Nick Wilford. He's read the manual (you read the manual, right?), so I'm off until next week. Thanks for stepping in, right at the "Nick" of time ... okay, I'm reaching with that one ...
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Thanks for letting me hijack the Cosmic Laire, David!
Today I’m bringing your readers an interaction between two of the supporting characters in my novella, A Change of Mind. The following is a disciplinary meeting between Mr Spinton, team leader at Harbinger Industries, and Guy Borderman, an employee:
(Borderman slouches in and parks his expansive bulk in the chair facing Spinton’s desk.)
Spinton: (looking up) Ah, Guy, glad you could join me. However, I called this meeting for fifteen minutes ago.
Borderman: (shrugs) Sorry, yeah, got caught up with something. It’s non-stop, y’know?
Spinton: I’m all too aware of the pressures of the job, but this meeting is important. I’m sure you know the reason I want to speak to you?
Borderman: (shrugs again) Nah, I dunno.
Spinton: (leans forward) Timsbury. Reuben Timsbury. A valued and hard-working employee in your team. It has come to my notice that relations between the two of you are somewhat strained.
Borderman: How, guv?
Spinton: Don’t play the innocent act with me. I have invoice records here that state Mr. Timsbury has purchased a new stapler from stationery every work day for the past 528 days. Is it true that you are stealing his staplers?
Borderman: No, I ask him. And he’s putting a lot of money back into the coffers. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?
Spinton: (shakes head) I won’t have my employees be intimidated. And there are several other incidents recorded – you stole his shoes and put ketchup in them, tripped him over in the canteen causing him to spill hot soup on himself at a risk of scalding, retrieved his wallet from his coat pocket and swapped the bank notes for Monopoly money. That’s theft.
Borderman: Actually, that last one was Cortnett.
Spinton: Ah, so you admit liability and drop another colleague in it? This just gets better.
Borderman: (squirming in his seat) It’s just… he’s so easy, y’know, guv? He just takes it all. And it’s boring working here. We need to have some entertainment.
Spinton: I thought you said the work was high pressure.
Borderman: Erm, yeah, maybe not as much as for you.
Spinton: Indeed. And dealing with sorry matters like these keeps me from it.
Borderman: Look, see Reuben… he’s just such a snivelling wreck of a man. It’s like he invites it all on himself. If he stood up for himself a bit, I wouldn’t bother, y’know?
Spinton: Hmm… from my own interactions with the man, I tend to agree with your assessment. But still, I won’t have my office treated like a playground. I’m giving you a warning, I don’t want to hear about any further incidents between the two of you. Now go!
(Spinton returns his attention to the papers on his desk. Borderman smiles and slowly lifts himself out of his seat.)
Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Page/word count: 107 pages, approx. 32,000 words
Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Speculative fiction
Format: Ebook only
Release date: 25th May 2015
A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.
In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around. But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…
In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone. The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.
In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him. Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition. The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.
Meet the author:
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit his blog or connect on Twitter or Goodreads.