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The Endless Struggle · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Georgia shouldn’t have snow. Only one person living here knows how to handle snow, and that’s me. Everyone else panics when just a speck falls from the sky. No-one knows how to clear it out, let alone drive through it. And that’s just a tiny amount of snow! Bring in a blizzard, and Ragnarok might as well be upon us.

This isn’t a blizzard. This is nothing to me, but it’s enough for my boss to call the only person he knows with a snow-plow to clear up the parking lot. No, he couldn’t let us have the day off like the rest of the state. We have an important project to complete, and we need everyone else in the office, now!

I’m down to the last stretch of the lot. It’s snowed on and off all day, but this is nothing for my ’05 Ford. Closing time is coming around, and I’m clearing out the place so everyone can head home without trouble. In my mind, everyone here owes me lunch. It’s the least they can do for crying like babies over a little frozen milk.

While I find my co-workers’ reactions ridiculous, at least I’m not plowing three feet of snow on a daily basis, like back in Utah.
I reverse the truck to the end of the parking lot, and steer it into the last column of snow. I throw it in drive, and the plow rolls the snow up in a nice big pile. It’s just like sweeping the kitchen, only with a 5,000 pound broom. Big boys play with big toys.

Halfway through, the engine sputters out. The truck heaves forward, and the engine cuts off. What the hell? This truck can eat this job for breakfast, how did it die on me?

I glance at the gas-gauge. The needle is dead on E. Crap, I forgot to refill again.

There’s a tap on the window, and I almost jump out of my socks. It’s my boss. His face is red, his hands are tucked in his armpits, and he has a thin layer of snow building up on his mustache.

The window rolls down. “Can I help you?” I ask with a sheepish smile.

You need to move your truck,” he says, trying his best to keep his teeth from chattering. “You’re blocking my car.”

I look over see his Buick covered in a snowy blanket. That’s going to take some time to clear off. “I can’t. I ran out of gas.”

“Why didn’t you fill it up before you got here?” he shouts.

“I was, but then I got an emergency call to come to the office with my plow.”

He’s not a fan of smart-asses. “Go get gas. I want to get home.”

My eyebrow cocks up. “And the project? That’s the reason we’re all here!”

“We’ll do it tomorrow. Get that truck out of the way or I’ll tow it and fire you!”

The nearest gas-station is a half-mile away. There were no gas-containers to be found, so I improvised. Everyone owes me lunch, and they can pay up with their milk-cartons.

I dumped all the milk and filled a bag with the cartons. The trek to the station was long, but manageable. By the time I got there, it was five minutes till everyone goes home. Filling every carton up was a pain in the ass, but I got it done.

Georgia shouldn’t have snow. The weather people don’t know how to report it. When I finished filling up the cartons, the real blizzard hit, the kind born of nightmares. Walking back meant wading through a half-foot of surprise snowfall. It took me an hour to get back to the parking lot.

By the time I did get back, my earlier work was erased thick ocean of snow covered the pavement, with more coming down every minute. Almost everyone left long ago. The only cars left were my truck and my boss’s Buick.

I saw the boss looking at me from the window of the office building, judging my every move. His look told me everything. Welcome to Ragnarok.
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#1 · 2
Cute, but definitely needs some cleaning. Lot of unnecessarily hyphenated words and other little things that could be improved (choosing when to break paragraphs and the like). Otherwise no particularly strong feelings about this one. Just a little slice of life.

Oh, and agreed. People who don't regularly have snow are awful at it.
#2 · 2
Hmmm. Maybe it doesn't need to be more, if slice-of-life is all there's meant to be to it, but it seemed... really superficial, is about what I take away. It's a narrative of surface events, and nothing more. I'm left without the thing I want in a literary story—that sense of the underlying relevance to what happened.

I guess what I'm getting at is, how did the main character change? There's a situation set up, a conflict, and a resolution... all the ingredients to a story... but after it's said and done, was he really affected? Life seems like it's just going to go on as normal and this hiccup won't matter in the long run. It's an anecdote, and even an entertaining one, but it lacks the elements of real consequence and permanence to create the kind of stakes that make things interesting and cause some sort of lesson to be explored and learned.
#3 · 2
· · >>JudgeDeadd
can confirm this is Georgia

half-foot of surprise snowfall

bizarro science fiction.
#4 · 3
can confirm this is Georg

Entry disqualified: Author compromised ano--


#5 · 1
This doesn't seem super deep, but there's a lot to like here. Some good phrasing, a bit of a bookend structure, nice character work, a complete story arc... it's going to do fairly well by me, even though I'd like some sort of thematic element to it. Pleasant, if a bit shallow.
#6 ·
Pretty good all around.

#7 ·
It’s nicely done and put, but it feels somewhat hokey. I mean, the conflating of the three mishaps, namely the boss’s car being blocked, the snowplow running out of gas and the blizzard picking up, that’s such a bad luck that the narrator must've been jinxed. Things like that do not happen In Real Life™.

Other than that, it flows fairly well, there's a tinge of humour and a covert criticism of a society that breeds wussies. We badly need Übermenschen (© Nietzsche) to sweep the snow out our thresholds.
#8 · 1
A well-executed slice of life. But… did he really put gas into a bunch of milk cartons? And if the co-workers owe the protagonist lunch, couldn’t one of them have provided a quick lift to the gas station?
#9 ·
This feels like the type of story that someone might tell me as something that happened to them today. The problem is that a great deal of the story is just describing events that happened, with only a few reactions from the narrator sprinkled in. The few reactions there are make the story seem trivial to the narrator:
This is nothing to me,

Crap, I forgot to refill again.
(a casual "Crap" doesn't make it sound like he was all that devastated)
The trek to the station was long, but manageable.

Things like this suggest that the events happening are inconvenient, but not really all that bad. That's a problem, I think, because if the character doesn't really think much of it, we don't think much of it. If the character isn't feeling a strong emotion, we empathize / take the cue and don't feel a strong emotion.

It's what happened with me. I don't feel strongly about this story one way or the other. Sorry to say it, but it's a fairly forgettable slice of life piece.