Climbing (mature audiences warning)


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At thirty-five years old, Andy became the youngest professor to chair the Semantics Department at Hoddopscott University. Andy was at the apex of his career, and no one would dispute he’d worked his butt off for it. He had left a string of scorched corpses, personal and professional, along the way, but in his mind, all was fair in love and career-climbing.

Andy finally left his office at the usual time, 10 p.m., and stopped at the late night deli to pick up a custom-made sandwich, a container of pasta salad, and a bottle of Jim Beam. He planned on watching Netflix and not chilling but unwinding a little now that his promotion had been announced to the department.

He munched his late dinner while reading blogs. Then he plopped down in the cushiony la-z-boy, flipped on the TV, then felt the burn as the bourbon trickled down his throat; sighing as his body relaxed.


At the long, insistent sound of the door buzzer, Andy thought, “That is so annoying” and was puzzled at how late it was for the doorbell to ring; but only for a moment. He looked at his fitbit watch planner and remembered who it was. Sighing again, this time with resignation, Andy went to answer the door.

As the door swung open, Andy saw the familiar figure of the apricot-haired clown in full regalia just before the clown dropped to the doorway floor and clung to Andy’s ankle. Forcing a smile, Andy said, “Clarabelle, – the pet name he used for Mr. Hollingswell Chaffer, President of the University – I see you’ve been a bad clown again, hmmmm?”

Fandango’s FOWC is semantics, the Word of the Day Challenge is apex, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge words are ankle, clown, apricot , and Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt is, “That is so annoying.”

10 Comments Add yours

  1. hanspostcard says:

    I think I’d rather do a cave crawl than to be where Andy is in that picture. Another great short story.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I wish you could hear me laughing. There needs to be a warning label on that one.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. msjadeli says:

      I think you meant the actual photo didn’t you? I thought you meant in the story. Either way…


      1. hanspostcard says:

        I wouldn’t want to be in the actual photo- heights both me as bad as tight spaces.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 says:

    That picture is frightening… I can’t get on a ladder….much less that

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pvcann says:

    A dangerous game on every level.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it is, but hunger for power and control is irresistable for some…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pvcann says:

        Very much the way things are at present.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene says:

    aagh, Andy, yuck! Hehe, another one of your great stories, as unexpectedly expected, with a twisted ending!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      lol I love that ending, and it was a surprise to me also!

      Liked by 1 person

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