Shady Nate

And now for something refreshingly not about games…

Esquire’s fiction contest this year challenged time-challenged writers to pack a story into 78 words. No, I didn’t win that trip to Aspen with Oprah… But I actually liked the timbre of what I finally came up with. Alas, this intro is longer than the story. And so:

Shady Nate, VP of Business That Runs Itself, has a desk photo: Sweet but sassy wife, plump uncrying infant. Finally joining the tyranny of the clueless happy.

Then: A diagnosis.

Meadows become minefields. Every word a restrained scream. Director of Performance Improvement. Bourbon postpones the Bang.

Misrouted email: Niral, in Finance, in thong, smartphone aimed at her hotel mirror. Meant for a luckier Nathaniel, in Sales.

The artifact lets Nate let go. A balloon drifts over the cemetery.

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