Desk Job Friday Fictioneers


This is a Friday Fictioneers submission It took a while to come up with an idea this week but I’m reasonably pleased with this though I suspect it’s well over the hundred words.

Incidentally, for a more involved look at a similar fictional universe, my bookis still available. Apologies for the plug but I spent most of last night correcting typoes which had somehow survived into the first edition.

Thanks to Adam Ickes for the photograph.

NB A few readers have noted that I referred to ‘piano wife’ in the first draft of this post.  There was nothing Freudian about it.  Rather, I presume it was something to do with the ridiculous predictive text system on my iPhone.  I gave some thought to leaving it in, but I’ve decided to change it.

Clearing your desk is never easy, but for a gangster’s torturer, it’s a real bind. There are usually bits of informant stapled to it for a start. Jimmy hadn’t wanted to quit, but he’d known it was time when he held a length of piano wire in his hands and found himself thinking he could use it as a guide wire for the clematis he was growing at the side of the garage. Don had understood, too. He’d even got him a leaving present: an antelope’s head. A memento of his first job 40 years ago, he’d said. It should’ve been a horse, of course, but Don’s bloke at the knacker’s yard had disappeared. Something about a job in Iceland, apparently. Still, it was the thought that counted. When Diamond Eddie had gone, all they’d given him was a pair of concrete boots. They hadn’t even been the right size, though he doubted Eddie would have bothered to check if Don had kept the receipt. An antelope’s head was better than nothing, thought Jimmy, though he couldn’t help wishing he’d stayed on at Hairdressing College.



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30 responses to “Desk Job Friday Fictioneers

  1. Dear Etienne,

    Now there’s an inventory to be envied. 😉 A good take on the prompt.
    Typo alert: I think you mean “piano wire” and not “wife”.



  2. Dear Etienne,

    I had a piano wife once….

    Good story.



  3. Okay, my friend, you know I have to start by teasing you about the piano wife because at first I thought you Brits must have some pretty vicious mobsters for bits of wives to be left around on desks in the office. 🙂

    Fun take on the prompt, though, Etienne. I particularly like the idea of choosing between a career as a mobster and one in hairdressing. Perhaps that way the horse would have met a far different fate–one that included a beautifully plaited mane.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  4. camgal

    Haha I was wondering if I could see a picture of a piano wife until I saw Rochelle’s comment. However very verbose for a short story and really an interesting take on the prompt due to the diversity of the choices he faces. Good one Etienne.

  5. What a different direction his life took from when he started out at hairdressing college – I love the contrast of ideas and stereotypes this conjures up

    • Thanks for reading. Last time I went to the hairdressers, the experience wasn’t dissimilar to getting rolled-over by a gangster so maybe there were some unconscious processes at play here.

  6. El frett

    I have two piano ex-wives. I divorced the first because she was too grand. The second left me because I wasn’t as upright as her. Now I don’t speak to either of them, but Ebony and Ivory live together in perfect harmony.

  7. So fun!!!! This is a great take on the prompt. Seems most FF are going to the fun side this week.

  8. Lyn

    Crazy and great all in one. When a gangster starts thinking of using a piano wire to train his Clematis up the garage wall, it’s definitely time he got out of the business 😀

  9. This made me laugh, Etienne. An imaginative interpretation of the prompt.

  10. Clever little story. What a dilemma he faced in his career choice.

  11. It’s fun to see gangsters as actual people for a change, with hopes and dreams and retirement plans. It’s a better end than Diamond Eddie’s anyway.

  12. Such fun and lovely characterisation. Wish I had written this.

  13. Doubt there would be any less confusion in hairdressing lol. Nice story, very descriptive and funny.

  14. A retiring gangster’s torturer. The piano wire as clematis support is hilarious. Don Corleone would have laughed as much as the horse’s head.

  15. Dear Etienne, Cute story and very well done. The “horses head” cracked me up. I can remember the “Godfather” and all the symbolism which I thought was creepy at the time and hilarious now. And the clematis string for support is priceless! Thanks, Nan 🙂

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