27.3.09

Let Bill decide!

This is my first go at proper fiction - most of what I've written up 'til now has been more or less factual! Hope it's OK.

This is the prompt on Fiction Friday this week. Setting: An office building - A secondary character says: “Look, somebody has got to make a decision.” Your main character offers a solution.

'Tea break ladies’ chirped old Bill as he pushed his trolley into the typing pool. Bill had been doing the tea round for ever, or so it seemed. ‘What shall I have Bill, a piece of that cake or one of those chocolate biscuits? Help me decide!’ said Carol.

Ten minutes later and Bill heaves his trolley into the post room. ‘Hi Bill’ called Jim. ‘Help me decide Bill, which of these new logos should I pick for the franking machine?’

Morning girls and boys he shouted. Suddenly all went quiet in the call centre as they all took off their headsets and formed an orderly queue for their elevenses! ‘Bill’ said Julie ‘We can’t decide who should represent our department in the bowls contest next week. You chose’

Next stop was packaging. ‘Tea up lads’ called Bill. George put down his roll of tape. ‘Thought you were never going to get here Bill. A word in your ear mate’. George cupped his hand close to Bills ear. ‘Can’t make my mind up mate. Who should I take to the company party tomorrow night? Sue or Brenda? It’s not easy being in such demand!

'Bill tapped on the boardroom door. No reply. He tapped again a little louder. ‘Come’ called a voice from within. Bill pushed open the fat mahogany door and wheeled his trolley to the back of the room. ‘Coffee ladies and gentlemen’ he called. ‘Hang on one minute Bill’ said the MD. ‘Before we break for coffee we need a decision on which of these two designs we should go with. Somebody has got to make a decision. We’ve been scratching our heads for ages and we are split down the middle. So Bill, you decide’.

It had been a typical working day for Bill. It seemed that no one could make a decision without Bill helping them. On his way home he wandered into the Frog and Sparrow for his nightly pint. ‘Evening Bill’ yelled the landlord as Bill strode toward the bar. ‘What’ll it be? Bitter tonight or a drop of lager?’‘Ooo’ said Bill ‘Can’t make my mind up. Tell you what, you decide’.
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13 comments:

Annie Evett said...

Oh Rosey - this is delightful! Your prose has always been fresh and inviting - and truley if this is your first dip in to the pool of fiction - then baby! I can't wait to read more.
great little finisher.
I used to work in a place they had a tea lady - not sure if anywehre still has them - a pity - as like you said - they knew everything..

Koe Whitton-Williams said...

This was really neat. You created a nifty character in Bill.

Serious Black said...

So, you were the said tea lady ????

Jodi Cleghorn said...

Elegant and charming Rosey. You have created Bill effortlessly and you get the strong impression of Bill's gentleness and easy going nature.

And it's often those in the lowest of ranks who weild the real power - the janitor/cleaner, the tuckshop lady, the lady who does all the filing and data entry.

I loved the ending. The only change I'd consider making is shortening the ending by deleting the sentence It seemed that no one could make a decision without Bill helping them. Because the reader get's the very clearly throughout the piece.

And brilliant ending!Sums it up nicely with a gorgeous twist. If this is a taster - hope there is more to come of your fiction!

You can find my ultra late entry at Wall Flowers and Corner Kicks

2cats said...

Rosie,
What great first time. I really liked the ending. Poor ole Bill made too many decisions all day to make one of his own. Isn't that just the way.

Beth said...

Neat story. I almost expect the ending (because the title predicts it), but you made me laugh anyway! The characters are concisely drawn as the story unfolds. We really relate to Bill and his day of decisions by the end. Keep writing!

SweetTalkingGuy.. said...

Great story Rosey, and I really like your picture too...

Babooshka said...

Most people fall down on the dialogue, which tends to sound forced and contrived. Not here. Nice and natural, as people do when they converse. A frist attempt, a very good one.

Tammie Lee said...

Fun. I am thinking if someone forced me to decide regularly I might get pretty good at it. Your tale makes me wonder what is it that makes it hard to make a decision, apathy, fear of the wrong choice, fear of displeasing someone else. It is empowering to simply make a decision. I like how you made a tale around this!

Aileni said...

The real clincher with this little piece is the basic idea - which is excellent.
Practise and attack short stories, it is a good learning ground.
Don't get put off if you feel you must write but be prepared for disappointment.
I have a novel online - that doesn't get read either. I have been at it for fifty years but it is something I have to do - as is photography.

Aden said...

This is a lovely little piece. I love how everyone asks Bill when they see him. The unofficial go to guy, with tea!

bettyl said...

Quite an interesting writing! You really need to write more!

Redness said...

Love your piece ... you've got talent, you're writing is concise, tight, funny, with a beginning a middle and an end ... don't stop now, keep writing ;) Congratulations ;)