I waver, staring into the mouth of the printing press as it whirs and churns, inked sheets exiting furiously onto the waiting conveyor. I take a deep breath, hold it in.
“I. WANT. TO. WRITE. A. COLUMN. SIR,” I belt over the din, letting the air out in a whoosh.
I hear a thwack. The whirring slows as the great behemoth grinds down, whining like a dying beast. The editor wipes his forehead on the back of his sleeve as he turns toward me, drips of sweat gleaming on his scalp.
“Listen, kid,” he sighs. “I been churnin’ out this rag since nineteen aught two. Forty-two goddamn years now. You know how many kids’ve walked in offa the goddamn street an’ tol’ me they wanted to write a column? Too goddamn many,” he shakes his head. “Most of ‘em never lasted a week.”
“If it ain’t this, sir, I’ma prolly hafta go down to the recruiting office an’ sign up. I’m already prolly gonna be drafted soon enough anyhow…I ain’t got nothin’ else. Already tried the bakery and the drugstore.”
The editor pales, leans his weight against the beast.
“Lost my firstborn to the war a year ago. ‘Bout your age, he was.” He stares at the floor, blinking. After a while, he sighs. “Look kid, I’ll tell ya what.” He pulls a notepad from his pocket, tosses it to me. “Ladies’ church committee meetin’s tonight. If you can do a write-up that can make that bunch of old dingbats sound innerestin’, I’ll see what I can do,” he winks, flicking a switch, as the printer roars back to life.
© Scriptor Obscura and Scriptor Obscura Writes, All Rights Reserved.
Written for Trifecta.