Written Fireside is a round robin style written, short story feature based on the campfire game where one person starts a story then passes it on to the next person gathered by the fire to continue.

For each story I write part 1, then each participating author (a Fire Writer) adds a part in turn.

Apr 1, 2014

Written Fireside: Changes Part 1

“Do you know why I’ve called you into my office?”

Because you’re a little man who likes to throw his weight around to make himself feel powerful.  “No.”

“You have excessive absences.”

“My mother was in an accident.”  Marie kept her expression a polite mask, and her tone without inflection.

“That was last month Ms. Ellis and I was kind enough to let you work from home then.”

Which allowed you to take credit for my work.  “Very kind and I’ve thanked you for that, Mr. Simons.”

“However, I understand your mother is well now.”

“She is.”

“Then explain why you weren’t here yesterday.”

Through clenched teeth, she forced out words.  “I wasn’t well.”

“I hate the thought of replacing you.”  The false concern in his voice soured her stomach.  “But unless you understand the seriousness of calling in sick after missing so much work, I’ll have no choice.”

Tempted to dump the contents of his coffee mug over his desk, she shoved her hands into her skirt pockets.  She’d been a model employee for five years, always on time, never missed a day, until her mother had been hurt.  The image of her, pale and broken, in the hospital flashed through Marie’s mind.  The accident had made her aware that life was fragile.

Too precious to waste. “I understand, perfectly.”

“Good,” His tone dismissive, Dale picked up some papers and tapped them on the desk surface.  “See that you don’t miss any more days.”

“That won’t be possible.”


His confused look gave her great satisfaction.  Her mood shifted.  Happy for the first time, in a long time, she smiled. “I quit.”

Marie turned around and strode out of the office leaving her boss sputtering incoherently.  She pulled out the hairpins securing her chignon and threw them into a garbage can near her cubicle.  Quickly, she tossed her few personal items into her purse, snatched up her jacket, and walked out of the door.

Outside she paused a moment, breathing in the fresh scent of spring, taking in the sun drenched day.  All her life, Marie had been careful, cautious and responsible.  This new, impulsive behavior had her blood singing through her veins and she loved the feeling.

I’m free.

A short time later Marie drove out of the parking lot, still smiling.  Instead of taking her normal route home, she turned left at the first stop sign.  Her window rolled down, long hair drifting on the breeze, she headed wherever her muse desired.

In the middle of a block on the other side of town, a sign for an art studio caught her eye.  Without conscious thought, she pulled over.  A poster advertised a painting class, drop ins welcome.  Marie had a flair for art but had always dismissed pursuing it as impractical.  Now the thought of trying something creative excited her.

Purse in hand, she hopped out of the car.  Her stride, quick and confident, Marie entered the studio.  In the middle of the room was a circle of people seated in front of easels.

“Can I help you?”  An older woman standing in the center of the group called out.

“Um, I saw the sign.”

“And you want to join in?”

“I don’t have any paints or brushes or-”

“We’ve plenty.  It’s twenty for the class.  Drop it on the desk and then come join us.”

Head bent over her purse, digging out money, Marie heard the creak of a door opening.  Footsteps approached from behind her.  Curious, she turned to look and managed to plow face first into the man’s bare chest.  His hands grabbed her upper arms, steadying her.

Heart racing, Marie scooted back, bringing her gaze up over his naked flesh to his face, “I’m sorry I…  Zach?”

To be continued on Teresa F. Morgan's Blog on April 8th

While you wait, check out her latest work in

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