Saturday, March 8, 2014

#40 - Ned the Accountant - the Story

Yes, back to Ned!  I loved writing the story Ned the Giant, oh so long ago.  Ned the Accountant is a story where Ned is still not wanting to grow up.  He hates his job, he can barely get out of bed and get himself to work.  If only someone else would take all this away and offer him a good job that matches his existing skills.  That would make the world wonderful!  Be careful what you ask for.

After I had written Ned the Accountant, I went back and reread Ned the Giant.   I was surprised by the similarities that I hadn't noticed while writing the second story.  I mean, I knew there were similarities, but there were so many more than I thought.  When I wrote about Ned getting all tangled in his sheets, I had forgotten that in Ned the Giant, he had grown so tall that the only thing he could wear was a sheet. There were other smaller examples that you may pick up on.  Yes, in the end, Ned gets a job that he wants.  But what sacrifice will he have to make to have such a job?  You will find out in story #45.

Here is an excerpt from Ned the Accountant, to be published this Friday, April 6, 2012:

     After breakfast, the young man lounged on the sofa scanning the want ads looking for a new life. He had called in sick yesterday to attend a couple of interviews for jobs he didn't really want. He sighed. He knew the jobs would not be offered to him. After so many interviews, Ned could tell when prospective employers were taking him seriously and when they were not. He rubbed his hands through his hair and couldn't help but think the interviewers hadn't liked his dreds.

      “Really?” he said to the ceiling. “Is that why no one will give me a job? MY HAIR?!”

      Ned lay on the couch for quite some time burning through excuses for his life like a chain smoker. Once he could no longer stand his own addiction, he groaned and rose up.

      “Arrgggh!” he yelled as he stretched his torso, hands behind his head and elbows raised to the ceiling. “Fuck.”

      Ned dragged himself back to the bathroom where he thought he was going to take a piss. Instead, he stood before the mirror. He stared at his own eyes – bloodshot. “That's what you get for playing computer games all night, you idiot,” he said to his reflection. Ned had indeed played several games until five o'clock in the morning. He slept for one hour and then woke to his alarm at six o'clock to get ready to go to the “Seventh Level of Doom.” That's what he called his job. Fortunately, Ned's skill-less job would not be affected by a lack of sleep.

      The razor cut his thin skin here and there as it was hard to keep his head up while shaving. He fell asleep for a moment only to jerk awake with the sting of another, deeper cut. “Shit!” He grabbed toilet paper to stop the bleeding, but the thin white paper stuck to his wet fingertips instead of his face. A blur of flicking fingers tried to release the white patches from his skin. They would not come off. He flicked once more and caught his fingers on the edge of the mirror, scraping his knuckle and causing a trickle of blood. “Tsssss,” he breathed in pain and annoyance at himself. “Fuck.”

      Ned decided that the bathroom was a dangerous place and went to his bedroom. He noticed a spot at the top of the door frame where he once hit his head. He went to his closet, and pulled out a dirty towel to wipe up the blood from his razor cut and on his knuckle. He then went back into the closet and pulled out a polo shirt and a pair of khaki pants. He slipped them on and surveyed himself in the mirror. His shirt was wrinkled in a couple of spots and his pants were stained and tattered at the bottom hem.

      “Welcome, Mr.Ned. Please sit in the back of the room where you won't embarrass us,” he said to himself. He quickly pulled off his offending garments and went back to his closet. He surveyed the contents of his wardrobe – all polo shirts and cotton or denim pants. He did have one suit, nice shirt and a tie for special occasions. These were several years old and a little short in the leg and sleeve. “Fuck.”

      He flopped on his unmade bed. How had he become such a loser, or was that who he had always been? He had the degree of an accountant but the wardrobe of an ultimate frisbee player. No wonder he couldn't get a better job.

      “I don't want to dress differently! Suits and ties and dress shirts are uncomfortable. And dress shoes...ugh.” He twisted himself up in his bedspread and his sheets as he thrashed at his demons. Soon he found himself on the floor, arms pinned to his sides in his sheets. It was then that he realized he should have taken his “piss” earlier. Suddenly, his bladder was about to overflow. Ned tried to thrash his way out of what he thrashed himself into, with little effect. He rolled toward the door, but what good would that do if he couldn't get out of this straightjacket?

      “Oh, what does it matter? I can't do anything right!”

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