Late for Work Again

This prompt has been sitting in my drafts folder for months; I suppose I could go back and see what I actually posted on this day. Oh! That was the day the former assistant manager was a bitch to me and told me I needed to take a bath. And also NaNoWriMo. Good times. No wonder I got distracted from this prompt.



Matt checked his watch; just enough time to stream one more episode of Breaking Bad before it was time to get ready for work. He settled back into the couch cushions and hit play.

Five hours later, Matt woke with a start. He checked his phone–four missed calls from work and coworkers. Fuck. He called his boss at the dollar store.

“Matador!” Cedric greeted him warmly.

Matt was slightly reassured. Cedric was always trying to befriend the employees: making up nicknames, cracking jokes, and insisting they call him “Ced.” If Ced was still calling him Matador, things were looking good.”Ced, man, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what happened. I fell asleep on my couch and just now woke up. I know my shift is almost over by now, but I wanted to at least make sure I still have a job before I ask if you want me to go ahead and come in.”

“It’s cool, man. We all have those kinda days sometimes. It’s been slow anyway, and Amy handled it fine by herself. See you tomorrow though, two o’clock sharp,” Cedric continued.

Matt heaved a sigh of relief as he hit the end button on his phone. At least he still had a job. It was just weird for him to fall asleep like that, and to stay asleep for so long. He ruffled his hair, stretched, and stood up. A knock at the door distracted him from wondering what he was going to eat, and he went to answer it.

He opened the door just in time to see the FedEx guy climbing back into his truck and driving off. Matt looked down to find a good-sized box on his front porch. He shrugged, picked it up, and brought it inside to set it on the kitchen table.

It was addressed to him, but the return address said only Rock Hall, MD. Matt grabbed a knife and slit open the plastic envelope to remove the documentation to make sure he wanted to open this box. He scanned the paperwork quickly, learning that he’d somehow won a prize of some kind from a contest he didn’t remember entering.

Whatever, he thought. Free stuff is free stuff.

He cut the tape and opened the box. After pulling out some sheets of bubble wrap, he found an empty bird cage, the classic domed Tweety Bird kind. Matt didn’t have a bird, but the cage would look pretty cool hanging in that empty corner of his living room. He pulled the rest of the packing out of the box to make sure there wasn’t anything else in there, and all he found was a bit of silt caked on the bottom flaps of the box.


He set the cage to the side and stuffed the trash back into the box, which he then brought outside to his trash can. On his way back in, he tripped on a lone boot beside the door. Gotta find that other boot, he reminded himself.

He already had a hook in his ceiling, from a previous tenant’s hanging plant, so he hooked the cage onto it and sat back down on his couch to admire the new acquisition.

Today hadn’t been such a bad day after all.



2 Comments on “Late for Work Again”

  1. LRose says:

    Nice job! Glad you went back to it too. I know a couple of Matts. Gonna have to start calling them Matador!

    • April says:

      Both names and nicknames (and Ced’s desperate need to be hip) were provided by my brother-in-law. I’ll pass your comment on! 😉

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