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February 2010

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Michiru

im_not_at_home in rebwriting

Drinking With Coworkers

Title: Drinking With Coworkers
Characters: Jennifer, her unnamed coworker
Rating: R (language, death, etc)
Word Count: 364
Notes: Written for week 1 prompt: instep

As a rule Jennifer didn’t go out to drink with co-workers. With good reason. She hated all of them. The feeling was mutual. And it seemed like everyone in her town was a pissy violent drunk.
At the bar that one particular night Jennifer added a category of people absolutely, on pain of death, never to go drinking with – coworkers who are grieving parents.

Drunken people talk too much about their problems, in her opinion. And most of their problems were self-inflicted. Likewise, parents talk too much about their kids. Add grief on top of it, and all of a sudden, you have to hear everything that the child’s ever done. The good, the bad, the gross. Even if the little one didn’t make it to the bed-wetting phase.

It was heartless but Jen didn’t care about her co-worker’s dead kid. She had worked as a mortician for almost a decade. Young, old, rich, poor, everyone dies. That was a fact that she accepted early on. The fact that her co-worker constantly called her names and was always trying to get her fired, made it hard for Jen to sympathize or even feel enough pity to do more than tolerate her presence. The woman was vile.

Her co-worker was a piss poor parent too, the kid was probably better off dead anyway the way she saw it. The older son of her coworker was a pothead, a delinquent, and rumor had it, he even knocked up a couple local girls. And the grieving mother didn’t normally even need an occasion to out and get shit-faced. Now that Jen thought of it, it had been a wonder the kid hadn’t accidentally offed himself before.

Hearing the woman drunkenly sob about how she wished it had been Jen who died instead, that really made her night. Nothing was nicer than a woman who couldn’t manage polysyllabic words telling you that your make-up and clothing mean that you’re obviously a Satanist and the reason why her unsupervised child drowned. But by the end, she took pity on the other woman, drove her to her home across town, and made sure she got to bed safe and sound.

Comments

I like how unapologetic this character is. :-)
I appreciate your creative application of the prompt. Nice.
I love this. Jennifer is an awesome B.I.T.C.H. (Babe In Total Control of Herself). lol.

No, really, I like that she's so hard, but proves she's got a heart under it all. Well written and well done.
Grammar and spelling at first glance look good, well done!

The sentence structures seem a bit terse - almost noir, but not quite? Mostly it work, but sometimes it's a little jarring: "With good reason. She hated all of them. The feeling was mutual." Instead of being terse, it comes off as jerky.

Also, I found the structure of this sentence to be confusing: "Nothing was nicer than a woman who couldn’t manage polysyllabic words telling you that your make-up and clothing mean that you’re obviously a Satanist and the reason why her unsupervised child drowned." Grammatically, it makes sense, but the long structure and extra detail make the sentence go on longer than it needs to.

Overall, a very interesting piece! I like that the character is utterly unapologetic.

Edit

I agree with the person above that the flow, while usually fitting to the character sometimes gets a bit too jerky to where it feels a bit awkward.

"At the bar that one particular night Jennifer added a category of people absolutely, on pain of death, never to go drinking with – coworkers who are grieving parents." You had already said as a rule she doesn't go out drinking with coworkers, so that category should already be covered, though maybe a subcategory? Also, I think it might add a bit to your story to explain why she went with this particular coworker if as a rule she never would have to begin with. It is a nagging question that never really gets answers. If Jen hate's drunks, and hates her coworkers (mutually to boot), why would she be there in the first place?

"The fact that her co-worker constantly called her names and was always trying to get her fired, made it hard for Jen to sympathize or even feel enough pity to do more than tolerate her presence." You go from the general "her co-workers" to the specific "her coworker" without pause. Might I suggest referring to her as "this particular coworker" just to aid the reader in realizing the subject switches from coworkers in general to a specific?

Also, just having a kid who is a pothead delinquent who knocks some girls up doesn't make a person a bad parent. Would it be possible for Jen to pinpoint a specific incident when this woman was maybe using office hours to lecture her kids? or some other little example of first hand, how is this woman a horrid parent?

This is all just minor detail stuff. The framework is all in place, and very nicely put down. I love Jen's attitude about the whole thing. It really comes down in some ways to doing a bit more showing instead of just telling.

Great Job! Sorry about the run off poll, but keep trying, you show great potential.