrousesblog.blogspot.com/2018/04/j-is-for-josh-barro.html>Melanie's Stories</a>

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    1. Thanks, took me a while to figure out what direction to go in. LOL!

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  2. That was awful - creepy and good! Nice job.

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  3. In hindsight, I might have wanted to make too many stamps outside the box and get fired?

    Janet’s Smiles

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  4. Once inside the the decontamination room he found a macabre site, indeed. Very creepy flash fiction. I wish I had the talent to write flash fiction. I’ve never been able to tell a good FF story, especially a wicked and spine-tingling one with such brevity. I really want to learn how. It’s much harder than people think. I enjoyed reading this one. You hooked me with the first Line and never lost my interest.
    Melissa @
    Sugar Crime Scene

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it. The more flash you write, the easier it gets (sometimes...lol).

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  5. Oh that snuck up on me nicely. Excellent story-telling.

    A-Zing this year at:
    FictionCanBeFun
    Normally found at:
    DebsDespatches

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  6. Excellent. I really enjoyed this one - my flesh is still crawling.

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    1. Appreciate it...thanks for stopping by again. I'm several days behind in reading. Company visiting...

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  7. Ewwww! Glad I didn't read this one right before bedtime.

    Emily In Ecuador

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    1. Heck, it creeped me out when I wrote it!

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