Short Tuesday – Oscitant

Jamie tugged at the collar of his best suit as the baby blue tie that brought out his eyes squeezed tight against his throat.  It was the most hated clothing he owned, but that was what you wore when you worked at Burke & Co.  He held back a yawn, trying to stay awake, and thought that surely, the cure for insomnia had been found right here in the conference room.

The other 20 men, all impeccably dressed and seemingly wide awake sat on either side of the long mahogany table of the meeting room.  The 22nd man, Mr. Stephens was also dressed perfectly, but he stood while pointing at and droning on about the slideshow being projected just behind him.  A boring, colorless, text ridden, slideshow that was made no better by the mono toned Mr. Stephens.  It was a recipe for sleep.

Jamie had prepared though.  Had gone to bed early…and sober even, in preparation for this barrage of boredom.  Staying awake was in his best interest, after all, as he had fallen asleep in the two previous meetings before getting word that the management employed a strict “three strikes and your out” policy.  Armed with that knowledge he loaded up on sleep last night and then coffee this morning.  There was no way his eyes were closing, only they were.

In his mind it wasn’t his fault.  The deck seemed to be stacked against him.  The room was the first thing.  It was dark on dark.  It seemed to have been carved out of the same huge chunk of mahogany.  From the table to the floor to the walls, and even the ceiling, it was all the same.  There was no contrast of color for the eye to catch.  No spark.  Nothing.

Adding to that was the sun that beamed brightly through the 37th story window and across the dark table to assault Jamie’s eyes.  He couldn’t help but to squint against the attack, keeping his eyes that much closer to where they wanted to be anyway.  Just a smidge away from closed.

It all paled in comparison to the oscitant inducing monotone of Mr. Stephens though.  He just droned on and on.  How could anyone be so dry?  How could anyone maintain consciousness under such an attack?

Sleep, though the natural thing to do, was not an option.  He would not get fired today.

A hand on Jamie’s shoulder brought him back.  The meeting was over.  Mr. Stephens sat gathering his papers at he far end of the table.  Maybe he hadn’t noticed.

Jamie scooped his briefcase up and tucked it beneath his arm while turning to the door.  Maybe…


Short Tuesday is a little something I try to do on Tuesdays!  Sorry, couldn’t help it.  Anyway, I take a word, a word like oscitant and write a short story with it.  The words typically come from Dictionary.com’s word of the day e-mails that show up in my inbox every morning, but aren’t limited to them.

I hope you enjoyed reading my Short, and feel free to come back anytime.

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