This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Last lines: Becca’s boss Mr. Williams calls her into his office, and fires her for poor performance. Becca: “What?”


“Please clean out your desk immediately,” he closed the folder, and put it in his out box.

Becca stumbled to her desk, and stared at the ugly divider wall covered by her favorite photographs. She pulled down the picture of her high school prom, vacation in Paris, and University of New Mexico graduation, tossing each picture into the empty cardboard box someone had left on her desk.

How could they fire me? I work so hard, but all my clients do is complain.

She threw her stapler after the pictures.

“Did you quit?” Lily looked up from her computer screen at the loud thunk.

*   *   *   *   *   *

NOTE: I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month, so expect my replies to your comments to be a little slow, but I’ll get to you, promise.

“Lily Wasn’t There” is a short story I can’t quite get right. I’m hoping the feedback from WeWriWa will help.

Becca’s life hasn’t gone how she planned. Stuck in an accounting job she despises, she scrapes by with a paycheck that doesn’t buy her half of what she deserves. She wants to find a man before she’s thirty, get married, and never work another day in her life. While at work, she people-watches, and one particular coworker is often the focus of her attention–Lily. Lily is everything Becca hates–buttoned-up, bland, and overly dedicated to her job–or so Becca thinks.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

33 responses »

  1. S.J. Maylee says:

    Ouch! I feel for her and I’m very glad she’s taking the stapler. 🙂

    I’m doing NaNoWriMo too. It’s going to be an interesting week.

    • caitlinstern says:

      She’s not taking office supplies, if that’s what you’re thinking. 🙂

      Here’s a quote from way back:
      “At her desk, Becca straightened her folders, and squared off her stapler, hole-punch, and container of paperclips, all glossy pink with her name neatly written on the bottom so no one would steal them.”

      Good luck on NaNo! I’ve been putting in my word count these past two days, and every time midnight rolls around and I have a ‘0’ for the day because I haven’t written yet, the stats are alarming. o.O

  2. Can’t say it was a surprise.

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    Hm, I wonder if she’s going to say ‘yes’ or tell the truth!

  4. Ooh, direct interaction between Lily and Becca! Can’t wait to see what Becca says next…effective excerpt!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Yes, it ended up rarer than I thought it would when I started writing this short story. But I just can’t see these two women talking to each other much. They have very little in common.

  5. Carrie-Anne says:

    It always hurts to be fired or laid off. I wonder if she’ll divest the workplace of some extra supplies no one will notice or care are missing, as I did after being laid off. (They were all in my desk for years, and probably long forgotten by everyone else.)

  6. burnsmillie says:

    Oh wow, it’ll be interesting to see what she says to Lily.

  7. Sarah Cass says:

    Oh, wow…interesting. I can’t wait to see what happens in their interaction. Just what will Becca say? Or rather…how far into her mouth can she shove her foot?

  8. Sarah W says:

    Dumb clients, always demanding competency and actual effort done on their behalf!

    I’m guessing that Becca is about to unleash some verbal abuse on poor, unsuspecting Lilly!

  9. Cara Bristol says:

    Ouch! Getting fired hurts.Good luck with NaNoWriMo. I’m participating for the first time this year.

  10. evelynjules says:

    Yes, it’s all your clients’ fault. You had nothing to do with it, Becca. 😉 I love how she’s so oblivious to things sometimes. Cracks me up. Looking forward to next week!

  11. You’ve painted the picture of someone not very likeable. The reader should love the heroine so maybe you’ll have her learn from this experience and grow up. Interesting eight.

  12. I love how you reduced her to a folder in her boss’s outbox. So blunt; his disapproval and dismissal is loud and clear. Nice 8!

  13. Heather Boyd says:

    Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. Hoping something good is around the corner for her.

  14. Ooooh, enter Lilly! I’m curious to know how Becca responds. Great 8!

  15. historysleuth1 says:

    She speaks! Oh my, now will Becca see it as Lily being concerned or as Lily rubbing it in? Becca has that self-centered point of view of everybody. Can’t wait to read what happens next week!

    You so nail Becca’s character traits.
    History Sleuth’s Milk Carton Murders

  16. Wow, the question, that was hilarious.
    I can’t wait to see what Becca will answer to that.

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