Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dirty Old Ashtray

Today's blog comes from a prompt on Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog. Write for 15 minutes and use these words: innocent, much, smoky, neighbours, food. 

'Innocent until proven guilty! That's what our justice system is supposed to mean!'

Craig rubbed his ear and glared at the man that had just bellowed in it. The man glared back, waved his placard at Craig and shouted again, directly in his face this time. It really was too much. Not only did he have to run the gauntlet of protesters most days when he came to work, once he got inside he had Smoky Sue to contend with. Luckily she couldn't smoke in the building anymore but she still stank like a dirty old ashtray. And her breath when she bossed him about in her gravelly voice was deathly. He didn't get paid enough for this.

The door to the courthouse swung shut behind him and dulled the shouts of the protesters. Craig fished his security pass out of his bag and then sauntered down the corridor, nodding hellos and good mornings to the cleaners he passed. He liked to get in early and get stuck in before Sue arrived with all her demands. But as he approached the door to his office he could hear someone moving about in there. He pasted a smile in place - best to get the day off to a good start.

'Morning, Sue, how...' Craig's voice trailed off as instead of his fag-loving boss there was a man in the office. A man who was moving all the junk off the desk next to Craig's and putting it all in a box. A man that looked like he might be moving into the office with them. What the hell's going on?

The man put the bundle of old papers he had in his arms back on the desk and held his hand out to Craig.

'Hello there. I'm Mike.'

Craig shook hands with him. 'Craig, hi. Are you moving in?'

Mike nodded. 'I am indeed,' he gestured at the cluttered desk he was clearing, 'we're going to be desk neighbours.'

'Oh right. No-one mentioned it.'

'Yes, well it's all a bit last minute. Apparently the desk I was supposed to have has been commandeered by someone else. So here I am.' 

Mike smiled and Craig supposed it could be good to have him there. His conversation couldn't be any more boring than Sue's, could it?

'Ah, I see. Well, welcome. Has anyone shown you around yet?'

'No, I just got dumped here with this box and left to it.'

Craig put his bag down on his desk then rubbed his hands together. 'Well, first things first. Food. Let me show you where the canteen is and we can get some breakfast and a coffee.'

That's it my 15 minutes are up. That was fun and I'm really getting into this writing from prompts every day. I may well carry on once the blog challenge is over! As always, would love to hear what you think. If you'd also like to write to the same challenge post up a link to your blog so we can read it too. 


  1. A great start to something with 'legs', I think. Thank you so much for doing the prompt and I look forward to reading more...

    1. Thanks Morgen. I had a feeling when writing it that it may have legs. It will be interesting to see what comes of this month of posting up daily writing exercises.

  2. Well written, especially confining the ideas to the words given. The realistic portrayal helped to imagine the picture with ease. Good Job....keep it up.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Sreedev. Glad you liked it!