Squish

  By Glitchywombat

chapter one

Ethan opened his eyes - the apartment was painted with colored streaks of light, tinted by Fiona's art supplies by the window. Outside, a dog barked as a mail truck puttered down the hill. He nudged his left arm off the couch and felt around on the rug for his phone. The black rectangle responded to his touch, and Ethan shifted into an upright position. He took a deep breath and unmuted the call.

A voice erupted from the phone, "People love North Korea. I'm telling you, Daniel. They absolutely ***ing love North Korea."
Another equally obnoxious voice responded, "These kids can't even point out North Korea on a map, Nathan. You're going to run a bunch of listicles about a place people can't even find, just because it was trending on Twitter a month ago."
"There was a movie about it, you elitist dick. The Sony hacks? Our audience knows North Korea, and it is hot."
"And you want to run content on my site promoting North Korea?"
"That's only ostensibly what I'm saying."
"Well, you can ostensibly go *** yourself with that commie bullshit. "

Another afternoon conference call, another argument about what Ethan would end up writing in two weeks after everyone else told the editor to get bent. It might almost be impressive how two voices emanating from piece of plastic could make his apartment feel like a prison, if only it weren't so depressing. Ethan mindlessly poked the coffee table in front of him, pretending it was covered by invisible bubble wrap.

"Listen, it's what's trending on Twitter and tumblr. This is what you asked me to do."
"I never said buy me a bunch of those marble dictator statues."

Sometimes, the invisible bubble wrap helped.

"Yes, that's what we're doing here, Daniel. I'm going to spend all of your ad revenue on North Korean statues."

Ethan interrupted, "Americans can't import directly from North Korea. You gotta find an exporter in Europe to get around the law, but it's doable. African autocrats have been buying from them for decades."

The call went silent. It would happen like this, every few days, when Ethan would offer some new information or a correction that hinted at his actual talent. He assumed that, eventually, the awkward moment could lead to something better than writing top ten lists or live-blogging product announcements.

"That's great, Ethan. Maybe we'll work that into a listicle."
"I think it's time to shift into discussing how we can work in more Game of Thrones references into our Uber coverage."

He always assumed wrong.

-

Fiona slumped down in her seat and held her thighs until the tears came. At first, she felt like it was her fault, another instance of weakness in a long history of dealing with her insufferable parents. But before long, she was pounding on the sides of the steering wheel. Her anger grew suddenly, as it always did, while she recalled bits and blips of the afternoon.

The criticism. Her mother told her that she spent too much time with her patients. That no one would ever care about the extra effort she put in. That anyone could be trained to hand out pills and fill out paperwork.

The insults. Whenever it got quiet, it would begin with her mother, but before long, all of the other nurses would start to make comments about her hair or her accessories. Accessories, god. She hated that word. They could go on all day about how Fiona refused to buy expensive shoes or a new purse for work.

The ignorance. And if it wasn't about materialism, the chatter would turn into the typical vindictive bullshit that kept them from being better at their jobs. A particular administrator that never thanked anyone. Someone that didn't order enough pizza to share. A family member that wouldn't stop calling. Kim Kardashian. Always Kim Kardashian.

The receptionist. The second worst part of Fiona's day. Walking past that nauseatingly fake bitch. That rancid dick holster. Today, she waited until Fiona was nearly out the door before putting down her stupid tabloid magazine and opening her malicious, superficial mouth.

"You look nice today, Fiona."
"Thanks, Carol."
"You have such a pretty face."
"Thank you."
"I wish I had a pretty face like you."
"You're pretty too, Carol. I'll see you tomorrow."
"You should try gluten-free."
"I know. Have a good night. I've got to meet Mom in the car."

Fiona walked out into the parking lot and swallowed her rage, knowing that she was about to face the absolute worst part of the day in a few steps. She opened the driver's side door, slid into the seat and was met by the same three words she heard every afternoon after work.

"You are late."
"I was cleaning up after everyone else, Mom. You knew that."
"You took too long. I had to talk to your father on the phone."

Fiona's tiny hands gripped the wheel until her knuckles turned white.
37 chapters, created 9 years , updated 5 years
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Comments

ActuallytheD... 4 years
Absolutely! This has been one of my favorite stories, and I'd love to know where it goes from here.
Glitchywombat 4 years
It's been a really long time since I've looked at this... but is there any interest in me finishing this?
_Yoshi_ 4 years
Ok so I’m on chapter 21 and just wanna day Daniel is a dick omg
Theswordsman 5 years
I wonder how the wedding will go with how Fiona's having issues with her mom
RFBurton 9 years
When do we get Chapter 11?
Glitchywombat 9 years
And yeah, this is legitimately the first story I've written and shared. I'm glad everyone has been enjoying it.

The positive feedback has made me think I should keep writing, so I probably will. Time to come up with another story idea.
Glitchywombat 9 years
Thanks again for all of the comments. One more chapter to go.
FrecherTyp 9 years
oh my that was a very deep story besides the weight gain aspects in it i really enjoyed reading the emotional parts smiley, too very much
Nok 9 years
very good writing
Glitchywombat 9 years
Thanks for all of the comments. This is my first story, so I'm truly grateful.
Bd1038 9 years
Slow start but great writing and character development I really liked it
GrowingLoveH... 9 years
I love this so much! What a great gift of writing talent you have! Thanks for sharing your creativity here!
SCB 9 years
This is adorable.