Short Story 7

On The Bright Side




She was a firm believer in the power of McDonald’s chicken nuggets to fix all problems. But somehow today they just weren’t cutting it. Even with sweet and sour sauce the delicious compressed chicken was not fixing it. The cure all that had helped her since she was four had fallen flat. Nora took a sip of her Dr. Pepper wondering what had gone wrong.


It had all started that morning when she came in late for work, it hadn’t been her fault really, the elevator was out so she was forced to take the stairs. She lived on the eighth floor so that took a second. Her car, which she was supposed to have been able to pick up that Saturday, was not in fact finished which led to her asking a friend to drop her off. Her friend Audrey had not only come late, but had slept in and was woken by Nora’s panicked inquiring call asking where she was. This was greeted with another twenty minutes of waiting and then ten minutes of driving to work. Her shift which was supposed to start at eight began, instead, at almost ten.


She liked her job. It wasn’t anything special, just working as a normal office grunge. Honestly, she wasn’t even sure what to say she did half the time when people asked. All she knew was that she did it well. The pay was good, and it came with benefits, and thanks to its location she didn’t have to commute very far. It was perfect… or it had been.


Leave without pay. She bit into a chicken nugget. It was unfair, but the manager had told her they had a zero-tolerance policy and as she had already missed a day the week before, though this was due to her car, it was impossible to rearrange the rules and not show favoritism. But she shouldn’t worry because she would start again this coming Thursday. Three whole days without pay. Audrey having already gone to work herself, was not able to pick her up and take her home, so Nora was left with no other choice then to walk.


While doing so she stepped in dog droppings someone had been so kind to leave as compost and ruined some of her best shoes. She ran into a bike rack while complaining to her sister giving herself a massive bruise on her shin. At that point, the mechanic had called and said the car would take another two days. And to make things that much worse her fries were cold when delivered and needed salt.


The day was just crumby and there was nothing it seemed she could do to fix it. A sigh. She gathered her things going out the glass door back onto the street. The whole way home she sipped her drink kicking at the gaps in the sidewalk. Diverting from going straight home she decided to finish her early lunch in the park near her building, hoping what was left on her shoes would work its way off in the process.


There was no one there at this time of day. It was small and lacked too much interest to draw a huge crowd and not intercity enough to reach the homeless. She sat with her things and what remained of her food on a bench staring out at a rather pathetic looking dogwood tree. There were small birds chittering and crows near the end of the tree diligently searching the ground.


Taking out her nuggets she began to pull them apart into tiny pieces and with as much finesse as the day possessed tossed them to the birds. They hopped away giving her a suspicious look, a particularly large one stepped forward after a moment’s hesitation, realizing what was tossed was eatable. The crow gobbled several down calling to its friends that something delicious was waiting for them. In a moment, what was left of her lunch fries and all, had been fed to the birds.


A laugh, very gentle brought a smile to her lips. She stood deciding to go back to her apartment and spend the day lounging. Choosing to view her time off as an unpaid vacation instead of a punishment. Oh yes, things could have been better, but they could be a whole lot worse. So just as she had turned a lunch into bird food, she would turn this horrible experience into a good one. And in this she felt her old comfort food had saved her again.



End



Thank you so much for reading everyone!!



Prompt Sentence: She was a firm believer in the power of McDonald’s chicken nuggets to fix all problems.


Word Count:760


©DecemberKnight 2022


Special thanks to Tabitha Turner from Unsplash for the use of the image!


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