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HOLIDAY PARTY SUBJUNCTIVE • by Kevin Jewell

I clutched the empty glass in my hand and watched her lips move. I’m sure my employer’s wife was talking, but I heard nothing. I had severed the connection between my mind and my ears when she started enumerating her Wedgwood pieces by year of collection. I had made it through the grandchildren and the autograph collection, but I couldn’t take the china. I plotted my escape.

If I had a grappling hook, rope, and a knife, I could catch the hook on the chandelier, and then scamper up the rope and away. When she tried to climb it too, I would cut the rope behind me. She would plunge to the ground, and I would swing out over the punch bowl. If I timed it right, releasing the rope at the top of the arc, I could do an acrobatic flip and land on my feet by the back door. Then I could grab a cookie off a plate held by a gaping waiter and escape through the kitchen, munching the cookie as I went.

If I had a connection to a robotic sidekick in my wristwatch, I could send an SOS message in Morse code while my hands were casually held behind my back. The robot could enter the room and inform the lady that she had an urgent call in the cloakroom. She would follow him there, and when he handed her the phone with one hand he could inject her with knockout drops with the other. I would stroll out the front door while she recovered beneath a pile of thick winter coats.

If I had an asbestos suit and a helicopter, I could point behind the woman and say “Look, Elvis!” When she turned to get The King’s signature, I would duck into the roaring fire at my back. By the time she realized it was a ruse, I would be already halfway up the chimney. I would escape to the roof, where my helicopter would be waiting to take me away to freedom.

But I had none of those things. So I stood in the corner of the party, watched my boss’s wife’s lips move, and plotted how I would escape if I did.


Kevin Jewell lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes with the South Austin Writers Group. SAWG works to keep Austin weird one tale at a time.

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HOLIDAY PARTY SUBJUNCTIVE • by Kevin Jewell, 4.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
Posted on December 11, 2009 in Humour/Satire, Stories
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25 Responses to “HOLIDAY PARTY SUBJUNCTIVE • by Kevin Jewell”


  1. CascadeLily Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 2:23 am

    I love this story. Very inventive and boy, have we all been ‘there’!

  2. Oscar Windsor-Smith Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 3:09 am

    I can only agree with CL above. A fresh and original take on a situation familiar to all – it doesn’t even need to be the boss’s wife. Come to think of it, for most of my working life, I’ve been married to the boss’s wife *, so I’d better stop right there.

    Great seasonal story, Kevin.

    😉 scar

    * Of course, she’s the boss really…(just in case she’s looking over my shoulder)

    BTW, on another subject. Did anyone else lose their email feed from EDF towards the end of last week? Last one I received was Ladies Night. I notified EDF, and they stared again a few days later. Strange.

  3. Margie Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Scar,

    I have not ever lost the EDF feed, but, I do get double and triple stories from time to time. :)

  4. Margie Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Kevin,

    LOved this story! It sort of reminds me of a cartoon I use to watch about a young boy that was always day dreaming, far fetched stories, while he was in the school classroom. Both the cartoon and your story made me laugh.

  5. Linda Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 5:10 am

    Fun story, reminds me of all the dratted ‘parties’ coming up the next week. Just wish there was something stronger than cookies served… can tell the protag is a writer ;^)

    Peace, Linda

  6. Peter howard Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 5:44 am

    I liked it. Fun and familiar. Good job.

    Oscar, the same thing happen to me around the same to, but I only missed one story, then they started again.

  7. Kristen Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Been there, wanted to do it. Great job. Witty, creative, funny.

    Oscar, I missed one story about that time.

  8. J.C. Towler Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Ditto what Peter (#6) said on the e-mail problems.

    Fun story. Reminded me of those little flights of fancy characters in shows sometimes take and then are suddenly jarred awake to reality (Ally McBeal comes to mind).

    If we could only reclaim those wasted hours of banality we’d all live to be a hundred and fifty.

    –John

  9. Bob Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 6:48 am

    This one was close, but not quite there. As written, we know in the beginning that he’s not going to escape, so there’s no dramatic tension, with the result that it peters out at the end rather than concluding. It would have been more fun to have experienced his fanciful escapes, rather than experiencing his ruminations about them.

  10. sjhigbee Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 6:57 am

    I loved the concept and chuckled away for the first 3 paras. But felt that maybe it could have done with finishing there as the last bit didn’t really add anything more.

    Having said that, a nice fresh take on the party season – and one that we can all sympathise with… Well done!

  11. Jim Hartley Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Fun story, very “Walter Mitty.” But the ending seemed kind of weak. I would have liked to see something more dramatic, or even a really good anti-climax (??), rather than it just fading out. Not quite a five.

    On e-mail feeds, I lose occasional mailings (seems like it happens mostly on weekends), but never for an extended period. Since I can easily go to the website I have never let it bother me much.

  12. Walt Giersbach Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 7:39 am

    The kind of humor I like to begin my day. Top notch…or maybe it just brought back memories of my getting drunk with the boss’s wife once upon a time. Oh, but do your fact checking. Wedgwood is spelled without a second T as every flea market afficianado knows.

  13. vondrakker Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I love it.
    My style.
    A wonderful adventure into unreality!
    5 ***** from me.

  14. Debi Blood Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Lively and witty! A great little story.

  15. Mickey Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I enjoyed this one immensely. My ADD mind works in much the same way – flitting from scheme to scheme.

    Nicely done!

  16. Cathryn Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Very entertaining story. I agree with Jim, it could have used a little more punch at the end, but still, made me laugh and I certainly identified with the protagonist.

  17. Dee Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I loved it – laughed out loud :)

  18. Cherie Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Now this is what writing is about….escape and entertainment.

  19. Lisa C. Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    The title and setup tipped me off about what to expect, and there were no surprises. Depending on what you like reading, your mood (and perhaps the phase of the moon), this is either a good or a bad thing. Today, I was good with it — a nice little rumination that left me satisfied. Tomorrow it may annoy me that there wasn’t a surprise.

    Well written and witty.

  20. Shelle Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Lots of fun.
    I’ve definitely been there!

  21. Camille Gooderham Campbell Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Wedgwood is now corrected (and I learned something I didn’t know… now wondering why they don’t have a second E…); thanks, Walt!

  22. Casey Curtis Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    It was cute and, yes, we’ve all “been there”…but this isn’t fiction….it lacks a beginning, middle, end, conflict, tension, setting, plot, etc — all of which are elements of fiction, even flash fiction. Rather, this felt more like….well, a comic strip (complete with thought-bubbles above the protagonist’s head).

    That isn’t to say that it isn’t well-written (I gave it 3 stars), just that I don’t think this qualifies as flash-fiction.

  23. Jen Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    A really fun Friday story! Loved it!
    By the way, I to get double stories from EDF from time to time, always asumed there was problems with the site the previous day and they just sent double posts.

  24. Dee Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    A great Friday story – needed a laugh and got one!

  25. Brian Dolton Says:
    December 13th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Slight, but so very very much fun. Well done.

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