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A Day in the Life

or, a stranger sitting on a bench

By Matthew FrommPublished 6 months ago Updated 6 months ago 3 min read
created with midjourney

He shifted his weight on the hard park bench as the recess bell rang off in the distance. Already exhausted, he sighed as the children rushed out for their daily dose of controlled chaos. A quick glance at his watch told him his break was almost up, and a long shift was still ahead. The temptation to take a short nap almost overcame him…almost.

How much better would it have been to be home with his hounds enjoying a nice, peaceful day? Some people thought them intimidating, but really, they were just misunderstood creatures, and he loved them so very dearly. He groaned, shifting his weight again. The bench really was uncomfortable on his bony bottom.

The children sprinted around chasing each other in tag, climbing on the jungle gym, and playing soldiers, all under the equally weary eyes of the other teachers. The shortage was getting to them; it didn’t take a doctor to see that, which, of course, he was. Truth be told, he was feeling the stress as much as they were. This wasn’t what any of them signed up for, and so many simple fixes were hanging out there! But it was made very clear to him that it wasn’t his job to fix the problems, just to go where he was called. C’est la vie. That gave him a chuckle.

Overworked, underappreciated, and constantly under the gun, He was amazed he wasn’t getting even more calls for the ones coming apart at the seams, and the current call load kept him working late every night. After spending most of his practicing years traveling around in hospitals, he felt like he barely set foot in those these days, except for during COVID-19 – he talked to a lot of patients and doctors alike during that disaster.

A gaggle of kindergarteners, it was tough to tell when they were that young, ran by shrieking and chasing a soccer ball. They paid him no mind, nor should they have. He rubbed his temple; that was the worst age to deal with. The screams and shrieks always left him with a headache. A quick check of his ancient watch said it would be a late night, and he’d have killed for an aspirin. Ahh, I crack myself up. The dogs would be fine; he could make a quick stop after work, assuming no other emergency calls came up. Today’s shift wouldn’t go too late either; the school wasn’t that big after all.

His watch vibrated, and he checked the little hourglass, the grains draining out of it. Welp, that time, eh? So much for my break. All in a day's work. His old, rattling bones creaked as he stood up.

The tires screeched off in the distance. The bangs followed shortly after.

His break now over, Dr. Death picked up his scythe.



I found no joy in writing this. Above is my entry to both Mother Combs and L.C. Schäfer's challenges, below:

You can read all my works here:

PsychologicalthrillerSatireCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Matthew Fromm

Full-time nerd, history enthusiast, and proprietor of random knowledge. The best way to find your perfect story is to make it yourself.

Here there be dragons, and knights, and castles, and quests for entities not wished to be found.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (9)

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  • Lamar Wiggins6 months ago

    Love the tone you created. There were obvious hints to the ending but guess what? I didn't pick up on them. I was too distracted by what was going on and forgot about the prompt while reading it lol. Nice entry!

  • Dana Crandell6 months ago

    I did see it coming, but the twist was well written, nonetheless. Well done.

  • Psychological thrillers are my forte. I've written a few. You did a good job with this one. I love how you cleverly led us to the unexpected twist. Good work.

  • Love an ending I don’t see coming! Nice work!

  • Mother Combs6 months ago

    This is great! Killed 2 challenges with 1 story. Good work.

  • L.C. Schäfer6 months ago

    Oh I knew the twist before it twisted, but it was smashing nonetheless 😁

  • Cathy holmes6 months ago

    That was great. The twist was quite unexpected. Well done.

  • Alex H Mittelman 6 months ago

    Liked this a lot! Lol Dr. Death!

  • Veronica Coldiron6 months ago

    😮 I kept thinking: "Hounds? There's no way this guy is a teacher", but I had no idea until the last second! GREAT twist at the end!

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