For this weeks prompt , the challenge was to write a poem/essay/short fiction piece about work . I truly believe that success is a result of hard work , and to my knowledge , hard work has never killed anyone . With that in mind , my response is a flash fiction piece , which showcases the scattered thoughts of a woman , subjected to a life-time of hard work , under poor working conditions .
The familiar words bounced around in the vacuum of her mind . It formed part of a daily ritual … almost like a mantra : Barring serious accidents , if you are not preoccupied with worry and you work hard , you can look forward to a reasonably lengthy existence … It's not the hard work that kills , it's the worrying that kills .
He was one smart guy , that Thomas Edison . It's the worrying that kills . And Mildred Lawson had put the words to good use . She had not a care in the world . Well , that is what she told herself . Over and over . Everyday . And she knew about hard work too . Inherited that streak from her mother who , it was widely acknowledged , had worked herself into the grave at the ripe old age of 77 years . Add the bonus of possessing a meticulous and cautious work ethic … and you have a win-win-win working situation , courtesy of Mr Edison .
Work … work … work . That's what life consisted of . No more , no less . Her very existence had been reduced to it . It was the sum total of her life . She represented the 'poster-child' for workaholism . Work was her ally . Work was her solace . Work was her sanity . Always had been , always would be . She thrived on good , old-fashioned work . Of the physical kind . Not your fancy , sit-behind-a-polished-desk-in-an-office-kind-of-a-way . Not for her , thank you . She never had been that kind of a person … the thoughts swirled around in her mind … as she lay in quiet contemplation … one of those random moments when conscious thought surfaced , with a stark clarity , before mental fatigue took over …
He entered the tiny room . The make-shift sleeping quarters housed the dozen or so women . The familiar sneer was in place . He barked his orders at the dispirited inhabitants . The monster had reared his ugly head … time to work … on cue … Some of the faces wore the mask of rebellious resignation while others were totally defeated .
But not Mildred . She looked forward to the routine , welcomed the sheer mind-numbing , back-breaking hard labour imposed on them … If he thought that work was a form of punishment , or a way to pry information out of her , or a method to break her spirits , then he was sorely mistaken . They had no idea who they were dealing with . She was a different type of woman . They didn't know that . And she had no intention of letting them learn too much .
Check out the prompt over at Victoria's place : http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/monday-morning-writing-prompt-labor-day/