300-word story: Moving from one strange job to another, this guy just can't catch a break.
Riley had been in his new role for a fortnight and was already bored out of his skull. He enjoyed working in the great outdoors but otherwise there was very little fulfilment to be gained from such a monotonous task.
As he ascended the tall pile of dead grass, Riley daydreamed about his former job of dressing wolves to look like sheep. Back then there had never been a dull moment, but it was dangerous work and almost cost him an arm and a leg. No wonder he hadn’t been offered a pension, as the average worker only managed a few months before being unceremoniously struck off the payroll. But not Riley: he’d had the common sense to apply for this much safer position, adding many years to what would have been a very fleeting career.
As with the previous two weeks, today he was hiding needles in haystacks. It was a fraction as interesting but a lot less painful, providing he handled the equipment with care. This was the thirtieth needle/haystack harmonisation of the day and there were another fifty still to go. Letting out a sigh, he plunged into the prickly mound and began searching for the best place to conceal a slender piece of metal.
At the end of his shift, tired and itchy, Riley reassured himself that he wouldn’t be in this job forever. A friend said there might be openings at her workplace for people skilled enough to throw a single rock and take out a pair of feathered friends in one go. Yeah right, who was he kidding? He didn’t possess that kind of dexterity.
It was a bitter pill to swallow but he’d just have to take it on the chin until maybe, one day, he could truly live the life of Riley.
Copyright © 2020 Rich Sutherland