HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES/

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


Short story inspired by the Imaginarium Flash Fiction January 2018 Picture Prompt

Submitted: January 16, 2018

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Submitted: January 16, 2018

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Carla had collected her favourite take-away, a habit she had slipped into every Friday evening… her reward for completing another lousy week in a job she despised. She had accepted the job as a stop gap until something better came along, but that had been six months ago… six long months of working in a call centre, selling home insurance to home owners who usually told her to get lost before slamming the phone down.

 She poured herself a glass of white wine, emptied the contents of the cartons onto a plate, turned on the television and dropped into an armchair in front of it.  Although her flat was small, it was ideal for her relatively new single status. She had met Dan at university where the smouldering urgency of young love had engulfed them. They became inseparable and, after leaving uni, had moved in together. However, the passion that had once blazed, slowly faded into a glimmer, before fizzling out completely. They were no longer teenagers… had grown apart and become different people. Consequently, it had been a mutual and amicable decision to call time on their relationship, while vowing to remain friends.

She took her tray into the kitchen, made herself a mug of coffee then opened her iPad. As she sipped her coffee, she scanned through the latest job opportunities, looking for one that might prove even slightly less mind numbing than the one she had.

Her cell-phone buzzed, interrupting her evening ritual. A text from Livvy told her they would be meeting in the Wine Bar at eight o’clock and would meet her there.

She glanced at the time and logged off. Time to get ready for her regular Friday night catch-up with her pals. She showered, blow dried her lustrous, blonde hair, transformed her face with make-up then prised her long, shapely legs into a pair of tight jeans. Although she always vowed not to drink too much, she usually drank too much, lay in bed too late then chastised herself for wasting precious leisure time.

***********

Livvy walked towards her carrying two large glasses of wine. “The girls are running late, so we might as well start without them,” she explained, handing Carla one of the glasses.

“What’s wrong with your face? It’s that job, isn’t it? You need to find something more stimulating.”

Carla took a gulp from her glass. “It’s not as easy as that. I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to go into teaching any more, but it seems I’m now either overqualified or too inexperienced for everything else I apply for.” She pushed a long blond curl behind one ear. “It’s frustrating.”

“Why not re-train. Study for a different degree… what about drama? Admit it, Carla, you’ve always been a drama queen.” Livvy grinned… “Only joking.”

“Another degree? I can’t afford to give my job up… you know, feed myself, keep a roof over my head. Since me and Dan split up, it’s hard making ends meet and as much as I loathe my job, at least it pays the bills.”

“Carla, if I had your looks and figure, I’d be trying to cash in big time. You could be a model, I’m sure you’d be snapped up. You should go for it, apply to some agencies.”

Carla stared at her friend, her blue eyes incredulous. “You must be joking? I would never dream of stripping off for money, you’ll be telling me next to sell my body on the street corner.”

“You’ve got me wrong… I don’t mean photographic, or even a catwalk model. I mean modelling for clothes catalogues, or advertising, you’d be perfect for… oh I don’t know… maybe promoting toothpaste, or hair products.”

“Sorry to jump down your throat Liv. You know, I might just do that, what have I got to lose?

Frankie and Scarlet burst through the door and sashayed over to the bar. “Hey, you two, what are you drinking? The weekend starts here.”

-----------------------

“So, why are you looking so pleased with yourself?” Scarlet asked.

Carla fished around in her handbag and pulled out a photograph. “I was accepted by an advertising agency. After turning down the chance to promote, would you believe, a brand of incontinence knickers, I was then offered this.”

She placed a photograph on the table. “That’s me… well the rear view of me, holding a rifle.”

Her friends looked at her through puzzled eyes. “Okay, spill the beans,” Frankie said, with a hint of impatience.

“The armed forces are trying to attract more women, and are using this as part of their recruitment campaign, with the strap-line… ‘Have you got what it takes? If so, a career in the army could be right up your street?’

“Okay girls, the drinks are on me.”


© Copyright 2018 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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