Monday, February 23, 2009


John had worked at the station for 42 years. In those 42 years, he climbed his way from being the mail boy to being the prime time anchorman. He was the best this station had ever seen, proven time & time again by the ratings. Viewers doubled by his first year & tripled by his second. They were now the #1 station in the Metro Kansas area. It was mostly because of him too. Now, 42 years later, he was 60 & being forced to retire. Jack, the new station manager, believed a 'newer' anchorman would bring ratings up & solidify their #1 position. He even went as far as to inform John through a post-it note. Two weeks, that's all he gave John. Two weeks & John would be replaced. It was now the end of those two weeks, & John's last night on the air. He sat in his chair, beneath the lights & in front of the cameras, waiting for the count down. Waiting for his last show, waiting to leave & be forgotten. John hadn't said anything negative about retiring or about Jack. He'd simply bitten his tongue & gone quietly. Now, he waited, quietly. Sasha, his co-host for the past 6 years, sat down next to him. She gave him a sympathetic smile, yet he said nothing. "5, 4, 3..."Jack counted down to airtime. At 1, he nodded to Sasha. "Good evening Kansas! I'm Sasha Green..." Her voice trailed off as she waited for John to finish. He just sat. "...& this is my co-host Jonathan Samuels. Tonight's top stories are..." John sat listening to her rattling them off. Pausing after each, waiting for John to take over. He didn't, he just sat. Finally, a commercial break came. As soon as they were off air, Jack began yelling. "What the hell do you think you are doing? You can't go on live TV & freeze up! You've been doing this for how many fucking years & you're still getting 'stage fright'?" John felt his body go tense, but he didn't move. "You need to get it together. Or I'll take you off here & now!" The break ended & they were back on the air. John sat still, not talking. Sasha took the lead, & shared some more headlining stories. This time not pausing for John. Introducing the weatherman, she turned to John & whispered, "Anything I can do?", slowly he shook his head. Commercials came back on, & Jack threatened John once more. Still he sat, not speaking. Sports came, & then back to Sasha & John. She didn't stop to wait on him anymore, & that was okay with him. He just sat. Another commercial break came & went. "Tonight is a sad night for all of us," Sasha began, ignoring the prompter & Jack's glares. "One our own will be leaving us at the end of this broadcast. John has been working with us for the last 42 years. In those years, he's taught us all several things. I know I won't soon forget the influence he's had on me. These last ten minutes of our news cast will be spent in silence, respectfully for our friend." Jack gasped & tried to switch to commercials. One of the camera men grabbed him & pinned him against the wall, slightly shaking his head. Jack didn't move a muscle. Looking around the quiet room, there were few dry eyes. John's own brimmed with tears. That night, all over Metro Kansas, not a single person changed the channel.

(prompt: write a scene depending on something you expect to happen, failing.)

1 comment:

  1. Jericho, that was fucking great!

    seriously, I liked that on several levels.