Near 500 words: TW Meets His Boss

Episode 14 of The Writer

TW (aka The Writer) locked his desk drawer and headed for the elevator. He pushed the elevator button and waited. He liked his life just the way it was. A librarian and a scholar with a few stories on the side.

Saturday and Sunday had freaked him out. The postcard with a moving Sylvia in it, the missing postcard, the unknown language, the streak across the sky, the passing out and waking up in his bed the next morning. And Cat freaking out over the smell.

He stepped inside the elevator and pressed the four button. The door slid closed, then the contraption rose.

Though his mind was still murky, he came to one conclusion. It was time to move on. He owed nothing on his house. He had a substantial amount in his 401 account. He had won a number of literary prizes from his short stories. The last one sold to a major online magazine, and they paid. Not a lot but still it made him a professional writer. Over the years he published non-fiction articles and essays as well. Yes, it was time to leave. To where, he wasn’t sure.

The elevator door opened. Therese at the reception desk greeted him with a smile.

“Is the director in?”

“Do you have an appointment?”

“I don’t but I still would like to Dr. Hollings if I could.”

A few minutes later, an overweight man with a overgrown brown beard extended his hand to TW.

“I’m sorry to disturb you, sir.”

“No bother at all.”

Dr. Hollings’ office was a scholar‘s office. A large bookshelf contained volumes on American history. Diplomas, certificates and awards littered the wall, surrounding the glass frame for his Pulitzer Prize for History certificate and his check.

Through the glass window behind the mahogany desk stood an oak tree. Dr. Hollings for some reason named the tree Harvey.

Inviting TW to sit in a wicker chair near the bookshelf, Dr. Hollings joined him. He eased into a chair facing TW.

“It’s been a while since we’ve visited. I’d like to congratulate on your Celena Prize and  your story in the Grand Hotel. That’s quite an achievement.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“What can I do for you?”

TW swallowed hard.

“Do you need some water?” Dr. Hollings asked.

“No, sir. It‘s just—”


TW hesitated. He knew his retirement would not please his boss. Dr. Hollings loved his staff, and he loved the library. But he didn’t care for anything upsetting his ship. TW’s retirement was going to upset the boat. It meant he would have to hire another librarian. The librarian would have to be fresh out of school, considering what the University paid. And he would be losing TW’s forty-one year‘s of experience and expertise.

“I’d like to retire. If you think you can do without me.”

A frown fell across Dr. Hollings’ face. “This is sudden. Can I ask why you want to leave us?”

“I think I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

2 thoughts on “Near 500 words: TW Meets His Boss

  1. Hopefully the boss should just say thank you so much for your loyal service, will you stay long enough to help find a replacement and I hope you’d enjoy your well earned retirement perhaps you could keep in touch with us as we’ll miss you.

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